Student Spotlight: Herbert Abercrombie, Jr.

Today we're shining a spotlight on one of our students with a big heart and a big job. Herb has been one of our stand-out students taking Spanish. His approach to learning is at once empathetic and open-minded. We got the chance to ask him a bit more about what brought him here and what he's taking away.

At what point did you feel the need to embark on your journey to learn a foreign language?

A few years ago, I decided that I needed to step up my Spanish skills. So many of the vendors in my job only spoke Spanish, and I was having a difficult time communicating with them. I decided that getting placed into a class that could really cater to my level of comprehension was the key.

What problem has Fluent City solved for you?

I work full-time, in what can be a stressful job sometimes. Fluent City's ability to accommodate my schedule has been super positive. The environment is one where students can get as much or as little from class as they want. Now, I understand the individuals I encounter who primarily speak Spanish. I'm better at listening than speaking, but nevertheless, I improve a little each class.

How has Fluent City changed the way you think about languages, learning, and your own ability to speak another language?

Fluent City has opened my eyes to the larger world, and the importance of being able to communicate with people beyond English.

Has Fluent City been beneficial to you within your industry, or on your career path?

I manage a law firm. As I mentioned, many of the external people I deal with primarily speak Spanish. Being able to properly communicate with them has been a real asset.

Have you had any specific 'Aha!' moments when you feel like you made a breakthrough?

The biggest "Aha" moments are when I'm on the subway, walking down the street, or watching TV and I notice I can actually understand the conversation.

What is something you think you'll take away from Fluent City once you leave it?

I think one of the biggest things I'll take away is the importance of being able to communicate with those individuals in the US whose primary language is Spanish, and who need help navigating through this society.