FAQ

How long does it take to learn Spanish?

Learning any language is a process, and how long you take to reach your goals will depend first of all on the level of proficiency you would like to attain. If you have a background in languages or if you are strongly motivated to learn Spanish, that will definitely be an advantage. Besides, there are a number of factors that could make learning Spanish much faster or slower, such as the frequency and length of classes, methodology, approach, materials, and so on. Our goal is to work with you to find the best way to adapt your Spanish classes to your own needs and learning style, so that you see results as soon as possible. We find that, on average, students at a beginner level who study Spanish for four to six hours per week take one to two years to learn enough Spanish to function successfully and independently in the mainstream

Is Spanish a difficult language to learn?

Every language has its own challenges and every person will have their own opinion depending on their particular experiences. However, Spanish is a very structured language with clear grammatical patterns and mostly phonetic spelling, which makes it easier to learn as a second language than, say, English. For example, most people find verb conjugation difficult at first, but once they understand how the patterns work it only becomes a matter of practice and building fluency.

What is the best method to learn Spanish?

 No two students are alike and different people will prefer different methods and approaches to learning Spanish as a foreign language. For this reason, we use a mixture of teaching styles and strategies, tailored to your needs and goals. In general, we balance the need to learn grammar and rules with the important practical aspect of helping you learn to communicate and interact meaningfully in Spanish. As you progress, you will acquire and develop all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Fun and motivation are two other very important things you should expect from your Spanish language course. It goes without saying that you will get much better results when you genuinely enjoy what you are doing.

Am I too old to learn Spanish?

Definitely not!

No one is too old to learn a new language. In fact, we work with students of all ages, including many students over 60, who enjoy their classes and learn a great deal. Some older people actually take the challenge of learning Spanish as a way of keeping their minds active and healthy. Research on bilingualism conducted by Dr. Ellen Bialystok of York University in Toronto has shown that speaking more than one language can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms by an average of five years. Fancy that!

Do you teach Spanish from Latin America or Spain?

We select the teaching/learning materials according to our students’ requirements and we believe that a person can learn to communicate in Spanish no matter where they are, what situation they are in, or who they are with.

In most cases our students learn what is known as “global Spanish”, using a variety of materials that contain both, Spanish from Latin America and Spain. This approach helps you become aware of some of the differences in pronunciation, vocabulary, and expressions used among the different Spanish speaking countries, so that you can communicate effectively with native Spanish Speakers from around the world.

Your teacher at the World Language Institute will help you analyze your needs and define your goals to choose the most suitable course and materials for your purpose.

What are language immersion courses/programs?

One of the best ways to learn Spanish and build fluency is to practice in an everyday environment where the language is normally spoken. This is what the language immersion courses are all about.

You can participate in immersion courses at our local school by joining specially organized field trips where you get to practice your Spanish, in addition to taking an intensive Spanish course. Alternatively, you could choose to travel to a Spanish speaking country and stay there for a week, two weeks, or as long as you may want or need to achieve your language learning goals.

When is the best time for me to go into an immersion program?

You may join an immersion program anytime you like. However, we do recommend you first study the basic levels of the Spanish language, to get a strong grounding on which to base your Spanish language practice. Your teacher will be happy to discuss this with you and help you decide when you’re ready.

Which places are better to go on immersion programs?

Most Spanish-speaking countries offer Spanish Immersion Courses. However you have to make sure that the school you choose is professional and safe, and also that it really exists. (Yes, there are some scams out there!) At World Language Institute we have working relationships with prestigious Spanish schools we have visited and experienced, and we continue to build new contacts and expand our connections all the time.

When you organize and book your Spanish immersion program with one of the overseas schools we offer, you can set your mind at rest that you will be enjoying a great service that you will want to repeat and recommend to others.

How do I choose between the Spanish programs offered at World Language Institute and what level of Spanish language classes should I take?

Our Spanish classes are matched to the Spanish Curriculum of the Cervantes Institute and adhere to the Common European Framework for languages which distinguishes 6 different language levels, ranging from Beginner to Proficient.  You will start out by taking a placement test to find out your current level of Spanish, after which we will have a little interview to discuss your specific needs and goals. This will help us suggest the best courses for you, tailor your classes to your needs, or suggest the best alternatives.

What qualifications do your Spanish language teachers have?

All of our teachers are native Spanish speakers and have extensive prior experience teaching Spanish to foreigners. In addition to their professional credentials, teachers are chosen for their ability to make their classes enjoyable and rewarding and to keep students engaged in the language and culture learning process.

What is the focus of the advanced classes?

Advanced Spanish classes focus on learning the finer points of grammar, such as uses of the subjunctive and idiomatic expressions, as well as conversational and written skills. Discussion topics vary according to student interests.

What is the average class size?

We keep the class sizes small to ensure individual attention and encourage rapid language development. Group classes have an average of 8 students, and semi-private tuition programs cater for up to 4 students at a time. Alternatively, you can opt for 1-on-1 private classes at very competitive prices.

When are the class start dates?

After you have taken your placement test and the needs-analysis interview, we will let you know the start day for your class or we may suggest you join an existing group. If a course suitable for you has already begun, you will be able to take additional private hours as required to catch up with that specific group.

If you decide to take 1-on-1 private lessons, it will be up to you to decide when you want to start your classes.

How long is each Spanish group class?

The number of hours varies depending on the course. Most classes are held twice a week and last an hour and half each time. Other groups take a total of between four and ten hours of class per week. The World Language Institute system is flexible and you can choose how many hours of your week you would like to invest in learning Spanish, according to your needs and availability.

I would like to focus on a specific use of Spanish, such as business, health care, law, and so on. Do you offer such programs?

Yes. There are two ways you can go about taking specialized Spanish classes. One way is to enroll in 1-on-1 Private Lessons or a Customized Content Course, in order to focus on your specific area of interest. Alternatively, you could enroll in a General Spanish Course and take additional private classes where you will tackle the specific supplemental material that interests you.

I'm embarrassed to try to use the Spanish I know. What can I do?

Just relax and put yourself into the right frame of mind. Remember that it’s OK to make mistakes and people will respect and admire you for wanting to learn their language. In fact, you will find that Spanish people–and people in general in all Spanish speaking countries–are very receptive, kind and interested in foreigners when they see that they are trying to make an effort. You could make the most horrible errors in Spanish and you will never be laughed at. People may laugh with you (if the mistake is funny enough), but when the laughter is over they will almost always correct you helpfully. It really is different in Latin countries than in other countries. You might run into the odd unhelpful person, but in general, take it easy, try your best, and you won’t only be improving your Spanish, but you will also make new friends and discover a beautiful culture.