Gayane Lalayan

Teacher of Spanish

Education

  • MA in Linguistics, Yerevan State University, Armenia
  • BA Linguistics: English Language and Literature major, Spanish language minor, Yerevan State University, Armenia
  • MBA, University of Management and Informational Technologies

Bio
It's my seventh year teaching Spanish ab initio in UWCD. Prior to UWC Dilijan I also taught at the preschool, middle school, pre-university and university levels. Nevertheless, teaching an IB course came as a revelation for me since it broke all my stereotypes regarding the teaching and learning process. On the other hand, it is very demanding and, every day, there is a new challenge that makes you do your best to inspire your students to fall in love with your subject and to gain the intrinsic motivation that will accompany them throughout their life.

What is the favourite part of the course you teach?
I like seeing how students get to a fluent level from their starting point which is an alphabet. It's so rewarding to see some of them "constructing" the language from scratch and some of them "intrinsically feeling" it, but all of them equally succeeding in their goals of learning a new foreign language. 

Which teaching method you prefer and why? 
I like it when the class is active and productively "noisy": silent classes are not my style. I like asking students to have group work when they do something creative both inside and outside of the classes. I strongly encourage students to speak from the very beginning and put the knowledge they gain into practice. I think this is the formula to succeed in learning a foreign language in such a short period of time.

What advice would you give to a student of your subject?
1. Take the advantage of having so many Spanish speakers around you and practice with them.
2. Never feel uncomfortable speaking even with little vocabulary. Don't wait till you "know enough" to start speaking. The skills come with practice.
3. No one is perfect, neither there is someone who knows everything. Don't be afraid to look or sound silly when you say something wrong or incorrect.

Who is your role model or mentor or who inspires you?
Wow, this is a complicated question. There are a couple of people who are not famous worldwide for me to mention.

What is your life motto?
Every day try to be a better version of you rather than competing with someone. Most importantly beat your own demons and try to bring more happiness to the world by changing yourself, loving yourself and others regardless of everything. 

What are the three things you can't imagine your life without?
My family, teaching and travelling

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Something I am really passionate about is to investigate some universal lows and everything related to universal energies, reiki, astrology, numerology, non-traditional healing methods etc. I like reading some books related to the laws of quantum physics and how they affect our lives, listening to channelings and meditating. In short, anything that allows me to know myself better, become a better person and relax.