LRHS senior Kristal Garcia (l) overcame language barriers on her way to the stage.

Sienna Zwizinski – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – LRHS senior Kristal Garcia grew up in a Spanish-speaking home, but is now as comfortable as any native-born English speaker on the performing arts stage.  

Kristal Garcia was born in Venezuela and moved to America in 2021. Spanish is her first language.

“My process to learn English was really fun and beautiful, I would say that because I did it willingly and I’ve always been exposed and attracted to American entertainment and culture,” Garcia said.

In Venezuela, students are taught basic English words such as greetings and colors.

Garcia continued, “I started really getting into it when I was 12 years old, I started attending a language center in my city which helps you graduate as bilingual, but I only lasted one semester there because I simply didn’t like it. So, I decided to learn by myself.”

Garcia started watching movies and listening to music in English to help her learn.

“I would say that what truly helped me become fluent was switching my inner voice to English.”

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Garcia was in the latest LRHS musical ‘Shout!’ and played Essa in the show. She performed the show completely in English.

“Doing the musical ‘Shout’ and performing in a language that isn’t mine was definitely fun. However, something that has been challenging for me is learning to read music and solfege because they use a lot of words that I don’t know in Spanish so I couldn’t translate it,” Garcia said.

She concluded, “I’m getting used to it and it’s fun, English is a beautiful language and I’m grateful that I get to speak it every day.”