Happy Tuesday, my dear GLNers! Now that it’s a new month, you know what that means–there’s a new edition of the GPS! In each edition of the GPS we feature a teacher and a student; read on to meet our teacher and student this month!
Featured Teacher – Andrés Henao
Learn the language and enjoy the culture with Andres!
Hi, I am Andres Henao and am originally from Medellin, Colombia. My story with the Global Language Network really starts with a song of a Cuban singer, which I sang at the Fall Languages Festival two years ago. After meeting Zarko and learning about GLN, I realized that I could teach Spanish and also take language classes myself, like Portuguese. Shortly afterwards, I started teaching Spanish for beginners with GLN.
The opportunity was great because I had the flexibility to teach creatively and break the regular standard of boring and grammar-heavy classes. I could develop a student centered syllabus, making it fun to learn. I created a personalized processes of teaching that incorporated cooking, playing, having outdoor classes, and, of course, getting a real taste for the Latino culture while learning the language.
It was a terrific experience for me because the GLN schedule worked well with my professional schedule. I could balance my work in social marketing and entrepreneurship at the Young Americas Business Trust, Organization of American States with my classes at GLN. Furthermore, it was a wonderful experience where I got to learn about American culture, make new friends, and network with different young professionals like me.
A few months before I started my Ph.D., I had to change my role from being a teacher, to being a teachers’ mentor. However I plan to start teaching again this summer and fall of 2012.
I feel really blessed and lucky because, through GLN, my passion for playing the guitar and sharing my culture opened a door that I could not imagine before. Even personally, my involvement with GLN really combated the feelings of isolation and loneliness that all travelers experience in a foreign country.
I leave you with my teaching philosophy: Teaching is like cooking, if you enjoy teaching, your students will enjoy learning! Hope to see you in the next Spanish class!
Featured Student – Anne Boucher
My name is Anne Boucher, I’m originally from Minneapolis but have lived all over the U.S., including living in the DC area for the past six years. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in languages, which I think started with wanting to understand the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs that I found fascinating as a child. I finally got the chance to formally study a language in high school and chose French. On a subsequent visit to France, being immersed in a foreign language and culture reinforced my desire to study more languages.
In college, I studied Russian and got to visit the USSR and practice another language. After college I studied Japanese and dabbled in community education classes that offered Hungarian, German, and Swahili and finally got to formally study hieroglyphs as well. I picked up some Spanish while living in southern Texas but wasn’t able to attend actual language classes until finding the Global Language Network (GLN) in 2010.
My first GLN class was Albanian. I loved it! I couldn’t believe I had found an organization that shared a mission so important to me – learning languages and understanding other cultures. It’s so important today to realize that communication breaks down barriers and increases understanding of other countries and cultures. Therefore, I think it’s wonderful that we have an organization like GLN that offers inexpensive classes in so many languages– particularly languages that aren’t often taught. I’ve also taken Chinese, Swedish, Turkish, Polish, and Dutch and have learned so much from each class and each teacher.
Last year I visited France, Belgium, and Holland, giving me the opportunity to continue using my language skills. I look forward to more travel and language adventures, thanks to the GLN.