The majority of people learn a language one of two ways – They either learn it by traveling or living in a foreign country for a year or they use more traditional study methods, such as taking a language class.
If you have the opportunity to live in a foreign country for a year, I highly recommend it. There is no better way to become fluent in your target language. Period.
However, most people don’t have that luxury, which takes you back to more traditional methods of learning…in a classroom.
The problem with learning in a traditional class, is that they bore you to death with textbooks, workbooks, conjugations, memorizing verb lists, role-playing, etc. So the majority of people give up in 1-2 years and never learn to speak their target language. Why? Because they never speak it! They never actually use any of what they’re learning in real conversation. When they have the opportunity to use their Spanish in a social setting, they’re scared to death or embarrassed because they’ve never actually practiced speaking before. They can get all the exercises right in their book, but getting the words to come out of their mouth is a whole other story.
So this is where we come in. I used to teach using the traditional methods, but it didn’t last long. My students weren’t really learning how to SPEAK Spanish, which essentially, is everyone’s goal. So 6 months after I started teaching, I decided to change the format. We started offering conversation classes…and not role-playing or reading text and then talking about it. No, these we’re real life conversations…ones that would actually take place in a person’s life.
So after I decided to offer conversation classes, I made a list of things that I thought would be important:
- The classes needed to be un-intimidating. I remember being terrified to speak English when I was learning it and I didn’t want my students to feel that way.
- The classes needed to be fun. If we were all going to sit around and chat every week, it had better be fun!
- I knew the classes had to be small. I tested numbers between 3 – 8 and eventually settled on 6 students, but no more!
- The topics had to be varied. We had to get creative and find new things to talk about every week.
- There needed to be a method to the madness. Although the classes aren’t lesson based, we needed to have a goal in mind for each class…what exactly did we want the students to practice today?
I could go on and on, but these are the key ingredients to a fun, un-intimidating, small-group Spanish immersion conversation class!
And there you have it! This is what we do!
If you’re interested, please contact me to set up a level assessment. We offer 9 different levels and we need to find the right one for you!
The classes are held in one of our two “Salas de Conversación” in our office in North Park. We practice our Spanish through real conversation and through a quick mini-lesson each week. We talk about our day to day lives, we play games and we discuss random, thought provoking topics. The classes are fun, laid back and un-intimidating and we often end up in laughter!
The classes are offered on an on-going basis all year long. You’re welcome to start out with the minimum requirement of 8 classes and then continue if you find yourself enjoying the classes and learning a lot! I have to warn you…the classes are addictive. We happen to have the most wonderful, interesting, nicest, coolest students in the world and you can’t help but have fun in class 🙂
The classes vary from week to week and are not based on consecutive lesson plans, so if you end up taking consecutive classes for a year or more, you will not have to worry about having the same conversation twice. At the advanced level I suggest taking the classes as often as possible if you do not have the opportunity to practice your Spanish on an on-going basis. If you don’t use it, you will lose it!