13 February, 2015

Academic Aspects

The Ideal Academic Program covers 8 levels of language study, divided as follows:

Program
Description

Basic 1
Basic 2
Basic 3

On completing these levels, students are able to engage in simple conversation using the 3 basic tenses (present, past, and future), using elementary vocabulary and expressions from everyday speech.

Intermediate 1
Intermediate 2
Intermediate 3

Students can conduct and understand everyday conversation and discussions of specific topics (without using specialized vocabulary), in addition to expressing their emotions and suggestions and describing events and their context.

Advanced

Vocabulary is not an issue. Students understand normal conversation at a natural rhythm, and can discuss specific topics related to different fields of specialization. They understand and use colloquial expressions correctly and in the proper context.

Superior Spanish

Students have a command of Spanish almost equal to native speakers, and understand the subtleties of the language (e.g. slang and sayings). This level allows them to polish and correct their problems with the language and pronunciation on their own.

Each level emphasizes communication and language practice as is appropriate for each student’s level of proficiency, using various interactive techniques that allow the student to speak and communicate in Spanish from the very first day. As part of the program, we cover topics related to Mexican and Latin American culture.
The underlying principle of our programs is to introduce students to Spanish as a second language, as many have already studied it as a foreign language in their countries of origin. Another goal is to encourage immersion not only in the language but in culture and everyday life.

Methodology

According to Stephen Krashen: “One can learn or acquire a second language informally, the same way one acquires the first. Formal, structured lessons represent another learning process and are not indispensable in the process.”

For this reason our method is based on this “Natural Approach.” We try to channel the teaching – learning process in this direction, so that students learn by interacting:

 

  • teacher – student
  • student – teacher
  • student – student
  • student – surroundings

methods

Also, our work is focused on maintaining an atmosphere of courtesy and confidence in the classroom and in the institution in general. Here the teacher’s part is fundamental, as it consists of creating an environment in which students feel relaxed and at ease, which, in our opinion, is the best way to learn any language.

At Ideal we place special interest in the process of immersing students in culture, for the accessible points of reference it offers them. For a student to develop sound communication skills, s/he needs to assimilate cultural elements of the country or region where s/he learns a language. Moreover, language and culture are inseparable.

Teachers

A fundamental part of Ideal Language and Cultural Experiences is our teachers, who will accompany you every step of the way in the adventure of learning Spanish and discovering a new culture.

Ideal’s teachers are specialists with university training, have many years’ experience teaching Spanish to foreigners, or both.

When teachers start working at Ideal, they receive a course in “Techniques for Teaching Spanish as a Second Language,” which covers the fundamentals of the method we use at Ideal. Throughout the year we provide training workshops, in which teachers learn new techniques and theories, discuss existing teaching methods and reinforce the teaching methods we use.

academy

However, what distinguishes our teachers is their spirit of teamwork and enthusiasm for teaching and making the atmosphere at Ideal pleasant and supportive.

Receiving Academic Credits

It is possible to receive academic credit. Ideal does not offer credit directly, but almost all colleges and universities grant academic credit for studies with us. Ask whether your college or university accepts studies at Ideal and what their prerequisites are. Usually, inquiries should be directed to the department of Admissions, Foreign Language, or Study Abroad. For our part, we will be glad to help you obtain credit by sending your school any documentation it may need, such as syllabi, study plans, academic reports, transcripts, etc. We do not charge extra for doing this, but Ideal has requirements for academic achievement and attendance that will determine your grades in Spanish.

credits

Students of Texas State University – San Marcos, Johns Hopkins University, and Eastern Washington University can receive credits for their studies with us due to previous agreements. Ask for more information before your trip to Mexico.