August 14, 2014
1. How would you describe your teaching style?
That’s a tough one to answer. You should ask my students! I guess I would say my teaching style is demonstrative and facilitative. Learning takes observation and imitation, which is especially important in foreign language learning, since cultural norms are always embedded in the way people speak. At the same time, students learn best by taking initiative and actively applying knowledge to new situations and tasks. In my teaching, I therefore try to act as a demonstrator of useful methods and skills while being a facilitator of student-centered, active learning.
2. What do you like about teaching German?
What I like about teaching German is immersing myself and others in the language and culture of the country that I love and call home. Aside from that, I have always loved grammar, so German gives me lots of options to choose from!
3. What is the hardest part about teaching the language? What do your students struggle with?
The hardest part is probably trying to convey the “soul” of the language - explaining subtleties in meaning, idiomatic phrases, and everyday language use, etc. Students may know all the rules of grammar, but still have a hard time speaking fluently and naturally. The four cases and three genders always tend to be a bit confusing as well. Other than that, there are words like ‘Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän’… need I say more?
4. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part is working with people. There is nothing greater than engaging with students, getting to know them, and helping them along their personal journey. Every student has their own specific reasons for wanting to learn German, so it’s great to hear those stories and watch students improve their knowledge and skills and put them to good use.
5. What do you like about teaching at Deutsches Haus specifically?
I am still very new to Deutsches Haus, but what I have enjoyed so far is the very diverse group of students of all ages and backgrounds. It makes teaching all the more fun and interesting! The staff and colleagues have also been so kind and helpful, so it’s been an all around pleasurable experience. It’s great to be a part of a close-knit German community right here in the hustle and bustle of New York City. I feel very much at home!
6. Are there any languages you would like to learn?
I was born in Caracas, Venezuela, so Spanish was the first language I learned. My family moved to Germany when I was 3, however, so I forgot it all. I would therefore love to learn Spanish and visit Venezuela again. I haven’t been back since!