Who are Lingoda’s Teachers?
Lingoda have hundreds of teachers, based all over the world, and we are bringing some of them to you, so you can get a feel of what they love about teaching, life, and travel!
Lingoda’s interview with Spanish teacher, Andrés.
Andrés, please tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Andrés Rubio (by the way Rubio means blonde in Spanish but I am not blond at all). I am 25 years old and I am from beautiful Colombia. I have been teaching Spanish for more than 6 years and I have to admit, I really love it!
Besides being a teacher, I would say I am a normal 25 year old guy who LOVES languages and who believes learning them opens you up to a million opportunities. That is why I believe everyone should learn at least a second language. I mean, imagine how boring our lives would be if we could only speak our native language…
I also love football (like a lot, seriously), going to parties and dancing (it would be hard not to like parties considering I am Latino!) and also writing. I write a lot in Spanish, I think it’s the best way we can express ourselves.
Oh, and people say I am funny, but who knows…
Andrés, you’ve travelled and worked abroad, where have you lived and explored?
Yes, in 2015 and 2016 I had the opportunity to work in Italy. I did a volunteering experience that changed my life forever. I taught basic English and Spanish to kids aged between 9-11. Thanks to that experience I realised teaching was what I enjoyed the most.
It was a great experience not only because I got to teach but also because I was able to immerse myself in the Italian culture. I could also practise my Italian and I met a lot of great people while travelling. I ate a lot of pizza and got a bit fat but it was a remarkable experience.
What does the average day look like for you as a Lingoda teacher?
I usually wake up early in the morning, play some good music and start to work out (I really need it). After that, I eat breakfast, take a shower and then I start preparing my lessons. I usually dedicate at least 10 minutes to prepare each lesson before it starts. Sometimes I have just one lesson in the morning and then couple of lesson in the afternoon. In the evening, between my classes, I work on other things such as studying English, Italian or French and if my friends are around, we play some football.
Andrés, what made you decide to become a teacher?
Well, I think I decided to become a teacher because when I was at school I was good at explaining things to people. I noticed that after my explanations people felt very happy because they could finally understand something they had been struggling. As I grew older, I realised this was something I should take advantage of.
I started to feel pretty cool while explaining things. It was like I felt I was being so helpful to people and this situation boosted my confident a lot.
Also, I have to confess I love being the center of attention and that is exactly what a teacher is during a class!
What is it about learning and speaking other languages that you enjoy?
I think what I enjoy the most about learning languages is that I can communicate with people from other countries and cultures who have a different mindset and who can share a lot with me. I have always thought that languages allow you to understand life in a different way and I definitely want to understand it in as many ways as possible.
What is it that you like the most about the Lingoda platform?
I think that what I love the most about Lingoda is the students. It is absolutely fantastic to be able to meet so many people from all around the world and learn from them It is amazing to have the opportunity to help them learn Spanish because for most of them it is one of their main goals in life.
It is also super cool to tell them about my country and my culture. Unfortunately, some people (and it is not their fault) have a wrong perception of Colombia but then when I let them know what my country is really like they appreciate it and realise it is actually a wonderful place.
I also love the fact I can manage my time as I want and I can decide whether I want to work or not. It is like having absolute freedom and I really like that!
One more thing: working for Lingoda also means I can work from home or from any other place and this allows me to work while I travel. This is something 90% of people around the world cannot do, therefore, I feel super lucky!
Why do you think people should learn languages?
Once I read a quote that said:
“You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language you live only once.”
And I totally agree. Our reality and the way we picture the world are related to the languages we speak. This means that speaking just one language is like condemning ourselves to know a tiny little piece of this huge thing we call life. There are a lot of people around the world who we could help by sharing with them our knowledge and our experiences.
Besides all this, knowing more than one language can definitely improve people’s quality of life in terms of relationships, self – improvement and financial situation.
What do you like most about the Spanish language?
Spanish just sounds beautiful, seriously. I am not saying this because it is my language but because I have been told this before by my students and by people around me so many times.
Since I started teaching I have realised there is definitely something special about this language. Of course there are other languages such as Italian and French that sound very beautiful as well but none of them has that sexiness that Spanish possesses. Especially Latin American Spanish 😉
Spanish is spoken in more than 19 countries! That is just AWESOME. I have always considered myself a very lucky person because of this, I mean, some people just speak one language and this language is only spoken in their country. Even if Latinos and Spaniards do not learn a second language they will still be able to communicate with millions of people!
Finally, I want to say that I love this language because for me it is the language of joy. I mean, take a look at the countries where Spanish is spoken and you will realise that people in those countries are usually very happy, kind, full of energy, optimistic and always want to express their feelings. Difficulties have taught us we must appreciate life and we cannot take it for granted. That is just who we are, more than 400 million people full of joy and hope and that is exactly what I always try to transmit to every single person I know, especially my students!
Why do you think people should visit, or even live, in a Spanish speaking Country?
I think people should come to Latin America because there are so many different countries that are worth visiting. Also, they will only need Spanish to travel around most of the continent and they will get to practice it all the time. Here they will find a mix of cultures, races, accents, religions, traditions and trust me, they will not regret it!
If they like nature, here they will find the most bio-diverse countries in the whole world. They will see autochthonous species, stunning islands in the Caribbean, ruins of ancient civilisations, incredible landscapes… OMG, just come and visit us!
Whenever I talk to a foreigner who has been here, everything I hear is good stuff. Food, landscapes, music, parties, (the parties are fantastic here, seriously) they seem to like everything!
Plan your next vacations here, and in case you think it is dangerous, let me tell you something: the only risk is wanting to stay!
You’ve learnt Italian and English to native level. If you had any tips or advice for a language learner, what would they be?
I think the best tip I have for language learners is to persevere. Learning a language is a process and it takes time. If you do not persevere and have determination you will not make any progress. You have to force yourself to study and practise every day, even if you have no motivation at all. It’s like going to the gym, if you want to see results you have to be consistent.
Another good tip is to immerse yourself in the language. Some people think this can be done only if you live in a country where your target language is spoken. The truth is you can do this from the comfort of your home. For example, you can download some cool apps that give you the possibility to contact people from all around the world and talk to them. You can Skype them, exchange voice messages and even flirt! Isn’t it cool? You can also listen to podcasts in the language you are studying, watch videos, play videogames or pretty much whatever you want to do. Even small details like changing the language of your phone can make a huge difference.
Just make sure you force yourself to learn the language. Create an ideal learning environment and Jump out of your comfort zone! These kind of things were impossible a couple of years ago, now technology is on our side and we have to take advantage of it.
Andrés, what words of wisdom do you have for anyone who may be thinking about taking the leap into language learning or travelling?
DO IT! Life is too cool to speak just one language and too beautiful to stay at home! Learn and travel as much as you can! Do not wait until you are old to start enjoying life. Languages will give you the opportunity to understand life in many different ways and they will also make you appreciate it more. Your life will never be the same again.