A student says: “I feel very inhibited in class because I keep thinking, “I’m a native speaker. Spanish is my language. So how come this Russian person has a richer vocabulary and understands the grammar better than I do?” I mean, I know you are not Russian. But you are not Latina either. This isn’t fair! You are not supposed to speak so well.”
I have a vague suspicion that my native speaker students enrolled in my Advanced Spanish class at least in part based on my very Slavic last name. It’s possible that they expected a stumbling and mumbling Russian person whose Spanish would be bad in comparison with theirs.
This makes me feel very good.