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Using Doceri to Teach English for Spanish Speaking Adults

Patricia Dawn Severenuk began teaching English to native Spanish speakers via Skype in 2010 after teaching hundreds of students privately in Spain, The Czech Republic and her native Canada for twelve years.

She now uses Skype, YouTube and Doceri to help native Spanish speakers who understand English, but need additional help with speaking and writing in an English speaking academic, social or business environment. Her Skype-based lessons are attractive, for example, to business people, the military, media personnel and students who are applying to American universities.

At the end of December, 2012, Severenuk began using Doceri to create short YouTube videos to break through the cultural differences that create misunderstandings about words that sound the same, like custom vs. costume and words that seem to have similar meanings, like lose vs. miss.

 

“Working with all my students,” Severenuk says,” I see common English usage and grammar mistakes that stem from the way they originally learned the Spanish language. Rather than repeating the same corrections, I’ve begun creating a series of YouTube videos using Doceri to explain the common issues so students – and anyone on the Internet – can go back and review them whenever they’d like.”

Before she began using Doceri, Severenuk used a Flash-based online whiteboard. “It wasn’t dynamic and here was no option for adding a voice-over,” she says, “so I couldn’t’ show the development of the idea.”

The ability to graphically represent the difference between words is crucial to the effectiveness of Severenuk’s Stop Spanglish videos.

In her private classes via Skype, Severenuk works individually with her students, creating a custom curriculum based on their specific needs. As an example, she says there is a growing segment of college students who need preparation for American college entrance exams. Students may learn English, but they don’t necessarily study English composition all the way through school.

Severenuk says she’s always enjoyed languages. Her undergraduate degree is in theatre, which gives her the perfect background to make her videos – and her teaching – both informative and entertaining.

You can find Stop Spanglish on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, as well as at www.StopSpanglish.com for private classes and Stop-Spanglish.blogspot.ca for quick lessons and updates on the Stop Spanglish videos.

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