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Cruzado shares spanish culture on WIUV

They’re seated in cushy chairs with wheels, microphones are lowered, and the last 30 seconds of a Spanish song is playing.
“Hi everyone! This is Spanglish Hour on 91.3 WIUV!” booms a voice over the last seconds of the song.
From 4 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the foreign language department puts on the informational, hour-long show on Castleton’s WIUV radio station. Teaching Assistant Cristian Cruzado laughs as he tells his invisible audience about the English translation of the previous song’s title.
“At first I was scared to go on the radio, but now it’s just fun too,” Cruzado said.
Led by Cruzado, the “Spanglish Hour” is dedicated to sharing Spanish culture with the student body hoping to spark interest in the language.
“My real goal is to just get people more comfortable with the Spanish language, mostly through songs and speaking it on the air,” Cruzado said.
Cruzado, a Peru native, has been sharing his cultural background at Castleton for two semesters, although “Spanglish Hour” has been broadcast on 91.3 for much longer.
Spanish professor Ana Alfaro-Alexander said she initiated Spanglish Hour about 15 years ago with intent to, “open many doors for students at Castleton.”
Teaching assistants have worked in conjunction with students and have become the biggest contributors in spreading the Spanish language and culture at Castleton.
“Actually, last week a girl came on who had been to Spain for a year, and who was a Spanish major. I loved just talking to her about her experiences there,” Cruzado said.
Alfaro-Alexander’s colleague, Delma Wood, stressed that the radio show is a great forum for students and faculty to learn and share.
“Anyone can come on the show and show their form of Spanish culture, whether it be songs or even poetry,” Wood said.
Each year, the foreign language department sponsors one visiting TA to work with and connect with students and staff members to promote cultural and linguistic understanding among Castleton students.
They are among many international students who are a part of the Fulbright Association and the Institute of International Studies who come from around the world to broaden the horizons of American Collegiate students.
Alfaro-Alexander emphasized the importance of knowing the Spanish language.
“It’s not at the forefront of students’ vision,” she said. “Spanish is the second biggest commercial language in the world. The buying and selling power of the language is tremendous.”
Those who desire a further understanding of the Spanish culture and language are encouraged to join the Spanish Club, which meets at 12:30 p.m. on Thursdays in the Spanish lounge of Leavenworth Hall.