Spanish teacher: from USA to Switzerland

06 January, 2017

I was born in Alonstequi, a province of Biscay. I was bought up in a nun’s college and I then had to immigrate to Switzerland when I was 18. At that moment, and not for the last time, I had to face up to a totally unknown language. I learnt German and that has opened up doors to work in the business school.

My first job was as a secretary of a doctor, the job that I did until my husband and I decided to start a family. With my small children we moved the entire family to the United States. Once again I was faced with a completely unknown language that I had no choice but to learn. In the USA I worked partly as an interpreter in a hospital and a few years later I started to give Spanish classes in a private school. In this school the students were in preschool until they were 10. It was at that moment that I realised how much I would like to be a Spanish teacher. It was a great surprise when I heard that my students spoke and accentuated like me even though they had never been to Spain and that really stood out to me.

When back in Switzerland I wanted to give Spanish classes and for this reason I decided to do a course at Instituto Hemingway in order achieve my goal. My philosophy of teaching is as follows: the student is the protagonist; the communicative method is for me the best way forward and we have to adapt to the students needs. Learning a new language doesn’t have to be such a tedious thing. I want to be capable of motivating students by applying the methods that I learnt doing this course.

Nowadays we can find a large variety of interesting books and themes that I would like to use. However, my expectation is to be able to teach classes where there is room for improvisation. For example, using every kind of news like politics, sports, daily activities, newspapers, films, radio and interviews, etc. to discuss. Each student, in my opinion, is like a treasure chest full of information.

My idea would be to elaborate the resources so that this group of students can develop at an initial level, recognising a certain lexicon, formulating basic questions and above all having a general notion of the Spanish culture. I would like my students to have confidence: if there is a good atmosphere in class their learning will be even better.

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Evelia Longo Beascoechea Spanish courses in Bilbao
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