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Interview: Shalu Chopra author of 'Viva Latino Español 1'

'Viva Latino Español 1' by Shalu Chopra is a much needed resource book which decodes some of the very intricate details of Spanish grammar and its applications through very easy to follow formulae and guidelines. Clearly Shalu has attempted to pro-actively address lot of common learning challenges, particularly for the Indian students, based on her extensive teaching and working with diverse groups over past decade. It articulates very lucidly and illustratively core concepts of the language, and follows closely all skill building exercises which would prepare the learners for taking up rudimentary levels of tests under the internationally acknowledged CEFR format.

Shalu Chopra is a multi-faceted creative professional and a linguist. Over the past decade she has been very deeply associated with the promotion of Latin American culture, Spanish language and Latin dances in India. She is also the founder Director of Mundo Latino, which is a Latin American Cultural Center, and has affiliation with The Embassies of Venezuela and Peru, and actively supported by almost all 19 Latin consulates in India through their Ambassadors and senior Diplomats.

Shalu has over 10 years and 10000 hours of Spanish teaching and training experience having dealt with very diverse groups - from young students at leading schools and universities to emerging leaders in corporates, to professionals seeking opportunities in Travel/tourism with limited or no knowledge of English. She applies extensively the training methodology - SWIRRL (Speaking, Writing, Role Plays, Reading, Listening, with Interaction in the middle) in conjunction with her own unique code of ‘El Balance’ for training Indian students in Spanish. Her teaching methodology and materials are extremely contextual weaving several India centric examples, which make learning a foreign language much easier. Her methodology is strongly eschewed towards application of concepts in live conversations. Her illustrative approach and formulae to deconstruct the grammar are refreshingly creative and make learning more fun and facile.

In an exclusive interview with Readersland.com, the debutante author Shalu Chopra shares more insight about her life as an author and her inspiration to write the book.


RL: When did you consider yourself as an author?
Well, I’ve been teaching Spanish for more than a decade now. Over the years I have realized that there are certain things which we needed to teach the students were missing. I was not able to find it anywhere. A couple of years back; I started thinking about to write a book which is completely indigenized for my students to understand the concept of Spanish without really getting into translation. I started thinking about the book and now it has turned into a reality.

RL: What inspired you to write the book?
My students are my biggest inspiration to write the book. Whenever I would see them struggling in the class and not understanding something, I wanted to make their life really easy. My creative background helped me to pursue this goal in a significant way.

RL: What is connection with Spanish Language?
One wonderful thing about us (Indians) is that we are always upbeat about learning languages. If you ask 10 random people about their wish to learn a new language, 7 would say ‘yes’.  I’m one of them. My connection with Spanish language started as a student.  
I remember my visit to Miami and felt truly in love with Salsa. I decided to learn Salsa. Salsa is all in Spanish. Here my journey started to learn Spanish. I faced a lot of challenges as a student in learning Spanish. I feel a student need to have ‘el porte de solo’ – the reason for everything.

When I started teaching Spanish, I wanted to give this ‘el porte de solo’ to my students. That’s how Spanish language came into my life. Salsa, Spanish, travelling, the Latin connection- The Latin world is an incredibly beautiful world.

RL: What kind of books has influenced your life?
Books related to life, culture, literature has influenced my life significantly.

RL: Which books are you reading at present?
At present I’m reading a book on José Martí, a Cuban writer.

RL: Who are your favorite authors?

Pablo Neruda is my favorite author.

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