American Culture Coach
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University of California at Berkeley, Bachelor of Arts in English Literature
Cornell University, Master of Arts in English literature
Certification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
With two degrees in English literature, I know grammar, idioms, writing skills and all the quirks of American language and culture. As the great-granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, I am passionate about helping people feel like they belong in the United States.
I know the American workplace
My job history includes jobs in the corporate, academic, non-profit, child care, music and restaurant industries. I am a natural scholar of human interactions and relationship dynamics.
I know loneliness
In 1993 at the age of 27, I moved Chicago, Illinois where I had no friends or family. It took several lonely years for me to figure out how to build friendships. It took time for me to learn the right social cues, but eventually I did and I am ready to share these lessons with you.
My parents had to learn English
Language is emotional. My parents were born in Texas, but only knew Spanish when they started school in the 1940s. The rule was “No speaking Spanish in school,” so they learned English the hard way.
I had to learn Spanish
Then my parents taught me and my sister only English. I was born in California and spoke English like any other American-born child. But when the cultural winds shifted and it became an asset to know Spanish, I didn’t know it. Unfortunately, everyone expected me to.When people learned I was a Mexican-American who only knew English, they would shake their heads and make me feel ashamed. I took Spanish classes in high school and college, but never spoke it because I was terrified of making mistakes. I knew all the grammar and vocabulary, but felt too ashamed to speak it. It has taken me years to overcome my fears of speaking another language, but in the past 30 years I’ve learned some powerful tools that have helped me and I will share them with you.
It might seem unlikely that you could ever feel comfortable in another language, but it is possible and I’ll help you. With a proven technique for releasing emotions, we will get those feelings of nervousness and intimidation out of the way.
Welcome Dialogue exists because I’m passionate about communication, community and connection. I love to help people work through their fears and explore American culture.