Spanish With A Gringo

Spanish With A Gringo

5.0 (6)
1 employee

About this pro

Over the past 4 years, I have mentored and tutored more than 50 middle school, high school, and university students learning Spanish, not to mention an additional 16 adult students seeking to learn Spanish fluently as part of their job or as a new life skill.

My service stands out due to the reverse method I use; in other words, many professors will hurl hundreds of vocab words at you and then begin to teach grammar. I teach the opposite way, starting with PRONUNCIATION and THEN going to grammar and THEN going to vocab. All of my students who are long term learners have greatly benefitted from this technique.

I used to work in a Physical Therapy clinic and I remember one summer when a man came in on crutches with a full leg cast around his right leg. He was two weeks post-op from knee replacement surgery. We put him on the recumbent bike (the one with the back rest) and he could not get his knee to go around the entire circle...once. But with steady progress and consistent determination, by the end of the summer, he was able to bike 3 miles in 10 minutes. 

In other words, when my students go from pronouncing "hola" (oh-lah) like ho-lah to being able to have a conversation with me in Spanish, that is what motivates me. I had professors in high school that only felt successful if I succeeded. I bring that same feeling to my students, each and every time.

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Credentials

Oak Point, TX 75068
Email verified
Phone verified

6 Reviews

5.0

  • Mark Hollingsworth

    Zach is very nice and helpful. He is articulate and intelligent. I highly recommend him.

  • Jacquelyn Kerner

    Zach has been teaching me Spanish for several weeks now, and I can’t believe it hasn’t been longer because I already feel that I have learned so much! Zach is so kind, so smart, and so well-organized it’s unbelievable. I don’t know how he does it all and still has the great flexibility to accommodate my work and school schedule. I am very impressed by his time-management. I feel that he really has what it takes to be a great teacher— I am a real piece of work, but he is forever patient with me, encouraging, and enthusiastic. He closely analyzes my progress and tailors our lessons to challenge me at my current level. He pays especially close attention to my pronunciation, which I really appreciate because it is extremely important! I have never taken a Spanish class before, so I didn’t have any textbooks or any of my own resources, but Zach bestowed upon me a great wealth of not only documents he’s created, but websites, podcasts, and other resources to facilitate my language journey. It is very obvious that language is his passion, and I feel he is just as excited as I am when I make progress! I really feel like I lucked out big time when I found him to teach me.

  • Paige Devecka

    Zach is truly an amazing tutor, I came in with some background knowledge of spanish but in the couple months we've been working together he really made sure to help me with my pronunciations and expanding my vocabulary while helping me to be more confident in my speaking and understanding. He truly has been one of the best spanish teachers I've ever had and is very flexible with lesson times (since I work and am in school) and fun to work with. I couldn't recommend him more.

  • Camilla R.

    Zach and I have been working together for almost six months now and with every lesson I feel more confident in my Spanish. Even though you're not in a "class" per se, he still challenges you to write paragraphs or do presentations for homework. I also like that he brings culture into the conversation. He makes it clear that you can't learn a language without also learning its culture. I highly recommend Zach to anyone looking to learn Spanish, no matter what level they're at!


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FAQs


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

With new Spanish students, I want to answer 3 questions:

1) WHY do you want to learn? To impress your girlfriend's parents? To communicate with your employees? To move to Costa Rica? WHY matters!

2) What is your time commitment? Learning a new language is a LONG process that requires a lot of hours and a lot of effort. Before you embark on this journey, a fulfilling and wicked fun journey, make sure you are ready to commit.

3) What are your goals? I will help you set short-term and long-term goals, but understanding what you want to know helps me design lessons that are better tailored to your goals.


What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have been learning Spanish formally and informally since the 8th grade. I wish I had started earlier! I took Spanish I all the way through AP Spanish IV, receiving a 5 on the AP exam, in high school.

I have my Bachelor's degree from Arizona State University in Spanish and am currently pursuing my Master's degree in Translation and Interpretation with plans to graduate in 2022.


Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

For in person lessons, I charge $35/hour. For online lessons (Skype or Zoom), I charge $30/hour. But I am a college student so I understand that budgets can be tight. If you have questions about pricing, let's talk :)


How did you get started teaching?

I started teaching my junior year of high school when I realized I had a knack for helping others learn difficult concepts in Spanish. Now that I'm nearly 5 years in, I think I made the right decision!


What types of students have you worked with?

From middle school to university, grade-driven to fluency-driven, I have worked with all different types of students. I always ask my students at the beginning about their purpose in learning Spanish, because that way I can tailor my teaching style to help them achieve that goal.


Describe a recent event you are fond of.

This is completely unrelated to Spanish, but a few weeks ago, I ran a 15k (9.3 miles) in 58:57, a goal that I had been chasing (quite literally) for over a year. That's 6:20/mile for just under an hour. I'm proud of myself because I set a goal and worked by tail off to achieve it.


What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

1) Look for someone who is organized and punctual. You want someone who will always be on time no matter what time zone you're in and someone who will be prepared for the lesson.

2) Take advantage of free consultations! You want to get to know your tutor a little bit, so ask questions and see if you vibe with them. If not, maybe time to look elsewhere. Remember, this is YOUR money that you're spending.


What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

1) Definitely think about your schedule. A tutor like myself likes to know that my student knows how many times a week and for how long a student wants to engage in tutoring services.

2) What is your goal? Don't be ashamed if it's just passing a class! But I need to know, otherwise I don't know how to tailor my services directly to your needs. Be precise and be demanding...I repeat...it's YOUR money!