Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

Learning Spanish Online Helps Me To Be A Better Tutor

Learning Spanish Online Helps Me To Be A Better Tutor

As a child who disliked school and the education system, it came as a surprise when at the age of 19 years I decided I wanted to re-enter education and attend university. 

Following this decision I entered into 8 years of further, higher, and post-graduate research and education with the final year being a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (my teacher training) 

After all of this, I was sure my learning journey was over!

That was until I had the bright idea to relocate to Spain, not a bustling city or coastal resort but deep inland rural Spain. 

This meant I had to embark on a whole new learning journey – learning a new language online! 

I can easily recall exam paper questions from 7 years ago, I can recite chapters in organic chemistry and have deep conversations in theoretical physics 

But trying to learn a language has been, and continues to be the biggest challenge in my lifelong learning journey so far. 

The parallels I discovered between my language learning experience and my students’ struggles in science were eye-opening.

But there are benefits for my students, I am still learning, just like them, I am still procrastinating and not always doing my homework, just like (some) of them, and, at times, I am struggling, just like them. 

But, finding the right tutor to support you is the first hurdle, and luckily I have  found a brilliant Spanish tutor online who guides and supports and regularly reminds me of the importance of homework and self-study, indeed on her website HEIDYSPANISH She quite rightly says:

“I believe that the best lesson a teacher can give to their students is to teach them how to learn on their own” 

This is a very insightful statement and one that should apply to all tutors and teachers. 

Learning a language online has given me invaluable perspective and insight into the learning process for my students and I believe it makes me a better teacher and tutor because of it. 

So, here are my top tips from what I have learned so far! 

Embracing the Unknown:

Just like my students encountering unfamiliar scientific terms and principles, I found myself surrounded by a sea of new vocabulary and grammar rules in my language learning journey.

 Initially, it was overwhelming, but I soon realized that embracing the unknown is the first step towards mastery. 

This realization has allowed me to empathize with my students as they navigate through complex scientific concepts, reassuring them that it’s okay to feel lost at times.

Persistence Pays Off:

Learning a new language requires consistent effort and practice. There are many moments of frustration and self-doubt when progress seems slow, mirroring my students’ struggles when grappling with difficult scientific theories. 

However, just as I encouraged myself to persevere in my language learning journey, I now encourage my students to adopt a growth mindset in approaching science

They may not grasp a concept immediately, but with persistence, they can overcome any challenge.

Making Mistakes is Part of the Process:

One of the most valuable lessons I learned from learning a new language is that making mistakes is an integral part of the learning process. 

Every mispronounced word or grammatical error became a learning opportunity rather than a setback. 

This mindset shift has allowed me to create a safe and supportive environment in my science classroom where students feel comfortable taking risks and making mistakes as they explore new concepts.

Celebrating Small Victories:

Language learning taught me the importance of celebrating small victories along the way.

Whether it was successfully holding a conversation in my new language or mastering a particularly tricky grammar rule, acknowledging these achievements kept me motivated and eager to progress further. 

Similarly, I now make it a point to acknowledge and celebrate my students’ incremental progress in understanding scientific concepts, fostering a sense of accomplishment and pride in their learning journey.


My experiences of learning a new language have provided me with invaluable insights into the challenges my students face when learning science.

By empathizing with their struggles, encouraging persistence, embracing mistakes, and celebrating small victories, I strive to create a supportive learning environment where every student feels empowered to thrive.

As educators, it’s essential to constantly seek out new perspectives and experiences that can inform and enrich our teaching practices, ultimately enhancing the learning experience for our students.

If you’re interested in learning Spanish or exploring language-learning resources, I highly recommend checking out Heidy’s Spanish, where you can find Spanish language lessons online and valuable tools and guidance on your language-learning journey.

James – TheScienceGuy

Getting You Seen Online

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