Readers’ Forum: 5/8/18


Showing Spanish films in theaters

United States theaters should regularly show films in Spanish to accommodate the increasing Spanish-speaking population. The United States has about 52.6 million Spanish speakers. Compared to other Spanish-speaking countries, the United States is second only to Mexico in Spanish speakers.

Despite living in an English-speaking country, many Spanish speakers speak little to no English, which means fewer movies are available at the movie theaters in their native tongue.

I have several friends whose parents are immigrants from Latin America, and their parents speak English poorly despite their best efforts to learn. These people desire to feel included in all aspects of society and culture. More importantly, they desire to feel comfortable.

To some, watching a movie in their native language may seem insignificant. To others, it may make all the difference. Many English-speaking Americans don’t appreciate the privilege of living in a society where their native language is the official language.

Traditional English speakers can go about their normal activities (including seeing the occasional movie) without feeling scared, inadequate or foolish. The successful acceptance and absorption of Spanish-speaking people into the evolving American culture is a big, ongoing job.

I am not suggesting it can be done overnight by simply playing Spanish films in community theaters. What I am suggesting is that this is a good first step. So, let’s take this step now and start regularly showing films in Spanish in theaters across our country.

—Tristan Torgersen


Learning through movement

Creative movements, such as exercise and dance, will greatly enhance students’ abilities to learn and retain language skills. It is already very common to use other artistic forms of expression, like music, to help students remember grammar and vocabulary.

The first thing I learned in Spanish was the alphabet song. While the other vocabulary I learned seems to have come and gone like the wind, I have never forgotten the alphabet song.

My wife had an opportunity to attend an elementary school that used simple dance routines to teach students about the rock cycle. The kids not only had a blast, but because the concepts were associated with something fun, creative and tangible, they were able to retain the content and understand it extremely well.

The mind and the body are inseparably connected, and stimulating one will stimulate the other. I call upon language instructors everywhere to incorporate creative movement into their curriculum and make language learning fun again!

—Jeremy Hodges

Portland, Oregon

Mastering the art of complaining

Complaining can be very detrimental to mental health. Today, we are so instantaneously connected to the world around us that we have developed venting habits.

“Venting” is complaining to the entire world for the sake of validation and the sensation of lashing out at something we strongly dislike. In a world as imperfect as ours, it is easy to understand why this would happen.

With such divisive American presidential debates and government policies, it is impossible for everyone to get what they want. Unfortunately, many people feel entitled, claiming their views are correct. In this ever-present frustration, it can be very hard to submit to what we dislike.

People complain uselessly, which is a problem. There are two ways to complain. The wrong way to complain achieves next to nothing and doesn’t solve the problem, damaging mental health. The right way is to complain with a purpose.

There are websites now, like, that let people group together and voice their demands to large companies or government representatives, and customer support lines listen to feedback on why consumers didn’t like a product or service.

There are good ways to complain; however, if we are uneducated, we may complain in such a way that damages our mental health and suggests to our own minds a state of helplessness and dissatisfaction.

I call on society to learn the difference between beneficial and malignant complaining so we can see the changes we want in the world without damaging our mental well-being.

—Jacob Walker

Summerville, South Carolina

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