My language academy is the Spain attraction!

GLASGOW lawyer Samantha Henderson has swapped her legal contracts for books on English grammar by opening a language academy on a Spanish holiday island.

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She decided on a change of career after falling in love with a Spanish teacher and last month launched her education establishment in the seaside town of El Medano on Tenerife.

Almost 100 students have so far enrolled and 28-year-old Samantha who trained and qualified as a commercial lawyer with Glasgow legal firm MacRoberts is hoping more will sign up.

The former Glasgow University student who speaks fluent Spanish said: "The demand for good quality language courses is quite staggering. We live in a closely interconnected world and more and more people are recognising just how valuable the ability to communicate efficiently can be to them."

Samantha, who studied Spanish while working on her law degree, offers courses which convert Spanish to English and English to Spanish. German and Russian are also on the curriculum.

She said: "There is considerable Russian investment in the Canary Islands and Russian tourism is becoming a major factor in the local economy. We offer Russian for tourism so that Canarians can interact with their latest guests as well as they have always dealt with their British and German visitors.

"We teach small groups, focusing on conversation and communication and the use of technology in language learning. We aim to make the classes dynamic and entertaining and try to break away from traditional teaching methodology which most academies here still follow."

Her school also offers English classes for local children and admits: "The main proportion of the clientele so far has been Spanish people wanting to improve their English."

She adds: "The Canary Islands have been affected as badly as - if not worse than - mainland Spain by the years of recession and European monetary turmoil which we have experienced over the past five years or so.

"The levels of youth unemployment, particularly, on the islands are quite frightening, and many young people see gaining a facility in English or another language as a passport to finding employment elsewhere in Europe."

And Samantha has no regrets about quitting Glasgow. She said: "It's wonderful to wake up to beautiful sunshine every morning and compared to, say, spending an hour reading a commercial lease, I much prefer what I'm doing now.

"I see results first-hand, there is a lot of fun to be had from chatting with people from all over the world in a relaxed atmosphere, and overall, it's a very satisfying way of making a living while also building a business."



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