SOL Spanish School methodology
Spanish School in Granada Nicaragua
Every class of every level has a lesson plan prepared in advance relating to the 8 language and cultural elements listed below. The four class hours daily are divided between these themes and subjects depending on the learning needs and preferences of the students in the class.
1. General Cultural Themes - Medicine and health, education, economics, art, natural science, environmental studies, government and law, social services, business, art, religion, politicis, general history, etc., with examples, texts, and activities throughout the class referring to the area being considered.
2. Specific Themes of Nicaraguan Life - Exploration of daily Nicaraguan life themes without a biased point of view as some of these can be controversial from another cultural perspective - how to manage social and economic relations, e.g., negociating with taxi drivers, changing money in the street, shopping for the best price in the market, looking for a house to rent, relations between men and women, preparing Nicaraguan food, dealing with the reality of poverty, family customs, etc.
3. Vocabulary and Use of Words - Introduction to objects, actions, moods and contexts of words and phrases, form and accentuation of words, regionalisms, Nicaraguan proverbs and sayings, meanings and connotations of prefixes and sufixes, distinctions of words used in various oral and literary contexts, spelling.
4. Pronunciation-Expression-Communication - Modeling and practice of varios sounds of various latino accents, forming latin accent with the mouth and tongue and proper aspiration, use of emphasis and accentuation, tone and gesture in oral expression, how to manage a conversation for maximum intercultural communication.
5. Grammatical Themes - Conjugation and use of verbs, noun forms, adjectives and adverbs, pronouns, clauses. Analysis and construction of phrases and sentences. Practice with oral and written exercises.
6. Conversation - Practice speaking and conversing in monologue, dialogue, and multi-person conversation discussing various cultural themes according to the level and interest of the student. Use of dialogue, interview, lecture, drama methods.
7. Listening and Reading Comprehension - Practice listening and reading and using information comprehended, acknowledging and processing communications in various social situations and physical contexts, eg, various accents, in groups, TV, Radio, newspaper, formal texts, literature, public signs, government forms, popular expressions, etc.
8. Writing - Practice writing phrases, messages, informal and formal letters, formal documents, composition of essays and texts, journalistic form, poetry, dramatic script, advertisements, etc.
ACADEMIC STRUCTURE AND METHOD
Functional Method - Follows the logic of natural development of the ability and knowledge of the student integrating an active participatory method with formal teaching of grammatical themes, vocabulary, oral communication and comprehension, reading and writing as needed.
Purpose of the Method - To teach the student the use of the Spanish language so that they practice the use of the language while learning to appreciate the Latin American and Nicarguan culture. It is our goal that the student feels involved and interested in every moment of their course.
Proactive Responsive Flexible Strategy - The professor prepares the class with defined goals of the student according to the evaluation of the student's language abilities and knowledge and with options of activities to respond to the physical/mental/emotional state of the student and the environmental circumstances.
Multi-Sense Techniques and Resources - The SOL method employs participatory oral, physical and written presentations, activities and exercises using visual, auditory and kinesthetic resources within a positive and supportive environment.
Standard Grammatical Structure - A progressive grammatical structure of the Spanish language used by our school reflected in the teaching materials, exercises and exams divided among the six academic levels as appropriate.
Cultural Themes and Activities - In the class time and each afternoon, the SOL program integrates a variety of activities related to cultural themes of Nicaragua and Latin America. Through discussion and interaction, students gain confidence in their ability to communicate and express themselves in Spanish while dealing with various themes of everyday life as well as specific subject matter of academic or professional interest.
Individualized Class Structure - Classes are limited to one or two students per instructor (3 - 4 for groups). There are three levels of competency (beginner-intermediate-advanced) subdivided into six levels: beginner, Advanced Beginner, Intermediate, Avanced Intermediate, Advanced, Conversational, with definition standardized.
Classwork and Assignments - SOL students will complete a certain amount of reading, writing, and oral practice work in class along with regular out of class assignments documented in written form. These form part of the evaluation of the student's progress in competency and knowledge.
Evaluation System - Entry evaluation of language ability and knowledge of Spanish to determine academic level, final exam at end of program to determine competencies gained, regular and pop quizzes/tests of knowledge and ability throughout the program to maintain direction in the learning plan. Evaluation of competency for each program week (24 hours) includes daily tests/quizzes (oral and written 30%), daily writing assignments (30%) and a weekly written/oral exam (40%). A comprehensive exam can be administered at the end of each four weeks of class work. A final report of hours completed and a numerical and/or letter grade can be provided based upon the addition of test results throughout the course of study (90-100% = A, 80-89.9% = B, 70-79.9% = C, 60-69.9% = D, and below 60% = F).
Basic Texts and Complementary Class Materials - The texts used by school may include but are not limited to Gramatica Practica de Espanol para Extranjeros by Sanchez/Martin/Matilla, Sociedad General Espanola de Libreria, SA, Madrid, Spain, Quinto edicion. SOLSS also use Curso de Español para Extranjeros ELE, Niveles 1 y 2, Spain. The school also create a variety of written and visual materials in-house while also employing audio resources. In house materials are included in the program cost.