Lily Stempson takes learning beyond the classroom

Naia Willemsen, Spotlight Editor

Most students, upon hearing of a weeks-long school cancellation with no mandatory assignments, would take the unexpected break to spend their time watching TV, playing video games, and doing anything and everything that is not school. 

Then there are the driven students, who would do the optional assignments. 

And then there are the most passionate students—like sophomore Lily Stempson—who would go above and beyond, doing practice work that isn’t actually assigned but will benefit them in the long run.

Stempson, a Spanish 3 student, isn’t just doing the limited teacher-assigned practice during this break from school. Instead, she’s taking advantage of the time off to improve her Spanish by practicing with the free app Duolingo for a few minutes each day.

“I have been trying to get more comfortable speaking and writing Spanish using the app because I don’t have my usual physical Spanish class to keep practicing,” Stempson said.

Duolingo allows her to practice many of the aspects of a traditional class—speaking, writing, and reading—while at home. This additional practice ensures she won’t have a big loss in knowledge while school is out.

But according to Stempson, practicing another language does more than just help her get better at Spanish.

“It has helped me to communicate better with people when I have traveled to Spanish speaking countries,” she said. “Also, practicing my Spanish has taught me a lot about English and helped me better understand grammar.”