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Cynthia Menchaca Arizpe - Spanish Instructor

CynthiaCynthia Menchaca Arizpe was born in Saltillo, the capital of the northeastern Mexican state of Coahuila and grew up in six different cities in various regions (the north, center, and southeast) allowing her to become closely familiar with the customs of these diverse parts of Mexico. She obtained her Master’s degree in Human Development from the Universidad Iberoamericana, where she also taught classes for 15 years on a range of subjects including oral and written expression in Spanish. Her love of language led her to writing and she is a published author who has won several prizes for her collection of short stories and three children’s books.

Drawing on her passion for the Spanish language, Cynthia decided to pursue teaching Spanish as a second language upon relocating to Portland and has delighted in the opportunity to share both her native language and culture with students. She is inspired by the genuine interest her students show in gaining cultural understanding along with language skills and finds herself enriched by the exchange of ideas in the classroom.

She believes it is vitally important to enjoy the learning process and strives to create a comfortable environment in class where students embrace the necessity of making mistakes as a part of the experience and feel motivated to practice and support one another. Her teaching style is very interactive with abundant visual aids and she enjoys the challenge of engaging each student according to his or her learning style. She is grateful for how the small class sizes at Tierra facilitate a learning environment in which all students participate and develop the ability to use the structures studied to express their ideas and communicate with one another.

In her free time, Cynthia enjoys reading, writing, traveling, and spending time with her family.