Over and over throughout the years, my friends, family, and colleagues have given me the same story:
I wish I spoke Spanish.
I wish I’d started when I was a kid.
I wish I’d actually tried in school.
I wish I could live abroad in a Spanish speaking country.
They’d given Duolingo a shot. They’d bought the whole Rosetta Stone program. But even the most determined self-taught students will run into the same undeniable truth: you need to speak to a person who speaks Spanish in order to learn how to speak Spanish. And what’s more, without the structure of formal school, you need someone to keep you accountable on your language journey.
Hi! My name’s MaryClare, I’ve taught language learners since 2015, have my Masters in Teaching, and, full disclosure, I slept through most of my first high school Spanish course. I couldn’t help it! It was so dry. I mean- memorize this, conjugate that, fill-in-the-blank galore. By the end of my first year, I’m not actually sure if I internalized a single lesson. It seemed impossible that anyone could actually learn to speak a foreign language fluently. Wasn’t that something that you had to start when you’re, like, five?
So, how’d I get from glazed eyes in Spanish 1 to smiles and seven years teaching experience?
I decided Spanish use it in my real life.
Everything changed the summer of my Sophomore year, when my parents hosted a girl from Madrid for the summer and I later traveled with her back to Spain during the final of World Cup… which they won! I remember soaking in the energy of the celebration, amazed to be in such a unique celebration so far from home… and being totally frustrated that I couldn’t understand a word from any of my fantastic host’s friends. When I returned home, I was resolute: I was going to learn to speak Spanish. I was never going to waste an opportunity like that again. I became obsessed with learning the language, and, thanks to an unbelievably generous teacher who worked with me on her lunch breaks (shout out to Señora McNally!) I learned three levels of Spanish in a single year, and upon my graduation the following year, I could write and read proficiently. But I still couldn’t really speak.
So, I decided to take a gap year and move to a tiny fishing community on the coast of Ecuador. I always thought that the best way to learn a language was to live abroad and totally immerse oneself. And let’s be real- that’s absolutely the best way to gain fluency. But when I first arrived in Ecuador, I already had foundations to build on. I knew all the different verb tenses. I had done the leg-work of building a modest vocabulary. I understood the mechanics of the language at a fundamental level; I didn’t arrive in a foreign country and try to learn a language from scratch. I met several English speakers who did arrive with nothing more than greetings and ¿Una cerveza más por favor? At the end of my initial six months, I was comfortably conversational in Spanish. My companions, with nothing to build on, had made very little progress.What started out as a six month volunteer opportunity turned into four years of living and studying on-and-off in Ecuador, an incredible experience that totally revolutionized my world view, sense of self, and love of language. I went on to receive a Bachelors of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature and a Masters of the Art of Teaching with endorsements in bilingual education.
Learning another another language has taken me down so many different paths in life, from jobs, to friendships, love, and travel. I loved the act of learning a foreign language so much that I couldn’t imagine another life path than helping others break their language barrier as well, and I’ve now been teaching language learners since 2015.
If you’re preparing for a trip, looking to move abroad, wanting to connect with bilingual friends, or are ready to challenge yourself and prioritize Spanish language learning in your life, I want to offer you the opportunity to schedule a free strategy meeting today to discuss how we can achieve your goals.
My role is to get you ready for YOUR adventure by speaking Spanish from our first day of class. I use concrete language acquisition strategies that break down the mechanics of the language to leverage the connections between Spanish and English, allowing English speakers to fully understand, internalize and use not only the most important, frequently used words in the language, but also the foundations of Spanish grammar.
I love bringing Spanish for my clients. I don't think I will ever get tired of seeing a learner's face when the light bulb finally goes off on a frustrating grammar concept or when they realize they've just spoken entirely in Spanish for 10 minutes straight.
I wish there were more stars! This has been an exceptional class, full of academics all in Spanish. MaryClare meets the students where they are in English and then brings them forward in Spanish. My learner has learned so much and is so proud of herself. We have whole notebooks filled with printables from the class that were provided prior to class which is so important when learning a new language. I simply cannot say enough about this class.
First time learning Spanish? No problem. Let's start out with my Level 1 Bootcamp. Have some exposure, but you’re not sure where you should be? During our strategy session, you will be assessed and placed into the correct level and class type.
Bachelor of Arts - Spanish Language and Literature
Master of the Art of Teaching - Bilingual Endorsement
1:1 Leveled Bootcamps
4 weeks per level
8 classes per level
Leveled bootcamp classes provide 1:1 individual instruction for students to learn and master fundamental grammar skills. Each level meets twice weekly for four weeks.
Add an additional student for $280 for 25% savings per person!
Leveled Group Conversation Classes
$30 per person per class
Leveled group conversation classes are excellent for those that have finished a 4 week bootcamp level and are looking for continued practice before progressing to the next bootcamp level, as a supplement during their 1:1 bootcamp lessons, or for those with sufficient experience looking to brush up on their Spanish without 1:1 lessons.
Ask your teacher how they specifically support language learners struggling to speak!
Why are you learning Spanish?
How will you use it in your life?
How much time can you dedicate to learning?