David’s IFLaC Journey – Part 1

Mar 30, 2024 | French, Italian, MULTILINGUALISM, Spanish

Unlocking Ideas: Sanjana Sudheer’s Interview with David. 

What motivated you to join the teaching team at IFLAC? What inspired you to become a foreign language teacher, particularly in a country like India?

You see, back in 2018, I had already had my first professional experience in Asia, specifically in southern China, in Guangzhou. That experience was very positive. In fact, it encouraged me to look for professional opportunities in other countries in the region, such as India. Additionally, I had already finished the training that I considered essential at the time to pursue a career in teaching Spanish as a foreign language: my degree in Hispanic Studies and an official Master’s in ELE (Spanish as a Foreign Language). So, three conditions were met: I had no professional commitments, I was prepared, and, most importantly, I was ready for this adventure. Because India is an adventure in itself… There were also a few coincidences, such as IFLAC actively seeking teachers at that time. Besides, to add a bit of excitement to this story, for a few days, my decision was hanging by a thread. Let me explain. In the same week, entirely by  chance, I received two job offers: one from a university in the Middle East and another from IFLAC. I had to make a decision that I have never regretted. On the contrary.

How did you initially become involved with IFLAC as a foreign language teacher?

I always felt helped. The team at IFLAC made the beginning, which is usually the toughest period, much easier. Plus, it was a gradual process. I didn’t have to land at the airport and immediately start teaching with my boarding pass still in hand. There was a period of adaptation of a few weeks. At first there were many changes: the jet lag, the food, just getting to know the city, managing on your own, the distances… Keep in mind that in two hours from Extremadura, my region in Spain, you can drive to another country (Portugal). In two hours, in Bangalore, you might not even leave the city on a busy traffic day. 


Can you share a heartwarming or memorable experience you had while teaching at IFLAC?

It would be unfair to pick up one memory over others. As you can imagine, I had all sorts of experiences during those two years I was teaching in IFLAC. On top of that, memory is selective over time. Just imagine recalling a shared experience with friends: everyone remembers something different. What I remember are the small details of everyday life in IFLAC, the birthdays we celebrated, the events we participated in, the meals and shared conversations, that unforgettable reception celebration we attended where they served the banquet on banana leaves… 

I also remember with a smile (maybe because besides working, we laughed a lot) the remarkable team I met at IFLAC, from Umita, in management, to the rest of the coordinators, teachers, and staff: Prathima, Prabha, Praveen, Simran, Shilpa, Vishal, Sagar, Debbie, Huei, Francesco, Ana, Jhalak, Ramesh, Sahana, Vidya, Smriti… They were a marvelous team to work with! 


Keep in mind too that at IFLAC, there were teachers of Kannada, Hindi, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Chinese, Japanese… I was never bored during any breaks between classes. 


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