Breaking the Barriers of Language (VIDEO)
When first we broke into groups of three to discuss the central message of our opera, Andrew, Beki and Josúe seemed a bit uncomfortable as they attempted to communicate. Neither Beki nor Josúe has a command of the English language. In fact, Josúe arrived from El Salvador in August speaking no English at all. Beki had a head start on understanding as she arrived in the United States late last school year. As other groups conversed and time passed, the three began determining a way to convey their ideas to the company. Beki and Josúe offered Spanish verbs indicating ways to confront or move past barriers. They charted their ideas in Spanish on large paper. They then showed Andrew the meaning of these words through gesture. As Andrew understood, he shared and wrote the English translation. How ironic that they were actually doing that which they were trying to articulate in words.