WHAT IS A SPANISH LANGUAGE SCHOOL?
There are many
schools in Latin America and Spain that teach Spanish via an
immersion experience. Experential learning is highly recommended
as a way to acquire a living language as well as the culture of
our world neighbors.
Some of these programs are run in conjunction with a university.
Others are less formal and reservations are made at the door.
In the past 20 years have these schools really taken off. Some
cities in particular have a great reputation for being such educational
centers. For example, take a look at the positive cultural and economic
role schools play in Oaxaca
City, Mexico and Quito,
WHY SHOULD I STUDY ABROAD?
There are two good reasons. 1) You want to learn about another
country. 2) You wish to be comfortable speaking and understanding
the Spanish language. Experiential learning is fun and immersion
learning -- using the language outside the classroom -- is an effective
way to aquire new skills.
WHAT LEVEL OF LANGUAGE SKILLS DO I NEED?
Language schools offer programs at all levels, from beginners to
more advanced levels with specialized skills.
HOW LONG DO COURSES LAST?
Courses can last from one day to several months. Most schools encourage
students to take at least three weeks of classes for maximum benefit.
WHERE SHOULD I STUDY?
You decide! Since there are so many schools, the decision of where
to go may seem overwhelming.
Choose the country first where you'd like to learn. Then choose
by the city. Get recommendations from friends, write or call the
school directly for details.
WHAT ARE CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD LANGUAGE SCHOOL?
Two words: personal attention. You don't want to be treated like
a number. That said, most schools also have an established "program."
They have been in the business of teaching Spanish longer than you
have had in learning the language! Better schools offer cultural
outings as well as a library or book exchange and bulletin board.
In other words, they offer immersion into the local environs as
well as the language.
Some of my favorite schools donate a percentage of their income
to social projects and offer the students an opportunity to volunteer
or link up with projects in the host country. Another good sign
are original study materials, which the student can use to learn
as well as brush up on the language after returning home.