My decision to obtain both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Spanish stems from my passion for the Spanish language and culture. Quintus Ennius, a writer during the period of the Roman Republic and often considered the father of Roman poetry, famously quoted “He who has two languages has two souls”. I grew up in a Texas-Mexico border town and learned the Spanish language along with English. When people ask me what my first language is, I always say “I have two first languages, Spanish and English!”, and that couldn’t be truer. Not only has being completely fluent in Spanish opened up opportunities for me, it has also exposed me to so many different and wonderful Spanish speaking cultures. And although I have not visited every Spanish speaking country, I feel as if I have traveled the world through reading Spanish literature.
I teach with a contagious smile, a humorous disposition and an open personality which I believe puts students at ease, and when they are more comfortable, they are more apt and open to learn the language. Another key element I use in teaching Spanish as a foreign language is to introduce the language through the use of Latin and Hispanic cultural elements such as their customs, beliefs, traditions and the Arts. This keeps the students motivated and helps them readily grasp the language. Growing up in a border town and speaking Spanish for as long as I can remember, my Spanish dialect is native sounding. I think it highly benefits the student to hear and learn Spanish words in a native dialect. I also believe technology is an important part of learning Spanish and I utilize it whenever possible. Through the use of the worldwide web, a student can visit any country and even communicate with a Spanish native in a live Spanish chat room! Through the incredible world of learning Spanish, one gains an appreciation for another language and culture.
My enthusiastic, cultural approach to teaching Spanish helps students acquire language skills in a way that keeps them motivated, interested and determined to continue learning the language. Not only has Spanish increased my ability to communicate and broadened my capabilities, my awareness of other cultures has made me a well-rounded individual who is capable of comfortably assimilating to almost any situation. Like Quintus Ennius, I also feel as if I have been blessed with having two souls through my bilingualism.