Mariana Plesco is the English teacher behind the social media account @dlanguages – DLanguages, which stands for “Digital Languages.” She has made it her mission to help Spanish speakers around the world learn English in the simplest and most fun way possible.
“In this age of technology and digitalization, it seems to me that DLanguages was a good name for an online language learning platform.” Mariana shares, and explains, “50% of my job is to teach English, but the other 50% is building my students’ confidence by motivating and inspiring them to take what they have learned along with the daily exercises and tips they receive from my platform and put it into practice by speaking English as much as possible regardless of the mistakes they make.”
Mariana knows how difficult and intimidating it is to learn a new language because English and Spanish are not her mother tongues as she is originally from Moldova, a small Eastern European country between Ukraine and Romania, so her mother tongue is Romanian.
“It takes courage and confidence to speak in a foreign language, but I also know that it only takes one person to believe in you for you to believe in yourself. And I want to be that person for my students because I believe that anyone can learn English, regardless of their age or background.” Mariana states.
Mariana lived in Moldova until she was 16 and then moved to Spain with her entire family. There, she learned Spanish and English. When she first arrived she had no knowledge of Spanish, and her little knowledge of English helped her along the way.
When Mariana arrived in Spain she spoke no Spanish at all, yet her parents decided to send her to school the day after she arrived in Spain. This sudden change forced Mariana to put all her efforts into learning the new language and to improve what she already knew in English, which she had learned in her school in Moldova.
It took Mariana three months to learn basic Spanish, but she was determined to learn that language fast, plus she got to practice her English as well. Every day after school she came home, did her homework in Spanish, and then spent hours reading, watching movies, listening to songs, and chatting with people on the internet in English and Spanish. That’s how she learned these two languages at the same time.
“When I turned 18, I moved to Madrid, and started to look for a job. Nobody was hiring me, I had no experience. One day I approached a girl to ask for directions. She was kind enough to help me. She was a receptionist and invited me into the building where she worked and told me to wait while she was searching for the address I needed. As I looked around and saw many different classrooms, curious to know what that place was, I asked her and she told me it was an academy. She also told me that she had a lot of work because they had a lot of new students and that the academy was looking for English teachers. Then she asked me if I spoke English, and I said yes without thinking too much. After 8 months of searching for a job and living on 50€ a month I finally had a job. Although my English was not really good and I had no teaching experience whatsoever, I was determined to make it work.” Mariana recounts.
Mariana thus became an English teacher, and was able to overcome the humiliation she felt from her English teacher in her homeland, who told her she was useless and would never learn English.
“I always knew I had to learn English, not learning English was not an option for me. I always wanted to live in Los Angeles and make movies and funnily enough, I moved to Los Angeles five months ago and I’m currently studying acting – dreams do come true!” She expresses, and adds, “I became an English teacher by accident really but the more I was teaching the more I realized that I was making a difference in people’s lives. And that was and still is, to this day, what motivates me to keep doing what I do. English has changed my life and I want to spread my knowledge to change people’s lives.“
Mariana stands out from potential competitors because she understands people’s difficulties when it comes to learning English, so she always works to make her students feel comfortable with her.
“I don’t judge. I don’t get angry. I don’t mind repeating the same thing thousands of times, and my patience when teaching English has no limits. I encourage my students to make mistakes and learn from them because that’s how we learn things.” Mariana states.
With DLanguages, Mariana teaches with a cheerful attitude and a smile acting like just another student because there is always something new to learn, and connecting with so many people from all over the world has proven her theory.
She is able to do all of this through her monthly course called Essential English Course, where students have access to grammar and pronunciation lessons accompanied by many practical exercises.
There, they are also part of a private community where they practice pronunciation, reading, listening, and writing every day, and are able to receive personal feedback. Also, once a week students have a zoom class where they get to speak in English directly with Mariana.
Mariana is currently growing her online English community, creating more online English courses that help her students in their learning. She is likewise focused on her acting career and is considering writing a memoir about her life in Moldova.
If you want to know more about Mariana and DLanguages, click here.