Our program emphasizes what students can do with language rather than simply what they know about it
Rapid learning progress
We believe that much classroom time must be spent in helping you to develop abilities to communicate and interact in Spanish. Further, communication and interaction involve two important processes: the ability to produce language to say what you mean and the ability to understand language when others speak to you. In our program, then, we will attend to developing your ability to carry out a number of functions in Spanish (e.g., introduce yourself, apologize, suggest, express opinions), and we will also spend much time giving you the opportunity to understand what others say when they introduce themselves, refuse invitations, describe others, suggest and express opinions.
It is equally important to develop your academic skills in Spanish. We will thus spend classroom time in helping you to comprehend written texts in Spanish, to understand academic presentations in Spanish, and to present information on academic topics in which you have a special interest.
Sometimes, your instructor will use an overhead with drawings or illustrations and talk about them, pointing to different items, repeating, and starting the description again, essentially providing you with long segments of Spanish all spoken at normal speed. Your job when listening will be to focus on deriving meaning from what is said using all of the cues at your disposal (the picture, your instructor’s intonation, what you already know about the topic, etc.). All of the materials used in these presentations are directly connected to the topics we are covering in the text.
You will be amazed at how quickly you learn to understand more and more Spanish.
In class, we will also spend a great deal of time learning and practicing key phrases that you can use to interact with other people. Some are in the book and others will be on handouts. Typically you will work with partners or in groups when working on phrases. When visitors come to class, you will use phrases you have learned to interview them and find out more about them.
Class time will also be spent working on vocabulary, as will a great deal of your home study time as well. You can expect that vocabulary will be a very important part of this course. Often the key to figuring out what someone is talking about is catching a word or two that you already know.
In general, we will follow the assigned textbook. However, because we are primarily guided by the final objectives for the course, you will also be assigned supplementary materials. Sometimes we will cover structure in class; most of the time, however, it will be assigned for home study. Your instructor will make very clear what you are supposed to be able to say using the structure you have studied.
This program concentrates on the development of greater fluency and accuracy in the spoken as well as the written language. Students will be exposed to aural-oral practice through the presentation of oral reports and class discussions based on short literary pieces by Hispano-American authors.
Greater accuracy in the language will be achieved through intensive practice of the grammatical structures. Class time is also devoted to developing native-like vocabulary, enabling students to participate in a wide range of practical, social, professional, and academic discussions, and developing the higher functions of the language, such as making hypotheses, supporting opinions, and dealing with abstract thought.
Our highly effective, conversational style of instruction immerses you in your new language and makes learning fast and easy. Our instructors are native-fluent speakers who focus on the practical grammar and vocabulary you’ll use in real-life situations.
International language standards
Spanish Beginner Level
This level is created for those individuals that have never been taught Spanish before and for those that have a limited knowledge of the language. In terms of communication, the student will acquire a sufficient amount of vocabulary and language tools to help him/her cope with conversations ranging from simple to somewhat complex. Topics will vary; greetings, numbers, and simple vocabulary to deal with daily activities such as renting a car, using the post office, shopping for clothes or food, ordering food or creating short conversations about home, work or education are a few examples of such topics.
Spanish Intermediate Level
This level strengthens the language skills that students previously learned. The students attain a larger bank of vocabulary words and language tools, which give them the opportunity to communicate in more complex situations than the novice student would. The vocabulary and topics to be studied range in scope from making telephone calls with or without operator assistance, making a hotel or restaurant reservation expressing preferences, going to the doctor to dealing with daily activities such as food shopping, using the barber shop, etc. Some of the topics seen in the beginner level are repeated but these topics are studied more carefully and communicative production from students is increasingly more complex.
Spanish High-Intermediate Level
This level emphasizes the oral – listening communication skills of the Spanish language; therefore, the oral communication is more complex and detailed than in previous levels. In addition, several reading comprehension exercises are provided as part of the course work for homework as well as classroom work. Additionally, the listening and speaking skills are put to a test with the provision of a wide variety of learning situations. There is an ample range of vocabulary to be acquired to strengthen deal with more complex and detailed situations that the novice or intermediate student would not be able to face. The topics to be studied in this level are repetitions of those studied in previous levels but the detailed vocabulary to be learned provide students with better tools to face even more complex situations than before. Examples of these are solving communication problems using the telephone, requesting a bank loan, fixing a car problem, following commands to prepare a recipe, going to the hospital, etc.
Biblioteca Mayor-University Library
Spanish Culture Project
This project is designed to allow the student to investigate a cultural topic in the Spanish speaking world that interests him/her. The final product will be one page presentation in Spanish. This project will be worked on in class as well as outside of class. Each student will select a culture topic and research that cultural event/activity/group.
A 5 minute oral report will be presented to the class. Students may use posters, overheads, music/video or any other type of visual when making their presentation and/or any other items to enhance their topic. Students work individually.
Study Spanish & Culture have the potential to deeply impact how students view themselves and their place in the world. In order to achieve this transformative change, space for reflective activities and processing before, during and after a course needs to be created. Reflection helps students critically process what they experiencing, can help encourage identity development in relation to the host country context, provides an important outlet when students encounter challenging situations and helps the blending of academic content with personal experience.
International language standards
Our curriculum and, therefore, our teaching plans are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) which sets the standard for all our Spanish Schools.
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) plays a central role in language and education policy worldwide. It has growing relevance for language testers and examination boards, helping to define language proficiency levels and interpret language qualifications.