"I took Spanish classes in high school and college, but after only a few years without practicing I had lost most of my ability to speak and understand even basic Spanish. I was struggling to get anything out of the apps you can download for language learning, so I began meeting with Adrian.
Within a few sessions I had shaken off the rust and recalled lots of the basics. Other areas have required more time and focus. When you consistently make a mistake in a certain area, Adrian will return to it again and again until he feels you have it down.
The homework and lessons have helped me reestablish a foundation in grammar and vocab, and now we're not moving into more conversational lessons. Ultimately my hope is to have much stronger comprehension and speaking ability, and I'm confident Adrian will help me get there."
Membership Manager at Certified Employee-Owned, New York, NY
February 6th, 2023
"I cannot recommend Adrian enough as a Spanish teacher! I have been working with him for close to a year now and have truly felt my language skills improve over time. We started off with very structured grammar lessons until we both jointly felt we could move into conversation for the entirety of the lesson. He has an incredible attention to detail and can pick up on the slightest grammatical or pronunciation error to address (which I have asked him to do). He also is super thorough in his explanations and does a great job of providing examples whenever I have yet to grasp the concept. Knowing that my family is from Argentina, he makes an intentional effort to teach me specifics (verb conjugation, vocabulary/slang) that would make it easiest for me to connect and speak to my family members abroad. He also kindly sends me recommendations on movies, books, songs, etc. that he thinks would be of interest to me, particularly given that we've gotten to know one another fairly well over our time together.
I would recommend him to anyone at any level!"
Product Management Director, HelloFresh, New York, NY
February 1st, 2023
"I started studying with Adrian as a complete beginner about a year and a half ago. From the beginning, learning from Adrian has been enjoyable and very effective. Adrian is extremely organized and plans lessons to what I need to focus on. He intuitively adjusts the pace of learning to what I need. I can trust that I can pronounce a word correctly or use the correct tense and form of a verb because he is not willing to let mistakes slip by without learning the correct way. He is a very talented teacher and his years of experience shows. Learning with him is also FUN. We laugh a lot when I make a funny mistake and that has created a fantastic encouraging environment.
I feel like I have a good grasp on the grammar, pronunciation, and overall feel for the language. I am able to speak in Spanish with native speakers and have little conversations! From working with Adrian I can understand what is spoken and being able to reply to someone with some sort of speed. I can understand Spanish (some) when I hear it on the streets, TV shows, and especially reading it. I can translate english to Spanish and vice versa at a practical level. There have been weeks and months where I do not do outside homework or learning but I do not loose much progress because the way Adrian teaches. It really sinks in and for subjects I struggle with he is extremely patient when I forget something or he needs to explain something to me repeatedly.
Learning Spanish is not a sprint and having a teacher like Adrian is one of the main reasons I stick with learning. The progress I have made working with him is pretty amazing -- especially when there are lulls with my outside effort. Other ways of learning (apps, etc) are nothing in comparison. I recommend Adrian to anyone I meet who wants to learn to speak and understand Spanish!"
Machine Learning Engineer, Amazon, New York, NY
January 21st, 2023
"Adrian is an excellent teacher. We've learned a ton from him. He's very patient and takes time to help us through difficult sections. He makes sure we have a strong understanding before we get to a new chapter. The assignments are also well structured to ensure we learn the vocabulary and grammar.
I would highly recommend him!"
Executive Director, Morgan Stanley, New York, NY
May 2nd, 2019
"Adrian is incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated as a teacher. I would highly recommend him.
I have been taking private lessons from him for a few weeks now and I feel that my knowledge of Spanish is growing in a comprehensive manner. I was frustrated with my progress from previous group classes and duolingo because I didn't feel comfortable with the overall structure and rules of the language. Adrian's methodology is straight-forward and easy to understand and allows for you to go as fast or as slow as you feel comfortable. He is also very accommodating to my busy work schedule."
Architectural Designer, ENNEAD ARCHITECTS, New York, NY
April 15th, 2019
"I really enjoy my Spanish classes with Adrian. He is good at assessing what your specific needs are in the language learning process as well as your strengths and weaknesses. I am a beginner and Adrian has been a great teacher, that is also patient with me. He is great at explaining grammatical rules and making sure you understand any questions you have."
Social Media Producer, THESKIMM, New York, NY
April 8th, 2019
"I have been taking private spanish lessons with Adrian for about a month and a half and I wish I had found him sooner. I'm actually able to speak and listen to my friends from latin america. I know that Adrian has a lot of experience teaching, but I'm guessing the reason he is so effective is because he has a natural ability to teach. The rate at which I'm learning is unexpected. If you are serious about learning spanish, I highly recommend."
President, AT Trading NY LLC, New York, NY
April 6th, 2019
"I found Adrian through some desk research since I have a specific need to learn the Argentinian dialect and pronunciation. In the 4 sessions that I have had with Adrian, I can already tell that I am comprehending more when I watch Argentinian movies and my ability to speak is more fluent and I am picking up a lot of the slang that I was previously unable to understand. I came in at an intermediate level (so you should know that), and it's been years since I have studied Spanish, but he's working with me 1:1 using a mix of textbook, worksheets/homework, and some books that I have about Argentinian colloquialisms. We do an hour of review of vocabulary and grammar and then 30 minutes of conversation where he teaches me the slang I need to know (but most likely cannot use haha). I really enjoy our sessions and he's very patient with me and working with my work schedule to fit me in later in the day (also very centrally located near all mass transit). He's a great teacher, breaks things down in a way that is easy to understand and retain. I am very lucky to have found someone who can help me with my specific language needs and I already feel like it's paying off after only 4 lessons. I very much recommend him if you are serious about learning Spanish."
Senior Partner, Director, MINDSHARE, New York, NY
April 2nd, 2019
"Adrian is an excellent tutor, I highly recommend his services whether you are a beginner or an advanced speaker.
His conversational drills, homework, textbook, and knowledge of english/spanish grammar was impressive. I found that he was able to explain the language to me in a way that had never been done before and I will continue to use his tutoring sessions as a valuable way to maintain and improve my Spanish abilities."
Director of Business Development, ADAFRUIT INDUSTRIES, New York, NY
February 18th, 2019
"Adrian was able to help me improve my Spanish skills in conversation, writing and formal lectures. He is a talented and experienced teacher who understands how students learn, and makes it fun as well!"
Dr. Laurence M. Westreich, M.D.,
President, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ADDICTION PSYCHIATRY, New York, NY
March 1st, 2018
"Adrian is an excellent Spanish teacher. I minored in Spanish in college but had not spoken it in over five years. When he started helping me re-learn the language he assessed my level of fluency and started teaching me the basics that I had forgotten while assigning me homework that strengthened what I learned. He remember my strengths and weaknesses and is exceptional at explaining grammatical rules. Now that I am at a level where we chat in Spanish I have discovered that he is also a great conversationalist!"
Carter Brady Bassett
Art Advisor, MARK ADAMS FINE ART, New York, NY
June 25th, 2017
"Adrian is fantastic!
I had significant experience with Spanish in the past, having minored in Spanish during college and traveled abroad. However, it had been years since I'd spoken Spanish regularly. I came to Adrian because I found myself in a new career that would require speaking in Spanish on a daily basis, and I desperately needed to regain fluency and comfort with the language, rebuild my vocabulary (which had dwindled significantly) and review many of the grammatical structures.
I worked with Adrian consistently for several months, and in that time, my speaking and listening definitely improved. Since I had a pretty strong grammatical foundation, Adrian structured our lessons very flexibly, catering to my needs. He was attentive to my professional goals (i.e., we role-played situations I would most certainly encounter, developed the vocabulary I would need, etc.) though we also spent a lot of time in conversation, which was EXTREMELY helpful for me. One of Adrian's greatest talents is his perceptiveness; throughout our conversations and our lessons, he would be tuned into what I was saying, identifying trouble spots and evaluating where we should focus based on those. For example, he'd point out, "I notice you're having trouble with X and Y. In the past 30 minutes, you've made 8 errors on those, so let's review them"...Then, he would pull out material for us to practice.
Adrian is extremely organized, professional, and kind. In your classes, you can expect individualized support, attention to detail, and instruction that is technically and grammatically correct. Adrian is an expert with the linguistic rules and structures of the language, and he breaks them down simply, making them easy to remember and understand. I was incredibly impressed with his knowledge, and I don't think you will find many others with his degree of experience.
On a more personal note, I had a wonderful experience working with Adrian because I could tell he truly had my best intentions at heart. He also made learning fun-- I can recall countless stories and moments that made us both laugh!! It's fair to say that Adrian reignited my passion for Spanish, and he has inspired me to eventually raise a bilingual family. I recommend him without hesitation. I feel grateful for how much I learned from him and for having met him, and I plan to continue taking classes when I can!"
Kindergarten Associate Teacher at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, New York, NYC
September 27th, 2017
"Adrian is a great teacher. I began taking classes with him before traveling to Spain for the Madrid International Furniture Fair (MIFE). I spoke no Spanish at all. His teaching method works extremely well. I learned a lot of vocabulary, and I was able to understand the grammar. He always followed my pace. Our 90 minute class is very productive, we always practice conversation in the period of time which is important. Adrian has excellent recognition techniques which helped me to remember. Adrian is the best language teacher I have ever had."
DANIELE PERNA DESIGNS, New York
October 10th, 2016
"Adrian Gonzalez and his Spanish New York Language School provides the combined educational structure and support of both an expert educator and a patient tutor. His clear and nuanced explanations of grammar, vocabulary, and syntax are those which could only come from a well-educated native speaker. In his one-on-one lessons he offers a professional learning environment which is both empowering and confidence building due to his kind, adaptive and individualized teaching method. In his classes even the most shy and hesitant student is able to find their voice.
Adrian’s coursework and class by class homework assignments are thorough. In addition, he offers personalized extra work outside of class, from watching movies to reading books depending on what areas of language acquisition need reinforcing.
Adrian is available for individual, group, corporate and online distance education, so there need never be a risk of missing a class or falling behind."
Web Designer, New York, NYC
September 10th, 2016
"Having made multiple attempts at acquiring the requisite knowledge to achieve a high score on the Spanish SAT II, I can honestly say there's no more effective way to develop a deep working knowledge of the spanish language than through sessions with Adrian. Self study, standard classrooms and language institutions all fell short where Adrian excelled. There's just no substitute for 1 on 1 time with an individual with Adrian's level of knowledge and teaching experience."
Executive Director of Software Development at CME Group, NYC
December 9th, 2013
"I have studied Spanish with Adrian for the past several years. Throughout, he has been an excellent teacher - always patient, always energetic, and most important, always dedicated to providing his students with the tools they need to learn the language as it is spoken today. He seamlessly incorporates books, magazines, newspapers, and films into his curricula, as well as fun drills that help us become even more comfortable with the language. I highly recommend his class to anyone who really wants to learn Spanish in a supportive, and fun environment."
Lawyer, DELOITTE & TOUCHE, Brooklyn, NY
January 9th, 2013
"I am delighted to have found Adrian Gonzalez to help me in my quest to learn the Spanish language. He is an excellent teacher, instructing me on the correct grammar & structure, always expanding my vocabulary, and of course has insisted that we speak in Spanish during our lessons from the very beginning.
The homework & classwork are interesting & challenging. Adrian has an organized & energetic manner of teaching that keeps the classes moving quickly while being entertaining at the same time.
I am thoroughly enjoying my lessons with Adrian, I am in my (3rd or 4th) - (Adrian, please check your records, I don't recall the exact start date!) year now! I recommend him highly for anyone interested in learning the Spanish language."
Financial Advisor, NYC
December 4th, 2012
"After taking Spanish classes once a week, first at the 92nd St. Y (for one semester) and then at The New School (three semesters), I began weekly tutorials with Adrian about two years ago.
My initial motivation was to improve my conversational ability. But Adrian wisely recognized the need to establish first a firmer command of grammar (use of the subjunctive, preterite vs. imperfect, the conditional, por vs. para, etc.), plus vocabulary-building. Only after a year or more of structured exercises did we begin devoting part of each ninety-minute session to conversation on current events. I now realize how premature and counterproductive it would have been to jump right into unstructured conversation.
Adrian is indeed a highly professional and masterful teacher. I cannot recommend him highly enough."
Independent scholar, New York, NY; former Curator of Wason Library on East Asia, CORNELL UNIVERSITY, Ithaca, NY
November 28th, 2012
"I made the most progress I ever made in Spanish with Adrian. He's an exceptional teacher who is prepared for whatever level you start out with and then progresses you systematically to the next with tons of interactive, specific and fun exercises. If you don't know the answer to something he won't just feed it to you but really make you think and I found that's what made me grasp grammatical concepts in Spanish that I never figured out in other classes before. Yeah, screw Rosetta Stone. :-) If you're serious about learning Spanish I highly recommend Adrian."
Volunteer, Medical Mission Trips, MILAGROS PARA NIÑOS, NYC
April 7th, 2008
"Adrian is an excellent teacher, very organized and professional, he is passionate about teaching Spanish to whomever wants to learn. Be prepared to study hard when you take his class, as he won't make it easy for you. If you put the time and effort necessary into the class, however, you will most certainly see results. I highly recommend his class to all those who are serious about learning Spanish."
Social Worker, MJHS HOSPICE CARE, New York, NY
October 5th, 2007
"I have taken many language classes in my life but this one with Adrian has truly been one of the best experiences of them all. I spent more than a year in his classroom, only had to stop because my work hours wouldn't allow me to continue. If you really want to learn Spanish, sign up for classes with him. It is intense, you really get the bang for your buck. The 90 minutes are probably worth 3 hours. Adrian believes in the concept of "muscle memory" applied to the brain. You repeat, you relax, you repeat, until it is imprinted in your brain. Classes are a great mix of vocabulary, grammar, history, geography, and conversation. Adrian will challenge you but if you really want to learn a language and get the best for your money, go sign up with him. If you have any talent in you to learn this beautiful language, he will find it and make you speak and understand Spanish."
Property Manager, RELATED MANAGEMENT, New York, NY
"I have been studying with Adrian in a two-person class for more than 5 years--he is an excellent teacher. I tried a workshop-type class prior to taking classes with Adrian, but was hindered by the lack of consistency in terms of homework and lessons. Adrian is very disciplined and also has a great deal of patience in explaining grammar and expressions of speech. I would highly recommend him to anyone interested in learning or improving their Spanish. Even more than his teaching capacity, Adrian has a very engaging personality that makes coming to class fun."
Reporting and Stewardship Manager, RAINFOREST ALLIANCE, New York, NY
December 5th, 2005
"I've taken Spanish classes from Adrian off and on for the past ten years. I am a first generation Colombian American who was not raised as a Native speaker. I was never comfortable with grammar, and very much wanted to improve my polish. I worked with Adrian intensively prior to traveling for six weeks through South America, then again later when I volunteered as a tax preparer in a predominantly Spanish-speaking neighborhood. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Adrian! He is patient, but firm. He genuinely expects the best from you, like the best teachers you may have had throughout school. Because of that, you are motivated to do the homework and practice. You will walk away from the experience elevating your proficiency, no matter what your level. I so enjoyed my experience that I pushed my (Irish) husband to work with him before visiting my family in Colombia. My husband now communicates better in Spanish than my own brother! Adrian is truly a gem, and when my children are old enough, we've been talking about having him coach us in a path toward becoming a truly bi-lingual family."
VP, Operations, FLAVORPILL MEDIA, New York, NY
May 23rd, 2004
"I have been taking classes with Adrian for about a year and a half and it has been a wonderful experience. I started as a beginner and I have a come a long way in taking classes with him once or twice a week. I have a very busy schedule with a busy job and two small children so I don't always have time during the week to study or practice. Even with my limitations, I have improved greatly. I would recommend Adrian to anyone who is serious about learning Spanish. I plan on continuing taking classes with Adrian for a long time. Please contact me if you would like to further discuss."
Certified Public Accountant, EGAN TAX & BOOKS LTD. New York, NY
February 26th, 2003
"I thought I would write to tell you how much my Spanish classes have meant to me. As a small business owner in New York with a Latin wife, my desire to learn Spanish is both personal and professional. Before coming to you I tried a half-dozen other approaches to learning the language. I attended evening classes, retained private tutors, worked in small groups, and even enlisted the aid of my Spanish speaking co-workers. All to no avail.
The situation changed radically after a mere three months under your tutelage. Your off beat, interesting presentation style and rigorous study schedule gave me the first real successes in my ongoing quest to "hablo espanol". I found the character acting and role-play particularly useful in helping get over my extreme fear of speaking in front of others. The pacing of your classes showed a well-practiced rhythm that, although ambitious, was not impossible. The study schedule forced me to learn quickly without forgetting between lessons. As an added bonus, your prices were reasonable, even inexpensive.
So thank you for the time and effort you put into helping make me a more integrated member of my family and professional community. Although I did not get the opportunity to complete the training, you provided me with the basis to continue learning. I am forever in your debt."
Mr. Amram E. Dworkin,
President AVISH ENTERPRISES, INC. New York, NY
November 23rd, 2002
"In the nearly two years I have studied Spanish with Adrian, my facility in Spanish conversation has improved greatly. He is always prepared for my class to help me focus and resolve problem areas. Moreover, Adrián is constantly looking for ways of improving his already strong teaching abilities. I would recommend him to anyone who is serious about learning Spanish."
Mr. Daniel Huang,
Manager of International Royalties, EMI MUSIC, New York, NY
October 6th, 2002
"Adrian has the patience of a saint. After a long day of work, it is difficult for me to stay focused in class. It is Adrian's patience with me that keeps me coming back every week for over a year. My reason for learning Spanish is my job entails daily communication with factories in Mexico. I have finally gathered the courage to call Mexico and ask in Spanish "Hola, quiero hablar con…"
Ms. Wendy D. Cohen,
Product Manager of TOMMY HILFIGER, New York, NY
September 3rd, 2002
"Adrian makes learning Spanish more than just a "class". He uses a good balance of grammar and vocabulary with interactive conversation and role play in real life situations. It's fun as well as leaning. Adrian is very patient and he speaks Spanish for 95% of the class. This is an excellent way for leaning Spanish."
Mr. Joe Dung,
Partner, DELOITTE & TOUCHE, New York, NY
May 24th, 2002
"Adrian is a terrific teacher. He's animated, focused, well organized, and very dynamic. He also has a terrific sense of humor and is very professional and thorough in his approach. Lessons are both intense and fun at the same time, a winning combination. Also Adrian never seems to get tired or look at his watch. Two excellent qualities worth noting."
Mr. Rob Liebman,
Salesman, Garment District , New York, NY
January, 11th, 2002
"I studied Spanish with Adrian for nearly a year, and can honestly say that I got more from his teachings than from any other foreign language class I have taken. I came to Adrian as a virtual beginner, and left being able to communicate freely in Spanish. My reason for beginning my study was a pending trip to South America. After a few short months with Adrian, I was able to converse easily on my trip. I enjoyed the classes so much that I continued on with him for nearly a year. I cannot vouch more strongly for his professionalism and his knowledge. He is always prepared and thorough- and I still retain much of what he taught me. I have studied previously at Berlitz, and I can honestly say that Adrian's lessons were far superior, and MUCH less expensive."
Mr. Sam Reep,
Art Director, NEW YORK TIMES, New York, NY
November 11th, 2001
"I studied Spanish with Prof. Gonzalez for a little more than one year. I have taken private language lessons with various professors over the past five years in San Francisco and New York with independent professors and established institutions such as Berlitz. Professor Gonzalez is extremely professional, and I can sincerely say that he was the most organized, energetic, and motivating professor out of all of them. He was excellent at conducting the class at a level appropriate for my abilities and introducing vocabulary and course work specific to my needs."
Ms. Rebecca Gordon,
Accountant, MET LIFE, New York, NY
September 18th, 2001
"I enjoyed my classes with Adrian more than other's that I had previously taken, because Adrian teaches Spanish in the best possible way. He integrates real life situations into the lessons and allows the student to speak as if they were in Spain or another Spanish speaking country. In addition, Adrian identifies a students weaknesses and crafts lesson plans and homework assignments to help the student overcome them. All in all, I found that I learned more in a quicker period of time using Adrian's methods."
Mr. Claude Pappas,
Project Leader, Change Initiatives, CREDIT SUISSE ASSET MANAGEMENT, Tokyo, Japan
May 19th, 2001
"Learning a language is not like taking another ordinary class. It is learning something new altogether from A-Z. Professor Gonzalez can teach you without making you feel intimidated at the same time having fun is important. I found Adrian through the Internet, and he has not made me regret the decision of learning Spanish. I want to keep at it since I am having so much fun."
Mr. Mahesh Bhupathi,
Professional Tennis Player, Winner 1999 Doubles Roland Garros and Wimbledon, India
February 13th, 2001
"When I came to Adrian, I was worried because my graduate school required me to pass a Spanish literary exam before I could get my degree. I hadn't taken Spanish in twenty years, and was sure I'd fail. But Adrian worked with me for just three months--and then I passed the exam!! I'd always been terrible with languages before, but Adrian is extremely patient and sweet. He makes learning fun. If it weren't for Adrian, I wouldn't be getting my Masters degree!"
Ms. Patricia A. Hendrix,
Summa Cum Laude M.A.(c)-- SETON HALL UNIVERSITY, South Orange, New Jersey
December 1st, 2000
"I have only been taking lessons from Adrian for a few months, but I feel that I have learned a great deal and am certain that I will continue to learn at the same speed. Much of the credit is owed to Adrian, who does an excellent job of preparing and presenting each lesson. I am taking Spanish lessons, because I am fond of languages and find Spanish to be not only useful, but also beautiful. It is important to find a professor like Adrian, who can give you the proper attention with a good level of enthusiasm. In no time, you will be speaking comfortably."
Mr. Robert Howard
Offerings Specialist, CRAVATH, SWAINE & MOORE, New York, NY
October 5th, 2000
"When I moved from Amsterdam to New York almost two years ago, I wanted to learn Spanish. I am still very happy I made the decision to do so with Adrian.
His methods and way of teaching are very effective, and the atmosphere is always great. I recommend him to anyone interested in learning Spanish. I shall be traveling through Ecuador this summer with a lot more confidence than I would otherwise have had.
Ms. Eline van der Vlist,
Lawyer, DAVIS POLK & WARDWELL, New York, NY
April 25th, 2000
"I started taking Adrian's class about two years ago. I have thoroughly enjoyed the learning process. Adrian manages to combine an academic and intuitive approach to his teaching and he is extremely enthusiastic and energetic. I always feel as if he is giving 100% towads making sure that I learn the language correctly, while at the same time enjoying it. As a result I can now speak, write and understand Spanish and I look forward to all my lessons!"
Ms. Pauline Mason,
Production Supervisor of OXYGEN MEDIA, England.
January 10th 1999
"Let me start off by thanking you for one of the best educational experiences of my life. When I began, I honestly had no idea how much Spanish I would learn. When we were finished, I couldn't believe how much we had accomplished. I will not go on to long, however, because I will just start repeating my testimonial, which is written below.
When I walked into Adrian's classroom on my first day, I knew absolutely no Spanish. I was nervous because I had recently taken a job as an English teacher in Ecuador and I needed to learn as much as possible before traveling to South America. In addition, I was accustomed to boring and unproductive language instruction throughout my years in school. Adrian's classes, however, were both productive and stimulating. He used a variety of activities and assignments that allowed me to develop strong reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Class was always fun and exciting and Adrian always seemed to know where I needed the most help and how to assist me in those areas. Not only has Adrian helped me develop the ability to communicate in Spanish, he has also helped me unlock my ability to learn a new language. I am headed off to Ecuador shortly, and I am more excited than ever to be fully immersed in a new way of speaking.
Thanks again for providing such a wonderful learning experience."
Mr. Brian Yates
English Teacher, Loja, Ecuador
October 2nd 1998
Guatemala has been a lot of fun! I don't know what we would have done without the Spanish lessons, because many people, especially at hotels, surprisingly, speak no English.
My friend has been a little Spanish traumatized, since her teachers in the language school were not bilingual and she had a hard time making progress. She felt somewhat isolated.
I intend to continue with Spanish when I return, definitely. This has also inspired me to take up French again, because I have a strong foundation there that I just have to round off with spoken and listening skills.
Thank you very much for the classes. I really feel that they were effective in giving us useful Spanish for our trip!
Mr. Chris Rose
Software developer, New York, NY
September 13th, 1998
"I began studying Spanish with Adrian Gonzalez-Martinez after having worked in Colombia with interpreters and having taken two weeks of elementary grammar there. I had found that traveling through rural areas with my rudimentary Spanish was like wearing a t-shirt with "Take advantage of me" printed on it, so I set up a regular schedule of classes here in New York with Adrian.
Having already acquired a healthy respect for the intricacies of Spanish grammar and vocabulary, I needed intensive study to overcome the pitfalls of "picking up" a language informally. Adrian was very exacting in his lessons and had to endure my lapsing into bits and pieces of bad Italian, German and French from my distant past, as well as the problem of intuitively sensing things beyond my grasp. I believe the truism that the mark of good education in a foreign language is an improved understanding of one's mother tongue. I have learned more about language in general from three years of one-on-one struggle with Spanish than from years of university language study, which never pierces the most superficial level.
One reason I wanted to learn Spanish was a desire to stay up to date in a fast-changing USA in which Spanish is quickly becoming a second official language. Thanks to our intensive work I no longer speak one less language than so-called "bilingual" children of immigrants, and I recently met a Colombian-American bilingual" co-worker who told my boss I speak Spanish better than she does.
The world may be getting smaller, but speaking English does not take one any further in this hemisphere than it did a generation ago. Since my lessons with Adrian I have been able to venture out of the banal coastal resorts of Mexico to enjoy some of what that country has to offer, and now when I open my mouth what I have to say is greeted with respect and friendly chat instead of non-comprehension, disdain and/or opportunism.
Another fringe benefit of my study with Adrian is that I can read foreign newspapers (Spain, Venezuela, Argentina) and get a different perspective on current events involving the USA, as well as more in-depth news about what’s happening in those countries. A few quick and dirty lessons in "habla espanol" are not sufficient to comprehend the written language. It takes discipline, time and an intelligent teacher who’s quick on his feet."
James W. Johnson
Freelance Court Reporter/Stenographer, New York City
June 20th, 1998
"Adrian, Happy New Year! Just wanted to let you know that I started my new job and am unsure of my schedule for the next few months. I'll let you know when I'll be able to continue my classes. I also wanted to let you know that the 3 weeks we spent together were excellent and I feel like I really learned a lot. I'll try to practice so I don't forget everything!"
Ms. Lisa Heller
Vice President, CDC IXIS FINANCIAL GUARANTY, New York, NY
February 14th, 1998
I wanted to write and tell you that I had a wonderful time in Argentina. The time I spent working with you was helpful.
After I returned, I finished my master's degree at the New School and then moved to San Francisco. I am also thinking a lot about continuing to work on my Spanish.
I did want to say that I think you are a great teacher and I learned a lot. If I were still in NYC I'd be taking more lessons from you.
Hope you are well."
Mr. Max Maddock
Senior Production Manager for LANDOR ASSOCIATES, New York, NY
November 2nd, 1997
How is it going? This is Sam Walsh. I took classes with you about a year ago. After I finished up with you, I went to Ecuador for a year to teach English as a foreign language. First, I lived in Quito for a month, and then I started my work in a town called Limoncocha, which is in the Amazon rain forest, near the borders with Peru and Colombia. I taught the Kichwa speaking students there for about 10 months. As you predicted, it was very difficult, but I learned a ton. Due to everyone's lack of familiarity with English, I gave my classes in Spanish, and spoke Spanish constantly. I was the only Gringo in the town, and probably one of like 10 Gringos in the whole province. Needless to say I was a celebrity.
Anyway, now I'm back in the states. Ideally, I'd continue taking classes with you, but unfortunately, I'm living in Boston right now.
I cannot thank you enough for the work you did with me. I was able to get so much more out of my experience in Ecuador than I would have gotten without your lessons. My Spanish really opened a lot of doors for me down there. After the first two months in Ecuador, my listening got a lot better, and I could speak very rapidly. People were really impressed.
English Teacher, New York, NY
August 13th, 1997
I hope you will remember that you talked with me in Rehoboth Delaware by phone for 2 weeks; I just wanted to share with you that I finally got my results today from the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) people and, thanks to you, I passed with the "advanced low" score that I needed to be certified. My certification process included passing 2 Praxis tests, studying for 5 weeks in Spain, and then this oral exam. Muchisimas gracias...estoy muy feliz hoy!"
High School Teacher-French & Spanish, Rehoboth, Delaware
May 25th, 1997
Hello! I just wanted to let you know that I passed my Oral Proficiency Interview, required by NJDOE for those wishing to be certified to teach a language. Thank you for all your time and help in preparing for my test. I really appreciate it. I hope you and your family enjoy the holidays. Take some time off!"
Spanish Teacher, ROUND VALLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL IN LEBANON, New Jersey
February 4th, 1997
"I am writing the testimonial in support of my Spanish teacher Adrian Gonzalez-Martinez.
My goal for Mr. Gonzalez's class was not only to learn to speak and read Spanish, but to be able to effectively communicate with Spanish speaking people, confidently.
Mr. Gonzalez's classes were structured to learn every aspect of the Spanish language element through exercises. When these exercises were mastered, the classes progressed to reading stories and newspaper articles with simultaneous translation.
The final aspect of Mr. Gonzalez's class was to encourage dialogue between us. I thus gained confidence speaking, listening and interpreting the material presented at each class.
The Spanish speaking people I meet can not believe I learned Spanish in the US. Speaking with a good accent and with such expression.
I would recommend Mr. Gonzalez if you want to confidently speak Spanish without fear."
P.S. My patients compliment my command of Spanish thanks to you.
Oncologist and Hematologist, New York, NY
November, 21st 1996
I just wanted you to know that tomorrow will be my last class. I am moving next week to a different apt. for the month of November then I will be leaving New York. Taking your classes has been so rewarding and one of the most important things in my life and I appreciate all your help, encouragement and your laughter during our classes. I know I was far from your best student, but I really care about learning Spanish and always looked forward to your classes. I will keep in touch with you to let you know where I am at and where I will be teaching.
Once again---Thank You!! See you tomorrow."
English Teacher, Brooklyn, NY
August 3rd, 1996
I thoroughly enjoyed each and every class I took with Adrian. I learned a great deal, had a great time and felt empowered by his instruction. I look forward to using my new language skills for years to come and know that I would not have learned nearly as much with any other program in New York City."
Christine Rontal, M.S.S.W.
Director of Marketing and Grant writing
POWERED BY PROFESSIONALS, YOUR CHARITY CONNECTION, New York, NY
May 19th, 1996
"If you are intimidated by the thought of trying to learn a new language, I would highly recommend going to Adrian as he successfully creates an environment where any type of student can feel comfortable to make mistakes and ultimately become better Spanish speakers."
President CIRIOS VENTURES, San Diego, CA
March 22nd, 1996
Hoy es el ultimo dia de mi viaje por America Del Sur. Visité Peru, Bolivia, Chile, y Argentina...y casi tres semanas en Buenos Aires...ha sido una experiencia muy buena. Estoy escribiendo porque quiero decirte que podia hablar español con la gente en todas partes y te digo muchas gracias por todo.
Espero que todo este bien en Nueva York... saluda a Hunter y Lisa de mi parte."
Medical Student at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA
January 5th, 1996
These letters, and many more like them, are on file at SpanishNewYork.com.