Who teaches you to learn languages?
My name is Alvaro Heras and I’m 32. I’ve been living in Poland for over 5 years and when I tried to study Polish (a language with 7 different cases, masculine, feminine and neutral genres and many other “pleasant” surprises), through the traditional grammar approach based on consciously learning grammar rules, memorizing vocabulary lists and so on, I realized we were doing something wrong. To witness how many people in my country study English for a very long period (throughout our academic life) and are just unable to use the language in real life, made me think as well.
I finished my Economics and Human Resources studies in 2012 and since then I had some typical 9-5 office jobs related to my studies, but I ended up realizing that languages are my true passion and that I wanted more personal, geographic, financial and intellectual freedom than a traditional job could provide.
That’s why I’ve spent a couple of years reading a lot about how languages are actually acquired, attending workshops and conferences on the topic in which I met and was trained by some of the most experienced teachers from all over the world when it comes to this teaching approach, like Ben Slavic, Laurie Clarcq, Robert Harrell, and many others.
Thanks to that ...
I now spend every single day of my life doing what I love and I have the freedom and control over my life that I always longed for.
I speak 7 languages as of now: Spanish, English, Portuguese, French, Polish, Catalan and Italian (with different levels), but my passion and knowing that we can ALL learn ANY language while enjoying the process makes me want to continue to add more languages to the mix.
Being able to communicate with people from different countries in their own native languages gives me a feeling of satisfaction that can’t really be compared to anything else. As Nelson Mandela put it:
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart”.