Hola a todos,
I think the perfect way to kick off a blog is an introduction and an explanation of how I started teaching English in Spain. My name is Lucy Morrow. I am 23 years old and Irish. I just finished my master’s degree at the University of Glasgow studying German and Central & European Studies.
My interest in teaching began a few years ago when I was an Au Pair in Girona for a summer in my first year of university. I was employed to help the children in the family improve their English. Since that summer five years ago, my interest in teaching in Spain has only grown. Last year I was an English teacher in an English Academy in Valencia. This was an excellent opportunity for me to develop my teaching style to find what works best for me which in turn helps my students. I taught all ages, from 8 to 80, and all levels, from A1 to C2. I taught various classes and courses which allowed me to see how different students learn best.
My sister-in-law is Spanish, and she and my brother recently had a beautiful bilingual English-Spanish baby. The way my nephew is learning two languages at once fascinates me (and may be a topic for another blog post). As someone who has studied languages all my life with varying degrees of success, the way he is able to learn has inspired my teaching style which is focused on speaking. Every student is different, and some learn better through writing and reading. However, I think I have noticed the biggest improvement in my students when I encourage them to speak as much English as possible in a relaxed setting so that they are not afraid to make mistakes. Firstly, it helps students get over their initial fear of speaking and making mistakes (mistakes that go away with time and practice). Secondly, it encourages students to find their ‘English voice’- rather than translating constantly in their head from Spanish to English, students begin to find it easier to find a new, English voice with lots of speaking practice which helps their reading, writing and listening. This method has been inspired by my nephew, who has learned two languages by listening and speaking.
Finally, why teach English in Spain specifically? Well, I love Spain and always have. My sister-in-law has been a great influence on my love of Spanish culture. This love increased when I met my Spanish boyfriend. We have been together for a few years now and knowing him has made me want to learn more and more about his country. Having studied German for the last five years, this is my first real opportunity to focus on my Spanish. I have lived in Spain so have good conversational Spanish. However, this year I want to improve it even further. So believe me, I know what it’s like to be a language learner at all stages which I believe has made me a better teacher.
For now, I think this is enough information on me. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on my blog and I hope you stick around to read a few more posts!