A weekly lunch in Spain with Mesa Hispánica

Students engage in Spanish conversation at the weekly Mesa Hispánica event, held in the Student Center.
Photo via Tirzahsprigela Christopher

La Mesa Hispnica (translated to the Spanish Table), meets at Michel Student Center for lunch once a week. Whether students attend it for extra credit or just for some time off regular classes, it is a great source for learning and a method for students of all majors to practice Spanish-speaking in real conversations.

Inspired by the French Table, tenured Spanish lecturer Deborah Kessler said she decided to start Mesa Hispnica in 2010 to serve as a friendly group in which students from all nationalities, majors and ages are welcome to join. The group meets for about an hour to converse in an informal manner over food.

According to Kessler, students who participate in this initiative are not only those who have chosen Spanish for that semester, but also those who want to preserve and increase their fluency and proficiency in Spanish.

In the beginning, you might not be able to add much into the conversation, if you are a new learner, but you will be able to introduce yourself and learn more as time passes, Kessler said.

The group is not just limited to students from Bradley, but also Spanish learners from other universities and schools.

Additionally, a different professor attends Mesa Hispnica every week as a resource to improve attendees knowledge of the Spanish language. Even though it isnt considered tutoring, the professor plays an important role in helping the students continue conversations smoothly and correcting common errors they tend to make.

 

The thing I like the most about this table is that it is very informal, hence, new members of the group get accustomed to the atmosphere quickly and start having conversations with people theyve just met, Jennifer Barajas, an assistant professor of Spanish, said.

Occasionally, a native speaker is invited to join the students and converse with them, according to Kessler. This helps students listen to different dialects of Spanish and to improvise their speaking skills, as well as practice speaking with people from different regions.

The Mesa Hispnica is open to those inside and outside the Spanish curriculum alike. The dates for Mesa Hispnica for the semester can be found on Bradleys event calendar at http://www.bradley.edu/calendar/.