The levels of foreign languages, including Spanish levels, in Europe are broken down into six levels, A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. Each level needs a focused approach to the abilities of the students. Classes for lower levels, for example, would need more structure than higher levels that would be able to communicate more fluidly.
Beginner and pre-intermediate Levels (A1-B1)
Our teachers have received training in PPP teach methodology, which stands for Presentation, Practice, Production, or otherwise known as, “Introduction,” “Practice” and “Output”. This means that your teachers will encourage you as much as possible from the beginning to find the most suitable teaching methods to fit your needs. Once everyone has their own unique system, you can use the game in different ways, such as television and audio for further practice. The main teaching method in the last P (production) means keeping the students’ enthusiasm going throughout each class – teachers usually host discussions, debates, lectures, games and role-playing. We integrate the “real life” in classes, and your progress will be more obvious. We use “Aula” (Editorial Difusión) text books for these levels.
Advanced levels (B2-C2)
Upon your arrival in the B2 level, you will have successfully evolved from knowledge of basic conversations in the present-tense, to speaking about yourself, your family and friends, and your emotions, to being able to tell stories and ask questions in all tenses, and using context clues to learn new words you haven’t heard before, all while feeling very comfortable (fluency). With years of educational experience, we understand that the common teaching model is clearly not appropriate for a high level student, because they will get bored. This is why we design our courses according to your needs and levels, while constantly changing up activities so that things don’t ever get old.
In addition, the school will make demands for you outside of class, because in all levels of Spanish, as much practice as possible will only help you improve. For example, we require all the students to speak Spanish, even during the break (don’t think that we won’t be watching you!). Not only do we want your Spanish to improve, but our students come from all over the world, and these students may not know your native language, therefore, it would be unfair to always speak that language around them. We encourage you to set computers, cell phones and/or social networking accounts to Spanish, in order to immerse yourselves all the time in the Spanish language.
If books are not used in the classroom, then how do we plan our lessons for certain Spanish levels?
From A1 to B1 we use a range of text books that we have tried and tested and we believe are the best on the market. These levels are the foundation levels for learning any language so having structure and an organized method of progression is key. Don’t think this makes the lessons boring, the teachers use a range of games and activitites so keep all our students motivated and on track.
So why don’t we use books continuously for the higher level? Quite simply it would be boring! Most students have had experience of all grammatical structures by this level. The teachers use an unplugged method when teaching these levels which means they plan and adapt the Spanish classes based on the students they have. While this is harder work for the teachers, we all believe it is worth the extra effort and time as the results are very impressive. Students remain motivated, their needs are met and they continue to progress at a much faster rate. The teachers still use text books ocassionally, but they dip in and out to suit the topic/grammar structure, as well as using a range of ‘real life’ material that these levels are able to cope with.