Meet Clemencia

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Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language (ELE) is my chosen second career because it lets me merge my lifelong loves for teaching and for Spanish.

I am a native Spanish speaker from Colombia, South America where I began my career after earning my degrees in dentistry and epidemiology. Upon immigrating to the United States, I earned a PhD in medical sociology from Arizona State University, and I am a proud Sun Devil. In 1999, I joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and retired in 2019 after 20 years.

My passion for community level public health work also spurred my interest in teaching Spanish and translation.

I started teaching Spanish while I was still at the School of Dentistry. After 2015, the population of Spanish speaking patients increased, and dental students realized they needed to learn Spanish to communicate more effectively with their patients. So, I started an informal "dental Spanish" class for second year students who already spoke at least some Spanish. When I realized how much I enjoyed teaching Spanish to them, I decided to build my own skills as a Spanish teacher. This led me to pursue and complete several educational opportunities to strengthen my skills:

  • Arizona State University, (150 hours) in "Teach English Now!"

  • ELEinternational, (100 hours) in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language (ELE)

  • Universidad de Salamanca, (30 hours) in Grammar for ELE Intermediate/Advanced Level

  • ELEinternational, (15 hours) in Grammar Workshop for Spanish Teachers

  • Rovira i Virgili Universidad, a module on lexical, pragmatic, grammar, and pronunciation

  • Edinumen, multiple NOOCs on ELE

In January 2018, I started teaching Spanish as a volunteer at our local library. The first night I taught a class my husband agreed to go with me so that I wouldn't be alone. To my surprise, there were nine people who showed up! That program lasted until COVID arrived and I had to move completely to the online environment with Charlemos con Clemencia.

From that beginning I never imagined that this would grow so fast or large that it would become a second career.

Since devoting myself to teaching Spanish, I have discovered just how much I love sharing my language and culture. I hope you will consider joining me! ¡Charlemos con Clemencia!

To learn more about me and how I approach teaching Spanish, take a few minutes to watch the following videos. Each is two minutes or less.