The Bilingual Journey of Britney Stapelfeld

By: Arleen Echevarría

By the time Britney Stapelfeld was six years old, her parents had decided to separate, which meant her father, Mr. Stapelfeld, who was the person who encouraged Britney to learn English, would have to leave the household. This situation affected Britney in terms of her being able to practice her English at home, since her mother, the person she saw the most was not a fluent English speaker.

Britney Stapelfeld at the age of 4 before her parents decided to separate. She was always a playful, bright and happy child who loved coloring and drawing.

With Britney’s parents’ separation, she was limited to see her father and practice her English once a  month, which made her realize that if she wanted to learn English  she would have to challenge herself.

Britney knew that if she wanted to be fully bilingual and succeed at school, she had  to always go the extra mile in learning and encouraging herself to always do her best academically, particularly in English. At such a young age of nine years old, Britney had the maturity to use the absence of her father figure as a motivation to focus and work much harder in school, in comparison to her other

classmates.  She discovered the use of LECA, which she found easy and enjoyed quite well, since it facilitated her learning style.

By the time Britney’s parents’ finalized their divorce, Britney had already graduated   as an honor student from Young Ambassadors Middle School at Cabo Rojo. She continued enjoying and using the LECA system throughout high school. Britney graduated fully bilingual, and was valedictorian, the class president, and an honor student at La Casa del Joven High School at Mayagüez, which opened her doors to college.

As for now Britney is an English Mayor at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, with future plans of getting certified as a teacher, so that she can give back academically the knowledge she enjoyably was able to acquire.

Britney Stapelfeld a year ago was celebrating her academic accomplishments when she travelled to Florida. Britney and her family had the exciting opportunity to visit Walt Disney World for the first time.

As Britney says, “By working hard, you get to play hard guilt-free. Work hard! Play hard!”


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