Spanish taught for real life.
I founded Arriba Spanish in 2002, in Baltimore, - although now we are located in Towson -, with the purpose of tackling a very common need: to learn Spanish in a way that prepared learners for real-life interactions with Spanish native speakers. This meant more focus on speaking and interacting in Spanish during class time, with more meaningful and useful content than what is usually offered in language schools.
I understood this, and designed Spanish lessons with a focus on communication based on real life scenarios in which you are immersed. Class time is spent on oral practice of the structures you learn, always cohesively done in activities similar to those you encounter when interacting with native Spanish speakers.
During our Spanish classes you will learn Spanish in a meaningful way, using a range of different speaking activities to immediately apply what you learn in class. These activities become progressively more complex as you acquire more language skills Time is used efficiently, practicing useful interactions, structures and vocabulary in meaningful activities that closely resemble those you will encounter when interacting with native Spanish speakers.
As your Spanish teacher, I will guide you through the complexity of learning a language in a way that is approachable to you, so that together we put together a strong foundation in Spanish and build up your language skills.
General Structure of Our Spanish Courses' Content
Our class dynamic is to first cover a particular structure, and then practice interaction in activities which prompt you to practice orally what you have just learned. These activities are designed to closely mimic real life.
Grammar and structures are taught always as a tool for communication, and are practiced right away in speaking activities.
Homework is given weekly, and doubts are solved in class.
Raquel's Professional Trajectory
I started teaching Spanish to my classmates as I completed my graduate degree in Computer Science at Loyola University, here in Maryland. I then discovered that my true passion was teaching my native language, as opposed to working with machine languages!
So, at the same time as teaching Spanish professionally, I obtained my second graduate degree, in Applied Linguistics to Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language, from the University of Jaen, in Spain.
I continued teaching Spanish to those wanting to learn it for a multitude of reasons, from family reasons, to travelling, to mere attraction to the language. I'm passionate about teaching, and always encouraged by my students' success stories.
Apart from teaching Spanish at Arriba, I have also taught Spanish at Bridgewater College in Virginia to some wonderful first-year students, and to employees at various construction companies, and organizations, such as the Baltimore Labor Union.
In addition, -and long ago!-, I majored in Business Administration from Comillas Catholic University in Madrid (Spain).
Reach out with your specific goals, and I will design a Spanish program that works best for you, or guide you to one of my group Spanish courses.
I look forward to having you as a student and help you become more fluent in Spanish.