Clubs Goin’ Up at West: Telenovela Club


By Duaa Israr

Editor’s Note: This is the eighth in a series of 10 features about clubs at West.

If you were into Telenovela club on Wednesday after school, you would witness a group of kids intently watching for example, Ricardo reveal his love for Rubi, only to discover she’s married to his brother, but pregnant with Ricardo’s baby. They would animatedly discuss this new revelation all while munching on dip and chips.

Telenovela club was founded by juniors Lesley Ongyaco and Maria Kuo who wanted to share their love of telenovelas with everyone. With the help of Spanish teacher, Carolyn Sanchez, telenovela club was officially formed this year.

“Last year in Ms. Sanchez’s class, we started watching Teresa and we got so into it. There’s something really cool about experiencing telenovelas with people you genuinely enjoy having around. You don’t get that same vibe when you’re watching by yourself. There’s just something great about watching telenovelas with other people,” Ongyaco said.

The idea to from a club dedicated to watching and discussing Spanish telenovelas sprung to Ongyaco and Kuo during their Spanish 3 honors class where they were first introduced to telenovelas.

“The idea came last year when we discovered that we weren’t going to finish Teresa in class. We were like we should have a way to be able to watch telenovelas uninterrupted, so why not just make a club out of this?” Ongyaco said.

Telenovela club is a great way to learn about Spanish culture and the language itself and even more so for students taking a Spanish class.

“This idea sprung out of a Spanish class and it was just a new way for us to learn about the language itself. It’s a very modern way for us to experience Spanish culture. It’s very good for students taking Spanish because it helps improve their listening comprehension and its a very a different and modern way to learn about the Spanish language,” Ongyaco said.

Kuo says the club inspires her to learn Spanish and extend her use of the language beyond the classroom.

“It motivates us to get into the culture and practice our Spanish, it’s relevant to our lives,” Kuo said.

New member and sophomore Sarah Zasso joined the club to enjoy the twists and turns of telenovelas with friends and people who have the same interests as her.

“I loved joined because I love watching telenovelas at home. Telenovela club is a great way to hang out with friends and learn Spanish all in one,” Zasso said.

Although telenovelas are mainly Spanish, all students are welcome to join whether they studied Spanish or not. The club is a great way to hang out with other students and watch shows filled with more plot twists than an episode of Pretty Little Liars – without all the plot holes.

“I think it’s a great experience and I was very happy that some of my former students were interested in continuing to watch telenovelas. From a Spanish teacher point of view, they’re learning Spanish culture and practicing their listening. Last year, when we were watching in class, there would be phrases they would repeat and they would really own those phrases. I think it’s a great experience for anyone whether they studied Spanish or not,” Sanchez said.

If you are interested in joining, stop by room 2310, Wednesdays after school or contact Ongyaco or Kuo at [email protected] and [email protected] for more information.