Spanish Writing Training by Teleconference2018-07-27T20:28:21+00:00

Spanish Writing Training by Teleconference

Picture of Helen speaking at the Mexican Translators Association conference in 2017Is this an online class? It is a live interactive training by teleconference.

Homework is expected to be completed several days before the class so the instructor can grade it and return it by the class date. In addition to presentations on theory, the results of the homework are the basis for each class discussion. Class participation is essential to get maximum benefit from this class.

Spanish writing resources

This class is for fluent speakers of Spanish.

Location: Online – login information will be given to participants upon registration.

Time: Online group sessions on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:00 pm Pacific time. Participants will also have scheduled 20-minute personal sessions with the instructor on a weekly basis.

To register for training, please email


Dates: Tuesdays, September 4 to November 20, 2018

Traditionally, there are two ways to improve writing:

  • Teach grammar and spelling points in isolation. Many instructors have found this to be ineffective for heritage speakers.
  • Assign writing assignments based on realistic communication expectations, and work on the needs of the group as they come up. Instructors who work with this approach have been far more effective. This is the Gaucha approach. Helen Eby has been using this approach with small groups and individuals very effectively for the last five years.

The writing activities chosen cover a variety of formal and informal interactions, ranging from the “tú” to the “usted” forms, and ranging from listing facts to giving advice or expressing hopes and dreams.


  • Intermediate Spanish Grammar, by Luis Aragonés and Ramón Palencia, ISBN 978-0-07-184067-5
  • Advanced Spanish Grammar, by Luis Aragonés and Ramón Palencia, ISBN 978-0-07-183899-3

Both grammar books have excellent explanations and exercises applicable to different issues. Helen Eby has written resource material available on the ¡Al rescate del español! site, and will write more material for this course. ¡Al rescate del español! is a team effort to provide a layman’s guide to good Spanish writing skills. Its main target audience is people writing text in Spanish for the public in the United States.

Who is our target audience?

Participants are expected to have a high level of  Spanish oral language proficiency. They will be expected to participate in reading assignments to improve their writing skills. Bilingual employees and Certified and Qualified interpreters are welcome to take this course.

As participants improve their reading and writing skills, they will grow in their ability to handle complex texts in the workplace, read material about medical and legal topics originally written in Spanish, and they will write with less grammar and spelling mistakes when required to do so at work.


There is a discount for members of professional associations such as the American Translators Association or other professional associations for interpreters, translators or copy editors.

Price per month (3 payments) $225 $200
Total for 4 months $675 $600
Discounted price for payment in full $580 $530


The Instructors

Helen Eby, owner of Gaucha Translations, is an ATA-certified translator (Spanish>English) and a certified DSHS Translator (English > Spanish) by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. Helen started out in Argentina, where she graduated as a teacher of English and Spanish for grades 1 to 7. She has always been interested in researching and teaching, and has started training programs for medical interpreters in Oregon, an online training program for Spanish translators who are seeking to be certified, and noticed that one of the prerequisites for many of these issues is good Spanish writing. That is why this program is launching. 

Many of the concepts that will be taught and much of the perspective of the course can be found in the blog  ¡Al rescate del español!, which Helen and a team started to improve Spanish writing.

Daniela Guanipa is an ATA-certified translator (English>Spanish), and a certified Court Interpreter (English/Spanish) in the State of Indiana. Ever since completing her bachelor’s degree in International Studies in her native country, Venezuela, she has devoted her entire professional life to the art of communicating effectively and writing compelling copy in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Her career as a linguist and trainer spans over 20 years and has amounted to a wide and rich professional experience. Daniela is an experienced educator who has taught Spanish at different levels—from beginners to advanced, to native Spanish-speakers—and settings, including private individuals, government and law enforcement agencies, judges, high-level executives, and corporate clients. In 2006 she became a trainer for the Indiana Certification Program, teaching sight translation to certification candidates.

Ms. Guanipa is very active in the T&I community and has served on the Board of her local ATA Chapter, the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Florida (ATIF), first as Secretary, and later as Vice-president, ATA’s renowned blog for new T&I professionals; a member of the Professional Development Committee of the ATA Spanish Language Division, and a reviewer of its quarterly newsletter, Intercambios.

Helen and Daniela have been working together for years. They are both founding members of the newly created Spanish Editors Association, the first and only association created in the United States to address the needs of editors working for the US-Spanish market. In addition, they are founding members and contributors of The Savvy Newcomer.

Participants will have two types of interaction with the instructors:

  • Group sessions will be 90 minutes long. In these sessions, the group will discuss the assignments in general, and there will be group conversations about readings, literature, resources, challenges, and an orientation to the next assignment.
  • Personal weekly online appointments scheduled for 20 minutes at a predetermined time to discuss their personal progress. The one-on-one sessions will allow participants to get individualized feedback and at the same time participate fully in the group sessions.

Participants are expected to submit their written assignments to the instructors by Friday so they can review them in time for the Tuesday group class.

Technical requirements

  • Computer with good internet connection (participants will be entering answers on their computers on a regular basis)
  • Headset (using speakers for audio creates echos for the other listeners)
  • Microphone (all participants will be interacting live on their microphones)


Spanish Writing Syllabus

September 4 1 Introducción. Cómo escribir un currículum.
Introductions. How to write a CV.
September 11 2 Revisión de textos. Cómo escribir instrucciones. Una receta, instrucciones para ejercicios, etc.

Correct texts. How to write instructions, such as a recipe or exercise instructions.

September 18 3 Revisión de textos. Cómo escribir una carta de queja.

Correct texts. Writing a complaint letter.

September 25 4 Revisión de textos. Cómo contestar una carta de queja (una que escribió un compañero).

Correct texts. Answering a complaint letter.

October 2 5 Revisión de textos. Cómo dar consejos. Contestar una columna de Dear Abby.

Correct texts. Giving advice, such as answering a Dear Abby column.

October 9 6 Revisión de textos. Cómo dar consejos. Contestar otra columna de Dear Abby.

Correct texts. Giving advice, such as answering a second Dear Abby column.

October 16 Revisión de textos. Cómo hacer un resumen. Resumir un artículo de un periódico en español, en línea.

Correct texts. Writing a summary. Summarize a Spanish newspaper article.

October 23 7 No hay clase… viaje a ATA

No class. ATA conference week.

October 30 8 Revisión de textos. Geografía, historia.

Correct texts. Write about geography or history.

November 6 9 Revisión de textos. Tecnología, bancos.

Correct texts. Write about technology or banks.

November 20 10 Revisión de textos.

Correct texts.

Nov 27 Enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas! No more class…

Register For Training

To register for training, please email