Romina Mancilla
Director of SF Spanish

I was born in Quilmes, a province of Buenos Aires, and have been living in San Francisco for over a decade. My work and personal travel have taken me to many Spanish-speaking countries over the years, but Mexico has always been a major draw for me. Each time I visit, I like it more than before.

I love teaching my native language because it allows me to use my creativity, to share my knowledge of the language and culture, and to meet new people.  I enjoy sharing my travel experiences, daily life, and interests outside of teaching. I have been taking dance classes for years now, and dance is one topic that comes up frequently in class conversations since quite a few of my students also dance.
For me, the key to learning Spanish is to use it and speak it regularly.  When I arrived to the US, I began to study English and found that using it in a variety of formats was the most effective way for me to retain the language. I have also studied other languages over the years and I discovered that memorizing vocabulary and doing workbook exercises was not the best way to learn. Seeing this, I began to make an effort to use the language more by putting new words and concepts directly to use in conversation.
When I started SF Spanish, I intentionally created a learning environment based on conversation. The "Spanish only" policy encourages students to think and speak -- and excel -- in their new language.  For this reason, I also created the interactive SF Spanish website for students to use outside of the classroom. Here, they can interact with other students and continue to write, read, and listen to the Spanish language.

Carmen Gomez de la Cuesta
SF Spanish Teacher Coordinator

I am from Spain, and I have more than 15 years of experience as a professional in the Communication and Literature fields as well as in teaching Spanish.

I have the title of teacher of Spanish as a second language certified by the Instituto Cervantes and as teacher coordinator; I try to apply my experience to ensure that SF Spanish teachers provide consistent, effective guidance and supervision in accordance with the student's training plan.

I’m constantly searching for different approaches to teaching my mother tongue. My other passions are traveling, books, and good wine. My main goal is to continuously build my understanding of the wide network of Spanish cultures and expressions throughout the world. I’m thrilled to be able to share this amazing journey with the students of SF Spanish! 

Laura Isabel Marquez Orta
SF Spanish Teacher

I’m Laura, and I’m from Venezuela. I used to teach at the University there, and I am happiest when sharing my knowledge of Spanish language and culture.

I came from beautiful Venezuela to San Francisco at the beginning of 2016. I believe this city is the perfect place to be free and meet people from everywhere. 

In 2015, I spent a few month in Paris, where I had the opportunity to learn French. This is now added to my list of languages I know, including English and Spanish. I enjoy spending time with friends, reading, and watching movies. I also love fashion, traveling, and the beach. I have been to Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Austria, Spain, France, England, and Germany. I think that traveling is the best way to learn about people, languages, and cultures.

When I teach Spanish I'm pretty relaxed, enthusiastic, and patient. One of the reasons that I enjoy teaching Spanish is because it gives me a way to share my culture, spreading awareness of the Venezualan way of life.

 Andrea Chavez

SF Spanish Teacher

I was born and raised in Mexico City, one of the biggest cities in the world! I moved to San Francisco three years ago and during my time here, I’ve experienced how empowering a second language can be and how helpful it can be for achieving personal and professional goals. This is part of why I’m so passionate about languages. Languages are the best way to expand our horizons, learn from other cultures, connect with them and also help others who do not have the privilege of traveling or learning languages other than their mother tongue.

For me, empathy, connection and knowing how to adapt to each student’s needs and strengths are crucial for optimizing learning and having fun during our time together. Breaking free from conventional ways of teaching and learning is what makes teaching at SF Spanish so enjoyable! Since I’ve been in San Francisco I’ve taught Spanish to psychotherapists and entrepreneurs, among others, for them to be able to speak with confidence when working with Spanish speaking clients, open their practice to a larger audience, or simply have the knowledge to be able to give basic information and referrals for people seeking help.

Some of my hobbies include dancing, fitness, nutrition, nature and traveling!

 Elena Diaz Aguilera

 SF Spanish Teacher

My name is Elena. I am a native Spanish speaker from Madrid. I recently moved to San Francisco and I am looking forward to facing new challenges in the US.I am currently working on a PhD in Humanities at the Complutense University of Spain.

Having spent most of my life as a student and having some experience as a teacher, education is my natural ecosystem. Teaching is for me an exploration field, a source of satisfaction when succeeding to drive students capabilities and values into the achievement of skills and knowledge and, as a whole, a continuous challenge.

With regard to education in languages, as a foreigner I am fully aware of what a defy learning a new tongue poses. It is amazing how children can be open to learn everything in a fast and natural manner, how they can achieve full oral proficiency and how their brains behave as sponges for vocabulary. The most efficient immersion method for them is making the job look like a game. On the contrary, it is fascinating how adults face the need, the convenience or the wish to learn a language with will and work. What demonstrates to be more adequate to train them is helping them to map the new vocabulary, code and structures to their existing background knowledge used as a reference.

As for my personality, I consider myself an extroverted, love meeting new people, reading, learning and traveling. That’s what I offer.

Ruddy Arcia 

SF Spanish Teacher

Hi, my name is Ruddy Arcia, I’m 24 years old and I’m a Nicaraguan psychology magma cum laude graduate from Universidad Centro Americana (UCA).

I currently live in Guatemala with my loving dog, Husky. I have 3 years of experience teaching kindergarten kids English as a second language using a multi-sensory methodology that takes into consideration different learning styles. I also have extensive knowledge of Applied Analysis Behavior (ABA Therapy) for youngsters. It allows for a powerful way to build rapport with kids, as they learn through song, dialogue, poems, and games. My primary goal for students is to engage them deeply in the learning process while having fun.


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