Thursday, February 2, 2006

Speak Spanish in new conversation group

conversationMembers of the Spanish committee of Sister Cities of Nashville have formed a new conversation group called Charlemos Spanish for those who want to learn, practice, and speak Spanish. The meetings are twice a month and are open to the public, according to the group's press release:

A new social conversation group for adults has been formed in Nashville by volunteer members of the Spanish Committee of Sister Cities of Nashville.

The group is called “Charlemos Spanish”, which is a combination of the Spanish for “Let’s chat”, and the English word, “Spanish.”

“Charlemos Spanish” meets the second and fourth Thursday of every month from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Montgomery Bell Academy’s library. The public is invited. There is no cost to attend, or join. MBA is located at 4001 Harding Road, Nashville, TN 37205. Contact Elizabeth Worrell Braswell at 297-4239, or, for more information. The next meeting will be Thursday, February 9, 2006.

“Charlemos Spanish” is for anyone who wants to:
• Speak Spanish on a regular basis
• Make bilingual friends
• Exchange ideas
• Learn more about Hispanic culture.

Founding members of “Charlemos Spanish” include—
• Claudia Villavicencio, Spanish teacher at MBA, Montgomery Bell Academy
• Kim Sorensen, Online Producer at CMT, Country Music Television
• Diana Holland, President of Tango Nashville, and a Hispanic cross-cultural consultant
• Elizabeth Worrell Braswell, online Spanish instructor for Austin Peay State University.

Diana Holland explains that “the name of the group reflects the times we live in, where cultures are 'weaved together' in our daily lives". Holland, a native of Argentina, is very involved in sharing all that the Argentinean culture has to offer with Nashville. She previously lived in Atlanta where she worked as a Community Liaison for the Consulate of Argentina in Atlanta.

“I think that it is wonderful that Spanish-speakers of all levels are welcomed. There will be Spanish, English, and Spanglish spoken” adds Kim Sorensen.

Claudia Villavicencio explains that “The group will be creating a casual, friendly, and professional atmosphere. Some of the activities that are planned include a game night for playing charades or board games in Spanish; show and tell from travels; a tapas night; and a presentation of Nashville’s Spanish Sister City, Girona, Spain by Vanderbilt Spanish professor Dr. Phil Rasico.”

“Charlemos Spanish” founding member, Elizabeth Worrell Braswell, says, “I have been looking for a place to speak Spanish and make Spanish-speaking friends in Nashville for years.” “You would think that as a college online Spanish instructor for Austin Peay State University that I would have plenty of opportunities, but this is not the case.” “I am very excited about the group, as I have already made some wonderful new friends just working on the committee.”

Of course there are already Spanish-speaking groups in Nashville. For example, we have:
• Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce;
• Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and
• Franklin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Also, most Spanish teachers are member of professional foreign language teacher groups. “Charlemos Spanish” is unique in that it is strictly social.

Claudia Villavicencio is a native of Guatemala and is fluent in English; her parents still live in Guatemala.

Kim Sorensen is a Nashvillian who loves to travel to Spanish-speaking countries and has a sister-in-law who is from Panama.

Diana Holland is a native of Argentina and is very involved in sharing the best of Argentinean culture with Nashville.

Elizabeth Worrell Braswell is a Nashvillian who teaches Spanish online for Austin Peay State University.

Contact: Elizabeth Worrell Braswell, 297-4239, 4505 Harding Road, Nashville, TN 37205, or visit Sister Cities of Nashville website,, or contact its director at

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