Student Spotlights

Spring 2020: Ashley Quaile, German Student

Interviewee: Ashley Quaile (AQ)
Interviewer: Joshua Huffman (IN)
Date of Interview: 02/24/20

IN: So Ashley, what language are you currently learning?

AQ: Deutsch, na klar! (German, of course!)

IN: What were your goals when you started taking German?

AQ: My goal was to become fluent in German. I want to be able to have conversations with my family in Germany and potentially even live in Germany one day.

IN:  Why did you decide to start taking language courses?

AQ: I started taking German at CityU because I have always wanted to become fluent in another language. I took language courses in high school and college, but I was never passionate about the languages in those courses. My fiancé, Paul is from Germany which lead to my interest in learning to speak German. His whole family speaks German fluently and many of them are still living in Germany now! So naturally I developed my passion for learning German.

IN: How has learning German impacted your personal life?

AQ:  Learning German has had a great impact on my personal life. I signed up for German courses right after I moved to Seattle from Michigan. I did not know many people and coming to class was a great way to form relationships with other people who I share a similar interest with. The class was so inviting and really helped me to feel more comfortable in a new city.

IN: Have you found German useful in your travels?

AQ: Learning a new language is absolutely useful when traveling because I can now understand a lot of content I am exposed to when I travel to Germany and other German speaking countries. We also learn German culture in class so I am now more familiar with the foods, drinks, phrases, and celebrations in Germany as well.

IN: What is your profession?

AQ: I work at a consulting firm in HR. I have been working in the HR field for 6 years now.

IN: Has learning German impacted your professional life?

AQ: Learning German is absolutely helpful for my professional life. Back in Detroit, Michigan I worked for a German automotive company so having some German language skills would have been especially useful for business purposes and relationships at that job. Although my current employer does not have operations in Germany, the workplace is becoming more and more global each day and I am sure I will find a way to use my German language skills at work soon enough!

IN: Have you found that learning German has opened doors for you in your career?

AQ: Learning another language 100% opens doors for one’s career. Even if your workplace does not operate internationally, learning a new language shows that you are passionate about learning, and have an international mindset.

IN: What advice would you give to those considering learning a new language?

AQ: Learning a new language, especially as an adult, is a process. It is not always easy, and you will go through periods where things seem like they are going really well, and then other times you will feel like you have no idea what is going on. There is so much to learn but the best thing to do is to keep going. It will be worth it! Listening to music in the language you are learning is also a great way to learn and have fun.

IN: What was your first impression of WAL?

AQ: My first impression was that the CityU facilities are very nice and inviting. The other students are very interesting and intelligent people from all around the world. I found CityU to be an extremely international environment which I loved. As soon as I walked out of my first class I knew WAL to be a great place to begin my language learning journey.

IN: How long have you been taking courses with us?

AQ: I have been taking German at CityU for about a year and a half now. I plan to continue learning German at WAL for as long as the courses are offered. Our class is a close group of students, and we keep in touch throughout the week in between class sessions though a group chat! We even meet up to practice German outside of class sometimes.

IN: Finally, what attracted you to Washington Academy of Languages (WAL)?

AQ: WAL is in a great location very close to the center of downtown Seattle. The courses are offered in the evening and the school is in close proximity to my workplace which makes learning here very convenient. The expectations set by my instructor are reasonable for my busy work and personal schedule.