David’s IFLaC Journey – Part 2

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

Unlocking Ideas: Sanjana Sudheer’s Interview with David. 

How did teaching foreign languages at IFLAC impact your personal growth and cultural understanding?

My time at IFLAC was rewarding in both my personal and professional growth. As you know, our main activity was language teaching, and the main focus was on the students. You only need to step into IFLAC’s facilities to realize, through the dozens of portfolios displayed on the walls, the importance of the students. What’s more, the students at IFLAC come from diverse backgrounds. One of the most interesting aspects for me was the multilingualism. In the classroom, there were speakers of Kannada, Konkani, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Sindhi, Punjabi, Oriya, Gujarati, Manipuri, etc. As you know better than I do, India has an extraordinary linguistic richness. For someone passionate about language learning/teaching like me, this was highly motivating. Besides, every student brings differences in age, education level, employment status, socioeconomic background, personality features, etc. To simplify, what the groups shared was the diversity. Guiding these groups in learning Spanish was an extraordinary experience. Each group brought me closer to the reality of the students: their daily lives, aspirations, memories, perspectives on India… all challenging common stereotypes about the country. 

What aspects of teaching foreign languages brought you the most joy and fulfillment? Did you develop any special bonds with your students during your time as a teacher?

What I value most about my profession is its social aspect. So far, I’ve preferred teaching because I enjoy interacting with students, experimenting with teaching methods in the classroom, and seeing what works best. Unlike other roles in the field of Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language that are less directly involved in teaching, such as researchers or teacher trainers, who sometimes have an idealized view of classroom dynamics. I want to emphasize now how important Spanish language institutions —like IFLAC— are in our field. They are perhaps as relevant as they are unrecognized. They are where teaching can be tailored the most, making it more attractive and meaningful for students. This, I also owe to IFLAC: teaching in a more engaging and personalized way, ensuring that what I taught was meaningful to my students. In any case, I vividly remember many of the students I had the wonderful opportunity to teach: Ranjani, Nayana, Lakshmi, Archan, Tanya, Shakshi, Neelima, Udhvav, Sruthi, Aditi, Rohan, Lalith, Deepthi, María, Tanvika, Akshay, Leah, Ritu, Kajaal, Meena, Christina, Veena, Élodie, Nakul, Mohit, Madhuri, Blesson, Ajit, Arpita, Raghu… The list could go on. I am grateful to them and I truly appreciate being part of their educational journey. 


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