Teacher Insights: John Altamirano, Spanish Instructor

Learn more about the people who teach at The Language Academy of the Carolinas and their tips for improving your language skills.

John Altamirano

NAME:   

John Altamirano

POSITION:

Spanish instructor at the LAOC since January 2014

ORIGINALLY FROM:

Colombia, South America

LANGUAGES SPOKEN:

Spanish, English, French (basic level)

FAVORITE FOOD FROM HIS HOME COUNTRY:

Sancocho, Arepas, Tamales
(Yummy!)

MORE ABOUT JOHN:

I believe in vocation of service, I always have. I am a teacher because I love what I do, I love teaching languages. I have worked as an educator for 5 years in my home country, Colombia and about three years in America. I have learned a lot of things throughout this experience. I am sure that achieving meaningful learning begins with the effective application of relevant activities…  I always do my best to include in my lesson plans certain topics that learners find familiar regarding their own daily routines such as: music, technology, sports, news, etc. When learners find the relationship between class contents and real life, they can use what they know about the target language to communicate effectively; that is what we may call factual evaluation, learning related to experiences.

SOME FAVORITE SPANISH LANGUAGE FILMS:

Paraiso Travel; La estrategia del caracol; El amor en los tiempos del colera

SOME FAVORITE BANDS THAT PERFORM IN SPANISH:

Grupo NicheShakiraJuanesJuan Fernando VelascoMiguel BoseJuan Luis Guerra

SOME FAVORITE COLOMBIAN AUTHORS & BOOKS:

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Cien años de soledad
Jorge Franco Ramos – Sin senos no hay paraiso

SOME ADVICE TO STUDENTS:

– Do not give up! It is not a big secret that learning Spanish requires effort and consistency. Include in your personal schedule a window of time to practice on a daily basis (ideally). Use your own learning style to facilitate this process, if you enjoy drawing, try to sketch new verbs, if you are an auditory learner sing in Spanish.

– This may sound silly but don’t let embarrassment stop you from learning. Everybody makes mistakes the first time they try something new. See errors as opportunities to improve and learn how to laugh at yourself, that makes the learning process more enjoyable for you and your classmates.

– Label places and objects in your house, this activity is really useful when it comes to learning new terms. You can also design small vocabulary cards (Spanish – English) to carry and take advantage of that waiting time at the dentist’s office or during your coffee break and make it a short study time for you to practice.

Looking for more tips? Check out John’s blog for more great suggestions on practicing Spanish: http://johnaltamirano.blogspot.com/2014/04/tips-to-practice-spanish.html
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