Category Archives: Student Feedback

Learning Spanish for Cultural and Professional Growth | Anthony Diab

Spanish studentThis week we feature one of our star students – Anthony Diab. Anthony is a culture enthusiast and runs a business in the tourism industry. Realizing the importance of Spanish in both his professional as well as personal life, Anthony decided to take up the challenge to learn Spanish – and he has excelled in it! In no time, Anthony finished all the lessons (yes more than 60 lessons!) at CultureAlley and is now getting into practicing his Spanish accent with our coach Ivan over 1on1 Skype lessons.


We spoke to Anthony to understand how others like him can learn Spanish quickly:


CA: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Anthony: I’m from Lebanon – a town called Jezzine. I studied a double major at a university in Beirut (Fashion Design, and Music).
We have a mountain resort and a restaurant – I spend time with my dad working on making it better and growing our business.


CA: Why did you decide to learn Spanish?
Anthony: For two reasons: One,
Spanish is really helping me take my hotel business to the next level.
Second, I am inspired by the cultural diversity of this world! I’m really interested in singing (opera), I love Spanish music, Tango dancing, the Greek mythology, and wine! Learning Spanish has a big relation to all these cultural inspirations I draw!
Being a fluent French speaker, I thought that I really should learn this lovely language – Spanish. I really see myself walking down the streets of Spain trying to realize my dream!!


CA: How did you start your learning journey and how did find the right source to learn Spanish from?
I started by reading books about translation from English to Spanish and from French to Spanish – but after trying for 4 months, I did not find them too useful. So, I moved to find a way which was more professional.
Something that had structured lessons. I Googled for websites to learn Spanish and after reviewing some of the options I made my choice. I think it was the best choice that I made by choosing CultureAlley as my teacher!


CA: How did you learn Spanish so fast? Tell us about your learning routine

Anthony: My background in Arabic and French did help me a little but it is not as difficult to learn Spanish quickly.

I started with CultureAlley as a normal person who just knows how to say ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ and ‘how are you?’ in Spanish. I started, and every day this website gave me more and more passion to continue learning!

I took about 3 lessons a day sometimes even 4 and wrote the notes on sheets of paper.

Every day before starting a new lesson I ensured that I revise right from paper 1 which contained the basics (Hola/Adíos etc.). I revised till where I stopped the previous day just to remember all the words without forgetting anything. Then I took quizzes – multiple times till I got everything correct. Regular practice and repetition helped me learn Spanish fast. Now I will get into Skype lessons for developing my listening skills and my accent.

CA: Has learning Spanish helped you? If so, how?
Anthony: Learning Spanish has helped me immensely.
First of all,  now I really can communicate with the Spanish tourists that come to our hotel. It makes our hotel appear more professional and adds a personal touch.
I already speak Arabic, French, and English, and now Spanish is adding another dimension.
Secondly,  now I understand the Spanish songs that I really loved, so now I sing them with more passion and I can Dance on Tango Songs with great passion .
Third, the nightlife here in my country Beirut makes me meet a lot of people who speak Spanish – now I can hold real conversations with them in this lovely language!


CA: How did CultureAlley help you in learning Spanish?
CultureAlley is so professional and contextual that it contains lessons on topics like – if you were in a hotel or in a restaurant – it was very useful learning these for my business.
Its a very cool website and not boring at all! The teachers and founders are available on live chat and they reply to your emails very quickly with a lot of passion. It gives you more momentum and energy to continue your lessons!
Now I am taking the Skype lessons with a coach to perfect what I have learnt and improve my accent!
CA: To conclude, what would you like to tell other learners who are thinking of learning Spanish?
Anthony: At the end, I can tell you that if you really want to start learning Spanish and you don’t have time to register in school or something like that just click and  you will start living your Spanish dream from the second you press on the button!
Thank you very much again CultureAlley Team you have helped me a lot!

Learning Spanish to connect with my family | Jake Pagala

This week featuring one of our young, enthusiastic Spanish students – Jake Pagala. Jake tells us about his keen interest in Spanish thanks to his ancestral roots and how he is going about learning it! Here’s Jake’s story:

JakeHello! I’m Jake Pagala, a high school student from the Philippines. I am 14 years old.

I love to sing, dance, play badminton, and most of all learn a new language!

I decided to  take up Spanish because my grandpa is a Spaniard.  I really want to talk to him in Spanish and learn about the culture from him.
I also want to start communicating with my cousins who speak Spanish. This will bring me closer to my extended family. I am sure they will be delighted when I talk to them in Spanish!

I study here at CultureAlley for about 2 to 4 hours every day.  I cannot believe the  number of new words and phrases that I have picked up thanks to their clear lessons! The thing to remember is to learn regularly and practice.

The live chat helps me a lot because they answer my questions quickly and are always there anytime I need them. I was so excited to find out that a lot of other Filipinos are learning Spanish on CultureAlley too!
Learning Spanish helps me a lot. Some of my friends here know Spanish and because I’m studying Spanish, I’m able to understand them better now.
The best part is – these days when my classmates need help in Spanish grammar – they always ask me! :) Spanish is a cool language and now it is making me cooler too :)
Since this site is so great I plan to study Mandarin Chinese and Punjabi on this site too!
If you are studying here on CultureAlley then keep it up and you won’t regret it – I promise!
Jake Pagala

How language bridges relationship barriers – Donald Antonio

This week, featuring another super-star student – Donald Antonio. Donald tells us how knowing the language and culture of one’s partner is one of the biggest investment for a successful relationship. Here’s Donald’s story:

Hello, I am Donald. I am from the Philippines. I finished my Degree in Computer Science last 2011 and have been working as an Instructor for the University ever since. It feels good to share the knowledge that I had picked up when I was a student – that’s why I chose this career.

donaldI am not a musician but I love playing the guitar. I also play video games!

I love going out with my family and friends since they are the people that I can’t live without. My students and friends find me funny for they think I am not running out of witty jokes to spill out. Well, that’s me.

I love making people laugh – although it doesn’t remove the problems of most people, it can be a reminder that nothing is permanent. That sooner or later, their problems will be gone. That mindset makes us love what we have and just be content with it. Otherwise, happiness can be very hard to find.

Some time back I started learning Spanish – For one reason only, to be with my love.

She donald gfcurrently lives in Madrid with her family. She was born in Madrid but her parents are both Filipinos. She had studied in the Philippines and that’s where I met her.

She comes home every two years and stays in the country for about a month – that’s a very small amount of time to be with her! So I decided to learn Spanish and live with her someday. I am willing to give up my career for the sake of us being together. Distance and language can be a barrier to a relationship so I made up my mind to learn the language.

Understanding the culture and the language is so vital for a relationship for it lets you understand each other & the individual differences.

This is my first attempt to learn a foreign language.

Although it’s a little difficult for a beginner like me, the techniques and tools used by CultureAlley makes it look so easy. It’s intuitive and interactive.

It’s like watching Dora the Explorer for adults! Haha! Right after work, I spend time learning the language. I take about two lessons a day and test it with my girlfriend through online communication. I never thought learning a new language could be fun!

Learning a language is like investing for your future. You can go places where English becomes obsolete. Where you can communicate with people with different cultures.

Connecting with people is everything. That’s what life is all about. We’re better off dead than living without connection.

I never consider it as a waste of time. To be honest, my leisure time is well spent here than watching YouTube videos about random people making fun of themselves. (That’s what I do sometimes*:) happy)

When I decided to start learning Spanish, I thought of buying books and dictionaries to help me with my study. I even thought about Google translate and I can see now how ridiculous that idea is!

CultureAlley is way beyond our time. It’s a very advanced tool that makes learning a new language very easy. It’s interactive, intuitive, precise, and very informative.

Not only it teaches us some new words, but the most important thing it does is it lets you appreciate cultures from different countries. It’s like their saying that “If you want to learn the language, learn to appreciate the culture and the people behind it”.

Lastly, learning a new language is “fun” with CultureAlley!

Not to mention, this one’s free! It’s all free, no fees, no hidden charges. Hell, they don’t even ask for your credit card *:P tongue

When we meet them on chat, they ask us – what else would you want to see on CultureAlley. And I was like ‘Is that even a question?’

CultureAlley’s strategies/tools are so complete and amazing. What more I’d like is a live one-on-one conversation with a person who speaks Spanish fluently.

I’m not saying that the audio/visual presentation is not enough, but it would be a great experience if you could talk to a native español whenever you’re ready.

And I’d love some more culture leaves!*8-> day dreaming

What I love is that the founder Nishant is very approachable and friendly. We had our first conversation while I was listening to a lesson and it was like we’ve known each-other for years!

Learning a new language and culture is easy and at the same time, fun with CultureAlley.

So for anyone who is learning or thinking of learning a new language I’d suggest you to explore new things, find ways to connect with new people – especially your loved ones. Appreciate their culture and fall in love with it. It’s a noble way of life.

- Donald

Spanish SuperStar of The Month

How learning Spanish made Daachi Halima a special girl!

We get a lot of comments, questions, and feedback from our learners. These go a long way in helping us evolve CultureAlley and make it a better, more enriching experience for all our learners. Every month, we will feature one of our students, who stands out as a true language learning star!

Here is Daachi Halima’s story, in her own words – one of the most heart warming stories we have read so far!

Name: Daachi Halima
From: Algeria
Born: 1989
Profession: Earned a diploma in English language and working in a cultural center.

The things that I like (my hobbies) are: I love reading books, writing poems; novels; and short stories. I also like to draw Anime! I like watching Korean and English movies.

Before I entered the university, you won’t imagine the thing that I disliked the most was learning languages!!
I did not expect that one day I’ll become so fond of learning languages.

The reason why I started learning Spanish is that when I was studying in the University, we were studying about the American civilization which contained the history of Mexico; and we studied about Santa Anna. During that time I started liking Spanish. Then, I started looking for sources to help me learn some Spanish.
I asked my colleague to teach me some Spanish – she used to just give me some words and then laugh at me because I didn’t understand the meaning. Then, I looked for a teacher but I didn’t have enough money to carry on with my studies in the university and learn Spanish in parallel because it was too expensive.
I didn’t give up, and I continued looking for sources for learning Spanish for free – I looked for two years!
I was looking on the internet too but all that I found was forums with short trials. And on some forums which were free – the narration was so fast that I never understood anything!
Finally, I found CultureAlley which was really amazing. Teaching everything so well and slowly also with practice – all of that for free! The most amazing thing is that they are available to chat with their learners kindly.
My language learning journey has been so good. With CultureAlley, I can take two to three lessons each day at my own pace because I’m busy with work and I don’t get much time to learn at one go. I like to practice each Spanish word that I learn every day. I practice it with my sister and brother too – I’m teaching them everything I know about Spanish – at the same time this makes me revise my lessons with them.
I have a mobile dictionary Spanish -> English that I keep with me too.
Learning Spanish has made me special girl!
It has made me want to learn more languages; as I said before, I’m working at a cultural center; this place is suitable for learning.
Learning Spanish has made me want to teach this language to all my village for free – just as I studied it! I want to teach them about this culture. I want to tell them to never be afraid of learning languages – because learning languages is something so interesting!
I have started teaching English in my village and my students also want to learn Spanish because sometimes I talk to them in Spanish to make them get a flavor of it.  Most of the people in my village don’t have enough information about foreign languages and how interesting they are.
I want to learn all languages that are available at CultureAlley – I hope they’ll offer French soon because it is the Second language in Algeria. Also I’d like to learn Korean because I like to watch a Korean movies. I want to learn English better. And Hindi too – because sometimes I sing some Hindi songs but I always wonder about the meaning and about my pronunciation.
CultureAlley has helped me a lot in learning Spanish because of the way of teaching that they adopt. For me, as an Arabian girl, I benefit from both sides. I practice my English by listening to the narrator and learn Spanish slowly and perfectly! Specially with practice! I also love the cultural leaf!
I want to tell all learners that if you want to learn a new language – you can! All you need to learn a language is to have some will. The reason to learn languages is not important – if you have a noble aim then God will help you for sure.