I'm from Costa Rica, Spanish is my native language. I'm also a US citizen. I've been teaching Spanish for many, many years. Had my own 2 language schools. At the present time I'm teaching at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Teaching is my passion, my student's success is my reward. I really care about every student I have the opportunity to help. We succeed together. Negative thoughts don't exist in my vocabulary and are not allowed on my student's vocabulary either. Let's do this!
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Fuller Theological Seminary in California - Bachelors, Theology/Psychology
Graduate Degree: Fuller Theological Seminary in California - Masters, Theology/Psychology
reading, writing, interior design, house remodeling, flower design
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
Every student has his/her own learning style, and I find it real quick and use it to help the student not only learn more and faster but also to enjoy the learning of Spanish. I enjoy teaching, and my reward is the student learning and having fun doing it.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I must find out where the student is in the knowledge of the language. Then listen to the concerns the student has, and motivate him/her to do their best and put positive thoughts towards him/herself and the learning of the language.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I believe once the student realizes that learning a new language is possible, and once he/she knows his/her learning style, the student will be motivated to continue on his/her own, after the time assigned with me. Every student's time is different to get to that point of independence.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
Well, the way I teach, being a motivator myself, I'm fortunate to accomplish just that. My students get and stay motivated until the end. This is my experience at the university where I teach. I believe that teaching is my passion and it has to be fun the teaching/learning experience, helps us all.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
I will do my best to find the best way for that student to learn. I will place myself in his/her place and that works. That is what I do for all my students at the university.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
By trying together many different ways until we find the one that fits the student.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
First I must earn the trust of my students, and then I must make the learning fun. My students must feel free to make all the mistakes they need to make without worrying about been criticized. I give them an environment of freedom to be themselves at all times.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
I find the way to make the subject easy, is to give them the opportunity to try it on their own but with me walking with them. And laughing about it. My students learn Spanish and get excited about using it outside the classroom, and they share those experiences with me. It's wonderful to see in their eyes how excited and proud they get with every victory.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Asking questions, and giving them exercises to do, which is a great opportunity for them to prove to themselves that they can do it. If there is something that they forget, the opportunity is for me to explain and get rid of that problem.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
The more I help the student to learn, the more confident the student becomes.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
By listening and seeing the work they do.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
That is very natural to me; I customize the tutoring on the spot according to what the student needs at the moment. Sometimes the student is not all there, so I have to help him/her to get there first, and then tutor accordingly.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I like to use the materials they are already using because they are familiar with it, and if they are already taking a Spanish course, they need to understand the grammar in their textbooks, DVDs, etc.