I have spoken Spanish fluently for 20 years and have spent a great deal of time immersed in the Spanish culture. I have applied my Spanish speaking skills on many mission trips as a translator. I have also been employed as a medical translator for Black Diamond, a national translation firm. I managed a crisis hotline in Spanish and English for DePelchin Children's Center.
In terms of teaching style, I believe that one cannot gain a complete knowledge of Spanish (or any other language) without a healthy grasp of verbal, written, and reading skills. I employ a set of workbooks for each grade level, however, I am completely comfortable working with existing homework assignments. I employ visual aids such as verb conjugation charts to aid in memorization. I bring patience, along with my experience to meet each student's needs. Conversely, if a student is on an accelerated path, I can rise to that challenge as well. My teaching methods can adjust to all scholastic ages and grade levels.
The most effective method of teaching a second language is conversation. As I work with a student, based on the student's ability, I will switch from English to Spanish. I will continue for a sentence or two. I will then ask if the student understood what I said. This teaches them to rely upon context. I gauge vocabulary weaknesses by how easily they follow the thread of conversation. The words or concepts they struggle with will be stressed in subsequent lessons in conjunction with any homework they bring to me. If a student expresses an interest in a subject that might not be addressed in their text at that point, I will address it vaguely in an attempt to pique their interest in their coursework. The end goal is for the student to be confident and to be fully conversational in Spanish.
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