January 9, 2012
Junior Ronnie Castillo studies the pages of her Vietnamese book as she teaches herself on how to speak the new language. Castillo works to achieve her dream as an English as Second Language teacher in a different country by studying new languages. As she meets native speakers of the languages she learns, she tries to befriend them and learn more about where they came from.
“I feel that learning about other cultures is the best way to make new friends and broaden your horizons,” Castillo said.
Castillo enjoys seeing lifestyles through different perspectives and cultures. Castillo keeps an open mind when talking to people of different backgrounds, knowing that they were raised in different cultures. She also has conversational skill in five languages and has fluency in three of them. When she has trouble with one of her languages, she asks her native speaking friends for help.
“I love learning about other cultures and meeting new people,” Castillo said.
While many children grow up learning to speak one or two languages, Castillo learned three growing up. Castillo’s parents taught her Spanish, English and Quechua. According to Castillo, she grew up in a diverse family built her tolerance to other cultures and gave a curiosity to learn about people different from her.
“The look on people’s faces when you surprise them by speaking their native language is simply the best,” Castillo said.