Bilingual Toastmasters club forming STAFF REPORT DECEMBER 4, 2008 Post a Comment When Sparks resident Eric Ruud's work required him to live in Mexico, he said he wanted to be able to communicate better in Spanish. So, he joined a Mexican Toastmasters club this is all good if you live and work both in Mexico and U.S. When Ruud returned to Nevada, he would drive to Sacramento to attend meetings at Los Oradores, a bilingual Toastmasters club. It was then, he said, that he realized that the Reno-Sparks area could use a bilingual club. "A bilingual Toastmasters club will help those who provide services to the citizens who speak Spanish, those who want to learn or improve their Spanish skills, those Spanish speakers who want to improve their English skills in an environment that is comfortable, and Spanish speakers that want to become comfortable speaking in public," he said. To be a citizen of this country, one of the requirements is speaking and understanding English. There are 23 clubs and more than 400 members in the Reno-Tahoe-Carson area. Organizers of the bilingual club say it's long overdue. "I had been looking for something like this for awhile and even thinking about starting it myself," said Aurora Boles, the club's second sponsor. The group needs a few more members and a name to charter as an official Toastmasters Club. "This group is a good mix of English speakers who wish to improve their Spanish-speaking skills and native Spanish speakers who want to improve their communication and leadership skills, but are more comfortable, at least at first, doing it in their native language, " said Russ Steele, a Toastmaster who is helping with the organization of the club. "We know there is a big need for Spanish speakers to improve their English as well, so hopefully some of that can happen with this club, too." Organizers say no initial knowledge of Spanish or English is required. "The need is there," Ruud said. "We just need to get the word out to the right people."