Austin Lessons and Tutoring, LLC offers a variety of integrated activities for homeschoolers, afterschool hours and weekend family activities. Specializing in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese play-based immersion, Austin Lessons provides students and entire families with events, excursions and field trips to museums, parks, restaurants and more. The owner/founder of Austin Lessons, Joan Marie MacCoy, began working with children over 18 years ago. Her natural ability to break information down into manageable parts led her to work with children as a habilitation technician, tutor and teacher during the period between her undergraduate and Master’s degrees. As a child herself, Joan Marie had foreign exchange students from Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Japan and Russia live with her. These experiences along with an Ambassadorial Scholarship to Costa Rica through the New Bern Rotary Club in North Carolina helped encourage a powerful interest in languages, culture, and communication. Everything came together during her experience as an interpreter and translator at the Partnership for Children (NC), where she realized that communication, childhood development, culture and educational experiences form the basis for each person’s unique worldview, method of synthesizing information, and ability to frame problems.
During her Master’s in International Studies at East Carolina University, Joan Marie reflected heavily on the connection between language, culture, personal experiences and world view. Through her Hispanic Studies certificate, Joan Marie gained further mastery of the Spanish language, began exploring Chinese, Portuguese and Italian more in depth, and studied the art of community-based organizations and partnership formation and maintenance. Again, the importance of clean communication emerged.
Upon relocating to Austin from a small town in North Carolina, Joan Marie has sought to utilize her diverse skills in communication by establishing a local business to serve the needs of students, special-needs individuals, and persons interested in developing confidence, skill, better self-awareness and communication skills. She provides all Spanish instruction for Austin Lessons, and additional tutors provide support in other core languages. Click here for a direct link to the site, or click here for more information about the language instructors.