La Aventura Española Spanish Academy believes in creating a dynamic and interactive classroom atmosphere that inspires and motivates students to learn Spanish. In fact, LAE Madrid gives its students the opportunity to completely immerse themselves in the Spanish culture, especially since some can only be here for a short period of time. In other words, there’s no time to waste! Understanding the Spanish culture is what separates the feeling of living in Madrid, as opposed to just visiting. One way we help our students accomplish their Spanish language goals is with our weekly cultural activities. These activities provide additional opportunities to experience Spanish in a real life situation.
A typical interactive activity includes our “Let There Be Sangría & Jamón Tapas!” Jaume, one of our teachers, offers a historical background of these delicious, traditional items before teaching the proper preparation techniques. Just like in our classes, we are firm believers of learning through action. In this cultural activity, students learn action verbs (mezclar, cortar, agregar, and of course, disfrutar), dining phrases, and ingredients in Spanish. These activities demonstrate our teaching style in the classroom, which is what makes it so enjoyable! (Creating the sweet and refreshing beverage to celebrate the Spanish culture is quite a plus, too). After the students prepare their pitchers of Sangría, Jaume leads the class in a locals’ way to “cheers!” drinks. He raises his glass and as a group repeat “arriba, abajo, al centro, a dentro,” further immersing students into the Spanish culture. These are expressions we need to know while we’re out on the town, right?
After working up an appetite, Jaume introduces the history of Jamón Ibérico to transition into making tapas. He then models the proper way to slice jamón off the leg, and welcomes teams of two to imitate his efforts. The students then compete with each other on style points, and it quickly turns into a tight race as each duo offers an entertaining and theatrical performance.
The rest of the group votes on who is the winning team. At La Aventura Española, all hard work deserves recognition! The winners receive a bottle of Cava, another common beverage of choice here in Spain. After, each student who hasn’t yet had the opportunity to give jamón slicing a try gets to do so! Once there is enough sliced jamón, the finishing touches are adding the baguette, tomato and olive oil. Students socialize while enjoying their traditional Spanish cuisine. It goes without saying that the cultural activity finishes with good laughs, full tummies, big smiles, and new Spanish phrases and terms to use!