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Everybody is kung fu learning!
The chefs at an East Village eatery are using “Iron Fist” to bone up on their language skills.
In the back room of VSPOT on St. Marks Place last week, a dozen workers from El Salvador, Colombia and Mexico gave their full attention as owner Daniel Carabano spelled out two versions of the Netflix series on a white board.
“Ayrun Fist,” Carabano wrote, alongside “Iron Fist,” helping his “students” pronounce the title of the Marvel show.
And when a character on the show needs help, the students learn to say it with the Spanish phonetic spelling, “gelp.”
“I’m just trying to take the fear away and to let people know that their classes are going to lead to something,” said Carabano, 38.
Carabano, a former high school math teacher from Brooklyn who owns three restaurants, hit upon the idea of a free language school for his workers after he taught himself to speak Spanish.
With Carabano’s help, workers also created “a memory palace” in the kitchen, where they can practice new phrases with the aid of computer-generated flash cards that they paste to the walls every day.
“We don’t learn grammar,” said Carabano, who has no formal training in linguistics. “We learn by example. And the students have been involved in creating the whole system.”
Carabano, who wants to expand his classes, calls his system The Cyrano Language School after the French literary character Cyrano de Bergerac, who coaches a tongue-tied baron.
“Other teachers I’ve had just wrote things out, and never bothered to explain,” said Hugo Jardinez, 26, who works in the kitchen at VSPOT and has lived in New York for seven years.
“Now I feel I’m finally getting it.”