Methodology – Spanish classes
CEI & LANGUAGES combines different pedagogical techniques, centred on a communicative approach, in order to reach every kind of learner. Our goal is to equip you with the skills and concepts necessary to feel comfortable understanding others and making yourself understood in any Spanish-speaking environment. In order to achieve this goal, the teacher combines both theory and practice, addressing all of the linguistic and functional pragmatic aspects of the spoken language, along with key socio-cultural information essential for gaining proficiency. Grammar, reading, writing, listening, speaking and vocabulary are always integrated in order to approximate the student to an authentic communicative environment.
As a CEI & LANGUAGES student, you are also encouraged to develop intercultural competence with a combination of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will lead you to create positive relationships with the society that surrounds you.
Cooperative learning is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a team is not only responsible for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Students work through the assignment until all group members successfully understand and complete it.
Cooperative efforts result in participants striving for mutual benefit so that all group members:
- Gain from each other’s efforts. (Your success benefits me and my success benefits you.)
- Recognize that all group members share a common fate. (We all sink or swim together here.)
- Know that one’s performance is mutually caused by oneself and one’s team members. (We cannot do it without you.)
- Feel proud and jointly celebrate when a group member is recognized for achievement.
Why use Cooperative Learning?
Research has shown that cooperative learning techniques:
- Promote student learning and academic achievement.
- Increase student retention.
- Enhance student satisfaction with their learning experience.
- Help students develop skills in oral communication.
- Develop students’ social skills.
- Promote student self-esteem.
- Help to promote positive intercultural relations.
Note on methodology of Spanish as a foreign language
In CEI & Languages we have a group of teachers who are specialized in the methodology of Spanish as a foreign language. We understand that the methodology is not the target but a path, avoiding trends and “miraculous” methods.
We therefore consider that, as teachers, we must handle all the tools at hand so that the student, wherever they come from and however old they are, learns dynamically. And, although supervised, autonomy is encouraged, cheerfully and effectively. As explained above cooperative learning is the umbrella under which we can use any methodology that suits the needs of the student. Cooperative learning is not a method but a way we think of education and society.
How does a teenager learn?
The answer to this question is: it depends. It depends on the educational system from which each student comes, what their native language is, on their motivations.
Children and young people are more likely to communicate, they need to communicate, to meet other people, to know other countries; it’s a natural tendency at their age. And everyone understands that communication happens through speech and language. But, considering our teaching, the direct question which arises is: What will the internal frustration be for those teenagers when, instead of receiving this means of communication they are given rules and grammar exercises? That is why, when dealing with teenagers, it is important to present the language as a tool in order to develop other interests of their age group: music, cinema, travel.
The development of a cooperative project has proven to be an effective way to motivate, teach and monitor the learning process of a second language.
The Academic Department is made up of the Spanish Academic Coordinator and the teaching staff. All our teachers are university graduates (in philosophy, philology, history or literature) and have been specifically trained to teach Spanish as a Foreign Language. They also have a master’s degree in Spanish for foreigners, which guarantees their competence as excellent educators. For smoother operation of the courses, the Academic Department organizes weekly meetings to monitor the students’ progress.