My name is Heather. I’m new around here and I’d like to tell you a story. This story is the kind you can’t really plan, but are happy to be a part of. I have come to be the interim Director of the Foreign Languages Department here at TLC. We are a small department, Maya Campbell (the tall one) and I (curly hair).
I was sitting in my office one day attending to business as usual, when I hear a gasp, “It’s him!”
“Who?” I ask
“Nate from Españolistos!”
Maya enthusiastically jumped up from her seat to peer around the corner. At this point, I feel like I should know what’s going on but don’t. I want to share in Maya’s excitement, but cannot figure out why we’re peering around corners at the front desk. Maya took the time to explain that she recognized Nate’s voice from the podcast her class voted on.
That could probably use some explanation at this point, too. Nate and his wife, Andrea, have a business called “Spanishland School”. As a part of what they do, they produce a podcast. They have developed a brand based on thinking like a native, with Andrea as the primary and native instructor and Nate, her husband who learned conversational Spanish through the help of various Spanish teachers, language exchanges, and Spanish Podcasts.
Maya, an instructor here at TLC, was looking for a Podcast to incorporate into her curriculum. Instead of just informing her class which podcast they’d be using, she turned it into a SPANISH debate. Students picked which podcast they wanted to represent. They each made a case for their pick and defended their stance. She did this with 3 classes and “Españolistos” was the overwhelming winner!
So back to the story, we continued to peer around the corner at the front desk, not wanting to interrupt their business with TLC, but also not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to introduce ourselves and explain how helpful their podcast has been. I’m not sure what kind of impression we made, but Nate and Andrea graciously agreed to a sit-down with us.
Over some most delicious fast-food chicken, we deliberated how we could work together. Some might see us in competition until you consider that language is best acquired from multiple sources. Well-formed partnerships can foster more opportunities for students to learn, which is the ultimate goal!
We look forward to Nate and Andrea’s visits next week and hosting workshops for them, and Maya may even get to make a guest appearance on their podcast!!
Until next time and remember, an accent is a sign of bravery.