Publicity & Radio
We welcome interviews and publicity!
Carrboro Citizen - January 2012
[Okay, there are two mistakes in the Spanish in the article below. Read down to the end of the article and see if you find them. We'll explain there and plead Not Guilty.]
Carrboro police officers sharpening Spanish skills
By Rose Laudicina
“¿Tomaste esta noche?” a Carrboro police officer asked Javier Cid – asking in Spanish if he had been drinking. “Usted huele a alcohol,” the officer said, telling Cid he smelled like alcohol.
“Tengo dos cervezas,” Cid responded, holding up two fingers.
“Everyone always says two,” the officer laughed.
The officer was not really pulling Cid over, and Cid was not really drunk. The two of them, along with four additional police officers, were at the CHICLE Language Institute practicing scenarios that police encounter on a weekly basis in which knowing how to communicate in Spanish would improve their ability to help the community.
In a partnership between the Carrboro Police Department and CHICLE, Cid is teaching six police officers phrases and vocabulary in Spanish that they can use to communicate with Spanish-speaking residents on a daily basis.
“We’re trying to bridge the gap with our Latino community as far as communicating with them and understanding their culture more,” Capt. Cornell Lamb said.
In every class, Cid, a native Spanish-speaker from Mexico City who has been teaching at CHICLE for nine years, puts the officers in different situations where the victim or suspect knows little English or only speaks Spanish.
These situations include responding to domestic-violence calls, pulling someone over for speeding or being the first responder on a scene involving a hit-and-run.
“I give them scenarios where they can really use the phrases and the vocabulary and work on the pronunciations,” Cid said.
“We have a textbook, but it just lists words and they don’t tell the students how to apply it,” he added.
Although a majority of the 90-minute class is spent working on scenarios, sometimes it mirrors a typical high school or college language course as the officers repeat after the teacher and conjugate verbs on the board.
“¡En Español!” Cid commands when a student answers a question in English, usually causing the officer to panic and respond with what seems to be the class’ favorite phrase, “No se mueve,” meaning, “Do not move,” causing the class to erupt into laughter.
Lamb said he believes the course has really helped him with understanding the culture and the language, and the department is looking into making it a routine course.
“My confidence level as far as being able to communicate and gather information has improved,” he said.
“You don’t always know what situation you are going to walk into when you respond to a call, and we have such a diverse community in Carrboro where Spanish is one of the languages spoken.”
Cid said that one of the best things about the police officers learning the language was that they would have the ability to help people in their native language, which is more reassuring.
“When someone communicates in your language, it means a lot,” Cid said.
While the course has taught the police officers a lot, Cid said he too has learned a great deal since they begin meeting back in November.
“Law-enforcement officers do tough work,” Cid said. “Many people think they just give tickets or fines, and the reality is there is something more beyond that – they are doing an important job in the community.”
Mistake #1: “Tengo dos cervezas,” Cid responded, holding up two fingers. While tener does mean to have, it isn't used with drinks or food. This also should have been stated in the past tense. So, we assume a student is being quoted and not our native Spanish-speaking very experienced teacher. Better would be "Bebi dos cervezas" or "Tomé dos cervezas."
Mistake #2: “¡En Español!” Cid commands when a student answers a question in English, usually causing the officer to panic and respond with what seems to be the class’ favorite phrase, “No se mueve,” meaning, “Do not move,” causing the class to erupt into laughter. This error is a little more subtle. The command form in Spanish actually requires the subjunctive (in most cases) and "Do not move" translates into "No se mueva." This is true for the third person (he, she, you, it). You in this case is third person because it is impersonal—we can safely assume that a the person being stopped is not a child, friend of the police, or family member. For more explanation, come take a Spanish class with us. Also, Spanish in a Spanish sentence is written without a capital—español.
Chapel Hill Herald Sun - April 2011
Read all about us in the Herald-Sun: Bonjour! Hola! Say hello to a new language. This very nice article appeared in April 2011. Our thanks to the writer, Evelyn Howell.
WCHL Radio Interview - November 2010
Three CHICLE staff members were interviewed for about 40 minutes on WCHL, a local radio station.
We think it turned out very well. Fred Black was an excellent interviewer and learned how to pronounce CHICLE during the course of the interview. You can listen to it here.
Carrboro Citizen - July 2009
Karen Language Has Found a New Home, by Beth Meachem, about our Karen classes and our wonderful Karen teacher, Christine Wai.
Carrboro Commons - December 2007
A nice article (no longer available online) about CHICLE's Sunday events was published in the Carrboro Commons in 2007.
CHICLE addresses local immigrant issues
Posted Dec. 20, 2007
by Kendal Walters
Carrboro Commons Writer
More than thirty people gather in a room above Weaver Street Market on a Sunday afternoon to watch ¡Salud!/Health, a movie about the Cuban Health Care system.
The video draws viewers like Chapel Hill resident and local family practice doctor Carol Klein, and Dina Castro, who has experience working in a community health program in Peru. Others in attendance are simply interested in the social, political and economic implications of international health care.
The movie screening is just one of a variety of cultural events put on two Sundays a month by The Chapel Hill Institute for Cultural and Language Education, better known as CHICLE...
Business Director Jane Stein (left) and Program Director Miriam Palacio stand in front of a bulletin board displaying announcements and current events. Stein and Palacio helped start the Chapel Hill Institute for Cultural and Language Education (better known as CHICLE) in 1995.
Kendal Walters photo