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Monday, August 14, 2017 at 11:00 AM PDT
Friday, August 18, 2017 at 1:00 PM PDT

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New Harvest United Methodist Church 
201 N Beech St.
Toppenish, WA 98948

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Lyda Pierce 
The Bishop Jack and Marjorie Tuell Center for Leadership Excellence 

A more advanced class: If you are looking for Spanish Immersion to focus on conversation, click:  Intermediate Conversation


Spanish Wings

Beginning Plus

Come soak yourself in the Spanish language in a local church setting using a method proven to support beginners and beyond. For a fraction of the overall cost of most intensive clases, and no need to travel to Mexico or even further, you will:

  • Gain confidence in meeting Spanish speaking neighbors
  • Have fun learning with art, games, music and real conversation
  • Learn to pray, read the Bible and a liturgy in Spanish
  • Gain understanding of Hispanic-Latino cultures
  • Get to know New Harvest UMC in Toppenish: one church with two languages and two cultures

Who Should Attend?

  • Church leaders who are called and committed to connecting with Spanish-speaking community members.
  • Those who have a tiny bit of Spanish but are not able to form many sentences or have confidence in their vocabulary.
  • Those with no Spanish at all who are willing to spend about 10 minutes a day in the weeks before class learning a few basic words. (We will provide you with resources)  NOTE: Prior to our time together, you may want to expose yourself regularly to the language, so as to not be lost in during the week with people who already know a tiny bit.
  • People who grew up in homes with Spanish being spoken, but then focused on developing good English skills at school, with friends and at work and thus lost the ability to speak Spanish much at all.
NOTE: If you can already put together sentences and have a basic vocabulary you may want to take the Intermediate Conversation experience. See side bar for more related information.

Program, Methodology and Instructor:

Suzy Martinez is Founder of Expanded Connection, a company that has been focusing on Language acquisition, Cultural Connections and Medical Spanish for over 20 years across the United States and Mexico, will facilitate this event.  She is Bi-lingual and Bi-cultural. Spanish is her first language.

Expanded Connection offers you a key to learning in the 21st century. It is an innovative way to learn and is dynamic, playful, stress-free and highly effective. Drawing on Dr. Georgi Lozanov's research on the brain, mind, and learning, Suzy believes that everyone has an incredible ability to learn and amazing potential for creativity. Her educational philosophy is based on the following:

  • A true EXPANDED CONNECTION experience involves the whole brain, music and rhythm, relaxed concentration, learning through all the senses, games, humor, and imagination, and a supportive environment.
  • Learning challenges can be overcome and our potentials expanded dramatically under ideal conditions.
  • The EXPANDED CONNECTION teacher, crucially important for accelerative learning, is an artist who integrates all of the above to create a stimulating, joyful and relaxed environment.
  • An accelerative experience contributes to greater overall confidence, creativity, relaxation, and general well-being.

The experience will focus on Arts and Latin-American Stories or ALAS meaning wings to give the participants the tools to fly into deeper relationships with Spanish-speaking neighbors when they return home.

Dates and Schedule:

Monday August 14, 2017 at noon to noon Friday August 18, 2017.  Activities will go into the evening until approximately 9 pm. The long daily schedule includes classes, community exploration, arts, games, worship, meals, videos, and interaction with people of Toppenish and the New Harvest UMC. The schedule is long to help participants immerse themselves in Spanish, which will help to build confidence and a Spanish "brain." We are convinced that this is the best way to learn a language.


$450 (or $550 after July 1) includes tuition, materials, two meals a day and the option of staying free at the church.

Some scholarships are available. Funds are limited. Please apply if you need assistance as we do not want anyone left out just because of finances. Priority will be given based on financial and ministry needs. Decisions will be made by the scholarship committee. Not all applicants will receive scholarships and no one will receive a full scholarship.  Please look carefully for all available sources and pay the full tuition if you are able to do so as that will help others to attend.


New Harvest United Methodist Church, 201 North Beech Street, Toppenish, Washington 98948

Lodging Options:

  1. Free: Stay at church.  Please bring your own bedding, cot or mat, and towel to stay at the New Harvest UMC. The church has a shower and air conditioning.
  2. At your own expense: Stay at a local hotel.
  3. No Additional Charge: Commute home or to a friend's. Please be mindful that the activities will be from approximately 9am to 9pm so as to provide you with an immersion in the language and culture.


  • Breakfast ingredients will be available at the church for people to make their own before the day’s activities begin.
  • Lunch or dinner will be provided at the church. Efforts will be made to meet special dietary requirements.
  • One meal a day, usually dinner, will be on your own. This will be an opportunity to explore the community and order your meal in Spanish from selected restaurants.


Lyda Pierce:, 509-778-38644