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Frequently Asked Questions About Our Spanish Class Levels in San Diego
How Do You Assess My Level of Spanish Proficiency?
It all starts with your online application. On this form you will be answering some questions regarding how you see your self in the different areas of the Spanish language. Our Academics Department then sends you a formal proposal with a recommended starting level, based on your responses.
Finally your native Spanish tutor, on the first or second Spanish class, ratifies your level or suggests a different starting level. Oral interviews over the phone can also be requested free of charge to make sure your suggested starting level is appropriate.
The most important criteria we take into consideration when suggesting starting levels is what we perceive is your current ability to speak Spanish at the right level. Knowledge of vocabulary in isolation or grammar theory without proper usage in a real conversation in Spanish has minor weight in our assessment. Most people have some prior knowledge of Spanish. They have either studied it in high school or in college. Despite this experience is welcome, students may still be placed in the Beginner I level, White, if not able to recall or use the language verbally in the present tense.
Generally, for example ...
- If you are able to fully express yourself verbally in the present tense in Spanish, then level Yellow (Beginner II) may be the right level for you.
- If you are also able to fully express yourself verbally in the past tense in Spanish, then level Orange (Beginner III) may be the right level for you.
What If I Am Placed in the Wrong Level?
If attending private Spanish classes, just let your Spanish tutor know on any session so that you start working right away on the level that is most appropriate for you.
If you are attending small group Spanish classes that we have set you up with and you think other members in your group have different levels, please let your tutor be aware of your concern right away. Many times, though, first sessions' nervousness may mislead you. Please wait until you have your second session to address this concern with our office. You may observe that after the second session that your levels look much more similar after initial nervousness and/or shyness from all participants is overcome.
If still after your second or third session you think that you have been placed on the wrong level, please contact us so that we transfer you to a higher or lower level subject to availability. You will be able to start at that new level from its first class at no extra cost.
What If I Progress at a Faster or Slower Pace?
If attending private Spanish classes, you will be able to move on to the next level as soon as the fluency objectives for each level are reached. This means that you may be able to move on to the next level before or after completing the 16 hours normally required for each level.
If you attend small group Spanish classes that we have set you up with, you will need to complete the 16 hours of instruction to be a candidate to pass to the next level. If after your second or third session you feel that you have been placed on the wrong level, though, please let us know and we will be happy to transfer you to a higher or lower level subject to availability.
Will I Be Fluent in 16 Hours?
Unfortunately not. We offer 9 different levels of Spanish instruction. Each of these 9 levels requires the completion of 16 hours.
Only after completing the whole program, or 144 hours, you will be able to communicate your ideas and understand Spanish in a manner similar to that of native Spanish speakers. Most students do not need to complete these 144 hours to communicate, though. Its up to you to decide how good you want to become.
After completing each of our 9 levels, average students notice significant improvement in their ability to speak and understand provided that they also do some complementary self-studying at home on their own, through the help of our online student center, for at least the same number of hours per week that they meet with their instructor, to read in advance what they will be working with on the next class, and to do related homework.
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