I serve two primary populations in my teaching expertise: adult learners who are professionals in healthcare, social work, psychology or education; and high school students who need extra help in their classes, either generally or to prepare for an exam. I also am a great teacher for any adult who generally wants to learn the language for conversational or academic purposes, or high school students looking to excel in class and advance their practical use. Because I trained in medical interpretation and I work as an interpreter for an NGO for asylum seekers, I bring these contexts and vocabulary into my classes if that is your profession. As soon as we have established the base for conversation, I will start introducing vocabulary related to your profession. I teach absolute beginner through high-intermediate. My goal is to get you speaking Spanish proficiently and then get you out into the wider world with your new language!
My teaching methods: Immersion, Conversation, Practicality and Cultural Competency.
Immersion: I teach all in Spanish from day one. No need to worry! All my students have excelled in this way, even though each individual learns differently. We start very slowly and simply; you will be surprised how much you can understand. I also use a lot of gesture and drawings. I do not have you memorize lists of words.
Conversation and Practicality: My number one focus is verbs. Verbs! The verb expresses so much information in Spanish and it is the building block for conversation. We start with verbs and family. You will be able to have a simple, yet full conversation by the end of Class 3, and everyone talks about family, it is the place to start. This will build your foundation for verb and sentence composition, by which you can communicate everything. Every class includes a structured and unstructured conversation. This ratio will dwindle as you progress in the language. For structured conversation, I developed a simple and practical method that uses spontaneous dialogue based on given exercises. This will challenge your listening and speaking skills. I also stick firmly to practical use: no debates about whether Baltasar Garzón should support Julian Assange or not. Of course, if you want to go there, we will. But I keep our conversations practical so that you can soon start better understanding your neighbors, patients or clients.
Cultural Competency: "Culture" goes way beyond and way deeper than music, food and clothes. It encompasses a set of values, a specific history and a way of perceiving the world, and it is embedded in language. Cultural competency means understanding that people see the world differently. I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to travel extensively and learn a variety of languages. I do use music and literature to teach, and I use materials that are either close to the heart and mind of many Spanish speakers or are reflective of everyday lives and experiences. While sometimes maybe very broad generalizations can be made, the truth is there is no "latino culture". There are cultureS. Latin America comprises more than 20 countries; there is much diversity between these countries and within them. Spanish gives you an amazing tool to be able to communicate with hundreds of millions of people and to hear their story.
I have a bachelor's degree in Spanish and a master's in Latin American Studies; I have been working as a Spanish teacher for more than ten years and I also work as a translator and interpreter. I lived in Ecuador, and worked and traveled in Colombia, Perú, and Bolivia. As part of my graduate coursework I took courses in foreign language teaching methodology, and I taught beginning and intermediate Spanish for two years at Ohio University. I was also the director of Ohio University's Study Abroad in Ecuador program for three years, and I completed my graduate thesis research in Ecuador. Additionally, I have 100 hours of medical interpreter training. Tutoring one-on-one is my favorite way to work. The student receives so much attention and eventually will be speaking in class more than 50% of the time. Aside from traveling to the foreign country, this is the fastest way to learn a language. It is such a joy to watch my students go from absolute no Spanish knowledge to having 60 minute conversations all in Spanish.
I offer different packages that are all according to the student. My adult learners have other responsibilities and more or less time to study. If someone is interested in an intensive (2 or 3 times per week) for 6 months, or only wants once per week or even only every other week, or half hour lessons instead of one hour, we can discuss all these options. My cancellation policy is very flexible. If you cancel with 4 hours notice or less, I charge the lesson price. Otherwise, there is no penalty with four hours or more notice. If it is a morning class, cancellation must happen by 11:00 p.m. PST the night before.
SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS
• M.A. Latin American Studies, B.A. Spanish and Ancient Greek
• Fluent in English and Spanish reading, writing and speaking; academic and conversation
• 10+ years of translating, teaching, editing, interpreting in Spanish and English
• Teaching and research assistant in Cultural and Literary Studies, Latin American Studies, Religion, Gender and Sexuality, Human Rights, Expressive Arts Therapies
• Taught Spanish and Latin American Studies at Ohio University and in Ecuador
• 100 hours of medical interpreter training for SpanishEnglish
• Lived in Ecuador for two years; worked and traveled in Colombia and Peru
• Professional dancer with Navarasa Dance Theater, martial arts, dance, yoga, theater
Ohio University, Athens, OH
M.A. in Latin American Studies
Concentrations: Indigenous Histories of the Americas, Indigenous/Global Feminisms, Globalization
Thesis: “La división del mundo entre los que se rehúsan a ser comprendidos y los que buscan darse a entender sin que esto les aporte privilegio alguno: Vindication of Land and Reason in Saraguro,
summa cum laude
B.A. in Spanish and Classical Greek
summa cum laude
RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE
SpanishEnglish Interpreter, Program for Torture Victims, Los Angeles, CA; Jul 2015 – present
Translator and Editor, Progressive Publishing, remote; Sep 2015 – present
• Editing of texts translated to Spanish (e.g., GED en español, HiSET)
• Translation English>Spanish of government documents
Spanish Teacher, Los Angeles, CA and remote (Skype); Nov 2013 – present
• Self-employed private tutor; one-on-one sessions with my own curriculum
Spanish and English Editor, Transcriptionist, Translator, Los Angeles, CA; Dec 2013 – present
• Agencies and direct clients: Media content and subtitling, healthcare and patient interviews
Co-editor, Walking Through Fire: Iraqis’ Struggle for Justice and Reconciliation by Peggy Gish, 2013
Research Assistant, Lesley University; Boston, MA
• Division of Creative Arts in Learning, Oct 2011 – Jul 2012: Assisted on Haiti-Congo historical migration project; assisted in preparing papers for conferences, journal submissions
• Expressive Therapies Field Training Office, Mar – Jun 2012: Researched Expressive Therapies with specific populations and wrote profiles for new sites
Director, Study Abroad in Cuenca, Ecuador, with Ohio University and CEDEI (Centro de Estudios
Interamericanos); Aug 2009 – Jun 2011
• Recruited and interviewed program participants; conducted pre-departure orientations
• Duties in Ecuador (Mar-Jun) included teaching field studies course, coordinating with professors, chaperoning trips, academic advising, cultural counseling
Writing Tutor, Student Writing Center, Ohio University; Sep 2005 – Mar 2011
• Tutored students from all departments, freshmen to doctorate students, ESL students
Spanish Instructor, Ohio University; Sep 2007 – Aug 2009
• Spanish 111, 112, 113, 212
• Crucita, Ecuador; Jun 2009: Intermediate Spanish instructor to program participants in Ohio University’s International Research Training Course on Chagas disease
Member, American Literary Translators Association, Jan 2018-present
Member, American Translators Association, Jan 2014-Jan 2017
Member, International Medical Interpreters Association, Jan 2013-Jan 2015
Certificate in Interpreting for HIV/AIDS Health Care Providers from PALS for Health, (40 hrs), Los Angeles, CA; May 2014
Certificate in Foundations in Medical Interpreting Program from Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare Foundation; Language Connections, LLC, (60 hrs), Boston, MA; Dec 2012
InterpretAmerica Summit, Monterey, CA, Jun 2015
Women in Black International Conference, Bogotá, Colombia, Aug 2011
International Expressive Arts Therapies Conference, Lima, Perú, Aug 2011
Ohio Latin Americanist Conference, Athens, OH, Feb 2008, 2009, 2010, presented MA thesis material
TEFL Certified (Teaching English as a Second Language), CEDEI Ecuador, Jul 2006
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AND ACTIVITIES
Translator, Women in Black, Aug 2011 – Jan 2017
• Co-translated Colombia’s Ruta Pácifica’s three year report of women’s testimonies of the armed conflict
Volunteer researcher, Fellowship of Reconciliation; Oct 2011 – Mar 2012
• Organization of Colombia-US documents
Volunteer, Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres; Colombia, Jul – Aug 2011
• Colombian women’s human rights network – traveled to areas where they work, participated in workshops and meetings, held interviews with groups and individuals
Ecuador (two years - study abroad, fieldwork, teaching, directing study abroad); Colombia (two months, human rights work); Peru, Bolivia; Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece (three months, study abroad), India
• Fluent in Spanish (Ecuador) and U.S. English
• Intermediate Portuguese (Brazilian)
• Basic knowledge of Kichwa (Ecuador), modern and classical Greek, Malayalam
Mac and PC; Microsoft Office; ExpressScribe, FTP
Navarasa Dance Theater – professional dancer with Navarasa since May 2012
Dance and martial arts (Kalari ppayattu - Indian martial art, Bharatanatyam - Indian classical dance, contemporary dance)
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