Testimonials

We don’t want to brag, but…


Here’s what others are saying about us:

 

“Soha is a delightful person and a terrific teacher.  She has worked her magic to make all of us feel ‘adequate’ to be in the room with the more advanced students, who also seem to be happy.  The hour goes so fast!  We are fortunate to be the beneficiaries of Soha’s generosity and dedication. I had three French-speaking visitors come to the European desk where I was today.  I couldn’t believe that I easily slipped into the few directives en francais that I knew or recalled.  I told them I was studying and they were pleased I made the effort. 🤗”

Susan Honig, Museum Volunteer


"¡Magnífica!  Irma is simply the best when it comes to Spanish instruction.  She mixes interactive group chats that are fun yet instructive with on-point exercises.  Her passion for teaching and her expertise in crafting a curriculum comes through in everything she does within, and prepares for, class.  You can become facile in the language in no time with Irma’s guidance, all while having fun.  I recommend her without hesitation or qualification."

Travis Troyer, Attorney


“Both French and Spanish classes have been great experiences! In the language classes, there are students on different skill levels. Soha and Irma are great teachers. They are super patient and accommodate students at all levels. I've really enjoyed their teaching styles as well. I've learned so much and am able to speak more confidently."

Josefa Solano-Richante, Programs Associate Family & Teen Programs, Museum

 

“I’ve had a wonderful experience in the Diáfano French class at the museum where I work.   I have made a good start at resurrecting my dormant French skills.   Our teacher has been a marvel.   She has been able to work with each student’s skills, varied to say the least, and help each of us make progress. In addition, I have met new colleagues and we have had a wonderful time in every class while we were learning.   I recommend the experience to everyone interested in improving their language skills." 

Confidential, Museum Manager

 

"I'd taken 3 years of Spanish in high school, but haven't done anything with that in 18 years! This course was a great way to get reintroduced to the language. And it was a treat learning from our teacher - she is an excellent profesora!"

William Blueher, Museum Metadata & Collections Librarian

 

“Learning a new language is not easy for a busy professional, especially in the city that never sleeps. As an investment banker with a packed schedule, I needed all the help I could get when I decided to learn Spanish. For the first few months I struggled to find the right instructor: someone who was not only able to teach effectively, but could also motivate me.

I was very lucky to begin taking classes with Irma Cedeno, the founder of Diáfano. She brings incredible energy to every lesson that keeps me engaged and eager to learn. She leverages Spanish and Hispanic literature, history, music, film and art to highlight the benefits of strengthening your grasp of the language. So while I first started learning Spanish to vacation in South & Central America, I now realize that Spanish unlocks the door to a vivid and exciting culture that is all around us right here in New York City.

In a classroom setting, Irma drives learning and engagement through interesting and impactful group discussions. She is able to sense the needs of each student to make sure no one person either falls behind or dominates the class. She breaks lessons down into a variety of activities to achieve simultaneous progress on different concepts and grammatical structures. 

In an individual setting, Irma maximizes my development by carefully planning classes to address my unique needs. She combines her solid professional knowledge and training with a creative approach that leads to unparalleled results. Most importantly, she makes learning Spanish fun, which makes you more likely to persevere and achieve your goals. In that sense, she has become more like a coach than an instructor.

I’m somewhat conflicted in recommending Irma to others wanting to learn Spanish; the more people know about her skills, the more difficult it will be for me to schedule lessons with her. Therefore, if you are reading this, consider yourself lucky, and don’t hesitate to contact her so you can also accelerate your learning today.”

Sid Lahiri, Vice President, Investment Banker, J.P. Morgan

 


"I cannot recommend Irma, and her company Diáfano, more highly for Spanish language study. She takes the time to understand exactly what the student needs not just in diagnosing learning style and level, but also how to adapt it to the student's lifestyle and professional demands creating a personalized program of study. As a true linguist, her expertise is exceptional. However, she is also the consummate professional as well: prepared, communicative, and always on schedule. It has been a blessing to work with Irma and a fantastic investment."

Vanessa Barboni, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley

 

“Learning a language is one of the most rewarding adventures anyone can embark upon, especially with the right instructor. There are challenges in this process that are unique to each student and Irma, founder of Diáfano, has an incredible ability to help each person navigate those challenges to come out stronger at the other end. She’s very perceptive and encourages, pushes and nurtures her students to realize their potential as Spanish speakers.

In the past I’ve made several starts at learning Spanish but the conventional teaching methods of those experiences never made the language feel alive and my attempts were short-lived. I feel very fortunate to have discovered Irma and, nearly a year-and-a-half in, I feel engaged, curious, more confident and less shy about speaking and, most importantly, eager to continue until I’m fluent.

I’ve taken both group and individual classes with Irma and her method of teaching is so effective because it combines a seemingly endless and creative variety of activities that reinforce different parts of the learning process, solid knowledge of the language, instruction expertly tailored to the individual and infectious enthusiasm. Add to this her natural kindness and humor and you’ve got a safe place to make mistakes, learn, laugh and grow to love the language. I can’t recommend Irma and Diáfano highly enough!”

Donald Murphy, Design Director, AllianceBernstein

 

"Irma is without doubt the leader in what she does; she has the extraordinary ability to connect with the student, understand individual needs, develop the right plan and deliver results. Her genuine focus on excellence coupled with her extensive expertise guarantee success. She is certainly the best teacher I've ever had. She is a full-blown professional and a top expert in the language learning and communications field. Not only has she developed innovative and effective techniques tailored to individual needs and background, her unique, one-does-not-fit-all approach, and her exceptional dedication set her apart. Her background in education and academia, combined with her extensive exposure to Latin America and Spain have resulted in a deep understanding of their cross-cultural values, and a step-by-step, results-driven methodology that fulfills the promise it makes: to learn the language fast, and retain it. Irma has successfully helped organizations in their globalization efforts by creating courses that bridge the gap between language learning and cultural competence, therefore connecting businesses to their Spanish-speaking clientele, and creating a smooth transition for companies whose employees are travelling or moving abroad. In my case, for example, I do not have time to study Spanish outside of class, but Irma makes every session challenging, fun, informative, and effective enough for me to feel confident regardless. 

Whether private or in a group setting, lessons with Irma are a great investment for both corporations and individuals."

Confidential, Partner, Ernst & Young

 

“Irma is such an excellent teacher. I had such a wonderful experience with her. Her enthusiasm and positivity are contagious! As an instructor she not only presents the content in a logical and approachable manner but also expands upon it by engaging the class in new and creative ways. Multi-modal experiences such as movement or listening to music enhanced the class and encouraged camaraderie amongst the students. Our assignments were practical, yet fun, and any struggles were always met with patience, persistence, and a smile. I would love to have her as an instructor once again. Highly recommend! "

Leah High, Public Services Librarian, Thomas J. Watson and Nolen Libraries, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 


"Irma has helped me take my Spanish speaking abilities to the next level.  I have taken years of Spanish in small classes but I never had the ability to speak enough, or anyone to actively correct my mistakes.  I felt I wasn't really improving anymore.  With Irma, she actively corrects me and makes me speak almost the entire class.  She will tailor the class to whatever your specific needs are.  We  have developed a program that works for me:  conversation, grammar, reading literature, and preparing for DELE. We  maximize our hour together so that whatever I can do at home doesn't need to be done during class. "

Christina Ronac, CFA, Vice President, HSBC Global Asset Management (USA) Inc.


“Irma is a great instructor with a high level of patience and a unique ability to keep classes lively and fun. I took weekly classes with her for a few months and was impressed with her commitment. She was very meticulous and had a clear lesson plan while also having a lot of flexibility where needed to cover specific topics when asked. She had a very strong knowledge base of both English and Spanish which made it easy to learn from her.”

Mehnt Bhatia, Fixed Income & Commodities, Morgan Stanley   

 

“It has been my good fortune to be a student of Irma Cedeno’s.  I have taken Spanish classes from others in the past but often have been challenged by conventional learning approaches.  That all changed when studying with Irma.  As a native speaker she has a great passion for the language and Latin cultures.  She is a seasoned professional with great experience and can apply different learning strategies based on her understanding of how each student best learns.  She uses a variety of approaches with stories and games that puts students at ease, lowering their inhibitions and making the experience fun.”

 Dr. Robert A. Cook, Wildlife Veterinarian 

 

“When I walked in to Irma's classroom one day unannounced, it was clear that she had already cultivated excellent relationships with the students.  Their comfort level and readiness to learn was visibly evident.  This comes by striking the right balance of approaching language learning as both play and work or playful work.  Stories, games and students relaxed enough to share both their struggles and their successes in mastering a new language are all part of building an effective language learning community.  Irma's general enthusiasm, immensely likable personality and vast repertoire of teaching techniques tailored to individual need was what every language supervisor hopes for.  If Howard Gardner,  the formulator of multiple intelligence theory, would observe Irma teaching, he would be duly impressed with how she utilizes her own interpersonal intelligence to engage students through a variety of educational modes including logical sequencing, music and movement.  Wish I could have kept her as an instructor for a much longer time!”

Dr. Ralph Peters, Chair of Humanities and Social Sciences Department, Berkeley College


“I’ve taken private as well as group classes with Irma and would have to say she’s one of the best teachers I’ve had, hands down. Lessons are presented in a clear, organized manner, but Irma’s teaching methods are hardly cookie-cutter. She brings a mix of thoughtfulness, creativity and playfulness to every class, using a range of learning techniques to engage students—even when the challenges of mastering a new language seem insurmountable.”

Nissrine Habash, Copywriter, Victoria’s Secret

 

“I have been very lucky to have Irma Cedeno as my teacher. I was a bit worried that it would be hard to have the energy for three hours of Spanish at the end of a long work week, but I had nothing to worry about. Irma made the class so much fun, and I was looking forward to going to class every week. She has a lot of energy and a great positive attitude. The class never got boring, Irma always tried new approaches, anything from conversations between classmates to presentations, games and music. In the end it was like going to a friend's house with the benefit of learning Spanish at the same time. I just finished the beginner level but I feel confident enough to travel to Spanish-speaking countries and be able to ask for directions, order in a restaurant, go shopping, and converse, all while using the language skills I learned in class. I would recommend Irma to anyone who wants to learn Spanish.”

Christian Jansson, Financial Controller, The Mark Hotel

 

“Irma brings creativity and passion to teaching Spanish. Whether teaching a beginner, intermediate or advanced student,  she adjusts her instructions accordingly. By incorporating various topics such as news of the day, culture, history, travel and much more, her language classes are compelling thus students avoid missing a class. It's obvious she puts much time and effort into lesson preparation. The class is conversational and grammar/language skills are presented in Spanish to reinforce language comprehension. Whether one is studying Spanish for business, travel or just to learn a language, Irma switches gears to meet the need of the student.  I've studied Spanish previously but always hit a roadblock at the intermediate level. Irma strongly encouraged me to continue, to go beyond my previous level and challenge myself. I did and am pleased at how much my Spanish skills improved. A specific example of Irma's creativity: she taught me the subjunctive verb by listening to Celia Cruz, a famous Cuban singer.  Cruz's music is about sentiment and mood, the condition in which one would use the subjunctive.  I now know the subjunctive very well!  If your goal it to learn to speak, read and comprehend Spanish, I strongly recommend Irma as your language instructor.”

Confidential, retired NBC News Director

 

"Irma Cedeno, the founder of Diáfano, is an excellent profesora, and I am so glad that I sought out a series of private Spanish lessons with her. Creative, intelligent, patient, and kind are all adjectives I’d use to describe Irma. Most of all, she is a skilled teacher who gives structured but fun lessons; I was quite pleased with my progress over the course of five weeks. An almost-fluent speaker in my university days, I have been working my way back to competency in Spanish after several decades away. I wanted to concentrate specifically on my reading, comprehension, and pronunciation, and I needed the attention to detail that private lessons provide. The set of language-learning tools I learned from Irma gave me a great boost of confidence. As a volunteer reader in several elementary-school classes, I get a big kick out of being able to share books with Spanish words and phrases with children whose families come from Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, and, well, everywhere! One day recently, without even really thinking about it, I was rolling the “r” in the title of a book I was was going to read, and one first grader turned to his friend and said excitedly, “This book is going to be about something Spanish! I can tell.” Thanks to positive feedback like that, I plan to continue my lessons with Profesora Irma!"

Susan Thomsen, Former New Yorker Editorial Staff Member, Writer, Literacy Volunteer

 

"Irma is first and foremost a force of nature in terms of her energy level and her commitment to her students’ development. Through her company, Diáfano, she provides a highly personalized teaching experience that allows students to acquire Spanish speaking and writing at any rate they desire, including very rapid advancement for seriously committed students. She matches her teaching approach to her students’ learning style. She is, by all measure, very organized and focused on providing the most innovative methods of Spanish instruction."

Andrea Mauro, Vice President, MauroNewMedia


"I first met Irma in the spring of 2017 when I began to take Spanish language classes.  Prior to my first class, I had not studied Spanish in over ten years, so I was understandably nervous and unsure of what to expect. Irma made the experience incredibly fun and I could feel my dormant passion for Spanish return instantly. As a teacher, Irma had an uncanny way of making the time fly with activities that were engaging, but also really effective in helping one to master grammar and to learn new vocabulary. I was blown away by how she ensured that everyone in the class had ample opportunity to speak. I had an opportunity to take one on one lessons with Irma once she began to focus full-time on Diáfano, her thriving business, and during that time my Spanish improved immensely. She was able to hone in on the grammatical concepts that I most needed to improve upon in order to better my conversational abilities. My time with Irma was so inspiring that last summer I went on to participate in a seven week Spanish language immersion program, which I would not have had the guts to do without Irma's encouragement, support, and the strong Spanish language foundation that she provided me. Whether your company or organization aims to offer Spanish language instruction as an incentive to employees or as a means of adding more value to your work force as a whole, investing in Diáfano and Irma is the way to ensure your team is on its way to obtaining what is universal considered to be a crucial 21st century skill."

Christina Clemente, Associate Director of Admissions, Hackley School 



"Irma is an extraordinary Spanish teacher! Her warm, upbeat personality is welcoming and supportive, and she is endlessly patient. As a result, students feel safe taking the risks involved in learning another language. Irma’s belief in her students’ abilities inspires our confidence. It is obvious that Irma is passionate about teaching. Whether teaching one-on-one or in a classroom, her lessons are thoughtful, creative, engaging, and tailored to the specific needs of her students. Beyond learning the Spanish language, classroom work includes opportunities to learn about Spanish culture by discussing books, newspaper articles, magazine articles, playing games, and reading song lyrics and then watching the related music video. Time in her class flies by!"

Camille Ehrenberg, Teacher, The Dalton School


"I attended a small class, with students of varying levels. Irma made it challenging and fun for everyone, and was able to get us all to participate right away. Her keen intelligence, imagination, and sparkly personality made it one of the most inspiring Spanish classes I’ve ever attended."

Laura Hoffmann, NYC


"I have been studying with Irma for several years now.  Her knowledge, not just of Spanish, but of the science of language and experience in academia easily separated her from any other Spanish teacher that I have had.  She is everything you would want in a teacher in that she is firm and doesn't allow you the easy way out (in other words talking in your native tongue), yet learning from her is fun and you don't feel overwhelmed.  She never makes you feel stupid and she has the patience of a saint.  Best of all, you never feel she is giving up on you when you sometimes feel like you are giving up on yourself!"

William Fischer, Certified Financial Planner