Luis Cardozo has been a teacher virtually all of his life. He remembers helping his younger sister and cousins do their homework and how happy they were to grasp what they could not understand in their own classroom. At the age of 17 Luis got his first tutoring job to help two high school girls that were struggling with English at school. They not only passed the subject but also became English-Spanish bilingual and they both use it professionally in their businesses today.
Luis received a degree in philosophy and literature; and then became a lawyer in his hometown of Bogotá, Colombia. He never stopped teaching after his regular work days. His last job before leaving Colombia was as the research and development director of a prestigious English Language School for executives of top corporations in Bogotá. When the political situation in Colombia became very difficult due to the violence caused by drug traffic and the guerrillas, Luis decided to move to New York City.
Interestingly, the first job that he was offered through friends of friends was at a very well-known language school in midtown Manhattan. His teaching approach became popular very quickly among his students and he was assigned to teach all the VIPs who came for Spanish or English language instruction at the school. His original plans to become a lawyer in New York changed quickly. After getting calls from people and companies looking for his lessons he decided to create SpanishNYC in 2001. His plans to become a lawyer in NY where being postponed and later simply forgotten.
SpanishNYC has worked with top leaders of New York companies. From The New York Times to Citicorp; the Mayor’s office to TV stations; actors and outstanding leaders. SpanishNYC has given the ability to enjoy the Spanish-language and culture to hundreds of students in over 16 years.
Luis has always believed that the most important element in teaching a language is the ability of the instructor to connect with the student; to “understand” the student. Everyone learns and feels differently. Everyone has a different history. A language instructor must “read” his students’ minds and emotions; then, become a learning partner, a facilitator in having full command of a second language, and all the sociological and cultural aspects involved.
“To teach is to touch a life forever.” Luis has always believed that by teaching new languages he contributes to a better understanding of the world, its history, its geography and their vision of their own world. Through a new language, he says, “we become more accepting of others, of their different ways of seeing the world, and our minds expand to become more human”.
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