It sounded so simple: find a place to stay, pack up your things, and go.
You were ready for a new adventure. Exciting times were ahead, and you were going to fit in right away.
“I know the grammar, I know the vocab, I aced my Spanish classes, so how hard can it be?”
Fast Forward a Couple of Months.
You’ve settled down, found your way around your new town, made some new friends, and visited some incredible places, but…
You’re struggling with the language.
Spaniards speak so fast you barely understand them (extra points if you’re in southern Spain!).
They use a ton of idioms you never knew about, and when you try to translate them into your native language they leave you bewildered.
Your grammar lessons didn’t prepare you for the strange—and seemingly random—way Spaniards have to build sentences…
You’re struggling with the culture too.
Spaniards are welcoming and friendly, but some of their habits are suprising, and there are so many cultural cues that you didn’t learn in the textbook.
You’re not sure of when to greet strangers (let alone whether to kiss them on the cheek!), or who you should address as “usted”.
You don’t understand why everyone is always late, or why you can’t just eat lunch at noon.
You don’t know who Francisco de Goya is, or the difference between jota and flamenco.
And why, oh why, do Spaniards never say “please” or “thank you”?
You want to fit in, but you often feel left-out and a little lost.
When life gives you lemons, make sangría!
I hear your pain.
What if I told you that…
- You don’t need to feel foreign anymore.
- You don’t have to miss out on any of the fun.
- You can learn the meaning of all those strange idioms and start using them in your conversations.
- You can start communicating naturally with Spaniards.
- You can learn all the social cues that will help you fit in.
- You can get the common knowledge about Spain that Spaniards have and you lack.
- You can build meaningful connections with Spanish-speakers.
- You can sound like a native Spaniard and feel that you belong.
You just need the right coach.
¡Hola! Soy Inés.
I’m Inés Ramos, and I believe that the main goal when learning a language should be to communicate effectively with native speakers.
As a Spanish teacher, I focus my lessons on communication, helping my students learn how to face everyday real-life situations and achieve a richer, deeper understanding of Spanish culture.
I create language-learning materials on the traditions, lifestyle and social customs of Spain.
I know what it’s like.
I’m an expat too.
As an independent language learner, I had always been good at learning new grammar and vocabulary, and achieved a high level of reading comprehension. This led me to believe I was fluent in English.
But when I moved to the UK and found myself using English 24/7, things were a little different. I lacked enough spoken and written fluency to deal with real-life situations effortlessly, and I wished I’d had a teacher that had helped me with my productive language skills.
I also realized that, even after watching tons of British movies and reading many British books, I lacked the common knowledge and social cues that I needed to fit in in my new home.
I can help you learn to navigate life in Spain with ease.
I’m an expat too. So I know that feeling of missing out because you don’t understand everything that others are saying and you can’t participate on the conversation as much as you’d like; or because you understand the words but you lack the understanding of what for others around you is common knowledge (an idiom, a song, the name of a famous person, a common joke…)
I want to help you not only become fluent in spoken and written everyday Spanish, but also on Spanish culture and traditions. So you don’t feel like you’re missing out anymore.
Who am I?
I’m a language teacher and culture nerd passionate about helping students discover more about the culture of the language they learn.
I was born in Madrid in
Since I was young, I have loved four things: art, books, history, and nature. I worked as a
In the past, I studied French, German, Latin and Classical Greek, although I’m only fluent in English and Spanish. As a native Spaniard, I can also understand Portuguese and Italian well.
In 2013, I moved to London; I went back to Madrid in 2015; then moved abroad again in 2017, this time to Texas. This international experience has caused an interesting change in me: when I visit Spain, I now feel like a “native-tourist” because I observe the country and its people both as a local and as an outsider. This is a lot of fun, and it’s given me a new perspective that is really useful as a language teacher.
Living in the US has also meant that I miss the cultural richness of Europe, and I don’t take it for granted anymore. I’m learning to appreciate the vast cultural heritage of my country more than ever. And I have set as my goal the huge—but exciting!—task of sharing with you all sides of Spain’s traditional culture.
Other than that, I’m wife to an American man, mother of a fur-baby, and faithful friend to some interesting—and geeky—people. Funny story! I met my husband when he was visiting Spain and wanted a local guide who spoke English to show him around Madrid. He contacted me, we met… and we fell in love. Just like a cheesy romantic movie.
I’ve been living in Austin for two years now, and I’m really enjoying the Texan weather. I love nature and going on walks with my dog on the leafy hills by my home. My secret indulgence is singing and dancing when nobody is watching.
Stuff I care about
Freedom, and staying true to oneself.
Lifelong learning. Staying attentive and curious. I believe in the power of education and knowledge to transform the world.
Creativity. Every person is unique and has unique skills. I believe everyone deserves the chance to explore their own interests and contribute their gifts to the world.
Authenticity. People who aren’t afraid to sing their own tune; who are original, different and special; who light up the world with their own light; and aren’t afraid to speak up.
Open-mindedness. When we learn about a culture different from our own and get to understand it, we realize we are all the same, in our differences. Our mind expands and we become less judging of others and more welcoming.
Meaningful connections. Creating real, human-to-human relationships. Collaboration.
Beauty. Finding it in nature, ideas
10 fun facts about myself:
- I am an introvert with a love for people.
- I love reading! I spent my entire childhood amongst books so I became a little know-it-all (think Hermione from Harry Potter).
- I’m a night owl. I often stay up until the wee hours working, reading or daydreaming. I love to do stuff while the rest of the world is sleeping.
- I love the smell of old books and libraries (see #2).
- I love the great outdoors. When life becomes overwhelming, I go to nature to relax, unwind and reconnect with myself.
- I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and for learning (anything and everything!). I’ll always be a student at heart.
- I am both a cat and a dog person. Really, I’m a furry-animal person.
- I’m a huge enthusiast of the English language and of all things British. I spent many summers in England and lived in London for a while. I still consider the UK my second home.
- I’m a creative soul with a logical mind.
- I’m addicted to tea, chocolate
STUFF YOU MAY WANT TO ASK ME ABOUT
My nationality + location: I’m from Madrid, Spain. I now live in Austin, the capital of Texas, where my husband is from. I work with clients from around the globe, mostly Europe and North America.
My name’s pronunciation: You can pronounce Inés as in happiness, but the stress is on the second syllable [i-NÉS]. Ramos is pronounced [RA-mos] with a rolling R.
My qualifications: I studied History in college up to PhD level, and specialized in Spanish Medieval History (got a BA, MA and MPhil). I’m also an arts, culture and book nerd, and a writer.
I’ve been working with languages since 2008, when I first started teaching English to Spaniards. In 2012, I got my certification to teach Spanish as a Second Language, and since then I’ve been teaching Spanish to people all over the world.
My job history: I’ve always been my own boss. I used to work as a History researcher for my university, teach ESL and Spanish in-person, and freelance as a translator, editor, proofreader, and travel writer.
In 2013, I started teaching Spanish online, and I made it my full-time job in 2017 when I moved to the US.
Where I’ve lived: I was born and bred in Madrid (Spain), I lived in London (UK) for one and a half years, and now I live in Austin, TX (US).
What I do when I don’t work: I read, learn, write, listen to music, watch movies, and hang out with family/friends. I also love
About me and you, working together: You can check out my blog, where you’ll find language-learning materials on Spanish culture; or find out how we can work 1:1. If you want to talk, please fill out my contact form.
Ready to talk?
Leave your fears behind and start communicating
like a real Spaniard.