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Florida International University, Miami, FL (Spanish)
If you or someone you know is struggling to learn Spanish, I can relate to that because I certainly did. In high school I went from failing to just barely passing with a D+/C-. Yet today I am fluent in Spanish. My BA degree is in Spanish. I use Spanish to communicate on an almost daily basis with neighbors, workers and other people in the the Greater Washington DC area whose native language is Spanish. I enjoy watching films and reading in Spanish.
What happened? I gained confidence in my ability to learn the language. In high school I was convinced that I could not learn Spanish because I found it confusing and I grew frustrated and bored. Two years after graduating from high school I found myself working in Central America where I decided that I was going to learn the beautiful language that I was surrounded by. Once I made that decision I approached one of our interpreters and asked him to tutor me. Soon I was actually communicating and being understood. I was successful because my tutor worked with me on my level and did not insist on a preset formula that had been devised by a textbook company.
My experience has been that people learn if the teacher will adapt to the needs of the student and utilize whatever method the student finds effective. Adapting and customizing are my guiding principals, especially if someone is struggling. My job is to find the approach that works in each particular case and to not give up or move on till the confusion has been eliminated. Giving students lists of words, a written set of grammar rules and and telling them to go read the book on their own is not the answer. What is needed is for the teacher to teach by walking with the student as he or she attempts to learn, instructing every step of the way, pausing along the route till the pupil is capable of moving on. A student needs to hear, see (read) and speak in order to progress. Every lesson should contain all of those elements. If you need assistance I can help. Don't hesitate to contact me. If you or someone you know is struggling to learn Spanish, I can relate to that because I certainly did. In high school I went from failing to just barely passing with a D+/C-. Yet today I am fluent in Spanish. My BA degree is in Spanish. I use
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