Super Spanish Teacher!

Yaira, my Spanish teacher and good friend has been teaching privately for over a year now. I studied with her for 6 months before I arrived in Panama, and she helped me SO much! She is patient, kind, professional, capable, and Panamanian so she can talk about the local customs and culture in the local accent.

She has gotten very positive feedback from other students but this one really blew me away. I don’t know this man, but he obviously has studied a lot and speaks a lot of Spanish.

I have had the pleasure of working with Yaíra a few times over the years and  will certainly study with her again in the future. I have studied Spanish for many years, in many different schools with many different professors; I can say Yaíra is easily amongst the best. She creates engaging lessons, excellent materials, and is able to explain the Spanish language in a way that all students can understand. Her online classes are well organized and allow me to study Spanish despite my busy schedule. I personally have worked with Yaíra on different occasions to improve my Spanish for various jobs and job interviews and on each occasion she has prepared me not only to achieve the Spanish required but actually exceed it. I will continue my studies with her again in the future to prepare for my DELE exam.  Yaíra is an amazing person and an excellent teacher. Whether you are a beginning Spanish learner or advanced, she can and will help you achieve your language goals. (from Nick)

I was very excited to get this recommendation! (it was sent to me because I maintain her website It isn’t just me and my bias towards a good friend. She really is as good as I think she is!

I thank Yaira and my Panamanian friends every day for my ability to communicate. I know my experience of living here has been much more rewarding because I can speak the language well enough to converse on most topics. It’s difficult. I’m not good at languages, so it took me a long time and I still have a lot to learn. But, it’s so worth it! It’s a whole different experience when your best friends are Panamanian.

OK, I will put that soap box away and stop going on about Yaira. She is trying to take care of her family and go to university, so if she gets overrun with students she will be working overtime. She loves what she does though and seems to have endless energy, and I’m really happy to see her succeeding on all fronts.

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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7 Responses to Super Spanish Teacher!

  1. Pingback: Super Spanish Teacher! A re-blog – FindingMySelfinPanama

  2. Cathy Virgenock says:

    Another, you rock Kris. As.soon as I.get a minute I’ll contact Yaira. I didn’t even know something like this was available. My.last class through the County’s progam (Spanish IIII) consisted of the Spanish speaking instructor readiing the Spanish parts of a poorly written Course manual word-for-word and having us take turns reading the English parts. Occasionally we would each get to read a word or sentence so we got very little practice working on accents and hardly anything on sentence structure except our homework which went unchecked so who knows if we even did it correctly.


  3. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    Learning Panamanian Spanish from a Chiricana using Skype is the best way to learn the language and probably the fastest. Much of Spanish is non-verbal, body language and facial expressions play a big part to understanding. Nena learned much of her English from, wait for it, watching soap operas in the 70’s! Hearing the popular sayings and seeing the over the top drama really sped up her understanding of her new language. Watching novelas there would have the same effect for the same reasons.

    Learning the history and culture of Chiriqui is a huge bonus. Chiricanos are a special people.


    • Oh yes indeed, she helped me so much. I do well with individual instruction where I can go at my pace and learn what I need to know. If you know your teacher is waiting you are more likely to do your homework. And, Yaira and her whole family are just the nicest people and it’s been a real pleasure being friends.
      Whatever helps to learn. I started watching Sesame Street in Spanish, progressed to other videos, news, TV etc.
      Chiricanos are the best!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ken Kimsey says:

    Thanks for posting this, Kris, and thanks for connecting me to Yaira. My schedule has been a bit crazy as I prepare to visit Panama, and hopefully relocate to Chiriqui. Yaira has b.een flexible, patient and kind. I took Spanish in Dade County public schools long ago. Fortunately, all my teachers were Latin American. I had some great teachers, and Yaira ranks at the top. I enjoy hearing about her life. I asked her to introduce me to some colloquial expressions and she just organically integrates them into our conversations, the way I will hear them in Panama. The difference is, she pauses to make sure I’m “getting it.” I add my recommendation to the others that have been posted.


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