Monica is our new Spanish teacher, replacing Nerea who moved back to Spain.
We are wishing her a warm welcome.
We have asked all our team members a few questions, here are some selected answers.
Where were you born?
What countries have you lived in?
Which countries have you visited extensively?
Venezuela, Australia, Argentina and The United States
What languages do you speak/have you learnt?
Spanish (Native), English (Fluent)
Was it hard to learn new languages?
It was difficult at the beginning when my vocabulary was very limited, but once I started getting the confidence and enough vocabulary to communicate at a basic level, I felt learning the new language became easier.
Did you learn all the languages you speak the same way?
Besides my native language, I’ve only learned English and I used a combination of group face to face classes, online classes, and fun easy methods. I’m a very visual person so I practised a lot through writing, using many colours, and reading simple books to learn new vocabulary.
Are you still learning a language, which one, why?
I keep learning English every day in a more organic way, like when my friends correct my pronunciation or when I find new words in my readings. I’m also starting to learn Italian because I’d love to visit Italy one day, and since it is similar to Spanish it shouldn’t be too difficult to learn.
Why have you learnt different languages?
I learned English to open a new world of opportunities for me and my family, starting with professional growth and continuing with the opportunity to migrate to a new country. I’ve always enjoyed reading and studying, and knowing English gives me access to a huge amount of resources that I couldn’t use or understand if I only knew Spanish.
How has it impacted in your life?
Learning English allowed me to access better professional opportunities and the most important, to migrate and become a citizen in an English speaking country. I believe being able to communicate in different languages makes you smarter, not only because you access new areas of your brain, but you are able to see other perspectives and it makes easier to learn even more languages once you know at least two. In the social and business aspects, I’ve been able to cultivate friends from other cultures and reach bigger audiences thanks to being bilingual.
What is the best part about living in a foreign country?
Experiencing a different culture and learning a new language fluently, having a better quality of life and having more professional and business opportunities.
What has been challenging?
Not having my family and friends around as my support network, and not having many opportunities to enjoy the Latin culture.
Which part of your birth country (countries you have lived in extensively) do you recommend to visitors? Why do you like it?
Venezuela is a beautiful country and diverse in climate and geographic configuration.
If you enjoy the beach, I would recommend the Mochima National Park and Morrocoy National Park, both with pristine, warm waters (with no sharks!), great for snorkelling and eating fresh seafood sitting at the beach.
Now if you’d like to be impressed you need to visit La Gran Sabana (The Great Savanna), as it offers the most unusual landscapes in the world, with rivers, waterfalls, deep and vast valleys, impenetrable jungles and savannahs with a large number and variety of plants, fauna and table tops. You will find here the Angel’s Falls, the world highest uninterrupted waterfall!
And finally, if you prefer cooler weather, The Andes Mountains is the place to go. The Andes are the world’s longest mountain range, and in Venezuela, you can visit the Pico Bolivar, which is the highest mountain in this country, or take a ride in the cable car to go to Pico Espejo. In the Andes, you can enjoy tasty strawberries with cream and thick hot chocolate in your cosy jumper while admiring the majesty of The Andes Mountains.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
If you find challenging learning a new language, maybe because you “need to learn it” more than “want to learn it”, bring something you really enjoy into your learning experience.
The beautiful stationery, or the booklet of that place you would like to visit, the food you love (no one said it was wrong to learn while drinking coffee or eating chocolate hey?), or the music that makes you dance or feel relaxed. Bring it in and discover how once you get into a rhythm, learning becomes easier and easier.