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Why us?-10 reasons to learn at Farolito Spanish Language School

  • At Farolito Spanish Language School we pride ourselves on being fully dedicated to the teaching and promotion of Spanish language and Hispanic-Latin American cultures.
  • All our teachers are experienced and qualified to deliver quality teaching to adults and/or children.
  • All our teachers are native speakers of Spanish: you will hear the language as spoken in their countries of origin.
  • Farolito’s classes are small/semi-pricate (Avarage 4/5 students), with plenty of opportunity for conversation and clarifying doubts. Your teacher gets to know you better and you progress more effectively in your learning.
  • We believe that communication is the key to learning and demonstrate it in our classes, whilst addressing all language competencies (speaking, listening, reading and writing) for complete language literacy.
  • We use proven methods and textbooks successful worldwide; our levels are in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages which ensures that outcomes are consistent.
  • Farolito offers levels from Beginners to Advanced Conversation: we are supportive throughout your learning experience from first steps to fluency.
  • We provide an exclusive learning site for Farolito Spanish Language School students with support material to advance your learning.
  • Our Farolito community is alive by our regular activities, events and forum for student’s exchange.
  • We provide a fun and friendly environment, you will learn with gusto! See students feedback



Eleonor Palacio
Managing Director

Born in Argentina, Eleonor graduated as a Literary Translator (Spanish -English) from the University of the National Social Museum (Buenos Aires), she holds a Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics) from Monash University and a Postgraduate Diploma of Education (Secondary Education, Spanish and English as a Second Language) from RMIT.Eleonor is also a NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters) Professional translator. She holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and she has completed a course in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language from the Argentinean Association of Teachers of Spanish (AADE). She is also accredited as a DELE examiner (levels A1-A2 and B1-B2) and has been a VCE Y12 Examiner. 

She moved to Australia in 2002 and she has since been teaching Spanish as a Second Language to adults, privately and at several Melbourne language centres. She has worked at a multilevel primary and middle years class at the Victorian School of Languages, at Secondary level at Methodist Ladies College and currently at Melbourne Girls Grammar School (Year 9 to VCE).

Eleonor opened Farolito Spanish Language School in 2007, delivering group classes at different locations and at Farolito’s own premises in South Yarra from 2011.

She is passionate about Latin American Literature and keeping up to date with new approaches to teaching and learning. She also enjoys dancing and, although not particularly gifted, she is currently trying her best as part of Murga Madre, a dance and song group based on the style performed in Buenos Aires during carnival.

From my own experience and current research, I understand what is involved in learning a second/foreign language. I ensure our classes at Farolito are interactive and fun, using audio, visual and tactile materials to stimulate the students’ learning while addressing all competencies (speaking, listening, reading and writing) for comprehensive language literacy’.

Languages: Spanish (Native), English (C2), Italian (B1).

Mónica González
Office Manager/ Teacher

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Originally from Guatemala City, Monica has always had a great passion for languages. She moved to Melbourne to complete a Diploma of Translating and Interpreting (English/Spanish) at RMIT University, followed by a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Linguistics at Monash University, where she perfected her fluent French studying French literature and found a new love for Latin.

Monica is also a NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters) Professional Translator and Interpreter, and she is completing a Masters of Modern Languages Teaching at Melbourne University, and taking her first steps in German.

Languages: Spanish (Native), English (C2), French (C1), Italian (A2)

Sandra Flores

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Sandra is from Lima, Peru. She arrived in Melbourne in 2014 and loves this vibrant multicultural city.

Sandra’s love for teaching started when she was very young, as an assistant to her mum. She had her first private student at the age of 12. She has been an English teacher for more than thirteen years and holds a TESOL Certificate. In Peru, she taught in primary schools, NGOs and institutes. She has been teaching Spanish for over four years, and her classes are known for being fun and super interactive (we call her “the games Queen”).

Some of Sandra’s passions are French, sculpture, art history, conservation and taking her dog, Hugo, on long walks.

‘The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery’. ~ Mark van Doren

Languages: Spanish (Native), English (C1), French (A1)

Diana Velásquez Peñalosa

 Diana_Velasquez_Peñalosa  Diana is from Colombia, where she worked as a kindergarten and primary school teacher for over six years. Diana holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Primary Education majoring in Humanities and Languages (Libre University of Colombia), an Advanced Diploma of Interpreting in English-Spanish (Oxford College), a Certificate IV in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and a Diploma in Children Services.

She works at Melbourne Girls Grammar as a Spanish Teacher and Spanish Language Assistant.

Diana has worked as a Spanish teacher for adults in several centres in Melbourne and joined Farolito’s Spanish-teaching experts, teaching children and adults, in 2011.

‘In my classes I promote individual capacities through dynamic activities’.

Languages: Spanish (Native), English (C1), French (A1)

Camila Bravo

Camila is a qualified English teacher (5-year degree), graduated from the Chilean-British University of Culture, Santiago, Chile.

After working in the corporate sector for several years in Chile, she relocated to Melbourne in 2016. She has experience as an English teacher for adults in her home country, as a Spanish teacher for adults at language centres in Melbourne, as well as having volunteered as a Spanish language teacher assistant at Orchard Grove Primary School.

Some of Camila’s personal interests are vegetarianism activism and healthy life-style, yoga, karate and running, and, of course, learning languages.

Languages: Spanish (Native), English (C1), German (A1)


Jan Christian Petersen

Jan (Christian) was born in Venezuela and moved to Australia 10 years ago to work as a biologist. He had always been interested in teaching, so shortly after coming to Australia he decided to take an opportunity to teach Spanish in a language school. Through this class, he discovered a passion for languages and fell in love with teaching. He decided to go back to university to pursue a degree in arts, majoring in Applied Linguistics from the University of Melbourne.
After completing his degree, Jan moved to Japan for a year to teach English and learn Japanese. Jan has been a valuable teacher at Farolito since 2015.
Some of Jan’s passions are foreign cultures, and languages!
Languages: Spanish (Native), English (C1), Japanese (B2)


Daniele Calmarini

Originally from Madrid but having lived in Italy, Colombia and Argentina, Daniele moved to Australia in 2010.

Daniele holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History as well as Master’s Degree in Secondary Education majoring in History, History of Art and Geography from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. He has experience working as a Secondary School teacher in Madrid as well well as tutoring Spanish, Italian, History and Geography to teenagers and adults in Australia.

Languages: Spanish (Native), Italian (Native), English (C1), Portuguese (B2), French (A1)


María Alejandra Valenzuela


Maria Alejandra is a journalist from Chile, graduated in Social Communication from the Universidad de la Santísima Concepción, also holds a Master in Social Communication (Majoring in Journalism) from the Universidad Católica Pontificia de Chile, Santiago, and a Certificate IV in Education Support.  In her home country, Alejandra worked in several education projects, such as coordinating TV and radio production workshops for children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, work which at the same time served as the basis for her Master’s thesis.

After living in Singapore for a year, were she delivered Spanish language classes for English speakers, Maria Alejandra moved to Melbourne in 2011, Since then, she has been involved in Early Childhood Education by delivering workshops for children at local childcare centres, and as a Spanish teacher for children at the VSL (Victorian School of Languages) and for adults at Community Centres, as well as being actively involved in the Spanish-speaking community in Melbourne. Maria Alejandra has been part of the Farolito team delivering Spanish classes for children and adults since 2013.

Languages: Spanish (Native), English (B2)


Denise Dussert

Originally from Santiago in Chile, Denise holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the Universidad de Chile. She is currently completing her studies in Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne.
Denise has worked with children and teenagers with learning difficulties and has also conducted psychology lectures at the Universidad de Chile. He has worked with several language schools back home teaching Spanish and has continued doing so since moving to Australia.
Languages: Spanish (Native), English (C1)