I am a graduate of Ohio University with a MA of Spanish which includes the study of language, linguistics, literature and culture. I am have BA of Spanish and Secondary Education from Westminster College. Since graduation, I have been a teacher of Spanish for 7 years, and in that time I have had a wide range of experiences, both teaching and tutoring Spanish, with students from elementary school to high school to adult students. For all ages, my teaching style is that of immersion. No matter the level of the student, Spanish is spoken 90% of the time. However, I use language that is simple and can easily be understood; so, in other words words that sound similar in Spanish and English and gestures to help the students grasp meaning quickly. I am a bit of a nerd so I also enjoy teaching about the culture and history of the countries that speak Spanish, and when I can, I provide a history of the language itself and how we went from Latin to Spanish.
As a tutor, I am a guide rather than a giver of answers. I believe that learning happens when students can come to the correct conclusion on their own. If I instantly give answers, then what does the student learn? I also understand that seeking help is not easy, that is why I try to provide a safe zone for the student where they feel comfortable enough to ask questions and get the help they need.
Learning a new language is unlike any other subject and it is a fascinating and life changing process. I love teaching Spanish because I get to see my students’ minds getting bigger and becoming more open. A language is a system of codes and symbols that help us communicate information, and by adding another language you are doubling that system and doubling the amount of information that you can communicate, and I love when students find that they have new ways of expressing themselves; they understand themselves so much more deeply and as a result they are able to understand others. Their view of the world increases because a language is inseparable from the culture and history that created it. When people are able to connect to another culture, the quality of life of everyone improves. That is why I feel learning another language, any language, is so important to our development as individuals and as a society, and why I feel so strongly about teaching it.