My name is Mariana Díaz and I am a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina. I gained a degree in Language and Literature, with a major in Classical Languages (yes, I know Latin and Classical Greek). Shortly after my graduation, I started teaching Spanish in secondary schools, and as a private tutor. Soon, I realized that the approaches traditionally used for teaching foreign languages, based on grammar and translation, weren't satisfactory, and realized the importance of getting my students more involved, specifically, getting them to produce as much actual speech as the allotted class time permitted. So I started to intensively study more pedagogical methods and teaching techniques focused on foreign language acquisition. I became a member of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and attended many of their excellent courses and seminars, I took Art and Acting workshops, I read every language teaching book I could lay my hands on and obtained even more material online. From every new piece of material I studied, I was able to extract what I found valuable, and apply it to my daily teaching experience. Not every new approach worked: I was very fortunate that my employers, both institutional and private, were patient enough to let me experiment with new things in my classes. That way, by actual trial-and-error through my professional experience, I was able to shape a set of methods and techniques that produce the best results when teaching a foreign language. I have to also give credit to American schools and institutes, for the degree of freedom they traditionally give to their teachers about how they teach a language, as long as measurable results are achieved.
Viva el español - Lafayette, CA
April 2018 to present
Kinder and Elementary Spanish teacher, using engaging activities, games, and song.
Central Middle School - Kokomo, IN
June 2016 to August 2017
Spanish Language Teacher for 6th to 8th grades.
Successfully engaging the student body into learning Spanish, up to that point perceived as a lesser
subject. Raised awareness and dramatically increased parental interest. Continuing education in after-hours
courses on classroom management, and the Middle Years Programme (MYP) of the International Baccalaureate.
Institute of Culture and Arts (ICA) - Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires
February 2010 to May 2014
Language and culture coach for the the Institute's students (mostly in English). As they train and
compete abroad, I taught them, using mostly the TPA methodology, how to understand the teacher's
instructions in other languages. Also how to manage in travel, touristic and performance situations.
Spanish Pre-K Teacher
Pre-K Spanish - Atlanta, GA
June 2004 to November 2009
In this Pre-K business of my own, I put in practice a learning method created by me, for parents
interested in bilingualism, to learn how to apply Spanish into day-to-day situations, and keep practicing
alongside their children outside the classroom.
Spanish Language Professor
Language Institute of Atlanta - Atlanta, GA
July 2004 to April 2009
Spanish Tutor for adults of all nationalities and walks of life: physicians and health professionals, voiceover
actors, businessmen, and CEOs.
Created and developed special programs adapted to each line of work's needs, and my student's
cultural background. Taught the most numerous and popular courses at the Institute, of any language
I like to use several approaches and methods according to my students' needs. For speaking, I like to use an approach called PPP: Presentation, Practice, Production. I present a new grammar point or a theme according to the students' needs and level After that, the students will practice the new with me. Then students will use this new ability to speak without me interfering. After, the session, I will point out what went very well and what we need to work a little bit more on. For grammar, I like to use the grammar method: fill the blank and translation. For listening, I like to use real-life conversation. For writing, I like to read first and then do some very short stories.
I have taught CEOs, teachers, lawyers, children, and people who like to travel. I prepare my classes according to the students' needs.
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