Today we’d like to introduce you to Debbie Magno.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Debbie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am from Argentina and I moved to LA one year and a half ago with my boyfriend, Martin, who was transferred from his job from Buenos Aires to California.
One day talking to a friend, who is also Argentinean and a teacher, I had the idea of creating my own Company to teach Spanish classes. This idea came into my mind since I’ve been hearing about the need to learn Spanish in LA and the importance to communicate in that language at work, school, with family and for travelling.
Consequently, I’ve started preparing exercises for different purposes and ages, looking for a great variety of Spanish materials in bookstores, internet and all my material from Argentina when I’ve used to teach there. I’ve started comparing information, preparing activities that are ELE, and adapted to make some of my own games.
I’ve asked my friend if she wanted to participate and she did. After some time, she decided to study a master related to education in another city, so I decided to continue with the business my own and let her know that she could come back when she wants.
In relation with our mission, I would like to show you something we wrote together in our first steps:
Teaching is our passion and our motivation to help people to learn our native language: Spanish.
Our methodology is dynamic, and most importantly, not based in boring repetition of isolated words. Our degrees are based in Educational Psychology that have allowed us to be flexible and have the experience to work with people with special needs.
Has it been a smooth road?
The main challenge was to find the potential students and the way to publish the service I provide, the fair value of the lessons, the difference with the competitors, and the improvement of the material that accordingly with my experience with other schools, I found them repetitive and only focused on kids.
Another obstacle was I started to visit the students to their places, and most of the time I was driving more than teaching, so I implemented special discounts to receive them at my place.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
My company is based on transmitting Spanish from an integrative perspective.
I usually explain to my students that learning a new language takes time and probably is a bit difficult. But they discover in that way that although sometimes is complicated always reaches the goal.
The method I implemented is different than the regular ones. I enjoy creating my own exercises and testing them with other teachers. I try to find for the easiest and funniest way to teach how they can understand the main rules and vocabulary of the language.
I have several didactic materials and I always look for a way to practice and “play” because I think it is the best way for a person to learn. I am not a hard person that will make you to repeat 20 times the same phrases. I like when they realize why and how words are used in a sentence.
Through games and activities that I print and provide them without any additional cost, I seek that reading, speaking and writing are put into play together. Because to be able to understand a language are necessary the three areas.
On the other hand, I like to listen to my students, to know them. I like to know why they need/want to learn and in general I do specific exercises for each one. For example, one of my students is a nurse, so I had to adapt the material to teach vocabulary related to it.
Another case was one of my Japanese students who needed to travel to Mexico to develop a business, so I taught her different ways to communicate according to each situation, business or travelling related vocabulary.
I think it’s very important to know why my students want to learn, in view of the fact that I consider that learning is feeling, and if something gives you emotion is easier to remember it.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I usually work in Marina del Rey. I think Los Angeles is an excellent city to learn and teach Spanish. Most of my students started looking for classes because in their environment they speak Spanish and in most cases “my students” did not know how to respond if they did not understand.
Then I think this is a special city to learn Spanish, because this language is the most popular in California when the native language is English. If you ask me if my business is good for this city, I would say without hesitation that IT IS ESPECIALLY FOR THIS CITY.
I LOVE to prepare classes here, because I like to see how my students come and create their own path in the language. It’s good to think in Spanish, but of course it takes time but try to use it in an efficient way is the big challenge.
This is a secret, but when I knew that we had to move to Los Angeles I was very happy because I knew that I would work with Spanish, and it was something that I felt from the moment I found out that it was my job to live in LA.
This city is full of words, posters, jokes, phrases, stories and music in Spanish. And you’re going to lose them? Come and learn together with this city that is as beautiful as the Spanish, full of joy.
- Individual classes last for one hour and starts at $40.
- Individual 2 times per week: $70 total
- Pack of 10 individual classes: $360
- Group class (2 persons) per hour: $60 in total
- Group class (3 persons) per hour: $80 in total.
- Address: 14000 Captains Row, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
- Website: https://www.spanishclassesla.com/
- Phone: 213-344-9622
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/spanish-classes-la-los-angeles-2