Methodology and methods

Our methodology and methods for teaching Spanish online. . .

Most of us have sat through formal language classes at one time or another and been bored or disheartened by the focus on the teaching of grammar and memorizing of vocabulary. The result is often that we create a mental "structure" for the language, but at the moment when we need to open our mouths and speak . . . nothing comes out!

Modern linguists and psychologists have studied the processes by which we acquire a second langauge and have come up with a methodology that is based on the primary and somewhat obvious conclusion that the reason for learning another language is to COMMUNICATE. Thus, modern methods seek to immerse the student from the outset in the new language and create a space in which he or she can develop new communication skills. Of course, grammar is still important, but in this case it functions as an aid to communication and not as an "end in itself" as in the old-fashioned teaching method.

Using the communication methodology students develop "functional competence" in the new language, with an immediate payoff in terms of being able to communicate from the outset rather than spending years studying the grammar before starting to try to communicate. Students are encouraged to take risks and to experiment with creating forms of communication rather than relying on rote-learned forms. In this way students become active participants in the learning process and actively re-create the language, rather than passively absorbing knowledge.

Experimental results have demonstrated clearly that students learning through the communication methodology fare no worse in traditional grammar tests but do considerably better in communicative ability, both written and spoken.

The focus of communication methodology
  1. Emphasis on learning to communicate through interaction in the new language.
  2. The introduction of authentic texts into the learning environment.
  3. Providing opportunities for learners to focus on language and also on the learning process itself.
  4. Emphasis on the learner’s own personal experiences as important contribution to classroom learning.
  5. Linking classroom language learning with language-related activities outside the classroom.

In support of your learning goals at ¡oYe! Spanish we have defined a three-step system:

1. Regular independent review of the study plan created by yourself and your teacher by our academic director throughout your study period.

2. Detailed record keeping by your teacher of the themes and topics covered and an ongoing evaluation of your overall progress.

3. Optional initial and final testing to measure your progress. This can be either in the form of a free, informal test, or an independent exam.

The first step is to sign up for a free trial Spanish class. There is no obligation on your part to continue studying, but it will offer you the opportunity to experience learning Spanish online. You will be able to discuss your needs with your teacher and decide what your next steps in learning Spanish will be!