Our team of teachers is spread across boundaries. Each of them brings in a unique teaching style, cultural experience, and a new set of language learning tips.
This month, we travel all the way to Peru to meet our teacher of the month – Iván Aguilar. Iván has been rated as a 5 star teacher consistently by all the students on CultureAlley. Here are some great learning tips from Iván.
1) Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Iván Aguilar. I’m from Peru, a country located in South America. Currently I’m working as an English and Spanish teacher and Academic Coordinator at a Language School in Perú. Spanish is my mother tongue and I just love teaching it. I also love spreading the love for Peruvian culture and music!
2) What motivated you to start teaching languages?
This has been a long an interesting path I followed. I studied to be a Social Science teacher, but I got involved in language teaching and found my true professional call. I really like to see how my students overcome the language barrier and become what we might call world citizens by sharing their culture and opinions with the world through the internet or in person. It is really rewarding to be able to contribute to this process.
3) Tell us about your teaching experience – How long have you been teaching, what kind of students have you taught?
Well, I have been teaching for about ten years now. I’ve taught all ages from 6-year-old kids – the most energetic- to adult students.
Most of my students are university students who need to know at least two languages in order to get their degrees.
I’ve also taught some teaching methodology courses.
4) Why you think learning new languages is beneficial?
I think languages are very important since they allow people to connect with other people.
I’ve seen how the perception of the world changes while learning a new language because indirectly a new language always brings about the learning of a new culture.
This is one first step to make ourselves part of a more understanding and global world. Besides it is great to see how learning a new language enriches a person.
As the quote says: “Learn a new language, get a new soul”
Needless to say there are many more academic and professional doors opened for the ones who learn new languages.
5) Please give our readers some tips on learning languages.
I have just two words : practice and connect. It is great to practice grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, etc. But it is also really relevant to connect all that is being practiced with our real lives.
If you are practicing a specific grammar pattern, get some time to write your very personal sentences because in the end you want your new language to talk about yourself, your ideas, your opinions, your country, the things that matter to you.
connecting also means talking or writing to people who are learning or are native speakers of the language that you have chosen to learn.
This always makes your language learning more meaningful and prepares you for real-life interaction.
6) Tell us about your most interesting experience while learning or teaching Spanish yourself.
I like the various forms of art very much. I think immersing yourself in a form of art is a great strategy to learn a language.
One of the most interesting experiences I had, was helping my students to prepare for doing some drama (acting) as a part of their course. Not only did we have a lot of fun, but I also could see students devoting a lot of time in learning their lines and linking this to their acting. It was great!
7) How have you worked with CultureAlley to spread the love for language learning?
I feel glad to be working with a very organized and creative team as the one of CultureAlley. They are building the much needed bridges to help students get high quality language instruction. At the same time I feel they are cooperating through the teaching of languages to create bounds of international friendship. It feels great to be able to make some little contribution to this project.
8) A final word of advice for budding language learners?
Don’t stop learning new languages, don’t stop knowing new worlds!
If you wish to take lessons with Iván, just fill up this form: http://culturealley.com/SkypeLiveLessonform.jsp