Spanish at the CLRC
Spanish is a natural choice when adding a modern language to a classical curriculum. About 75 percent of the vocabulary is derived from Latin and many of the grammar structures will be familiar to students who know Latin.
The ability to read, write, and speak Spanish not only facilitates travel to many parts of the world but also expands job opportunities in an increasingly global economy. Today, Spanish is the official language of 20 countries and the third most spoken language with more than 400 million speakers worldwide.
Learning Spanish also provides students with access to a variety of cultures, both past and present. Early Spanish authors, like Miguel Cervantes, helped shape the modern novel; contemporary Latin American authors, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, influence the modern literary scene with new techniques and genres like magical realism.
"Mrs. Kerrigan is fantastic! She is extremely organized and has picked great curriculum. She doesn’t just teach dialogue, but teaches the patterns and the grammar behind the Spanish as well. She also has lots of Spanish readings so the children practice reading in front of the class. She has perfect control of the classes and keeps things moving along well. My son is speaking Spanish around the house because of her. She couldn’t be better."
— Shelly C, California
"Thank you so much for teaching me Spanish last year. The course pushed me so much further and taught me so much more than any other class I could have taken and I wouldn’t have been as prepared for living in Spain and going to school here without it. (After a few months in Spain) I can understand my teachers almost completely. I can also have an informal conversation with anyone about anything. I’m really enjoying life here in Spain!"
— Collin L
Marcella Kerrigan, B.A.
Marcella Kerrigan received her B.A. from Hillsdale College, graduating from the Honors Program with a double major in Spanish and English. While at college, she was part of the Spanish Department’s tutoring program. Following graduation, she spent a year teaching English Literature at a bilingual school in Mexico and then worked at an elementary school as a reading aide for struggling students. After her daughter was born she took a break from formal employment but was able to spend a year living in Spain when her husband received a Fulbright Grant to do research in Madrid.
She currently lives in Wayne, Nebraska, where she homeschools her two children and volunteers with a program that provides instruction for community members who are learning English. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking sourdough bread, reading about theology and novels in Spanish and English.
Arely Mattson, M.A.
Arely Isela Briones Cruz de Mattson currently lives in Texas, but has lived in and traveled to many parts of the world, including Spain, France, Macedonia, and Germany. She is originally from Mexico and enjoys sharing about her ancestral country’s incomparable beauty and cultural wealth. She also fell in love with Spanish culture while living and studying in Madrid.
Ms. Mattson earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Religious Studies and English with a minor in Spanish from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and a Masters in Theological Studies in Religion, Ethics and Politics from Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
She enjoys a quiet existence in the company of her family, many books, pets, and flower and vegetable gardens. She also loves camping and hiking and travelling to remote parts of the world. Interesting note - she is currently trying to learn Nahuatl.