Elena and I spent one year together as Language House Directors at Sewanee, The University of the South, in Tennessee, US. During this year, I got to know Elena not just as a very well-organized, structred and broadly interested person but also as a linguistic genius - her weekly Italian tutoring sessions did rarely stay "monolingual" but often turned into Spanish or even French language lessons. As I was a total Spanish beginner, Elena often helped me with my homework or with the preparation for my exams. Even though it's often difficult for native speakers to explain their own languge, Elena could answer every question I had in detail. One of the reasons why might be that she went to a French school in her hometown, Madrid, and therfore learned Spanish probably in a more precise and detailed way than a native speaker would have had. Having been taught this way, she is absolutely familiar with the grammatical structures and has the important ability to explain contents in a vivid and comprehensive way.