Spanish Tea Time :: Interview with Mom & Entrepreneur, Gina Carnevale

My dear friend, Gina Carnevale, is a mother of twin girls, on the PTA, working part time as a Tinkergarten teacher, and preschool teacher. You may think Gina has a lot on her plate. Hogwash. Let’s add to this her own business she is building from the ground up and why you may want to try one of her classes!

I had the privilege to interview my dear friend and fellow business owner, Gina Carnevale, for her newest endeavor- Spanish Tea Time. It’s a series of classes (for children and adults) to learn conversational Spanish over tea. My son and I have been to many classes and can honestly say the classes are wonderful!

What is Spanish Tea Time?

Spanish Tea Time is a developmental program that uses movement, songs, games, and play as our tool to teach Spanish. To make our teaching methods more effective and attainable, we team up with parents. When parents or caregivers come to class, they are involved in the learning process, and as a result, they also learn the language and the techniques to help their children at home.

It really is incredible! So, your audience is primarily children? What age?

Yes, children ages 2-12, but we also just expanded to adults. Conversational Spanish over tea is really for everyone!

Regarding audience, yes, children, but what children/families would get the most benefit from Spanish Tea Time?

Families who value the importance of being multilingual. Families who look for an approach that allows children to learn in a way that goes according to their age and to their needs. Anyone who is looking for a holistic learning style.

Why Spanish Tea Time? You have so much on your plate already. What about Spanish Tea Time made you know this was the right time?

Spanish Tea Time has a holistic approach that blends mind, body, and soul. When children are mentally engaged, their bodies are moving and they feel like they’re in a loving and safe environment, then they can relax and focus on the learning. I don’t see that enough. Our curriculum is flexible; therefore, if we see children are not engaging, we can quickly modify it to pick the child’s interest while keeping the same learning objectives.

Yes! We started taking your classes when my son was just 18 months old. He did not want to sit for story time. But then at 21 months he willingly sits with the other children! Your approach was to never force him. If he wanted to play, you never encouraged anything less. I love your follow-the-child approach! Is that something you learned from your years of experience?

Yes, regular learning programs do not take into consideration the needs of child’s developing body. However, Spanish Tea Time recognizes those needs and implements activities and games that will allow a child to learn Spanish while at the same time satisfying their needs for movement, playful interaction, and sensory stimulation.

From a pure language aspect, can you provide why you believe a second language, or better yet, why Spanish, is so important to learn?

Learning other languages helps develop our brain. There is research showing that learning a second language improves your memory, problem-solving and critical thinking skills, your ability to multitask, and to listen. Also, our world is coming closer together. Nowadays, knowing more than one language is a prime skill that will give more opportunities to succeed and to relate to more people.

As far as why Spanish is so important, it is the official language in 20 countries. It is one of the top languages spoken in the world.

Who teaches and develops the curriculum?

I do! Yes, I was born and raised in Mexico City. I was able to attend two years of law school before moving to the U.S.. Here, I changed careers and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Business and Administration at Texas Woman’s University. After a year, I earned my bilingual teaching certification and for eight years in addition to teaching bilingual curriculum, it was a pleasure to take on many leadership roles that allowed me to help design the curriculum children needed to increase their academic achievements. My classes year after year were among those with the biggest academic growth. After becoming pregnant with twins and having one of them diagnosed with autism, I self-educated about Developmental Individual Relationship Model Therapy and became my daughter’s therapist with great success.

That is so amazing. Well again, I truly appreciate you sitting down to answer my questions and telling me more about Spanish Tea Time! I wish you all the success.

If you or your family (or both) please visit Spanish Tea Time and be sure to follow their Facebook.

Lydia Cordova
Lydia is originally from Colorado but moved to Texas as a young child where she grew up. She recently moved to McKinney where she lives with her husband, Jorge and 15 month old son, Alexander. Lydia graduated from UNT with a BBA in Finance and worked as a Financial Analyst for a telecommunications company prior to having her son. She now stays home with her son and enjoys all the new challenges that come with motherhood. Lydia currently volunteers on a marketing committee for the Free Forest School organization. An organization she and her son both enjoy. She loves their message— get out and play! When Lydia has a free moment you can find her either passionately writing, involved in her photography or at her local Barre class.