In this class we will learn by USING Spanish, not studying it! If you have no interest in studying grammar or conjugating verbs, but want to connect with the wonderful world of Spanish speakers, then this is for you!
Virtual Resources for Elementary, Jr. High and High School
Spanish One, Spanish Two, and Advanced Spanish classes for students ages 12-18 provide the SAME material as a typical school class. Students are expected to participate in class, complete homework on time, read 3-4 novels in Spanish every year and finish the year with a project.
Advanced Spanish is by instructor approval only!.
Grades 3-5: Elementary students will meet twice a week to explore Spanish through songs, games and chatting.
Students must be able to read.
Information for 23-24 School year!
(Mon/Thu combinations are possible for Spanish 1 and 2)
Our Teaching Method
We believe that Comprehensible Input is the best method to learn another language because language acquisition happens through an unconscious process
The process of learning a language is not the same kind of process as memorizing countries and capitols or calculating an Algebra equation. We can’t read a book about it and then come to “know” it.
Instead, learning a language is a natural process that the brain does automatically. How do we know this? Because everyone has already learned one language without formal training. And how did they learn it? Through Listening and communicating. Our job as teachers, then, is to present the language in such a way that the students’ brains can soak up the language simply by using it. If students pay attention and hear/read plenty of Comprehensible Spanish, their brains will automatically pick up the language. We call this “acquiring the language”.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, in the sense that it covers the same material as a standard Spanish Class. That means homework is required!! They may have class only 2 days a week but the other 3 days they will have about 45 min to 1 hour of Spanish instruction/homework. I tell students that if they want Jr. High or High School credit from their parents, then they have to do Jr. High/High school work.
Twice a week. Either Monday and Wednesday OR Tuesday and Thursday. Occasionally students need a Monday and Thursday combination. Classes meet in the morning.
Around an hour. I try not to go over one hour.
This year: Spanish One is offered to anyone. Spanish Two, and Advanced Spanish only available by prior approval and only if the student has had a comprehensible input class before. Elementary classes are also offered.
Students aged 11 or 12 and up.
No. Only those who have a significant exposure to spoken Spanish and have the approval of the instructor.
Probably not, but please contact me! Since the class is conducted in Spanish, a student must be able to USE the language in order to advance.
This is the method I use to teach Spanish. It basically means that everyone has already proved they CAN learn a language because they ALREADY use a language. How did they learn it? Through Comprehensible Input. They learned their first language by listening, communicating and later reading. My job as the teacher is to speak in such a way that the students’ brains can soak up the language, just as they did as babies.
No! Students learn at different rates because their brains process languages at different rates. While some 2 year-olds are saying “dink, mama”, others say “May I have a drink, please, Mom?” Both are comprehensible to the mom and both are normal language development. For this reason, students should not feel bad about repeating a Comprehensible Spanish Class.
Studies prove that the ONLY thing we can do is provide more input. That’s why doctors recommend moms and dads interact with their young children: read them books, ask them questions, etc. It is the same for learning Spanish. The more they have input that they understand (reading and listening), the more the brain will organize that language into useable information. Output (Speaking, writing) comes AFTER the brain processes what it has already acquired.
Studies prove that our brains don’t put memorized material into the language part of the brain, but into the “memory” part of our brain. That information becomes a “filter” that we have to struggle through in order to use the language. We start evaluating each word, pronunciation, verb tense…questioning whether it is correct or if we have made an error. Native speakers just open their mouth and the naturally-acquired language just “falls out”. It is correct because it “sounds correct” to them–that’s how they’ve heard it. It isn’t correct because they have thought through vocabulary, grammar, and tenses.
I do teach grammar! But it is usually through USING the language. The formal grammar instruction is light (5 minutes max) when we as a class notice something new. I also teach a short section of grammar during the last few weeks of school, after they’ve had a LOT of input. I do this to prepare students who might be moving into a grammar-oriented school or university.
A typical homework assignment might be listening to a book or story in Spanish and answering questions, or watching a video in Spanish. They might watch a music video or play a game. They might write a short summary in Spanish or translate a reading into English for a parent. Most homework focuses on getting more Spanish input through reading or listening to Spanish. Regardless, it is almost always using the language, not studying the language.
I try to focus on communication. Students must be willing to show me whether they understand or not. Some students communicate with non-verbal or one word answers. Others feel comfortable trying sentences out. I try not to force output; my time is better used providing more input. More advanced classes begin to offer output naturally.
The students who do well are those who want to learn the language, who can pay attention to conversations, who commit to doing their homework and who are willing to “play the game” of “What do you think it means?” All of these are necessary for success!
She is a Michigan certified teacher with more than 35 years experience teaching in Public, Private and Home school Co-ops. She’s been teaching virtually since even before Covid (!) and has her BA in Spanish and Public Speaking and her Masters in Education.
She lives in Mexico but teaches mostly students from Michigan.
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