Meet Continuing Education’s popular Spanish instructor Fernando Mayans

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If you’ve ever studied Spanish through SFCC’s Continuing Education Department, there’s a good chance you studied with Fernando Mayans. Mayans has quietly, but steadily built the continuing education language programs during the past 25 years.

“The program is a solid one, with a combination of vocabulary and grammar, as well as literature,” Mayans said. He emphasizes speaking Spanish throughout the class. “The students make it interesting. They come from a variety of backgrounds. Some would like to learn Spanish for their jobs and others love to travel. I’ve had students of all ages – from high school students to people with Ph.Ds.”

The Spanish language program features a series of ongoing five-week courses. There are 12 levels of classes offered from the introductory classes to advanced courses such as Spanish Reading and Writing and Advanced Spanish Study. Mayans teaches the Introduction to Spanish, Past Tense and Advanced courses.

For those who like to accelerate their learning, the program also offers two-week intensives. Mayans often offers the two-week Spanish preparation course, which meets noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The other two-week intensives include the verb “Haber,” “Vocabulary I” and “Vocabulary II.’

Demand for Spanish speakers in the workplace continues to grow. To meet that demand in the Spring 2020 session, the Continuing Education department will also offer Spanish for Medical Professionals and Spanish for Business Professionals. Both require either completion of Spanish Preparation or permission of the instructor. “The Spanish-speaking community has really grown in Santa Fe and Spanish is often required in a medical position. The business community also often needs to communicate in Spanish here and in travels to Mexico and Latin America,” Mayans said.

His classes have a loyal following. Many students return every year to advance and brush up on language skills. His class reviews have positive comments and the highest rankings. Perhaps, student Rebecca Fairfax Clay sums it up best in her comment, “Fernando is brilliant, kind and patient. His program is so well thought-out that everyone, regardless of level, can follow it and learn. I look forward to my next class with him and many more following.”

Mayans is originally from Uruguay. He loves New Mexico and is happy to call Santa Fe his home. In addition to teaching at the college, he works as the Spanish translator for the Santa Fe Opera. All SFO patrons have access to the Opera Title system, which offers instant translations of the operas in either English or Spanish. “It’s one of the few systems in the country that provides Spanish translations. It’s great for Spanish speakers. Many of my students use it to practice their Spanish,” noted Mayans.