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# Frequent questions

Teaching methodology and class structure

We follow a communicative approach as described by the Instituto Cervantes and the Council of Europe in their Common Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages. The CEFR was developed to provide an international standard and common basis for the explicit description of objectives, content and methods in foreign language education:

_It adopts an action-oriented approach, describing language learning outcomes in terms of language use.
_It has three principal dimensions: language activities, the domains in which they occur, and the competences on which we draw when we engage in them.
_It divides language activities into four kinds: reception (listening and reading), production (spoken and written), interaction (spoken and written), and mediation (translating and interpreting).
_It provides a taxonomic description of four domains of language use (public, personal, educational, professional) for each of which it specifies locations, institutions, persons, objects, events, operations and texts.

For reception, production, interaction, and some competences the CEFR defines six common reference levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2), using “can do” descriptors to define the learner’s proficiency at each level. These common reference levels provide a basis for comparing foreign language curricula, textbooks, courses and exams. Together with the rest of the CEFR's descriptive apparatus, they are also used to support the design of curricula, teaching programmes, learning materials, and assessment instruments (language passport).

Courses are not separated into modules for each skill, that is, a specific part of the class and timing for grammar, another for speaking, a listening section... The communicative approach emphasises interaction as both the means and the ultimate goal of study and is based on the idea that learning a language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning. When learners are involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn how to use it despite linguistic limitations. All skills are interconnected and, depending on different aspects, they will be addressed and organised based on what teachers and the academic management team believe is going to be more effective for students to develop communicative abilities.

For some reason, many people still think it is all like in old times when grammatical competence was commonly given top priority, just a bunch of rules and fill in the gaps but little practice, but that is far from the way things are done nowadays : )

Classes are conducted monolingually in Spanish without the use of the students’ own languages, even with absolute beginners, by our team of highly trained and experienced native teachers. No previous experience whatsoever is required.

Our syllabus of contents is organised week by week, which means that our regular group classes are not standalone sessions: coming at different times on different days is therefore not possible, being necessary to stick to the schedule arranged by the school.

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