Language Resources & Inspiration

Owner Tonya Tiggett teaches Spanish on TV and radio for Cinco de Mayo

To commemorate the Battle of Puebla, known and celebrated as Cinco de Mayo, Tonya taught popular NBC 4 TV personalities Mindy Drayer and Marshall McPeek Spanish on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

During the interview, Marshall asked Tonya to clarify the difference between Mexican Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo. Tonya explained that Mexican Independence Day is celebrated September 16th each year to commemorate the declaration of independence from Spain. Cinco de Mayo on the other hand commemorates the Battle of Puebla. On the morning of May 5, 1862 4,000 Mexican soldiers surprise-attacked an invading French army of 8,000 soldiers and thwarted their efforts to overthrow the capital of Mexico City. This was a David versus Goliath event and is really celebrated in mainly one region of Mexico, near the town of Puebla.

Americans popularized the holiday in recent years and the beer manufacturers and restaurants have taken advantage of this to increase their sales and encourage everyone to be Mexican for a day, much like we are Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

Tonya then appeared on the morning show Power 107.5 with DJs Paul Strong and Konata, who Tonya dubbed “Pablo Fuerte and Carlos Casablanca, Hombre Internacional de Misterio (International Man of Intrigue). The DJ’s were enthusiastic about learning some new words and phrases, and were even a little mischievous by asking “How do you say ‘big butts’ in Spanish?!” The original spot of 15 minutes stretched into almost 45 minutes and Speak Our Language has received multiple requests for classes and programs as a result of this appearance.

We want to say “gracias” to Mindy, Marshall, “Pablo Fuerte,” and “Carlos Casablanca” for their playfulness and the opportunity to showcase what we do best – effectively teach and have fun while doing it!

The New York Times Company says “Sí” to working with Speak Our Language!

The New York Times hired us in September 2009 for a 10-week Business Spanish program that emphasizes conversational language interaction.

Our corporate program prides itself on FUN LEARNING, and having students be able to converse after only one class (granted, you must do your homework!), as our NY Times liaison Mrya Limson pointed out, "The New York Times Company’s VOCES Latino Heritage Network’s partnership with Speak Our Language has been invaluable in bringing Spanish Language instruction and culture to the Company. Fallon Plazas and Tonya Tiggett are excellent facilitators who create a fun learning environment. Employees with little to no previous instruction were able to speak Spanish by the end of the first class."

We are proud that a company such as The New York Times has chosen us to implement and lead their Spanish language offerings. We are even more excited that this partnership will continue throughout 2010, with our New York City-based instructor Fallon Plazas again leading the effort.

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