Global LT Teacher Spotlight: Say “Hello” to Maria!

Smiling female with glasses who teaches language training

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New month, new teacher spotlight! This month, we’re focusing on Maria, an English teacher at Global LT. 

Maria currently lives in Kentucky with her two children. She’s been teaching English with Global LT for about nine years now. Originally from Ohio, Maria made her way to Indiana after college, where she met her ex-husband, and then his job brought them to Kentucky. 

Maria originally went to school for psychology and studied social work for several years. Once she had her daughter, she stayed home for a while and became a doula. After that, when her son was young, she started working for Global LT. 

Since her ex-husband was Brazilian, she learned Portuguese and became fluent enough that her children are bilingual, having taught them to read and write in Portuguese. And becoming bilingual is what brought Maria into the language world. 

She started by teaching her children a non-native language, helping some friends and her brother-in-law along the way. And once Maria started working for Global LT, she fell into loving it.  

“Getting to know people and helping them – I have that empathy because I know what learning a new language is like. It’s a lot of work and effort,” Maria commented. 

She’s visited Brazil about four times, usually about a month each time, and she had minimal command of the language the first time she went. 

“I know what it’s like feeling lost because you don’t know the language or what’s being said and that fear of being separated from the person you can communicate with, not to mention the cultural differences. It really helps me to be able to connect with my students,” mentioned Maria. 

Once Maria learned Portuguese as a fluent, near-native language, people would always ask if she ever lived in Brazil and for how long. 

“I was visiting a friend – I was her English teacher through Global LT initially, and now we’re friends - and her mom was here visiting. Her mom had heard all about me and was excited to meet the famous Maria, and at the end of our visit, she made a comment about me being Brazilian, and I had to tell her that no, I’m actually an American,” said Maria. 

One of the things Maria likes most about teaching adults is that you can become friends, and a lot of her local students have become friends. 

“One of my students just had a baby. I taught her older children, I worked with her, and now she has a new baby. We’ve met for tea, I went to her baby shower, all of that. Many of my students have become friends. I’ve met a few of my online students in person as well, which has been really fun.” 

The other thing that Maria really enjoys about teaching is being a source of cultural information for her students and helping them transition in their move. 

“I’ve been doing this long enough that the grammar, vocabulary, and culture get repetitive from the teaching side even with each student having their own story, but I never get tired of it. I never get tired of getting to know someone and their story. Just the other day, I was talking to a student about tornados and what you should know and what you should do before they happen. I really enjoy being a resource for local and cultural knowledge as well as the actual language.” 

Maria’s background in psychology and passion for helping others learn a new language and adapt to a new culture, as well as her own language-learning journey, helps her relate to her students and make genuine, honest connections. But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what some of her students had to say: 

“My classes with Maria are fantastic! I'm loving it and feeling very comfortable. Learning English here and already having daily contact with the language makes me put into practice what I learned and what Maria and I are studying. She is a teacher with didactics, patience, and knowledge and is very attentive.” 

“I'm really satisfied! Maria is the best teacher I could have. She adapted the training according to my needs. I could learn a lot about the American lifestyle and American History by practicing reading, writing, listening, and conversation. She chose good books for me so now I can continue studying on my own. She also gave me all the tools I need to improve my English: good sites to research, good movies and books.” 

Ready to start your own language-learning journey? Let us know! Our teachers are ready to help you feel confident in your new language. 

This blog post was written by Megan Tully, Marketing Manager.


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