James Stoddart

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James Stoddart

Graphic by Noah Herridge

Graphic by Noah Herridge

Graphic by Noah Herridge

Rachael Maughan, Staff Writer

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During soccer season, James Stoddart talks in Spanish often. With coaches that speak Spanish, Stoddart is able to use the language in a casual setting and learn the colloquialisms. He hopes to use these skills in the future, as he plans to become a doctor.

“My goal is to become a doctor. I hope that when I become a doctor my language skills will help me treat a wider variety of patients than just people who speak English because I’ll be able to understand their problems and what they need,” Stoddart says.

With his recent achievement in winning the World Languages Sterling Scholar Award his work and effort to learn the language are clear.

“James stood out primarily because of his strong ability to comprehend and speak the language. His language skills are superior to anyone that we interviewed,” Carolyn Ebert, Stoddart’s Spanish teacher for all of high school says.

During middle school Stoddart didn’t find Spanish all that interesting, but once he reached high school and got a bit more fluent he wanted to learn more. Freshman year he took Spanish 3, and his fearlessness in asking questions in class and leadership skills helped him to excel in the subject.
“He’s fearless in that he’s not afraid of making mistakes. And when you’re learning a language you cannot worry about making mistakes,” Ebert says. “He just spits it out to communicate, and sometimes he makes errors, but the more he talks the more he starts self correcting, he recognizes those mistakes as he speaks, he self corrects and his language has improved a ton because of his risk taking in the language.”

With fearlessness being among one of his admirable traits that helped him to get this award, his ability to focus and use time wisely has also been useful in this achievement, as well as in life. With leadership skills and genuine interest in other cultures as well, it’s no surprise that he is deserving of this award.

“He seems to be kind of a natural leader, he’s engaged and curious, he’s accepting in other people and cultures… He seems to have kind of a broad world interest,” Daphne Stoddart, his mom, says.

As he learned more of the language he also wanted to learn more about the culture of the people who spoke it.

While Spanish is a big part of his interests, Stoddart is also in the IB program and plays soccer and runs cross country.

He plans to head off to college in the fall, hopefully to Utah State. In the future Stoddart wants to be a doctor, and plans to use Spanish as a way to communicate better with patients.

Stoddart has put in a lot of hard work and effort in learning the language, especially when learning the grammar and conjugation. Being almost completely fluent in Spanish will help him now, and in the future.

“I think I deserve [the award] because I’ve taken a Spanish for a lot of years here, especially the harder AP classes and the IB classes also, so that has proven a challenge, and I have a good understanding of the language and it helps me a lot.” Stoddart says.

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