Andrea is a polyglot Singer, Artist and a wonderful Spanish Teacher with Strommen.
Our teachers are the best and they deserve to be highlighted. In our new section, Strommen Teacher Spotlights, we will ask our best teachers a few fun questions and let them take it away from there.
You are one of Strommen’s most popular Language teachers. Students tell us how awesome you are all the time. Why do you think that is?
Andrea: I am genuinely fascinated with the learning process of each individual. I am able to build a teaching program based on each person’s idiosyncrasies, passions and pursuits, which is gratifying and effective.
What is your favorite word in your language and why?
Andrea: Ojalá, which means “hopefully” comes from Arabic meaning “Oh Allah or In sha Allah” In this one word the rich Arabic heritage that the Spanish language enjoys is displayed. It just comes to show how connected we really all are! It can be used by itself or in sentence which will always trigger the subjunctive.
What languages do you speak? What languages do you teach?
Andrea: Spanish and English are my strongest languages; I am obviously fluent in both and am totally bicultural. I get by in France with my French although I continue to study everyday. (my absolute favorite language), I sing in Italian and was singing with a samba band; I can also read and understand spoken Portuguese. I teach Spanish and English.
Where are you from and where have you lived? What do you miss most about your home-town?
Andrea: I was born in Bogotá, Colombia. I have lived in New York City and Connecticut. I miss the warmth and charisma of the Colombian people combined with the tropical Caribbean breeze. As well as the music: salsa, cumbia and vallenato rhythms create an eclectic and colorful landscape.
What are your interests outside of teaching at Strommen?
Andrea: I am also a performing artist working on films, music (melding opera, trip-hop and latin alternative) and always polishing my figure skating technique and language skills.
What is the best restaurant from your home country in LA? What should we order?
Andrea: There are about 2 mediocre Colombian restaurants in LA, but a brand new one is La Escala, which is a meld of Korean and Colombian food! The chef was raised in Colombia and wanted to create a meld of culture and food, which he has executed quite well!
How do you stay connected to your home country in LA?
Andrea: Artistic endeavors that I am pursing in Colombia and of course the Strommen Immersion Trips that I lead to Colombia!
Any advice for beginners to your language?
Andrea: Build an everyday practice of immersion through activities you love such a through music, movies, podcasts, outings, free language meet-up groups, and surrounding yourself with people who speak the language. Find a native speaker you can converse with on a daily or weekly basis just to begin to eliminate any fears you may have of conversing. Everyday dedicate at the very least 5 minutes to acquiring the language. Persistence does payoff!
What is the coolest job you had with Strommen?
Andrea: I’ve had the opportunity to teach and travel on excursions with A-list movie stars!
Have you made a
difference in anyone’s life?
Andrea: I truly hope so! I joined a student once on a press tour and through her interviews in Spanish she was able to finally showcase to the world her fluidity in the Spanish language.
Where is your home-town? What do you miss most about it?
Andrea: Bogotá is my home city. Bogotá is expanding and growing in a big way on all realms. I miss the palpable excitement that is perceived all about especially with the explosive creativity that is happening now in movie-making and the unique musical hybrids!
Do you like working with Strommen? Why?
Andrea: I love that it’s a teacher co-op and the administration is great!
What is your favorite thing about teaching your language specifically?
Andrea: I love the array of people I get to teach that are all so different and interesting.