Obies Using Languages: Lily Woodbury ’19

Lily is a second-year from Santa Barbara California.


Tell me everything you can about non-English languages in your life:

 I never spoke another language in my home. But my town has a large Latinx population so I grew up hearing Spanish. I think that’s about it.

Did you have any friends that were Spanish speakers that you tried to learn from?

Yes I actually had a lot. Luana was one, a good friend of mine from middle school. When I slept over at her house she’d speak to me in Spanish. My mother speaks Spanish and she had a friend named Raphaelle who she would speak Spanish with. My best pal and roommate here speaks fluent Spanish. We speak together sometimes. She’s a great tutor.

What compelled you to take Spanish here?

I took two years of Spanish in high school but never felt that the environment was right for me to learn it. I want to communicate with people from outside the English speaking world. I also think that learning another language is an essential part of completing my education. I thought I wanted to take German but I didn’t.


 Because I had already done Spanish and I felt discouraged trying another unfamiliar language.

Why did you come full circle?

I wanted to build on the groundwork I have in a different setting. I also think Spanish will be more useful for me because of my Santa Barbara community.

Do you like your current academic Spanish environment?

 Yes. In my high school Spanish class we never really talked. It was more about writing and memorizing vocabulary. I’m really loving the conversational aspect of my class here at Oberlin. Also, in high school my class was full of native speakers who just took Spanish for an easy A. This made getting into conversations with them a lot harder. There isn’t that barrier here.

Closing thoughts?

I’m so excited to learn another language!!!


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