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LOOK INTO THE ART AND CULTURE OF EMPORDÀ THROUGH ITS CHARACTERS

Núria Comamala

LANGUAGE TEACHER
By Emma Aixalà Photo Javi Almar

Núria is a linguist who has lived abroad and understands what not knowing the language of your adopted land means. That's why she created the school www.nuriacomamala.com, offering online Catalan and Spanish classes to foreigners who have settled in Catalonia.

- Your motto is "Languages for interesting people." Is someone who studies languages more interesting?

- We're all interesting, but if we don't master the language where we live, we're not free, we aren't truly ourselves, and we might even feel awkward. My goal is to help people be themselves in a language that isn't yet their own and to stop feeling like a foreigner.

- Is that why "Feeling at home" is the name of your courses?

- Exactly: language is home. It means being able to order coffee or explaining what's going on to the doctor and being understood. It's about feeling at home.

- You say that language is progress, right?

- Absolutely. Languages open doors to getting jobs, advancing your career, and getting better outcomes. If you're a professional who works in Catalonia, you must be able to communicate in at least one of the two official languages here.

- You describe learning a language as an adventure, yet challenging at times.

- It's an adventure like everything in life, but exciting because it's a challenge. It’s tremendously rewarding to be able to have a conversation because you understand the language, structure, and vocabulary.

- You base your teaching on four pillars. What are they?

- First, personalization: respect each student’s rhythms, learning styles, and needs. Second, teaching through motivational and socio-cultural content, I ask: "How do you spend your free time? How do you like to learn?”.

- And the other ones?

- Immersion activities and practicing what we're learning. Finally, oral expression: my main objective is for students to understand and speak the language they're learning.

- Are languages are a driver of social integration?

- And respect! Learn for yourself, but also as a sign of respect for the country you've chosen to live in.

- Are there students who hesitate between studying Catalan or Spanish?

- Yes, and it depends. If you're surrounded by Catalan, take a yoga class in Catalan, the WhatsApp group at your children's school is in Catalan, you should learn Catalan first. Spanish will come along anyway.

- Is the convenience of online classes a selling point?

- It's an advantage, especially for traveling professionals. The pandemic has shown the success of online learning.

- What if I prefer short distances?

- If you live in Peralada or nearby, let's have a coffee and chat! In-person classes are back!

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www.nuriacomamala.com

Phone: 650 061 969

@nuria.comamala

nuria@nuriacomamala.com