Thursday, November 24, 2016

11th National Spanish Carol Service – Out of Many, One Language!

Students of Spanish from various educational institutions across Kingston, St. Andrew and surrounding parishes will gather at Webster Memorial United Church to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus, in a Carol Service conducted entirely in Spanish on Tuesday, November 22. The National Spanish Carol Service is coordinated by Ms. Emma-June Bell, a teacher and author and is supported by the Jamaica Spanish Language Review in partnership with The Spanish-Jamaican Foundation and the Embassy of Spain.  

From left: Rev. Oscar Carlyle, Minister of Webster Memorial United Church welcomes Chargee D'Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Spain, Carmen Rives Ruiz-Tapiador (right) and Archbishop of Kingston, Kenneth Richards (center) to his church for the 11th National Spanish Carol Service held on Tuesday, November 22 

Students will experience a full immersion in Spanish culture through attendance and participation in either reading of Bible verses or singing of traditional or modern carols in Spanish. The overall objective is to have Spanish language students practise and use the language they have learnt and be exposed to this aspect of the culture.  

 “Over the years, with this activity, I have seen students gain confidence not only in the language but in themselves,” stated Emma-June Bell, Founder and Coordinator of the National Spanish Carol Service.  

Education Officer for Spanish at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Errol Haughton (left) reviews the programme with fellow master of ceremonies, Courtney Taylor (right), Coordinator of the Jamaica Spanish Language Review at the 11th National Spanish Carol Service held on Tuesday, November 22 at Webster Memorial United Church.
 “The classroom setting is great, but to continue to motivate our students we must set them goals outside of the textbook and make every day a memorable connection for them. And in Jamaica, there’s nothing quite like Christmas, so connecting Spanish culture and language to a time that every Jamaican child knows well, makes this Carol Service a powerful learning tool. It’s also highly entertaining,” concluded Bell. 
For the 11th staging, the Embassy of Spain encouraged the participation of Spanish-speaking countries with Embassies and Consulates in Jamaica.  

Convent of Mercy Academy dramatizes 'La visita de los Reyes' at the 11th National Spanish Carol Service held on Tuesday, November 22 at Webster Memorial United Church.

“We have invited other Embassies to share carols and popular readings with the students this year, to ensure we continue to expand their learning in addition to showing our collective appreciation for the reception of the Spanish language and culture here in Jamaica, shared Chargee D’Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Spain, Carmen Rives Ruiz-Tapiador. “The inclusion of other Spanish-speaking  countries apart from Spain, show that Spanish language is shared and has expanded“. This year’s participation of the Embassy of the United States of America is further demonstration of the expansion and inclusiveness of the language.  The USA is home to more Spanish speakers than in Spain itself.   

The event which has been endorsed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information stands as an excellent model for cultural activities that encourage bilingualism, a tool of distinction in today’s market place. 

Representatives of Spain, the USA, Mexico, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, El Salvador have worked over the past months withCrayon College, Calabar High School, Shortwood Teachers’ College, Hillel Academy, Meadowbrook High School, Norman Manley High School, Holy Childhood High School, Immaculate Conception High School, The Music House, Excelsior High School, Kingston Technical High School, Convent of Mercy Academy, St. George’s College, Alpha Insitute, Portmore Missionary Preparatory, Half Way Tree Primary, Bustamante High School, Promise Learning Centre, American International School of Kingston,  to make this year’s staging a reality.

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