Today we have a talk with Pere Guanter, director of Academia El Sur. Learn more about the school and him in this interview.
Hello, Pere. You are the first person we interview for El Sur Talks. How are you feeling?
I feel great, thank you.
For the people who do not know you, tell us more about who Pere is.
I am from Barcelona and I have been living in Amsterdam for about 20 years now. I love living in
Holland: The people, being able to ride a bike everywhere… and the rain does not bother me.
Now, tell us a bit about the beginning of Academia El Sur.
El Sur began about 30 years ago when Torcuato (El Sur´s first owner) started teaching
Spanish at de Pijp, in Amsterdam. About 12 years ago, he decided to return to Andalucia (hence the name of El Sur) for a change. From that moment I started running the school.
When did you first get involved in Academia El Sur?
One of my best friends started teaching at El Sur when we arrived in Amsterdam from Barcelona. That’s where the first contact came from.
What do you think makes Academia El Sur a highly valued language school?
There is a very close relationship between El Sur students and teachers. I know the names of every student as they walk through the door. There is a small group of teachers, which makes the learning experience family-friendly. At the same time, we are very professional, which is why we have been teaching Spanish for 30 years.
What are for you the hardest aspects of learning Spanish?
I think the hardest part is learning the past tenses in Spanish. The grammar is clear, but conjugating
verbs in the right context can be tricky.
What is a good practice you can recommend to learn Spanish?
The most beautiful and fastest way to learn Spanish is falling in love with a native Spanish
speaker. You can also go on vacation to Spain or Latin America. Everything helps and, of course, our
courses will always complement the way you naturally learn.
Favourite food, song, movie, and destination of the Spanish-speaking world
I love my mum´s tortilla de patatas. Music-wise, I really like any song by “La casa azul”. I recently went to a concert of his in Madrid. I am not much into movies, but the last one I watched was Almodovar’s “Madres Paralelas”. With regards to destinations, I love Argentina and Patagonia.
Why do you think Dutch people are interested in learning Spanish?
Many Dutchies have recently bought houses in Spain and there is a big love to Spain in the Netherlands. Also, Máxima speaks Spanish, which probably also helps.
What does the future hold for Academia El Sur? Any news that can be disclosed?
We are going to move for the third time in 30 years, but I still cannot disclose the place… it is a surprise! No worries though, as everything will remain the same but with some improvements.
Thank you, Pere. It has been a pleasure. We hope to speak with you soon again.
Gracias a ti.