María brings cultural awareness to her Spanish classes as she incorporates music and language into a celebration of diversity in every class!
- Name: María Jiménez
- City, country you are from: Barrancas, La Guajira, Colombia.
- Name of college and what you studied: Berklee College of Music – Professional Music (Concentration in Jazz Composition and Voice Performance).
Colegiatura Colombiana – Organizational Communications
- How/Why is your work at BB meaningful to you: Bilingual Birdies is such an inspiring community of people. The relationships built here have helped me grow and feel at home in New York. With every given class new bonds are formed and you witness the growth of cultural appreciation in children. The work we do is more than pure entertainment, it is a social cause that seeks to broaden and break cultural barriers.
- Favorite adult band/singer in the language you teach: Silvia Pérez Cruz
- Your special way of getting the children’s attention or unique teaching technique: When you approach children as their accomplice or friend they respond well and easily engaged. Whispering a story, singing a song and creating a safe environment where they can be themselves is the best way to inspire them to play with you and commit to each lesson.
- One reason why you think learning a foreign language is important at a young age: I learned English at the age of 4 in Colombia, and I met my best friend there at that same time. She was born in Nigeria and was half Canadian and if it weren’t for English our friendship would have never happened. I am very thankful that I learned English early in my life because it has opened unimaginable doors everywhere I go. Exposing a child to a different language reminds them that they are not alone in the world and that communication is the key to peaceful encounters and cultural exchange.
- Favorite part of a BB class: My favorite class of a Bilingual Birdies Class is the moment where Myla comes alive, because it is like opening a door to a magical world and the children’s eyes widen with awe. Their response to another language through her makes it a more natural process.