We chatted to Spanish teacher Nuria Freixas about her approach to teaching, her background struggling with English in London, and her free learn Spanish podcast ¿Quién ha sido?
Nuria gives online classes with Spanish comes Easy, her boutique language agency based in Barcelona.
You can contact her on the Spanish comes Easy website.
A graduate of Linguistics & Spanish from the University of London, Nuria has over 20 years experience teaching the international community in Barcelona.
Here she talks about language and self esteem and gives tips on how you can improve your fluency, whatever level you are at.
She also discusses her learn Spanish podcast ¿Quién ha sido? which gives Spanish language learners free access to free episodes of a murder mystery, complete with Spanish and English transcripts and translations.
The episodes are for students studying at levels A2 and A1 and more, and are a free introduction to Nuria’s teaching methods.
Nuria believes that ’empathy’ is the most important quality of a good Spanish teacher.
She also believes that language learning must ‘fun’ – otherwise the learner will likely give up. She tries to give students tools to both boost their confidence and keep them engaged.
For example, the murder mystery podcast is a great way to have fun while also picking up some Spanish.
(1:00) MumAbroad – What makes a good Spanish teacher?
Nuria: “[…] I used to live in London, for six years, many years ago. When I came back I decided I wanted to become a Spanish teacher. It was something I thought I could enjoy and do well at because I like helping people, and the minute I started training and had students I really loved it.
I remember when I was in London, there I met my husband. Sometimes we would meet people and I would just smile and kind of giggle and nod and when the person looked serious I would put on a serious face. Then, afterwards, my husband would ‘say you didn’t understand anything at all did you?’ And me ‘No, nothing!’ and I laughed. At the time, though, it wasn’t funny, it was actually very stressful.
That’s why when being a language teacher, in my case a Spanish teacher, empathy is so important. I teach adults, mainly ladies, expat ladies, but even those who are excellent at their work and very confident when they start speaking a language but don’t feel confident, that is something that undermines their self esteem. They cannot communicate the way they want to with people, they are not self sufficient, they need to ask for help for everything. I know the struggle. Looking back I can laugh, but the worst thing was when you don’t understand someone and you’re just praying the person won’t ask you a question.”