School

Teaching method :: Spanish classes in South America, immersion programs Uruguay

Teaching method

  

MethodThe classes are taught entirely in Spanish (the immersion method).  In our experience this maximises the learning experience, allowing you to get the most of your Spanish studies.  The classes are divided into two hours of grammar and two hours of conversation.  In this way students develop a sound understanding of the grammatical basis of the language, and build on it with practical communication skills and everyday vocabulary, which they can use outside the classroom straight away.  Teachers will usually assign a short exercise for homework each day.

Grammar; The areas of grammar studied will depend on the length of your stay and on the previous knowledge of the students in the group, but here are some of the grammar topics you can expect to cover at each level:

·         Elementary: regular and irregular verbs in the present tense, the use of ser and estar, reflexive pronouns, the present continuous tense, comparatives and superlatives, forming questions.

·         Intermediate: regular and irregular verbs in the past tense, the perfect tenses, reflexive verbs, direct and indirect object pronouns, reported speech (statements), the use of por, para and other prepositions.

·         Advanced: contrasting the past tenses, the present and past subjunctive, the future tense to express possibility, the conditional tense, and reported speech (requests and commands). 

 

Conversation classes allow students to develop their speaking skills, listening skills, fluency and vocabulary through guided discussions of topics appropriate to the level of the group.  The teachers may provide material, such as a picture, short text or questionnaire to prompt the conversation.  Topics may include personal information, likes and dislikes, past experiences, giving your opinion, asking for advice, the differences between Uruguay and your home country, current affairs, travel and culture.  If the students are total beginners, these classes deal more with practical application of the language, whereas at intermediate and advanced levels it really is about conversational Spanish. Conversation classes tend to be informal, fun classes – if the weather is nice classes can be given in the garden, the beach or nearby park.

 

Essential Information :: Spanish classes in South America, immersion programs Uruguay

Essential Information: 

 

When to come: Group courses begin on Mondays all year round – or, if the Monday is a National Holiday, it will begin on the Tuesday. 

National Holidays in Uruguay: 1st January, 8th March (Carnival), 19th April (Easter Friday), 1st May, 19th June, 18th July, 25th August, 1st of November, 25th December. On these dates the school will not run classes.                                                   

Before arrival students with previous knowledge should complete the graded online level test a week before the first course day. Absolute beginners don't have to do the test. The time table will be confirmed after receiving the level test or knowing a student is an absolute beginner. 

The timetable: Group classes run between 09:00 and 15:00 each day (one-to-one classes may be given after 15:00).  Students will find out their timetable after having sent in the online level test. Students with no previous knowledge don't have to fill in the level test.  Each lesson lasts 55 minutes.  Each course includes a 10-20 minute break every day.  The timetable is displayed in the entrance hall.

On arrival the students will receive a folder with information about their stay with us, including a city map. Students who book accommodation through the school will find the folder at the accommodation when they arrive, and those who don’t will receive it on the first course day.

The first day of the course will begin with conversation lessons so the teachers can see the skills of each student.  The time table on the first day may be different to the rest of the week, but will be the same from Tuesday through to Friday.  On the first day of classes a welcome meeting will be held to introduce students and staff to each other, to explain a bit about the school and to present the week’s social activities.

At the end of the course students will receive a certificate of attendance, which includes a record of the level of Spanish achieved and personal feedback from the teachers.  A written and oral examination can be taken if required.  We also ask students to complete a questionnaire to reflect on their experience and offer their feedback on their stay with us so that we can continue improving.

Course length: The minimum length of group courses is one week and there is no maximum.  The courses run continually depending on the levels of the students attending the school.  Some students stay for one or two weeks and others choose to stay for several months.  Of course those who stay longer will achieve a higher level of Spanish but short courses are ideal for people who want to learn intensively as part of their holiday.

Levels: All the courses, except Course D + H, are available at all levels of Spanish, from absolute beginner through to advanced. Progress from one level to the next depends on the individual student, the type of course, and of course how much time they dedicate to Spanish outside of class.  Typically students will cover between one and three new areas of grammar each week, as well as revise areas previously covered.

The office is open every day except weekends and holidays from 09:00 to 15:00.  Office staff are available during these hours to answer students’ questions about excursions and activities as well as to respond to any comments or doubts about the courses and accommodation.  For example, if the student feels that the classes are too easy or too difficult, they can talk to the office staff or to the teachers about moving to a different level.  The office is also the place to go to pay for the social activities or to make general enquiries.

The students: The minimum age for all courses is 18 (except for the children’s course). Younger student (aged 15, 16 or 17) can be accepted with their parent’s written permission, as long as they book accommodation with a local host family.  There is no maximum age.  We have students of all ages and backgrounds, some of whom are on holiday in Uruguay, some of whom have decided to live and work or retire in Uruguay, and others who include their stay with us as part of a bigger trip, for example backpacking around South America.  Typically our students come from the USA, Europe and Brazil but we welcome people from all over the world.

Groups: There is a maximum of 6 students per group, although that number may be exceeded in conversation classes.  If a student books group lessons but there are not sufficient numbers of students to form a group at the appropriate level, the course will go ahead but it will be adjusted as follows:

Courses A (intensive courses):     4 hours per day in group
If there are no other students at your level, 2 one-to-one lessons will be given. If there are only 2 students in the group, the lessons will be reduced to 3 semi-private lessons daily. It may be the case that you will be in a group for part of the course and in one-to-one classes for the rest of the course: for example, 1 hour of one-to-one grammar classes and 2 hours of conversation class in group.

Course B (super intensive course):    6 hours per day in group
If there are no other students at your level, 3 one-to-one lessons will be given. If there are only 2 students in the group, the lessons will be reduced to 4 semi-private lessons daily.  Normally, those who choose Course B participate in the Course A classes and receive 2 extra hours in group per day – or, if there are no other students at your level with Course B, 1 hour one-to-one.

Course D (Business course): 4 hours in group + 1 hour one-to-one per day. If there are no other students at your level, 3 one-to-one lessons will be given. If there are only 2 students in the group, the lessons will be reduced to 3 semi-private lessons  and 1 one to one lesson.

Courses E (60+ course):2 hours in group + 1 hour one-to-one daily + 1 cultural activity per week. If there are no other students at your level, the lessons will be reduced to 2 one-to-one lessons per day.

Courses H (DELE course):2 hours in group + 2 hour one-to-one per day + 1 cultural activity per week. If there are no other students at your level, you will receive 1 extra one-to-one conversation lesson instead of 2 group lessons.

Prices of Course I-N  (Spanish and Sports) are changeable due to inflation

These changes are designed to reflect the intensive nature of individual tuition. The group may change in the course of an individual student’s stay, as new students arrive, other classmates leave, or if you progress to a different level.

Payment: to confirm the booking, a deposit of 65U$D will be required and the rest of the amount has to be paid on the first course day (cash payments are required). 

Other: We strongly recommend that all students arrange for international medical coverage before they arrive.  The school is not responsible for accidents or illnesses.

The school :: Spanish language school in South America

The School

The school is located in a beautiful old house in the safe, central and leafy Parque Rodó neighbourhood. The school classrooms and office are on the ground floor and the student residence is upstairs in the same building. There are four fully equipped classrooms with whiteboards, large windows, heaters in winter, a CD and DVD player. The school also has a patio downstairs and roof terraces on two floors. Shared areas include the living-dining room and the large kitchen, and there are two bathrooms. In addition there is a staff room, a large entrance hall and the office.The school has Wi-Fi throughout and there is a computer for the students to use. The school is located about 10 blocks from the centre and 8 blocks from the nearest beach. There are shops, restaurants, markets, supermarkets, bus services and an ATM within a five-block radius. The main bus terminal is also within walking distance, so it is easy to plan and make trips outside of Montevideo at the weekends.

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