Spanish Club: More Than Just an Excuse to Miss School


Matteo Romano, Staff Writer

You’re standing alongside other students in a long line just waiting to give an impromptu speech. The only catch is that it’s in Spanish and you have no idea what you must talk about. Perhaps you will be asked about forms of transportation, or maybe why you like where you live. People are only speaking Spanish around you, and it’s suddenly your turn to speak at the largest Spanish competition in the nation.

On March 10th, students who will be attending the Florida State Spanish Conference, will not be arriving at 8:30 at school, but instead will be taking a bus to Orlando.

You may have heard some of Mr. Lebras’ announcements in the morning assemblies, and the World Language Competition Club, as it is called, is made up of three sectors: Spanish, Mandarin, and Latin. The Spanish section is comprised of six students, whose class levels range from Spanish II all the way to AP Spanish.

Although the club is active this year, in past years students have only participated in the National Spanish Exam, an online test of their knowledge.

“We did this a while back, probably ten years ago… We’re bringing it back, we want to offer the our students the opportunity to compete at the state level,” says Mrs. Dooley.

When Mrs. Howell was a teacher at ODA, there was a Spanish Club which went to the Florida Spanish Competition. The annual trips to the competition stopped after 2006, though, and the school switched to the aforementioned National Spanish exam.

“The test was the thing to do then, what everybody was doing, it was a way to test a larger group,” says Mrs. Gomez.

Rather than just testing the abilities of the students who joined the Spanish club, the test was able to test all of the students in the Spanish program. The novelty of the exam was not the sole reason for stopping the trips to the Spanish competition.

“We did not go back, we didn’t have enough students, and the students weren’t at the right level to go to the competition,” says Mrs. Gomez

Even though she is new this year to our school, Mrs. Rozanes has much experience in directing student groups who will go to competitions like the one fast approaching in March. She has done poetry competitions in northern California, and similar competitions on the East Coast.

“Many schools, public and private, you will only see school teachers and kids everywhere… The Florida competition is the largest one in the country,” says Mrs. Rozanes

The competition has many different facets, and all of us in the club need to participate in the impromptu speech section, and also in reciting a poem. Each week, in the club, each person brings an impromptu speech topic ready to speak on from the competitions list of speech subjects. Some range from your favorite car to places you’d like to visit. Do you want to want to know about what Josh Fernandez would do with millions of dollars? Interested in what Kevin Deems was dreaming about? All of these questions can be answered along with many more at Spanish Club.

The club is headed by the Spanish teachers at the school, Mrs. Gomez, Mrs. Dooley, and Mrs. Rozanes. They help the members of the group in our meetings by suggesting parts of our speeches or poems that we should work on. As a whole, the group will be pretty well prepared for the impromptu section of the competition.

The students have joined for various reasons, and in meetings each Monday all six join together to progress their language skills.

“My mom is one of the Spanish teachers, and she eventually told me about the club and I wanted to join,” says freshman Josh Fernandez.

Most students that are in the club don’t have connections to Spanish speaking family members, and these students usually join to either further their Spanish speaking skills or just because they enjoy it.

“I just think it’s important that I speak the language inside and outside the class to improve my own skills,” says junior Kevin Deems.