Interview - Tarkus Daniel Laverde: From Navy Man to Teacher
Tarkus Daniel Laverde was born in Florida, USA and has lived in Colombia for the past 6 months. He obtained a psychology degree from New York University and is certified to teach English as a foreign language. Currently, he teaches a level 2 English course with the Language Center.
What brought you to Unisabaneta?
I have always wanted the opportunity to teach at the University level. I have family who live in Sabaneta and Unisabaneta is part of our community. That is what brought me there.
Where did you learn English?
I have been educated by the New York City and Palm Beach County, Florida school systems. I served in the Navy in Illinois and in SanDiego, California. English is my native language.
What advantages do you have in speaking 2 languages?
I've had the opportunity to speak to people world- wide on my adventures with the Navy. I am able to immerse myself in film, music, and other expressive art forms through my knowledge on the language.
What do you want to achieve as a teacher at the CIU?
I would like to be able to inspire others to learn English as a second language.
How do you motivate your students?
I obtain their input on what is relevant to their everyday lives. We then practice speaking English using the material provided in the curriculum.
What would you say to someone who is afraid to learn a new language?
If someone is afraid to learn a second language, I would assure them that they would not lose their cultural values by learning a second language. I would also let them know that the classroom is a safe learning environment so there's no need to be afraid to speak and practice.