Star Senior: Ariadna Amador

Studying a foreign language for at least two years is a requirement to graduate from Casa Grande. Students typically take either Spanish or French in order to meet this requirement and few continue the language for all four years. However, Senior Ariadna Amador conquered not one, but two languages in her time at Casa.

Emma Hughes, Reporter

Studying a foreign language for at least two years is a requirement to graduate from Casa Grande. Students typically take either Spanish or French in order to meet this requirement and few continue the language for all four years. However, Senior Ariadna Amador conquered not one, but two languages in her time at Casa. She recalls how difficult it was when she first started school back in preschool and on until middle school, as she only knew Spanish.

     “My first language is Spanish, so at home, everyone only speaks Spanish. I grew up only speaking Spanish, so making friends in preschool and kindergarten was pretty hard. The teachers were very understanding and some of them actually spoke Spanish. I didn’t quite understand English so [the teachers] would try and teach me the basics and it just got easier as the years went on. Second through sixth grade I got enrolled in a dual immersion program. So I was learning a lot of Spanish and a little bit of English throughout the years. When I transitioned over to Kenilworth in junior high it was difficult to adapt because I had learned absolutely everything in Spanish even like math and reading,” said Amador.

     Growing up learning both Spanish and English, Amador wanted to further her knowledge of languages by taking French at Casa. 

     “Taking Spanish would’ve been too easy for me, especially since, like I mentioned, from second through sixth grade, I was learning everything in Spanish. I learned how to read, write and speak very fluently. So I wanted to challenge myself and take French,” said Amador. She admitted that French was not her first choice of languages, and that she actually wanted to learn Mandarin so she could really step out of her comfort zone. Despite Amador’s plans, Madarin was not a course offered for her time in high school, so she opted for French and found a deep love for the language. 

     “I just want to thank Madame Simmeth, she made us just fall in love with the language or, for me, at least. She brought us into the culture and then we went on the French trip my sophomore year, where we went to London and Paris. I loved it; I loved it so much, I actually really want to go back. Communicating with the servers was a little hard because I only had two years of experience, but I tried my best and they understood. So just being submerged in that culture all the time and listening to the music made me fall in love with the language,” said Amador.

     In high school, Amador was able to pursue her passion for languages. After taking French for four years, she decided to take the AP French exam and because she grew up learning Spanish, she also took the AP Spanish exam. Amador always planned to take the AP Spanish exam because she wanted to get the seal of biliteracy, but she only recently decided to also take the French exam. She took French hoping to learn how to have a basic conversation, but she quickly fell in love with the language and wanted to also take the French exam. She has completed both exams during her senior year and she also took the AP English exam her junior year, making her proficient in three languages. 

     Amador is proud to be first generation in her family and to have reached AP level in all language courses offered at Casa. She doesn’t plan to stop learning new languages, but rather wants to further her knowledge of world languages.

     “I want to learn the indigenous Aztec language of Náhuatl, my native language, because it was lost within the generations. This past summer was spent rediscovering my roots. Due to the pandemic I had a lot of time to research my lineage, and found out that Náhuatl was lost somewhere on both sides of my grandparent’s parents. I also want to learn Latin, Italian, and American Sign Language. The reason I’d love to learn ASL is because I work at Target with a deaf teammate that made me realize that communication is important as it unites people. My family is my motivation, and I thank my language teachers throughout the years for always being so caring and helping me find this passion I have for languages and the different cultures surrounding them,” said Amador.

     Amador plans to continue learning new languages and will be attending Santa Rosa Junior College for the next two years, with plans to transfer to Sonoma State where she wants to minor in French. She hopes that in college she will also be able to learn Italian and American Sign Language.