Do you struggle with grammar? Have you studied English grammar before? I would like to introduce you to Jenna VanderBrook, she is our Advanced English Grammar teacher. She explains grammar in a very clear way with a lot of examples.
I asked Jenna a few questions to know more about her.
Where were you born?
I was born in a small town called Marion, in upstate New York.
Where have you traveled or lived?
I’ve traveled to: France, England, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway (which was my favorite 😉), Belgium, Spain, Colombia, Peru, and Canada.
I’ve lived in New York for most of my life and 6 years in Mexico City, Mexico. I’m currently back in New York, but looking to move back to Mexico as soon as I can. 🙂
Which is your favorite place in the world?
Definitely, Mexico City. The climate is perfect, the people are beautiful, it is a city rich in culture, art, and music, and the food is the best in the world!
(I am a big fan of Mexico too)
Which languages do you speak and how did you learn them?
English is my native language. I studied Spanish daily with a friend in Mexico City for 3 months and with a lot of discipline, reading, and immersion in the culture I began to speak after 3 months. In just 6 months I was speaking Spanish fluently and independently with very little help or no help at all. After just 6 months, learning Spanish was my new lifestyle and continues to be part of my daily life even today.
How has speaking different languages helped you?
The question should be how hasn’t it helped me? 😂 Speaking another language has been helpful in all areas of my life. Being able to learn another language changes the way our brains think, reason, and see the world. After learning Spanish a world of opportunities opened up to me that I hadn’t realized I was missing out on before. I was able to communicate with more people and make connections with people from Spanish speaking countries, both personally and professionally. In addition, traveling became much easier and interesting. Knowing 2 languages that are widely spoken around the world opened up a lot of opportunities to meet new and interesting people. All in all I would have to say learning another language made me more open to think in different ways than I had before and to be more adventurous, taking advantage of every opportunity without fear.
When you were little, what would you say you wanted to be?
A writer, I enjoyed being very creative, drawing and telling stories.
How long have you been a teacher and what is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
I’ve been teaching since 2010 and my favorite thing about being a teacher is seeing my students reach their goals. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that in some small way I was able to help someone by teaching them English and help open the door of opportunity for them.
Tell us about your course and how was your experience recording courses in Platzi?
The Advanced English Grammar Course was designed with the goal in mind of helping the student reach that native English speaker sound. Therefore, it’s focused on useful grammar structures to improve speaking and writing skills to sound as natural as possible. Focusing on phrasal verbs, linking words, discourse markers, the many uses of the past and present tense, and cleft sentences, just to name a few.
Recording with Platzi was amazingly fun and very educational for me. As we recorded remotely, I learned a lot about the production side, like the importance of sound and camera position. The Platzi crew was great, very helpful, encouraging and I think we connected right from the beginning, by laughing a lot and working hard. 😃
Which are your top 3 tips to improve English speaking skills?
1- Practice speaking and writing daily, if you don’t use it, you probably will lose it. Keep this in mind: learning a language is a lifestyle (forever), not a diet (temporary).
2- Read daily for just 10-15 minutes (out loud if possible) to increase vocabulary, improve grammar structures, fluency, and pronunciation.
3- Take a chance, invent a new word, don’t be afraid of making a mistake. Mistakes are not life or death errors, they are learning opportunities for self-improvement.
What else would you like to ask Jenna? Write your questions in the comments section.
Thank you for reading 💚