The Story of Broca's Place
By CHRISTINA NG
B.Sc., M.Ed. Founding Director
I was always interested in Spanish and Latin America travel, so I took Spanish classes in high school and university. I understand, could read and write, but struggled to speak fluently and confidently in regular conversation. To improve my speaking skills, I ‘forced’ myself to live in Costa Rica to immerse in the language. I choose a small village where I had no choice but to speak, listen and think in Spanish constantly. My only help with a pocket dictionary: a small book, non electronic, that I carried with me. (cell data/wifi/google translate didn’t exist yet). Living daily life in Spanish helped me more than any university-level Spanish class and provided insight on better ways to learn a language. This includes speaking/practicing with native speakers in real life situations, and enjoying social and cultural events with new friends.
Returning to life at home (Toronto, Canada), I wanted to maintain and continue my language learning, but the programs offered were the same: academic-style, grammar-based, not conducive to conversation. Language learning should be practical and enjoyable, so I decided to create the type of program I wanted for myself. I felt I had the qualifications with a Master’s of Education, ESL teaching and my own experience. I researched how the brain worked with adult learning, memory, and foreign language acquisition, and applied it to real-life scenarios. The company is named after the Broca’s Area -the part of the brain responsible for language production. A big part of the Spanish culture is enjoying good times, good food and music with others, and something I’ve included in all our classes and workshops.
Spanish brings together amazing and interesting people – Travelers, Snowbirds, life-learners of all ages who enjoy trying new things and keeping their minds active. I invite everyone to check out Broca’s Place, where we help students learn to speak naturally and confidently, and have fun in the the process. Gracias! Christina
Broca's Place name
This is one of many photos I took of this stunning Toucan at a Toucan Rescue in Costa Rica. He had overcome serious injury and is now a healthy, happy and vocal guy. It was the first time I had to speak Spanish to a bird! To meet this beautiful tucán up close was an inspiring and memorable experience, and I wanted him to play a starring role in Broca’s Place.
BROCA’S AREA is the part of the brain responsible for language production. In the brain’s left hemisphere, the Broca’s and Wernicke’s Areas work together to produce language, including learning foreign languages. My vision is build a PLACE & community for like-minded people to learn, enjoy good conversation and company – at Broca’s Place.