Spanish teacher teaches Catalan


Caroline Forster

Profe Eric Luna-Martin teaches Spanish class at BSM, but this year, he is also teaching Catalan.

Caroline Forster, Staff Writer

As many may know, Profe Eric Luna Martin is a Spanish teacher at BSM, but he also teaches Catalan. He teaches Spanish on campus at BSM, then Catalan via Whatsapp on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Luna Martin is from Barcelona, which is a part of Catalonia, a northern region of Spain. However, in Catalonia, instead of speaking Spanish, the residents speak Catalan. Because Luna Martin was born in Catalonia, this language is important to him. “It’s part of my culture; it’s part of my identity as well,” Luna Martin said.

One reason that Luna Martin is excited to be teaching Catalan is because he sees that it is difficult to keep his Catalan culture going. Once a week he does talk with friends and family and most of the conversations are in Catalan, but worldwide, it is not a very common language. “In Catalonian culture, we are in the world with only 10 million speakers; in the region where I am from, only 7.5 million speakers,” Luna Martin said.

The Catalonian flag hangs Mr. Luna-Martin’s Spanish classroom at BSM (Caroline Forster)

Luna Martin is excited to announce that he can tie in his culture with his talent of teaching and helping students learn a language. Luna Martin’s Catalan group does not feel like a regular class; rather, he talks about how he likes to teach the students to talk in conversation to make it flow and help the individuals understand. “Instead of historic––being like, ‘Today we are going to learn the nouns and verbs’––we are doing it through conversation to make it feel more natural,” Luna Martin said.

Luna Martin tries to teach all the language skills, but in a different way that makes it easy and shows affection towards the language. On Wednesdays, the group listens to a Catalan radio program, and then on Saturdays, they discuss it. “We have conversations on the phone for an hour to a half an hour. Not like BSM Spanish, but a way to reinforce and to support the people who show care for the small language itself,” Luna Martin says.

Luna Martin currently has two individuals that he is working with. “More than teaching grammar, more than going through different concepts, what we do is more conversational,” Luna Martin said.