- Teaches students:
- Ages 10+
- Teaching since:
I’m Kaya. I am a professional singer and entertainer, specializing in Brazilian music. For five years I have played in a band singing in fluent Portuguese in genres such as Bossa Nova and Samba. I have a bachelor’s degree in Political Theory with a specialization in Latin languages. After over ten years of studying Spanish, I had an immersion experience in Brazil where I learned to speak fluent Brazilian Portuguese in a matter of two months! After this experience, I became aware of the mistakes that conventional western language education makes in teaching a new language. I took it upon myself to research the pedagogy of teaching language, and took immersion courses in Portuguese where the focus was learning to become conversational.
I am native New Yorker who grew up around people who spoke many languages from all over the globe. I am not a native speaker in Spanish or Portuguese, and so many of my peers would ask me: how is it you learned to speak these languages so quickly and so fluently? The trick to learning a new language begins with confidence. Just like learning a new instrument, you don’t want to allow the mechanism of your tool to trip you up when you want to communicate. Through techniques of active listening, immersion, and cultural integration, I have been successful at teaching students how to blossom within a new language and culture.
Paulo Freire, Brazilian author of a critically acclaimed book on pedagogy once said: “The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.” Language is primarily an art, an instrument of expression. When I teach, I like my students to be able to experience their own creativity within a new context, learning more about themselves through the eyes of a new culture and perspective. We will of course learn the basics, the structure of Portuguese, but we will also learn how to communicate outside of the paradigm of translating and transcribing. Just like music, language should flow. Take my courses to learn the romantic, natural rhythm of Brazilian conversation.