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Classes and Programs

Classes and Programs

A unique plan is developed for each student or group of students, agency or corporation, starting with an initial interview. SpanishDC tailors a learning plan according to each group’s needs. This plan includes quarterly evaluations that allow us to document the advances and difficulties of each student. By following a learning plan, and through regular evaluations, we can observe the individual progress of each student. These evaluations lay the groundwork for the next series of classes.

The Class

SpanishDC designs the class schedules together with its students, in order to meet their individual needs. We typically hold four class sessions per year: “Invierno” (winter), “Primavera” (spring), “Verano” (summer) and “Otoño” (autumn). Students generally continue with succeeding sessions until they are satisfied with their knowledge of the language. In cases of students who stop their training for lengthy periods and then begin again, they tend to lose as much as 70% of their vocabulary and 80% of their language skills. For children, class schedules are matched with the school calendar, with the possibility for summer sessions as well. We even offer home classes with small groups during the weekends. We can also provide tutoring to reinforce what the student has learned in classes at school.

Classes can be taught at your office, or in a private conference/training room inside your company’s building.

The Lesson

Each lesson has three parts:

1. Grammar

We begin by introducing a new grammar structure, and practicing the structure in small groups with feedback from the teacher, which leads into written and oral exercises with this structure.

2. Conversation

The most difficult part for students is to use the language, to speak. Some times they understand the grammar exercises, and they can do them without problems. And they are able to read and understand text more than 80% of the time, but they can’t speak, the most complex skill to achieve. Our methods provide the students with keys to focus on one subject and free them to speak. We plan full activities that work like a trigger to release the tongue and help at the same time to build new vocabulary.

3. Instructor-led Lab

• Listening comprehension

We work with audiotapes that help the students analyze what they hear, and recognize the grammatical structures that they already know. The student is taught to analyze the sounds and words that he or she hears, and to fit them into the previously learned structures. This is the most fundamental tool for carrying on an ordinary conversation in a foreign language. Videotapes are also used with the images, providing some additional context to understanding what is heard.

• Reading

All students, from beginners to those more advanced, read written materials, such as current newspapers, to stimulate curiosity. First, we work with the vocabulary and pronunciation. Then, the student must summarize what he or she has read. At the advanced levels, both a summary and analysis are required.

• Making videos

Children learn by play-acting. This is a useful tool for adults as well. Common situations are set up and the students act out scenes. Afterwards, students correct themselves and each other, using a videotape to review their scenes whenever possible.

In addition to the standard, necessary vocabulary, additional words will be introduced according to the students' fields and interests.

Timing

Class time revolves around the needs of the student, not the program. The teacher continuously pushes the student to reach the next level, and helps procrastinators work through those issues. At the same time, if it becomes necessary to return to a previously taught subject, we have no qualms about doing that. While we have a suggested length of time for each structure, each student is different. If the student cannot achieve the point in that time, we pay attention, looking for the key that can help the student to understand the concept and continue the process.

 
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