Why only intermediate or advanced students?
From September 2008 to some yet undefined period in the future, I will be living part of the time in Estepona and part of the time in Extremadura, spending a few weeks in one place and a few weeks in the other.
Beginning and lower-intermediate language students need constancy in order to learn. I stopped accepting lower-level students for once-a-week classes long ago since I saw that students in this situation do not progress while those coming to class at least twice a week do make progress. Having several-week gaps between classes will not further the learning process at all.
Intermediate and advanced students (see below) are another story. Having some classes on a non-regular basis will still give good results partly because although there's still room to learn, it's not necessary to drill in the basics over and over again.
What does it mean to have an intermediate to advanced level?
Here are some pointers that may possibly characterise this level:
- First of all, your Spanish is not perfect. "Advanced" does not mean "perfect". If it did, you wouldn't be thinking about lessons, would you?
- Grammar: You've studied most of the grammar at least once sometime in the past. You may still be unsure of a lot of things, but you've seen most of it. You've seen "the subjunctive" although it still may be largely a mystery to you. You may still feel unsure about which past tense to use when speaking about the past, but you at least recognize that a past tense is required.
- Speaking and listening: You can say most of what you want to say in Spanish (correctly or otherwise), but you may still have problems understanding what's being said to you. You may be able to follow a conversation - not necessarily understanding every word - with one single person but may get lost in a group of native Spanish speakers or when watching TV in Spanish.
- Reading: If you do read, you probably understand the idea of what you read although you don't know every word. You may have the feeling that your reading ability is higher than your ability to speak.
- Writing: this depends on each individual. Some people have learned to write and others haven't had the need or the opportunity. It's not a factor in these classes since our goal is to become fluent in conversational Spanish.
If parts of the above description seem to apply to you, please send me an email and I'll get back to you. Please don't call the number listed on the main page because that's my Estepona number and I may not be there to answer whereas I do check my email every day.