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Meet Georgina Palencia and Lucía Rodríguez of Presente Perfecto in The Heights

Today we’d like to introduce you to Georgina Palencia and Lucía Rodríguez.

Georgina and Lucía, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We are two immigrant women from Venezuela, adults but young, who love and enjoy the Spanish language and decided to share our passion and change the way to teach Spanish in the amazing city of Houston. We want to go further engaging the student with the Hispanic life and culture, making the learning process a fun and pleasant experience. It is not just about studying Spanish. It is about living it. This is our gift for our students, create a perfect moment where they can learn and enjoy. That is where our name comes from Presente Perfecto.

Presente Perfecto is the most contemporary Spanish language academy in Houston. After years of teaching in structured classroom settings with old-fashioned methods, we saw a void in the Houston market. The city needed a more modern approach to Spanish classes, a program enriched by multicultural activities where students could learn, practice, and perfect their desired skills in a relaxed setting with talented, native instructors. This is how Presente Perfecto was born.

Who are we?
Georgina Palencia. Academic director. Georgina majored in Social Communications and has a master’s degree in Linguistics and Language Teaching, and a Ph.D. in Cultural Management. She has taught Spanish phonetics, grammar, communicative competence, and related subjects for over 25 years. She combines knowledge and appreciation of the Hispanic culture with a creative component when teaching Spanish as a second language.

Lucía Rodríguez. Executive director. Lucía graduated from Simon Bolivar University with a bachelor’s in Architecture and complemented her studies with a minor in Spanish Language and Latin American Literature. She has a Diploma in teaching Spanish as a foreign language. She loves to lay the foundations to build fundamental learning skills in all her students as they embark on their learning journey.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Once you decide to become an entrepreneur, you will face strugglers. For us, it is part of the process and it will help you to redefine and improve your project; however, we determinate three particular difficulties in our plan:

1- Nowadays, it isn’t very easy being recognized with so many talented people doing good things. Your offer needs to be consistent, clear and attractive. This, of course, requires a lot of effort and study, you need to present not only a good option but an excellent option.

2- It was a challenge to find a methodology that fixes and cover our educational expectations. Our academic director, Georgina Palencia, finally found a perfect one with a Spanish publisher, Difusión. Books and resources complemented our communicative goals perfectly. It is a very active program focused on the conversation with a lot of printed and digital options, with actual and very useful content for the student.

3-In our particular scenario, social media and marketing need more effort and time than we thought. It is not something that we struggle with, but it constantly requires changes and adjustments to improve, implicating more time and more money. We want to make our social media promotion a window for learning to anyone who wants to follow us, and at the same time to show everybody what we do and how we do it.

Presente Perfecto – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Presente Perfecto, more than a school, is a style of living Spanish in the process of learning it. We specialize in the Spanish language. Our students know they have to speak Spanish every time they see us. It is not just for our immersion program; it is more about motivation. Our presence, our personality, our stories inspire them; therefore, they feel free and motivated to speak Spanish.

We specialize in the instruction and practice of Spanish as a second language through small group and private classes targeted to your specific needs. Our goal is simple: ​to provide the best possible Spanish learning experience in a flexible, friendly, and dynamic environment.​

Our approach is communicative, so Spanish is spoken from day one. Our students participate in the fully immersive experience to learn the language structures easily, in the context of daily use. Presente Perfecto’s classes are designed around the psycholinguistic process, which emphasizes listening and speaking as the fundamental skills learned in the initial stage of natural language acquisition. Therefore, our courses focus on these two language acquisition skills in combination with grammatical and cultural knowledge.

Each lesson is divided into daily use language activities; that is the perfect way a person learns; first, you need to use the language in a task-based situation and then you learn the linguistic process to express the ideas to complete those activities. Resources like songs, poems, news and others, are used as reinforcement and motivation.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
We have a very clear image of our project as a learning style. Even we haven’t yet a physical facility. For now, we are an itinerant school, with a clear and solid educational concept. We believe in the daily success of the process rather than reaching a goal; so, success is a daily process solved or learned. This project is made of new things that change daily; it is constant growth and improvement. Each challenge, learning process, class, or new student becomes a successful step. For us, the idea of success is very similar to language acquisition. It is not perfection. It is the joy of daily achievements.

Like any other company, we see ourselves soon, as a great and solid and profitable company that represents our established values and provides our students with an excellent service—a recognized company by the city of Houston, with excellent positioning. Conceptualizing, we picture our school with the smell of Colombian coffee, with sounds evoking traditional Venezuelan music or flamenco, from Spain, colors of the Mexican muralist and Peruvian fabrics; and writings in our walls remembering Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Lorca, Arístides Vargas and many others amazing artists.

Pricing:

  • Our prices vary according to the number of hours purchased and with the program.
  • Private face-to face lessons: from 60$/hour (20 hours) to 45$/hour(100 hours).
  • Group lessons: from 35$/hour (20 hours) to 20$/hour (100 hours).
  • On line lessons: from 50$/hour (20 hours) to 35$/hour (100 hours)

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Betty Luis Fernández
Bettyluisphotography.com

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