Spanish teacher or native speaker?

Finding the Right Spanish Teacher

Finding the right Spanish teacher can be overwhelming.  There are so many options out there to learn Spanish and so many people offering their services.  However, not all of them are the same and can make a big difference in your Spanish learning experience.

Is your Spanish teacher really a teacher?

One of the big questions you have to ask yourself is if this person is a real Spanish teacher or just a native speaker teaching the language.  The difference between taking a class from a real teacher that has studied and perfected their craft of teaching Spanish and someone who is just a native Spanish speaker is vast.

My Experience

When I was living in Colombia I taught English classes to get by.  Before I lived in Colombia I had never taught a class in my life.  I had no teaching experience and really had no idea how to explain any topic about the English language.

I never thought I would be able to get a job teaching students English.

But I did

I worked for several different companies in Colombia teaching English.  The only qualifying thing these companies cared about was that I was a native English speaker.

So I came up with classes the best I could.  I would hope for advanced students that way I could just talk with them most of the time and never really have to teach anything.  When I did have to teach and not just have a conversation I would have to do a lot of research.

Then I would have to hope the student did not ask a lot of questions.  If they did ask a lot of questions or did not understand something I would have to save it for another class.  Then I would go home and do lots of research and then answer their questions in the next class.

I stumbled my way through and got a lot of help from Maria.

I was not a Bad teacher but…

Now I do not think I was a bad English teacher but I centrally was not a good one.  This was confirmed when I sat in on one of Maria’s classes.  She is actually a teacher that studied and loves her profession.  The way she did her class blew me away.  She had all this teaching knowledge that made the class fun and entertaining for the student.  She was not having a conversation but making the student work and improve.  I felt like these students were really getting more than their money’s worth.

The difference

The difference between a real teacher and someone that is just a native speaker can be huge.  If you are serious about learning a language you will probably get the most benefit out of a real teacher.  Not just someone that decided one day that they would teach the language like I did when I was teaching English.  I can speak from experience that they are going to make major mistakes and could teach you some bad habits that a real teacher might not do.

Now, will this be the case for all? Probably not.

There might be some great people out there teaching languages that are not real teachers.  There might also be real teachers out there that are not very good as well.  The point is that if your teacher is just having conversations with you and that is your Spanish class.  It might be time to rethink how you are learning and start looking for another teacher to learn from.

Practice your Spanish listening with us!

Have fun and improve your Spanish listening skills with our interactive activities!  Click here to begin boosting your Spanish listening skills with our engaging and entertaining posts.

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Learn all the Spanish you need for real life in a practical, fun, and easy-to-understand way with Maria and Cody.  

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Unlock your Spanish voice!

Learn all the Spanish you need for real life.

Unlock your Spanish voice!

Learn all the Spanish you need for real life.