My teen-aged boys are taking Spanish III as freshmen in high school, but it was clear that since this class would meet their language requirement for graduation, neither of them were going to continue studying Spanish. They just didn’t enjoy the language. I thought that if they could build up more confidence in their speaking ability, they would come to enjoy the language and would continue beyond this year. So, I thoroughly researched language institutes and even considered having them attend a language institute in either Mexico or Guatemala over the Christmas break. In the end, I selected Be Bilingual here in Houston. I was impressed with both the time that they had been in business and their long list of corporate clients.
Once enrolled, their instructor tailored the lessons to their specific needs. Originally, we thought that they would take their hour and a half lessons together, but the instructor quickly realized that wasn’t the best arrangement for them. She then started teaching them separately in 45-minute sessions. What a difference that made! By the end of their eight lessons over the Christmas, they were excited about speaking Spanish at home with me and were so much more comfortable expressing themselves in Spanish. As for whether they’ll continue, one of my sons will definitely enroll in Spanish IV (Yay!!) and the other one is at least considering it. A burst of intensive one-on-one instruction was just what they needed.
At the same time that my sons were taking lessons, I also enrolled in one-on-one instruction. I lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina for two years almost 20 years ago. I worked hard at learning Spanish at that time and had a pretty good grasp of the language when I came back to the States. Because of my current work, I had a particular need to improve my language skills. My Christmas present was Spanish lessons. I have been extremely pleased with the progress I’ve made.
My instructor has been terrific at identifying the areas where I needed the most work, pulling instructional materials from multiple sources. It is difficult to correct errors that I have repeated for almost 20 years, but I am so glad to have them identified. I took lessons almost daily over the Christmas holidays and have continued with lessons biweekly since then. Between my instructor’s excellent skills and my commitment to do at least something in Spanish every day, my confidence and skills have substantially increased over the last two months. Whether you’re a beginner or want to take your current Spanish skills to higher level, I highly recommend Be Bilingual.
Submitted February 2012,
Dr. Nanda Duhé Kirkpatrick