1. CONVERSATION - BEGINNERS
I start with the basics: pronunciation and simple vocabulary, such as greetings, numbers, days of the week, months, food, weather, technology, social media, music, etc.
I teach full sentences and common expressions and I bring Spanish culture into the class: “Carnaval”, Plaza de Toros, La Alhambra, Dia de los Muertos, etc., etc. Simple pictures will bring new vocabulary about holidays, famous buildings, music, dances, traditions, life styles. I like to discuss similarities and differences within Spanish-speaking countries with the more advanced beginners.
I enjoy practicing role-playing and scripted conversations and I encourage students to speak Spanish even if they make mistakes and don’t understand all they are saying.
We will read and discuss simple paragraphs.
Then we start dealing with verb conjugations and proper grammar.
I create simple handouts/worksheets for every class that I email the students in advance. I also use Google Drive if that is preferred.
I want to make sure that, from the very beginning, they understand that:
• Students having English as their first language shouldn’t be afraid of Spanish phonetics because they’re going from a very complex system into a much simpler one.
• Vowels in Spanish do not vary in length or pitch, and when a variation occurs it is not meaningful.
• Much of Spanish pronunciation is phonetic (things are pronounced the way they are written).
One of the things I like to do is to use certain, natural phrases in almost every class. After one or two classes it becomes second nature for the students to use the Spanish words for phrases like ‘How are you doing?’ (Como estas?), ‘I don’t remember’ (No recuerdo) and ‘What did you say…?’ (Que dijiste?)
2. CONVERSATION - INTERMEDIATE / ADVANCED LEVELS
I start by assuming that the Intermediate and Advanced levels can:
• Understand a wide range of demanding, longer paragraphs (Intermediate/Advanced)
• Express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions (Intermediate/Advanced)
• Use language flexibly and effectively for social purposes (Advanced)
• Produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects (Advanced)
Then, I discuss with each person what he/she wants to learn and why: To travel? To be able to have a conversation with a Spanish speaking friend or family member? For work in Medical Sciences? Other reasons?
We can emphasize grammar, listening-comprehension, reading, writing, or all of these at the same time. We can, for example, take an article from a magazine, read it, analyze it, generate questions and answers, write a summary and so much more!
I will always encourage them to watch movies, listen to songs and to the news in Spanish.
Everything described in section 1 also applies here, but deeper.
Here I listen to the students’ needs and prepare the classes accordingly.
I like to add elements from sections 1 and 2 to make the tutoring process more exciting. I want the students to like and have fun with Spanish.
I am an Analytical Chemist (MS) with experience in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a Dancer (Ballet/Modern/Jazz). As the Executive Director of InterDance, I have founded and co-direct the Iowa Dance Festival since 2007.
I have been teaching Spanish on and off for 20+ years, mostly conversation and reading-comprehension.
I would recommend Nora for any kind of learning. she is an amazing teacher and she is very patient. I struggle badly because I have formed bad hobbits speaking because I learned Spanish on my own but she is so sweet about teaching me the best way to speak and she also will take her time to make sure that you no only can speak but that you understand what, and why of everything. I highly recommend her.
I met Nora almost 15 years ago. She was my dance instructor at a local gym. When I found out she was from Argentina, I immediately wanted to practice my Spanish with her. Now I am taking weekly Spanish lessons with Nora and I am learning a lot. As a native speaker, she has a tremendous amount to share about her language and culture. She is always prepared for a lively conversation and has a wonderful sense of humor.
Nora is great! She has many years of experience teaching Spanish, her native language. Her english is also perfect, so you will always understand what she is saying. More than anything, Nora is a fun teacher. You will love her!
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