My name is Mónica (though my family and closest friends call me Pamela) and I live in Madrid, Spain. I'm Spanish -sort of- though I was born in Santiago de Chile in the sixties. I have a truly international background as you'll see when you read my story.
When I was six years old I moved with my family to the United States (Palo Alto California, and later Washington D.C.) because my father went to do a master degree at Stanford University.
We went back to Chile, and when I was 13 we moved again to the States. My father went to work there as a visiting professor at the University of Columbus, Ohio. Later, he became a student at Yale University. These years were crucial in my life because -I didn't know back then- they marked my whole future.
|7-year-old Mónica in the USA, Chicago.|
A couple of years later because of the work of my father, we moved to Venezuela, then to Holland and, then, when I was 17 years old I started an independent life in Madrid, Spain.
I became a lawyer after studying law at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and doing a master degree in comparative law at the University of Miami (USA).
In 1996, I got married in Madrid and Jerusalem to a Dutchman. We have a son who is now a teenager. I must say we are a very happy family, currently living in a nice village to the northeast of Madrid, with our pet Alma, a beautiful Siamese cat that we all adore. (See her photo below)
I worked for 14 years as a company lawyer, until I was made redundant because the company I worked for experienced serious financial problems.
After doing a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course, I started working in Madrid as an English teacher mainly at multinationals. I also continued to work as an online lawyer.
One day, when I was teaching absolute beginners at a French multinational I realized they didn't understand the English book of grammar we were using. So I decided to look for the information in Spanish on the internet. As I didn't find what I was looking for I started writing a blog to explain to them the English grammar in Spanish. That was the origin of the "Blog para aprender inglés". It was December, 2005.
Much to my surprise, the blog started to become very popular.
After some years of increasingly growing popularity (on peak months "The Blog Para Aprender Inglés" reaches over 450,000 visitors), I founded an academy to teach English as a second language via Skype with other teachers.
After two years of having Alma Schouman's as a personal blog, I've decided (April 2014) to transform it into a tool for children and adults to learn English together.
On the horizontal menu you'll find four categories of sentences:
- A1- A2: Low Beginner - High Beginner
- B1- B2: Low Intermediate- High Intermediate
- C1- C2: Advanced - Proficiency
The idea is that parents and children (or teachers and students) go over the sentences, hundreds of times until they learn them by heart with the right pronunciation.
I highly recommend to do activities related to the sentences and images.
For example, if the sentence talks about autumn, the parent and the child could try to learn additional vocabulary about autumn, or seasons.
We also have bilingual stories available that I hope you can enjoy together with your children or students.
Thank you very much for visiting my blog. Mónica :)