Our conversational Spanish small group semi-private classes:
The average number of students per semi-private group that SpanishBlackbelt assembles is 4. We do not assemble bigger groups as they do not give enough opportunity for each participant to interact in Spanish in class while still getting enough attention from the instructor.
Watch out for classes at colleges and traditional language institutes that often, because of putting together classrooms of 15 to 20 students each, have no alternative but to offer lecture-style classes that focus a lot on grammar and little in practice and conversation. What ends up happening after finishing a term in these circumstances is that you may understand some grammar but will not be able able to say the most simple things in Spanish. We, in contrast, focus on improving your conversational skills at all times.
All of our small groups meet 1 day a week in a two-hour session each week for 8 consecutive weeks. It is expected that you will need to attend all or almost all of these sessions in order to cover the material required to move forward to the next belt level (i.e. passing from Cream Belt to Yellow Belt). It is expected that you do some at-home activities in preparation for each session. These will require about another two hours of your time per week.
This meeting frequency, given the intensity of our program, is enough for most of our students given their other commitments. If you are interested in improving at a faster pace or you do not have 8 weeks of availability, please consider our Tailored One-on-One Spanish Classes or Self-Assembled Conversational Spanish Small Group Sessions. Our one-on-one classes, despite being about twice as much in cost, allow you to have individual attention, progress faster, and meet up to 4 times per week.
Despite having covered all the required material, you will still need to successfully pass the next belt level examination to be granted that next belt level.
The minimum age to join a semi private small group class is 16 years of age. The school assembles a group of an average of 4 students of the same level mixing adults and teens from 16 years old and up. Our learning materials have been carefully designed for this age range.
All of the small groups that our school assembles cover material that is not specific to any industry or profession.
If you are interested in joining a group together with other students, each of you will have to submit a non-commitment application through our website.
To make sure you will be in the same group, please provide the same information about your desired level and availability. In the application you also have a text entry field "If applying to the same session with friends, colleagues or family members, please enter their names here" where you can specify the name of the person you want to be in the group with, so that you can ensure that you will be together.
All students within a group need to have the same level.
Unfortunately not. To avoid distractions to our current students, prospective students cannot audit any of our group sessions currently being held.
For your peace of mind though, please note that new students will always have the chance to request a free change of group, or a full refund if they think our Spanish program is not compatible with their needs and/or style, provided that they communicate this request via email within the following 48 hours after their first class. After that time, they will no longer be entitled to any refund, partial or full, as continuing to attend your classes past the second session is a sign that you are satisfied with our program.
If having this guarantee does not make you feel comfortable enough to try us out just yet, please consider the following:
Alternatively, or in addition, you can also purchase a reduced-price 55-minute sample one-on-one session meeting with the tutor assigned to your specific group at a cafe or your tutor's home for just $49.
All of our native Spanish tutors are carefully recruited and trained so that your satisfaction is guaranteed. However, if still interested in getting to know one of our tutors first, you may consider purchasing a reduced-price 55-minute sample one-on-one session meeting with the tutor assigned to your specific group live online over Zoom video for just $49.
To purchase a sample session,...
On this sample one-on-one session, you will have the chance to:
Note though that even if you opt not to purchase a sample session, you can always request a free change of group or a full refund if you think that our Spanish program is not compatible with your needs and/or style, provided that you communicate this request via email within the following 48 hours after your first class. After this time you will no longer be entitled to any refund, partial or full, as continuing to attend your classes past the second session signs that you are satisfied with our program.
If having this guarantee does not make you feel comfortable enough to try us out just yet, please consider...
The most important criteria to be taken into consideration when choosing starting levels should always be what is your current ability to use the language verbally. Knowledge of vocabulary in isolation or grammar theory without proper usage in a real conversation in Spanish shouyld have minor weight. Most people have some prior knowledge of Spanish. They have either studied it in high school or in college. Although this experience is welcome, students not able to recall or use the language verbally and efficiently in the present tense should choose a Beginner I level (Pearl Belt) or Beginner II level (Cream Belt) class.
In practical terms, you should strongly consider joining a level that may cover specific grammar that you have seen before if you are at this time not able to apply that knowledge in a real conversation in Spanish.
Generally, for example ...
You can read some guidelines regarding the requirements for each of our ten levels of instruction in our levels description page.
When applying for group classes, you will be asked to choose a group of your preference. Choose one that corresponds to the level that you feel is best for you.
If you already know some Spanish, we would recommend that you consider filling the exemption exam for the level right below the level that you think you belong. You will get your score right away with a minimum passing grade of 70%. The exemption exams for each level can be found in the upper section of the levels description page (click on the corresponding levels).
Yes. You will be place within a group with like-minded students that share your same level. Because we offer 10 different levels of instruction, chances are indeed very high that your peers will have a level of fluency that is very similar to yours.
Levels will be assessed by our Admissions Department based on an analysis of the information you included in your application, including your self-assessment and your prior experiences learning the language.
We aim at having every student in a group more or less at the same level of speaking proficiency. We analyze our applications carefully so that our assessments are as accurate as they can be. This assessment however may fail in very limited occasions when students over exaggerate or are too pessimistic about their current skills. We can only validate our assessment after students meet for the first few classes.
If BEFORE your first session you believe that you should have been placed at a different level, please let us know by email by replying to our acceptance/placement email. We will be happy to review our decision after gathering some more information from you. We may even have a brief assessment of your Spanish verbal ability over the phone. To learn more about how we assess your level, please visit our Color Belt System page.
If AFTER your first or second session you believe that you should have been placed at a different level, we will be happy to transfer you to any of our other available groups of your choice of a lower or higher level, provided that you let us know of this need prior to your third class.
You will be able to join this alternative level from the first session at no extra cost.
Please be aware that these are group classes. That means that, even if a student cannot make it to a class, the others will still attend, therefore the class would be considered conducted. However, considering that groups are small in size (only 4 students per class on average), it is possible to reschedule a class ahead of time, provided that all participants and tutor agree with the change, in person or virtually present in any of the prior classes,, subject to the tutor's availability.
Makeup sessions will need to be scheduled in any of the remaining weeks so that you complete all 8 sessions by the expected end date (8-week term). For example, one option would be to have two sessions instead of one in any of the remaining weeks provided that your tutor is available. Another option might be to agree on extending the length of two sessions to 3 hours each so that you complete all 16 hours by the set end-date.
If a class is missed anyway, the student can review the materials covered on his/her own, with the help of our online student center, accessible by all students 24/7 at no extra cost. He/she can also be briefed by the tutor on what was done in class and what was the homework assigned, if requested. Additionally, the student could decide to purchase an extra private class to cover the material not seen as detailed here.
As an alternative, the student can request ahead of time to have the class recorded on the cloud, if online. The teacher can then send the link to the recorded session to the student. Please note though that:
Because all of our small group sessions start at different dates, it is normally not feasible to find another group of the same level that is synchronized with yours (covering the same material at the exact same time). Therefore, it is not practical to attend another group of similar level to make up for classes not attended.
Full tuition for at least one level needs to be received to enroll. We do not accept prorated payments based on the number of sessions that you expect to attend. Neither do we issue credit to compensate for classes that you failed to attend.
If you will not be able to attend the first session of a specific group, please email us . We may be able to reschedule the start of the group to accommodate your needs if no other students have signed up just yet.
In case that a class lands on a national or religious holiday, or holiday weekend including Monday, or if Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's Weeks fall within your pre-paid term, class will be skipped if either the tutor or any of the students request not to have the session. If this were to be the case, the term will be extended accordingly to compensate for that Holiday. Class could still take place during a Holiday or Holiday weekend if ALL students and tutor agree on having the class anyway.
In general, it is best if you always arrive on time and stay until the class finishes. Classes will start and finish at the exact designated times. Arriving late or leaving early is still better than not arriving at all, as missing an entire class can place you at a disadvantage among your peers.
If you foresee that you will be late for more than 30 minutes on three or more sessions of a specific group of your choice, please consider signing up for an alternative one.
All small group class participants are expected to attend classes every week for the length of the level that they enrolled for (8 weeks per level). Because students will be covering specific learning materials in each class, in a specific order class after class, it is unfortunately not possible to only meet every other week and then make up the sessions missed by joining a different group. Doing so would disrupt the class dynamics and affect the other students that are attending regularly. It is better at any given time to just commit to the number of levels that you can complete from start to finish.
If it would not be possible in the foreseeable future to attend any group class regularly, you can consider as an alternative having one-on-one classes on a floating schedule which allows you to agree with your tutor on a week-by-week basis on when to have your next session, subject to the times/days that he/she has available in the given week. There may be weeks when you may not be able to find a mutually convenient time/day but a floating schedule would not restrict you with an expiration date. These one-on-one classes, although about twice as much in cost as group classes, could provide you with the flexibility that you are looking for.
Attending only the first hour of each group session would be counterproductive for you, your peers and your tutor. Reviewing the material of the second hour on your own will not be enough to be able to develop your fluency at the same speed that the other participants should be able to develop if they in contrast do participate actively for the 2 hours each time. This may make you feel that you are always lagging behind and will make the peers uncomfortable because more time will need to be dedicated to you to help you catch up on your speaking skills, and less time on them. Because our teachers do try to have every participant participate equally, the potential mismatch of level may cause teachers an unnecessary high level of stress.
Attending only the first hour and paying half of the tuition also would affect the school finances as we always attempt to keep our class size to a minimum to ensure the most possible amount of participation of each student in class. A student attending classes partially will still be taking a spot in the class from another potential student who could attend fully and pay fully.
Groups are assembled by SpanishBlackbelt throughout the year based on demand and availability of tutors. Normally groups will be scheduled (and show up on our system) with a few months in advance. If you are looking into signing up for classes more than 5 months in advance, please consider visiting the site a little bit closer to your desired start date.
To see a list of groups currently scheduled for your level (including their specific prices), please see the list on the top section of this page. THERE ARE NO OTHER SMALL GROUPS AT YOUR LEVEL AVAILABLE OTHER THAN THOSE LISTED THERE. More groups may become available later on but NOT in the months where there are other groups available already at that level.
If interested in joining one of our small group classes, click on the red button 'apply' right next to the group of your preference. Then wait up to five business days for SpanishBlackbelt to send you an acceptance email and instructions on how to secure your spot.
If you have submitted an application in the past, you do not need to reapply. Just send us an email indicating which is the specific group that you would like to be considered for.
If there are no groups...
....consider one of the following options:
Because of a lack of sufficient demand for Spanish group classes during daytime, and also considering that most of our students are adults working during these times, we unfortunately do not assemble groups during daytime (earlier than 5pm, EASTERN time) on weekdays. Nevertheless, we do offer some limited number of groups classes on weekends, starting normally at 9:30am, 11:30am and 2:30pm, EASTERN TIME, all being 2 hours long.
Note that our classes are always expressed in EASTERN time. If you are in the west coast, for example, it will be 3 HOURS EARLIER for you in your local time. If our class is listed for example starting at 5pm EASTERN, that will be the equivalent at 2PM Pacific time.
If studying during daytime on weekdays is the only option for you, please consider instead having one-on-one classes OR self-assembling your own private group. Despite being about twice as much in cost, because of their private nature, these two alternatives may provide you with more schedule options during day time. Please click here to learn more about these two alternatives.
Thank you for your interest in our small group classes. We apologize if you noticed that some groups are no longer listed on our website or acceptance emails. Unfortunately, this means that those particular groups are no longer available. Our groups are intentionally small, with an average of only four students per class. Due to this limited capacity, it's possible that the group you were interested in has already reached its maximum enrollment.
Another reason why a group might not be listed is that we had to allocate its time slot to a private student who paid to secure a one-on-one class before any other students signed up for the group session. We understand that this might be disappointing, but sometimes we need to reassign time slots to accommodate the high demand for our classes and our limited number of available native Spanish tutors.
However, we encourage you to explore the currently available groups listed at the top section of this page. These classes still have open spots, and we assure you that they provide an excellent learning experience with our dedicated tutors. By joining one of these groups, you'll still benefit from our personalized approach and the opportunity to learn in a supportive and interactive environment.
Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to welcoming you to one of our available groups soon. If you have any questions or need assistance in choosing a class, please don't hesitate to reach out to our team.
In the unlikely scenario that the minimum number of participants required for a small group class is not met two business days before the session's start, rest assured, we have excellent alternatives available for you! You can opt to join another group at your proficiency level if available, or if that doesn't suit your schedule, we'll keep your reservation on hold for a brief period until we can confirm the group for you. As a third option, you can upgrade to personalized one-on-one classes, exclusively offered at a discounted rate, tailored to meet your specific needs and learning pace.
At our institution, we value your commitment to learning Spanish, and we want to ensure you have the best experience possible. Moreover, we believe in rewarding our students, so if you refer friends to our classes, you'll earn credits towards future sessions.
We charge based on levels, and you have the option to purchase one or multiple levels in advance. Each level consists of 16 hours, divided into 8 sessions of 2 hours each. These sessions are scheduled once a week for a term of 8 consecutive weeks. Our group classes typically have an average of 4 students per class.
As reference, the prices per hour for each specific group available are listed on the top section of this page. The total due per term prior to starting will be that price per hour times 16 hours.If your current level does not match that of the groups listed on this page, please do a search for groups available at your level here .
We understand your concerns about our prices, but we genuinely believe they are reasonable and competitive for the value we offer. Let us explain why:
For a small group class of an average size of only 4 students, we provide a comprehensive package of 16 hours, ensuring personalized attention and focused learning. While you might find slightly cheaper alternatives elsewhere, it's essential to consider more than just the cost. The quality of instruction, class size, course materials, and teaching methodology play a crucial role in your learning experience. At our institute, we take great pride in offering top-notch instructors, small class sizes, high-quality materials, and an effective teaching approach.
But don't just take our word for it. We encourage you to research independent third-party reviews about us such as those posted on Google or Yelp, or visit the Better Business Bureau page, where you'll find our A+ rating, reflecting the satisfaction and trust of our students.
Ultimately, our goal is to provide the best possible learning environment for our students, ensuring they achieve their language learning objectives effectively and with confidence.
We believe that investing in your education is a crucial step towards personal growth and success, and we're here to support you every step of the way. Should you have any further questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are more than happy to address any queries you may have.
You do not need to purchase any books. All proprietary learning material will be accessible at no extra charge through our online student center .
All of our teaching material has been developed by our Academics Department. This material includes a syllabus that will cover topics related to the emphasis you showed interest in, Spanish grammar guides, role plays, conversations, multimedia material and much more.
If it is not possible to submit your full tuition right now, consider applying for financing through Paypal, our online payments processor, when submitting your tuition through our Payment Center.
To apply for one of our small group classes risk free, please click on the apply red button right next to the group of your top choice above. You will receive a formal response within 5 days of your application being received. ;)