By Maria Brasco
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – Knowing a foreign language in today’s world is an attribute that many employers are looking for. To be able to speak fluently three languages, well, that is just impressive, especially when referring to 5-year-old Rosalba Capuni.

Five-year-old Rosalba Capuni speaks English, Italianand Albanian. Her mother, Maria Longo-Capuni, teaches Italian at Camden County College. By Maria Brasco, CCC Journalism Program

The kindergartner loves to play with dolls, like most girls her age. The major difference between her and most kids her age: the wide-eyed brunette speaks three languages fluently. English, Italian and Albanian spur out of her mouth like a whirlwind.

Rosalba’s mother, Maria Longo-Capuni, is the Italian teacher at Camden County College and her father is an accountant in Philadelphia. The family lives in South Philadelphia. Her mother speaks Italian and her father speaks Albanian.

“I get good grades ’cause I always do my homework,” explains the straight-A student.

While wiggling her baby tooth, Rosalba says she watches Italian and Albanian cartoons to keep the language current in her life. She also enjoys listening to Italian songs. Some of her friends in the neighborhood also speak Italian and Albanian. Among the three languages, Italian is her favorite language to speak.

The family spends almost every summer in Italy. Capuni’s parents, brother and cousins still live in Southern Italy. For the first time in a while, the family traveled from Italy to America to attend a family member’s wedding.

“It’s nice to spend time with your family and enjoy each other’s company,” says Capuni. “Rosalba enjoys seeing her cousins and being immersed in the Italian atmosphere.”

What does this tri-lingual child do for fun? She enjoys playing with her toys and friends from her neighborhood. She loves to play a good game of tic-tac-toe. Rosalba’s favorite food is her mom’s homemade pasta. With many holidays approaching, Christmas is her favorite.

“I want this, and maybe that too!” she says while pointing at her Christmas list.

With aspirations to be a rock star, Rosalba sure has a shot at it. She is full of energy and loves to entertain a crowd.

While Rosalba’s mother hopes her dream occupation will change, she only wants happiness and love for her daughter. To anyone who is struggling to learn a new language, Rosalba wants to remind you of this, “Learning a new language is a challenge but once you learn one, it is easier to learn another.”

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