Eleana Condezo Bann and Lisselin Diav started Teach Me ESPANOL when they realized the importance of knowing the Spanish language in the United States (according to the 2010 census, the Hispanic population reached 50.5 million), and how learning a second language is important for overall mental health: “When you learn a new skill, your brain physically changes shape as new connections are formed and you use more areas regularly,” Bann says. “Want to protect against the effects of Alzheimer’s? One think that might help is to learn another language.”
The company, founded last January, offers classes for all ages and varying skill levels. Beginning students learn the basics, such for fruits and vegetables, the alphabet and more. Bann is also adding conversation groups as the program grows.
10-week winter session starts January 21. Cost: $169; includes materials. Locations: Trinity Lutheran Church in Long Lake, Blackwater Coffee & Café in Maple Plain, and Mocha Monkey Café in Waconia