Ali started learning Spanish in high school – nearly twenty years ago. She admits that, as a teenager, she wasn’t very interested in learning how to become fluent in Spanish, and only took Spanish classes to fulfill her school’s foreign language prerequisite.
After high school, Ali continued onto college and began traveling and learning more about the world. She soon realized that having the ability to communicate in another language would help her to more easily connect with the people living in the communities she’d been traveling through.
Initially, foreign language learning posed to be a tough challenge for Ali. She told us that at one point, she was so frustrated and overwhelmed that she nearly gave up on learning how to speak Spanish.
“But my Spanish teachers wouldn’t let me off the hook!” she told us. So, she agreed to stick with it a little longer. “Native speakers encouraged me to talk to them in Spanish – even if I made mistakes – and they gave me the time and space to learn. That was invaluable!”
Today, Ali speaks Spanish fluently, and she has no intention to stop. “After traveling to Spanish-speaking countries and meeting people here in the U.S. who speak different dialects of Spanish, I want to expand my vocabulary and become more familiar with new Spanish dialects.”
We asked Ali to sum up her Spanish learning experience in a few words, and she shared: “When you start understanding the order of a sentence, and you feel that sensation of being able to communicate with people from other cultures, it literally brings joy to your heart.”
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