The best way to learn Spanish

Learn it by USING it.

The best way to learn Spanish

Learn it by USING it.

Our Classes

Virtual Resources for Elementary, Jr. High and High School

Jr. High / High School Spanish

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!

Elementary Spanish

Grades 3-5: Elementary students will meet twice a week to explore Spanish through songs, games, and conversation.

Students must be able to read.


Information for 24-25 School year

Elementary (3-5)

Mon/Wed at 10 a.m.
Tue/Thu at 11 a.m.

Spanish One (Jr. and Sr. High)

Mon/Wed at 8 a.m. or
Mon/Wed at 11 a.m. or
Tue/Thu at 10 a.m.

Spanish Two

Mon/Wed at 9 a.m. or Tue/Thu at 8 a.m.

Spanish Three/ Spanish Four

Tue/Thu at 9 a.m.

(Mon/Thu combinations are possible for Elementary, Spanish 1 and 2)

Our Teaching Method

Acquisition Driven Instruction/Comprehensible Input

Our instruction is driven by this idea: If we give enough input that students can understand, their attentive brains will naturally pick up/soak up the language. Why?

Because that’s how our brains were designed to work!

We all acquired our first language this way, naturally–by hearing and communicating. We never studied it. We just heard it and then used it (imperfectly at first!) to communicate.

My job as a teacher, then, is to provide lots of understandable Spanish to students’ focused brains. If students pay attention and hear/read plenty of this Spanish, their brains will automatically acquire the language.

1.- Hearing
Classes are conducted in Spanish from Day One. Our brains need to process language in context. They need to hear sentences and paragraphs, not individual words or grammar explanations. When we hear and understand spoken Spanish our brains process it in the language center of the brain, not the memory section of the brain.
2.- Reading​
Students read Spanish from Day One. Studies prove the best way to learn vocabulary is through reading. We both read and listen to stories read to us. Again, all Spanish is in context! There are no vocabulary lists to memorize!
3.- Speaking/Writing​
It is only after our brains have soaked up a ton of language that we begin to feel comfortable communicating in sentences. When students make errors in grammar or vocabulary--and they will make many errors-- CI teachers model the correct language use, but do not stop to correct every student mistake. Studies prove that the only way a student will correct those errors in the future is if they receive more comprehensible input.
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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!

About Us

Sandra Anderson

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.

Even though her students come from the US and Canada, Sandra lives in Mexico (Yes, Mexico!) and teaches from there.

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