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SpanishDC | Methodology | Classes and Programs | Instructors | Corporate Classes | Instructor Training

SpanishDC has tailored programs in accordance to knowledge of the structure of the language. After eleven years’ experience working with children when they are first leaning to write and developing grammar skills, Spanish DC has reapplied these methods to suit the needs of adults who are learning a second language. Children learn by “the big picture,” as opposed to learning a language word by word. Context plays an invaluable role, and as an adult, you have the advantage of experience and knowledge.

How many years does a mother spend teaching language by repetition? And how many years does one spend in the school system learning to write properly? We know just what it takes to gain a working knowledge of a second language in the most efficient and timely way possible.

Concepts, not translation

To learn a second language simply through memorization and repetition, you will need at least five years, and the process is likely to create quite a headache. Through the methods we offer, you will likely find that you are learning the language in half the time that it would ordinarily take, since you will be focusing on structure and concepts as opposed to regurgitation.

SpanishDC teaches grammar concepts that stress similarities and differences in the logic of both languages. Learning becomes easier once you have a better understanding of the basic rules, and are able to apply overall concepts rather than translate word by word.
English and Spanish alike share many grammar components of Latin and Greek, but are very different in terms of the structuring of questions, prepositions, reflexive verbs, negative sentences, placement of adjectives, direct and indirect object pronouns and the subjunctive. We take advantage of these differences while teaching structures.

It is hard work. All students come to us thinking in English and trying to translate word by word. We are not going to offer you a rose garden before providing you with gloves, a shovel and a rake, and taking you through the steps involved in creating your beautiful garden. Spanish DC provides the tools, and together we will use them. All you need is time, training, and a good professional relationship with a teacher who will encourage you not to procrastinate with maximum care.

Language and culture

Each language has roots in its own culture. Magazines, newspaper stories, tapes, songs and comics are all full of unique idiomatic expressions and a word-for-word translation doesn’t help.

For example: “My piano cost me an arm and a leg.” By “an arm and a leg,” the speaker means that the piano was very expensive. The corresponding Spanish idiomatic expression is “Me salió un ojo de la cara.” Literally, this means that the speaker has an eye (ojo) from his or her face (cara), but the overall meaning is the same as the English expression. Vital elements such as these are lost on those attempting to learn simply by translating each word.

SpanishDC teaches its students idiomatic expressions, proverbs, geography and cultural characteristics of all Spanish-speaking countries, according to each student’s interests and travel plans. It is common for an object to be called by several different words, varying from region to region. For example, in South America grapefruit is called “pomelo.” In Central America, it is called “toronja.”

It is also important to understand cultural differences. For instance, there is a strong “macho” characteristic in Latin American, and the family holds a very strong influence. Some children live with their families well into adulthood, and almost all families take care of their grandparents.

We develop vocabulary relevant to different occupations and fields, and prepare our own material for corporations that are in need of specific vocabulary (health workers, the police, supermarkets and “Spanish for Kids”).
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