Good Language Classes…

Good Language Classes …

As an “English as a second language” teacher I have learned that not all language classes are created equally. Use the following questions to guide you as you choose your language school:

1. Is the methodology communicative? Back to Study Spanish in Mexico

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2. During the language classes, who talks more, the students or teachers? (You want the answer to be that the students talk more because they are the ones who need the practice).

3. How long has the school been in operation? (Go for a school with more than 3 years of experience, more if possible. Everybody and his uncle opens a language school in Cuernavaca and they rarely know what it takes to make a business work — let alone know anything about education.)

4. Does the text-book include example dialogs? (You want the answer to this to be “yes” because you will use these as models during class practice and out in the community when the situations are similar.)

5. Does the text-book include readings? (You want the answer to this to be “yes.” See the description of Krashen’s input theory.) Krashen’s Input Hypothesis and Language Classes

6. Does the text-book focus on grammatical explanations? (You want the answer to this to be “no.” As stated in #4 and #5 above you want the focus of your language classes to be on listening and reading input – as well as in-class practice.)

7. What are the teachers’ credentials? (In Mexico, teachers of language classes don’t have to have a masters degree like they do back home. This is ok. For example, I teach and have a bachelors of Science in another field. At the same time, you do want your teachers to be well prepared for what they do. So, ask this question, but take the answer with a grain of salt. When you study Spanish in Mexico, you have to adapt somewhat to the norms of Mexico.)

8. Is the text-book created by a reputable publisher? (Some schools advertise their own text books. These are often prepared by people who don’t know much about language learning and are just a collection of grammar exercises.)

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