ILISA’s approach to learning Spanish: How to create an effective language program
You, like most students, are serious about increasing your language skills in the shortest possible time. So, you certainly want a language school that uses the most effective and successful methods available. With this in mind, let’s talk a little bit more about methodology and approaches to language teaching.
Generally speaking, grammar provides a language’s framework, while vocabulary gives you the tools to “dress it up” and communicate. In the past, maybe in the days when you went to school, language courses emphasized analyzing grammar (sentence structure, syntax) and understanding text. As you may have discovered, just analyzing and learning grammar will not enable you to communicate. In fact, you could spend years studying without ever having a real conversation. And, if this is your language background, your first attempt to try to speak with a native speaker was probably extremely frustrating.
Fortunately, in recent years, both schools and universities have changed the focus of their language programs to emphasize communication. This change is in large part due to the fact that in today’s environment, businesses need individuals who can not only read Spanish, but who can speak it as well.
ILISA understands that students need to attain oral proficiency. We can help you meet that goal by using a communicative approach-the same which is used in the best language centers around the world.
The communicative approach pays attention to the functional as well as structural aspects of the language. We have developed techniques and practices to teach all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) and which acknowledge the mutual interdependence of language and communication. Our approach allows us to borrow elements from other teaching methods (such as role-playing, question and answer, visual aids and drills) to adapt to your learning patterns and to develop the skills you need.
Although the communicative approach is a big step ahead in comparison to the grammar-translation method, it’s not the only element necessary for success. As you are probably aware, the success of any method or approach greatly depends on the teacher implementing it. A good teacher knows how to motivate you, is attentive to your needs, explains seemingly difficult things clearly, challenges you when needed, and has patience when it’s not your day. In short, a good teacher-like ILISA’s teachers-is someone who has excellent professional and people skills.
Our teaching staff-our most important asset-has over one hundred years of accumulated teaching experience, and have all participated in our rigorous continuous development program. We know that they will make you feel very comfortable, and more importantly, exceed your expectations for teacher quality.
The learning environment also affects the learning process. We have comfortable, airy classrooms suitable for our classes of a maximum of four students. Small classes will allow you to constantly interact with your teacher. As a result, you will enjoy and learn more in our small classes than you could in the larger classes you will find at most other language schools. We also offer private lessons for students who need an even more intensive learning experience.
Whatever program you choose, at ILISA you will make the most out of your time!