How did you start in Australia?

I arrived in Australia at the end of December 2022, a few weeks later I had the opportunity to begin this adventure of teaching Spanish at this wonderful institute that has allowed me to work with unique people. I have also been able to learn from my students, each of them with their own world and varied expectations regarding their learning.

What is a loveable aspect of teaching Spanish in Australia?

I love hearing the reasons why students learn English, including: having a Spanish-speaking partner, a work or volunteer trip in a Latin American country, or a tourist trip to a Spanish-speaking country. It is beautiful to know so many stories and be part of each of them, teaching not only grammatical aspects but also the culture that exists in our country of origin.

Melbourne is art!

What is the most challenging aspect of teaching Australians?

There are two general aspects: First, most people who learn Spanish take their classes after a long and exhausting day of work. For this reason, I always try to make classes dynamic, different, and creative so that my students feel motivated.

Secondly, not everyone has direct contact with native speakers, which makes it difficult for them to practice what they learn. However, I always encourage them to find different ways to do this, whether in class or with autonomous exercise ideas at home.

Do you have any suggestions for how students can better prepare for each class?

Practice at home, take between 10 to 15 minutes a day to practice what you learned in class, and/or read a short text, listen to a dialogue, write an experience in Spanish, so that your brain is in contact with the Spanish language every day. In addition, it is always helpful to do our lesson homework since there can be questions or doubts about the activity that we clarify later in the class.

Having fun in Brighton Beach

What do you think the best method for memorisation is?

Some people think that repeating and repeating doesn't work. however, something that is repeated is something that is learned. Whether through a dynamic activity, game, or writing, repetition is an important way to memorize, especially if we talk about vocabulary.

Also, it is good to have a notebook with vocabulary and those grammatical aspects that we find difficult. A good tip is not only to make vocabulary lists, but to try to create sentences using the words in context, so that it is easier to remember them.

What teaching methods do you like to bring to the classroom?

One of the main strategies that I like to implement in Spanish class is group or collaborative work since you can always put into practice what you learn, in addition to helping the students gain confidence in what they do.

On the other hand, I believe that games are always an essential part of learning. No matter how old we are, learning means having fun; each game must always have an objective so that the second language (Spanish) is a meaningful learning experience.

Is there a common question that students ask about the acquisition of Spanish? And your answer?

Most students usually ask me how they can improve two essential skills: oral comprehension and fluency. For the first one, I think it is important to start with dialogue exercises, podcasts, or videos at a level that they can understand, and little by little push themselves to a higher level.

As for fluency, it is important to practice without fear. The first step to learning a language is making mistakes, and learning from corrections to those mistakes. In addition, they have to take advantage of every opportunity they have to talk with native speakers or classmates.

Piedra Colgada, Colombia

Now for an activity chosen by Jelitza!

This is a vocabulary activity about clothes. Can you find all the words in a short time? Let's do it! You can also describe what you are wearing using these words. 

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By Jelitza Suárez Betancour
March 6, 2024



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