Fitchburg-based Spanish Learning Center wants students to love the language | Local News
His teachers focused less on whether students got perfect grades on their homework and more on getting them into real conversations. “You wanted to get in touch with the teachers. They brought so much positivity, ”said De Pierola. “I think that made me think, ‘OK, I want to learn this language because I love this teacher. “
Now, several degrees, jobs and trips around the world later, De Pierola is trying to provide the same experience for aspiring Spanish speakers in the Madison area. From an office on the ground floor of her Fitchburg home, she runs the Spanish Learning Center, which offers virtual and in-person Spanish lessons for children and adults.
Since the launch of the company in 2020, she has adapted her courses to the age and level of each student. Inspired by the classes she took in Peru, she keeps a supply of games and activities close at hand. She even looked for textbooks from the same company that made the materials from which she studied Spanish.
Most importantly, she tries to treat her students like her favorite teachers have treated her. “When they saw me as a person, I felt connected and wanted to learn more, more than just being in a class (where) a teacher just teaches a lesson… It’s not engaging at all.”
The emotions that students feel as they learn shape their attitude towards the material, said De Pierola. So she plans her sessions accordingly, whether she’s sitting with students at home or watching them through a computer screen. Sometimes she comes in a decorative headband with a rainbow-colored unicorn horn. “I’m just trying to connect with them and how they’re doing and how they’re feeling,” De Pierola said.