Stress Free Spanish With Anna

Stress Free Spanish With Anna

5.0 (1)

About this tutor

I mostly stand out because I'm a Midwest transplant.  Usually it's my slight Chicago accent but sometimes it's my Midwest sunny disposition and friendliness.  Anyway, I have been living in Glenside for about 4 years (I love it!).  I studied Spanish throughout high school, majored in Spanish in college at St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI, and studied abroad in Ecuador for 2 semesters.  I love Spanish: the language, the culture, the food, everything!

During college, I was offered the opportunity to teach ESL on a volunteer basis for a class of adults from all over the world.  Now, for the last 3 years, I have been teaching a biweekly class for adults at the IHM Literacy Center in Philadelphia.  My students are from South/ Central  America, the Caribbean, and Asia.  I love helping to make them more comfortable and independent in their new home countries.

I was not alway a Spanish wizz however.  My high school Spanish program was more advanced than any program I've heard about (feel free to prove me wrong!) and I struggled my first couple years.  I had to study more than most other students and even so, my grades were not the perfect A's I was used to getting by putting out that level of effort!  It wasn't until I got to college and tested out of a few Spanish classes that I saw my efforts pay off.  While in Ecuador, I took everything I had learned about the language, and ran with it, even taking some business classes in Spanish where I was the only international student.  

If you or child sounds like me at the beginning of high school, I can definitely relate.  I believe that what makes me a good teacher, is that I truly understand the difficulty of learning another language.  It's hard for someone who has always spoken Spanish or who has always been a quick learner to understand why it is a challenge for people like us to pick it up.  I've struggled through everything you have, encountered the same hang ups you have, and come out the other side as a successful, fluent, Spanish speaker and educator.  I look forward to meeting with you and sharing all the tools that have make me the successful Spanish speaker that I am!

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Erdenheim, PA 19038
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1 Review


  • Rixon Corozo

    Anna was very helpful, and her classes really improved my language skills. Her instruction was always clear. I highly recommend her.

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

My first step is to find out where a student is in her progress.  I find her strengths and things that she could improve on.  We do some activities to see where she is (they can be her homework or something I bring).  I also find out what her learning style is.  Finally, I find out her goals.  Does she just need to pass a semester or is she hoping to make Spanish a long term part of her life such as I did?   I use all of this to formulate lessons.

In the future we would use the school curriculum as a starting point.  I find however, that a lot of textbooks do not provide enough practice work or activities to truly understand and be able to master what they are teaching so I would provide supplementary materials as needed.  For my ESL class, I've designed the entire curriculum so we could do that as well if needed.  

Another important point is English grammar.  If one doesn't understand a concept fully in English, one will not be able to learn it well in Spanish.  I will make sure she knows what the parts of a sentence are (noun, verb, adjective etc.) and where they go in an English sentence so she can more easily learn where they go in a Spanish sentence.

I will also focus on learning good study habits.  Learning a language I different than learning anything else and because of that, my learning methods were vastly different than any other subject.  One of the reasons she might be struggling is simply because she isn't going about it in the best way.

I will do all of this in an open and friendly environment.  To learn a language, one must open oneself to a lot of embarrassment, criticism, and uncomfortable social situations in which one misunderstands completely what people are saying (I speak from experience).  I help the student foster a sense of confidence in their abilities.  Lack of confidence can really hold someone back in learning a language in a way that it cannot impact learning many other subjects.  I will help them get past their fears and truly open themselves up to being successful.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I graduated St. Norbert College in 2015 with a double major in Business (Marketing) and Spanish.  My GPA was 3.85 and I graduated with honors.  My business degree pays the bills (although I do use Spanish at my job as well) but Spanish and teaching language are my passions.  

My junior year of college, I fulfilled my dream to study abroad in Ecuador. I planned on only staying for one semester but I loved it so much, could take the same classes as I would in the US, and it was the same price, so I decided to stay a second semester (only a small part of my reasoning had to do with the fact that Ecuador has year round temperatures in the 70s and I would otherwise be returning to negative degree winter weather in Wisconsin).  In Ecuador, I was able to take my Spanish knowledge from the classroom into the real world in a country where hardly anyone speaks any English.  This is where I went from a learner to a fluent Spanish speaker.

In college, I signed up with the local Literacy Green Bay charity to become a one-on-one tutor with someone from another country who wanted to learn English.  The program had other plans for me however, and invited me to teach an English class for 10 adult students from all over the world.  I was pretty nervous at first but so excited to help.  As it turns outs, I love teaching and uncovered a passion for helping people with the challenges of learning a language.

Fast forward a few years, I am currently in my third year of teaching a twice weekly class at the IHM Center for Literacy in Philadelphia.  I teach the entry level class for about 15 adults who speak little to no English.  Seeing their progress each year is so rewarding.  This year, we are doing online classes which has worked out better than I anticipated.  

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

My pricing is case by case and based on need.  Please let me know what you are thinking of paying and we can work something out.  My passion is helping people learn not becoming rich off of conning students out of money!

How did you get started teaching?

I got my start teaching an ESL class at Literacy Green Bay in college and leaned into it from there.  One of the first things I did when I moved permanently to the Philadelphia area was to look for a place I could teach ESL.  My mom has always been a teacher so I'm sure I got a lot of my passion from her.  I love helping people learn new things and seeing them succeed is so fun!

What types of students have you worked with?

I have taught adults of all ages and backgrounds.  I also have babysitting experience from when I was in high school and college with kids as young as 3.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

In my current ESL class, we are doing virtual learning so I have less students than normal.  I have three students from Colombia and Venezuela.  They knew very little about our government, political process, or the recent elections.  I created a few lessons based on these things and it could not have gone better.  They were so interested and truly wanted to understand the government of their new home country.  They also had some very interesting perspectives on government and politics having come from countries that were recently or still are experiencing very high levels of political unrest and corruption.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

I recommend looking for someone to whom learning Spanish wasn't easy.  Although someone who is native to a Spanish speaking country or who spoke Spanish from a young age might have a better accent than me, they have never had to struggle through learning Spanish as I had to.  It's something they've always known or has come easy for them.  I personally, am weakest in math and I think a part of this is that most of my math teachers were people who always excelled at math.  They just couldn't dumb it down enough for me or simply couldn't understand how I wasn't able to pick up a concept.  My best teacher of all time was my high school Spanish teacher.  She wasn't born in a Spanish community or exposed to it at a young age.  She always understood why it was so hard for me to learn.  Every year she would encourage me to keep going and keep trying even though I was by far, not one of her best students.  This is what I bring to the table.  I truly understand a student's struggles first hand and can work with them to overcome them.  Now I am on the other side.  All my high school friends who were speaking Spanish in circles around me have stopped using their Spanish and are now impressed at how advanced I am and how easily I can use my Spanish at my job and in life.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

I think questions from students are always good but it's the teacher's job to help the students figure out their needs, goals, strength, etc.  We'll work together to put into words just what you need.

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