Meet Our Language Tutor Sara!
“Teaching/Tutoring gives me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and allows me to see that there’s more to life than what I know from my own culture and language.” – Sara Silva.
Her first encounter
Sara was born and raised in Portugal where she learned her country’s language Portuguese. However, from a very young age, she started speaking English at home. To be exact, she and her brother were obsessed with watching Cartoon Network.
The more they watched, the more they learned to communicate with each other, and it became their secret language.
“It was fun when my brother and I could use English to communicate at home and our parents wouldn’t fully understand what we were saying,” she states as she recalls her old memories.
At first, it was challenging for her to learn using this method at a young age. But she eventually continued her English learning through the schooling system. Because of this single event, her life changed forever. For her, this is where her passion for language started.
The steps towards her passion
At 15 years old Sara’s first real contact with language and culture solidified the momentum of her new path. She started by engaging herself in volunteer work with the foreign community in Portugal and it exposed her to many different cultures and languages.
She found herself using English the majority of the time as it was the middle ground between the languages spoken there. It especially exposed her to the American culture and she proudly stated that it became her second culture as time went by.
“I would say it is a big part of my identity, a big part of who I am. I usually say I am a hybrid because I am a mixture of two cultures.”
For her, knowing English along with Portuguese has allowed her to communicate without any hindrance. And being in this foreign community made her realize more than ever that she had to do something with languages.
At that time, her new aim was to find a chance to help others while being able to communicate with people all day long.
Her journey of appreciating languages
“Teaching and tutoring just came naturally. It sounded like a perfect fit and that’s how I decided what I would do for a living.”
Sara first started teaching in elementary schools. For her, it was a really nice experience to get to work with children. She shares how it was a lot of fun for her and how she herself has learned a lot as well from the experience.
Eventually, she transitioned to online teaching which was almost a decade ago. She shares,
“It has been really nice to work with people from all over the world. I am able to see them make progress, gain new tools that allow them to open doors basically, and expand their horizons.”
This experience she claims has been quite enriching. She feels that this setting allows an interchange of both encouragement and experiences. More so, Sara feels that she is not the only one who is teaching or helping. In fact, she always takes something from her students. She reveals that she loves it when her students share a greeting in their language.
She continues by sharing a memory of when she was teaching Asian students. For her, it was a culture she knew nothing about. However, from her lessons she learned for example, China had a desert, it had beautiful beaches, it even had snow and there was also countryside.
Because learning a language opens you up to culture, she herself is always trying to develop her language skills. So far, she has learned Spanish, French, a little bit of Romanian and a little bit of Arabic.
To Sara, learning a new language allows you to learn about yourself. She feels that her students also guide her to improve her skills, especially on how to be a better communicator. For her, learning Arabic was one of the most challenging things in her life. It made her question her language skills. It made her question everything.
“It’s very interesting how what you are most passionate about can also become what scares you the most.”
However, she reveals that her biggest motivation was her students and seeing them accomplish their goals especially when the odds may have been against them. It works like a charm every time, as she sees her students as a big inspiration in her life.
Because Sara embraces languages and culture, it is no wonder she also enjoys travelling. She doesn’t like to be in the same place for a very long time and so these past two years have been a struggle for her. She compares travelling to coffee.
“The more you travel, the more you want to travel and it’s like coffee where you try it and later on it becomes addicting.”
She considers Florence a city in Italy to be the most magical place on earth. With excitement, she tries to express how much she absolutely loves it. She has travelled there four times already. So, what is it pulling her towards Florence you may ask? Well, here is the answer.
Sara really loves the language, the way the people live their lives, the beauty of the place itself and the sunset you can watch from the Piazza while overseeing Florence. It is a place where she feels she would be happy at; her dream destination.
Sara shares how she was looking for an opportunity where she could continue to teach worldwide. She loves the element of being able to teach people that are not in the same space as herself. She finds that teaching online can be compared to travelling, but now it’s done from the comfort of your own home.
In addition, Sara has always been interested in psychology. While psychology and learning are usually considered to be two different fields, she acknowledges that psychology is a major part of everything in our lives.
From her understanding, she shares how learning a new language brings out all these aspects of insecurities, feelings, and emotions that we have within ourselves. So, it comes as no surprise that psychology and learning together must be a good fit.
She believes it is important for the mentor to understand you and your balance. To her, mentors are not teachers. But instead, mentors are there to inspire, motivate, and guide students through it. The concept Learnwithsccience uses which is MBTI profile to match tutors with students, is something that pulled her to the company.
For Sara, when it comes to learning a new language, she is there to inspire, motivate and guide the students through it.
Want to learn more about learnwithscience and our approach? Check Our Methods.
Until next time, thanks for reading.