Work-Life Spanish

Arlington, VA

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About this pro

How does your service stand out?

We spend countless hours customizing our lesson plans to make sure they focus on all four language skills and maximize student speaking. The majority of our lessons focus on completing a specific task so there is always a stressed objective to each class. Classes at Work-Life Spanish are fun and interactive and use authentic materials and up-to-date technology to maximize your learning potential.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

I am a life-long admirer of the Spanish language and have taught English and Spanish language classes at every level to a wide variety of students in Denver, Boston, Washington, D.C and Santiago, Chile. At the moment, I am especially interested in the use of new technologies in the classroom, and also in the practice of teaching to both sides of the brain as a motivating factor in the learning process. I hold a Master's degree in Spanish Language and Culture from the Universidad de Salamanca, a Massachusetts teaching license, a CELTA certificate from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor's degree in International Affairs from the University of Colorado.
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Location

Arlington, VA 22201

Background check

Complete

Years in business

3

Number of employees

5

Times hired on Thumbtack

35

Reviews

12 Reviews
  • Marina A. Jul 15, 2017
    Spanish Lessons
    Verified Review
    Took the ser or estar class. Our instructor Javier was wonderful. Signed up for another class
  • Holly S. Feb 12, 2016
    Spanish Lessons
    Verified Review
    Tara is terrific and connected well with my daughter. Her performance in Spanish class has already been positively impacted. More importantly, my daughter is feeling so much more confidence in herself in being able to tackle a difficult subject versus giving up when the going got tough. I'm very pleased.
  • Arien C. Nov 25, 2015
    Spanish Lessons
    Verified Review
    The class was great! Very interesting and interactive. I enjoyed it very much and am looking forward to signing up for additional classes with Work-Life Spanish.
  • Valentia R. Nov 23, 2015
    Spanish Lessons
    Verified Review
    Tara is great! While this is only my first class I appreciate her approach to teaching Spanish and look forward to improving as I continue through the next class.
  • Kevin W. Nov 20, 2015
    Spanish Lessons
    Verified Review
    Tara is a fantastic teacher. Very knowledgable, patient, thorough and pleasant. Anyone taking her course will truly enjoy and learn during the course.
  • Carine M. Apr 13, 2015
    Spanish Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Lisa W. Mar 23, 2015
    Spanish Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Maximiliano B. Dec 2, 2014
    Tara is an amazing teacher, she is really well prepared and can understand what is the best way in which her student learn better. In my case I have to prepare TOEFL test because I want to apply to study abroad, I started with 64 points and after one year of classes (2 times per week) I increase by 30 points... She was capable to adapt and teach me in the way that I need... remarkable.... I really recommend you work with Tara if you want to improve your language skill.
  • Constanza C. Dec 1, 2014
    Tara is very thoughtful and dedicated to her students. She adapted all lessons to my necessities and to my level and we continue adapting the course along the way. She delivered me creative and funny classes, that helped me stay focus during a two hour lesson. With her help, I got accepted in a high ranked university.
  • Rodrigo G. Nov 23, 2014
    Tara es una excelente profesora con quien progresé mucho en mis habilidades para expresarme en Inglés. Gran motivadora, me entregó herramientas para continuar preparándome y mejorando. ¡Recomiendo totalmente trabajar con ella!.
  • Stephanie L. Nov 12, 2014
    I took an intermediate Spanish course with Tara and I liked her from the minute I met her! The class was total immersion with only Spanish spoken, which was very helpful. I can't even remember how many times I went off on tangents during the class, but Tara was very patient and would always creatively turn it into a teaching moment. The class always had a basic structure but Tara was very flexible with the content. I could tell she spent a lot of time on her presentations and materials (we learned words related to clothing/shopping by dressing up Obama paper dolls; we translated a Bon Jovi song written from the viewpoint of a guy lamenting the loss of his love and then we had to write a response back from the fictional woman's standpoint) and she is definitely the most creative teacher I've had so far. For our final project, we got to pick a topic of our choice and present it in any format we wanted (pictures, slideshow, article, comic book). I did a presentation on a recent trip I took and afterward, we corrected any grammatical mistakes and talked about how the sentences could have been worded differently. If I had taken this class with anyone else, it definitely wouldn't have been as enjoyable. Tara is very friendly, approachable, and engaging. As far as Spanish teachers go, she's as good as it gets.
  • Sandi S. Nov 12, 2014
    Tara is by far the best Spanish instructor I've had (and I've been shopping around the DC area for quite a bit of time). She found an effective mix of encouraging conversation while correcting grammar/vocabulary when necessary and keeping a sense of humor. I'm usually a shy class participant, but she thought up activities that made it more natural and approachable for me to speak. The activities were fun and informative without feeling juvenile (for example, to practice the future tense, we read each other's fortunes using random picture cards she made to encourage us to discuss topics that wouldn't come naturally, a la Mad Libs). In the eight weeks I spent in her class (once/week), I noticed a significant increase in my speaking abilities--both grammatically and confidence-wise. I highly recommend Tara (and after taking classes with two other teachers in DC, I'm actively searching for a way to take a class with her again).

Q&A

What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
Classes through Work-life Spanish can be taught online or in-person to individuals and groups alike. And with class prices as low as $10.00 an hour our prices can't be beat!
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Private sessions begin with a preliminary class to assess the student's level and needs assessment. The student and the teacher will then work together to create a customized lesson to meet the specific needs of the client. Classes can be purchased a la carte or in bulk and are scheduled through our online scheduler on our website.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I am very interested in teaching to both sides of the brain and actually wrote my masters thesis on this very topic. In doing this, I incorporate a variety of teaching methodologies into my lessons, primarily Communicative Language Teaching, Total Physical Response/the Gouin Method, the Grammar-Translation method and a variety of web 2.0 tools. By incorporating words and pictures, physical movements and patterns, music and poetry to my teaching, both sides of my students' brains are activated and individuals of all learning styles show tremendous progress in their language abilities. My classes are communicative but most lessons also incorporate all four language skills: speaking, reading, writing and listening.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I teach both English and Spanish at every level. I mostly teach TOEFL and IELTS test preparation courses for English learners For Spanish I teach General Spanish, Medical Spanish, Business Spanish, and Spanish for Finance and Accounting.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
This year I tutored a Foreign Service Officer in Advanced Spanish in preparation for his language exam at the Foreign Service Institute. The two of us met for full-immersion classes everyday Monday - Friday from 8 am to 4 pm for a period of five months. The lessons I designed for these classes focused on all four language skills and a variety of language systems: reading comprehension by reading a Spanish novel (Los enamoramientos) and the Wall Street Journal daily before class and discussing the events; listening comprehension with the use of Spanish podcasts and Youtube videos; the writing of resumes, e-mails, short essays and opinion pieces, speaking--lots and lots of speaking; advanced grammar reviews which we studied in context; performing tasks, such as grocery shopping, cooking, ordering a meal, renting an apartment, visiting the doctor, etc and pronunciation. Prior to starting this language intensive course my student scored a B2 (upper intermediate) on the test. After our classes he made an amazing jump to C1 (advanced status)! It was an exhausting gig due to the long hours of working one-on-one with a student and the fact that I taught group classes every night after our eight-hour long sessions. But the hard work paid off and my student is now happily serving our country in Lima, Peru.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Read reviews and do your research. It is not enough to just find a native speaker. A good teacher knows the grammar inside/out and can explain complex material very easily.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Teachers come in many varieties. I spend hours preparing my lessons to ensure that my students are getting the best education possible. I work in lots of language skills to ensure that they improve their listening skills, reading writing and speaking. My pricing reflects the time that I take to ensure a great learning experience. It takes a great teacher to create a great lesson.