We believe that our Spanish students need to use the 4 language skills from the start: listening, speaking, writing and reading. In order to achieve this, our teaching methods create a lively and interactive atmosphere among students using grammatical and communicative activities and audio visual materials.
- Increase the student's communicative repertoire in social situations, i.e. asking questions and formulating answers;
- Build writing skills through short compositions;
- Develop awareness of different levels of address;
- Train students to understand everyday Spanish;
- Build the language skills necessary for extended discourse, i.e., for reporting, narrating, describing, explaining;
- Offer cultural studies about Mexico in general;
- Contribute toward the student's educational, social and personal development.
We strive to make learning Spanish a fun experience. Our methodology is communicative, intended for our students to ultimately speak, think and react in Spanish automatically, as a native speaker would. In addition to 2 hours of daily structured lessons, students enjoy a regular Conversation class in which they set up debates, engage in role-play as well as different language-learning games according to their level of study.
A communicative method encourages students to practice language interactively in pairs and groups, where they will have an equal opportunity to ask, answer, initiate and respond. The teacher assumes a counseling role, initiating activities, listening, helping and advising. Students are encouraged to communicate effectively and in a natural manner rather than merely produce grammatically correct forms in Spanish. Our program integrates all the contextual factors that affect what we say and how we say it, as well as give students a solid grammatical basis on which to build language.
Providing an intensive Spanish language program requires full time effort from students (except for Friday afternoons where we offer an optional Mexican cooking class and, of course, weekends). Although those not seeking academic credit are free to take as many classes as they wish, everyone is required to attend the morning program - the backbone of our Intensive Spanish Program. Beyond some review, little outside homework is required. Additionally, living with a Mexican family in San Miguel affords many opportunities for extra-curricular practice.
Vamos a hablar español I - a groundwork course for beginners in the use of Spanish, covering simple statements and questions, presentations, personal information, affiliations, family; expressing courtesies, agreement, disagreement, handling survival situations. Present tense. (ACTFL Novice, FSI I)
Vamos a hablar español II - narrate/describe in present and past tenses, fully participate in casual conversations, and give instructions, simple reports. Handle complaints, emergency situations, get out of trouble, and make comparisons. (ACTFL Low Intermediate, FSI II)
Vamos a hablar español III - defend opinions, hypothesize, tailor language to situation. Giving orders. Future and subjunctive tenses. (ACTFL High Intermediate, FSI III)
Vamos a hablar español IV - narrate in detail with precision, interviews, simultaneous interpretation, brainstorming, special fields of interest. Use of the subjunctive. (ACTFL. Advanced, FSI IV)
Vamos a hablar español V - native speaker level. Able to understand all situations, and make self understood to anyone. Broad and precise vocabulary. (ACTFL Superior, FSI V)
Spanish Conversation - a part of each of the five levels of language learning, conversation classes are conducted by a different teacher every day for the express purpose of forcing the student to use the language, to listen and follow others, and to increase the scope of the vocabulary.
Our One-to-One Spanish Program is offered for those who have an urgent need to communicate in Spanish but have limited time at their disposal. You may begin this program at any time and on any level. A typical One-to-One student is a business person or professional who must attend a congress or deliver a speech in a Spanish-speaking country. Others need to learn rapidly to work among Spanish speakers, and will be constantly using and improving their use of Spanish in the future.
Listening to other students at one’s own level, interacting with them and hearing the teacher correct others is a valuable part of the group learning process, and it probably assures a more realistically paced absorption of Spanish. But those who feel that they do not function efficiently within a group often opt for One-to-One.
Students are free to take as many One-to-One classes as they feel they need, but we recommend no more than 5 hours per day. Because our regular instructors teach these classes in their spare time, available time slots are from 8:30-9:30am, from 12:30-2:30 m and from 3:30-7:00pm. We recommend changing teachers as much as possible to take advantage of different rhythms of speech and personalities. We will try to book you with the teachers of your preference as long as they are available.
The cost of a One-to-One 1-hour class is $14.00. Tuition must be paid no later than a day before classes are scheduled. Tuition may be transferred to our Intensive Spanish Course if space is available at the student’s level. However, tuition paid for the Intensive Spanish Course is not transferable to the One-to-One program.
Official Diploma in Spanish as a Second Language
The Diploma Program is divided into 5 four-week sessions or a total of 20 weeks of study. It can be started at the beginning of any session and is open to students of all abilities. Diplomats will be prepared to live comfortably and function efficiently among native Spanish speakers, with special emphasis on Mexico. Being fluent in Spanish, a graduate student, for example, will have no language trouble in presenting an entrance examination to study at a Latin American university, and professionals will be able to work in their field among Spanish speakers anywhere in the world. International commerce, education, medicine, sales, public relations, diplomacy are just a few career opportunities that will be open to students.
Those who wish to enter this highly intensive program must be willing to immerse themselves in the Spanish language and the Mexican culture. Students must be at least 18 years old and be able to spend a minimum of 20 weeks in the program, which may be taken in 5 consecutive months or in alternating months throughout the year. The student must take all of the courses offered in this program in order to complete the Diploma. Thirty-five hours of class per week or a total of 140 hours during each session are offered, and a maximum of 7 semester credits can be earned in a 4-week session. To obtain credit, a student must maintain at least an 85% attendance record, complete all assignments and pass a final evaluation for each course. Students should consult their home institutions in advance to insure that they will receive credit for the AHA program. Tuition and housing must be reserved in advance. If taken consecutively, tuition for the five sessions is reduced to a total of $2,130 USD which is payable in five monthly installments.
Workshops (the following are not limited to 12 students.)
Pronunciation & Diction - a presentation of the organs of speech in relation to each other in order to make vowel and consonant sounds. Syllables, words and eventually tongue twisters help elementary students lose their foreign "accent."
Writing Workshop - a seminar dedicated solely to the use of written Spanish. At first the emphasis is mechanical with rules of construction, spelling, punctuation, capitalization and numbers. Later the course becomes creative.
Grammatical Problems - an in-depth review of special difficulties in the Spanish language. This course is taught specifically for advanced students and Spanish teachers.
Survey of Mexican History - a seminar dealing with the population of the hemisphere, the indigenous groups, Colonial and Independent Mexico, the Revolution of 1910 to the present time.
Study of the Mexican Mind - an inquiry into the contemporary aspects of the Mexican mind and their historical development. Characteristics of Mexican philosophy and psychology are discussed in relation to the various social classes existing in modern Mexico.
Contemporary Mexican Indians - a survey of the present day Mexican Indian groups and the problems which confront them in modern Mexico.
Mexican Themes - a survey of the historical roots of Mexican law, religion, education, politics and sociology, and the impact of its history on the modern Mexican.
Folklore - a seminar based on the discussion of the cultural aspects of the popular classes. Included are discussions of the language, riddles, witchcraft, folk dancing and folk singing, typical dress, superstitions and folk medicine.
Folk Singing & Folk Dancing - folk singing and folk dancing are practiced on alternate weeks.
Current Events in Spanish - a discussion using the daily newspaper as a text and practice with interviews and oral reports.
Novohispanic Literature - reading and discussion of Mexican literature of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
Mexican 19th Century Literature & Modernism - a discussion of Mexican poetry and prose from the Independence Wars to the end of the century, including political literature, novels, drama, Realism and Modernism.
Twentieth Century Mexican Literature - the reading, study and discussion of excerpts from the works of contemporary writers.
The Novel of the Mexican Revolution - directed reading and discussion of the most important novels dealing with the Mexican Revolution.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
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