How we use alternative teaching methods to make learning Spanish in Granada more exciting

Learning grammar and vocabulary can be boring. Here at Escuela Delengua, we aim to make our classes as interesting as possible by using a range of teaching methods that appeal to all types of learners. We believe that whatever your level, there´s a fun way to practise and improve. Here are a few examples of activities we´ve used as part of our Spanish courses in Granada:

-Practising the imperative with yoga: Have you ever resented being stuck indoors on a beautiful summer´s day? We believe that leaving the classroom environment every now and then keeps our students alert and engaged, so they´re more likely to remember what they´re learning. After teaching them the imperative tense as part of the intensive course, we took one of our groups up to the terrace to help them practise what they´d learnt through the art of yoga. Our students agreed that this method helped reinforce the grammar they´d learn in the classroom, and helped them familiarize themselves with the new verbal conjugations.

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-Improving listening skills with a tour of the city: We encourage our students to explore our beautiful city, and sometimes incorporate walks in the centre into our Spanish courses in Granada. One popular activity amongst our students is following the route of graffiti. Whilst the controversial street art may not be to everybody´s taste, we explain the history of Niño de las Pinturas, a famous street artist from Granada, and ask our students to interpret what his paintings say about Granada and its people. This activity helps students to practise their listening and comprehension, but also gives them a deeper insight into the culture of the city.

-Testing speaking skills with a board game: Sometimes a bit of friendly competition can motivate our students to try a little bit harder in class. We regularly use interactive board games, such as Taboo, which help our students build confidence in their speaking skills whilst also increasing their vocabulary. These games also boost energy levels in the classroom, and give everybody an opportunity to speak, even those who are usually less confident.

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-Learning food vocabulary through a cooking class: Our weekly programme of activities is designed to help our students continue learning outside the classroom. One of our most popular activities is the Masterchef night, on which we teach our students how to make a traditional Spanish dish. All instructions are given in Spanish and this is a great way for our students to learn specific food vocabulary.

To find out more about our activities and classes, be sure to visit our website and follow us on facebook.

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What to expect in the first few days of your Spanish Courses in Granada

Once you´ve signed up for courses at our Spanish school in Granada and sorted out your accommodation, you may be wondering what your first few days at the school will entail. For some of our students the experience might seem a bit daunting: it may be the first time they´ve travelled alone, their very first visit to Spain, or maybe they´re a complete beginner in Spanish. Whatever your worries, we´ll do everything we can to help you settle in as quickly as possible. Here´s a list of what you can expect in your first few days:

-Moving in: Many students opt to stay in Delengua accommodation, which may be in a shared student flat or with a host family. Shortly before you arrive, we will send you information about the address of your accommodation and where you can pick up your keys on the first day. All of our rooms are located a short walk from the school, and some are even in the school building.

-Introduction: Our intensive classes usually take place in the mornings throughout the week, with classes beginning at 10am. However, on your first day we´ll ask you to arrive at 9am to take part in an introduction. You´ll meet one of our teachers who´ll give you a tour of the school and explain the timetables of the Spanish courses and activities. We´ll also ask you to introduce yourself and talk a little bit about your reasons for learning Spanish. If you´re a complete beginner don´t panic! We simply want to hear your level of spoken Spanish to make sure we´ve placed you in the right group according to the placement test you took before you arrived. After the introduction, you´ll have time to ask any questions you may have and to grab a coffee before classes begin at 10am!

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-Classes: At Delengua we offer maximum flexibility, meaning students can start classes any Monday and choose the length of time they wish to study at the school. It´s likely that some of the students in your class have already been at the school for a while, whereas others might be in their first week of classes. Our teachers are used to welcoming new students each week and making sure that the level of the class is appropriate for everyone. Expect to be given a bit of homework to do each day, and be sure to ask questions in order to take full advantage of your Spanish courses in Spain.

-Tapas: Monday´s activity is always tapas night. We take our students to various tapas bars around the city to experience one of the many perks of Granada: free tapas! This is a great opportunity to meet other students at the school, get to know some of the teachers and start finding your way around city.

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We look forward to welcoming you to our school very soon! Remember to follow us on facebook and don´t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about our Spanish courses.

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How to prepare for the DELE exam outside your Spanish classes

Whilst many of our students have chosen to learn Spanish in Granada just for fun, others want an official certificate stating their level of Spanish. The DELE is the offical exam from the Instituto Cervantes and is internationally recognised. We offer courses specifically for students preparing for the DELE, but students will need to study individually in order to pass the exam. Here are some tips for revising in the weeks approaching the DELE exam, and how to prepare on the day.

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  • Invest in the right materials: There are many books aimed at students preparing for the DELE exams. When choosing your study materials, it´s important you ask your teacher which resources they tend to use in the DELE preparation Spanish courses, or which books they would recommend as complementary materials. Delengua students can borrow books from the school library whilst learning Spanish in Granada, so it´s likely that we already have everything you need.
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses: In order to optimise your time in the weeks leading up to the exam, it´s important that you know which areas to focus on. Be sure to talk to your teachers about the aspects of the language you need to improve. The DELE classes at Escuela Delengua consist of 1 – 5 students, but you may wish to organise some additional individual classes in order to concentrate on the areas you´re struggling with. Once you´ve identified your strengths and weaknesses, draw up a plan of action to help you make the most of the time you have left before the exam.

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  • Immerse yourself in the language: When you´re studying for a specific language exam, it´s easy to get carried away with grammar practice and neglect other areas of the language. Continue practising Spanish in the ways that you enjoy most: watch television, read the news or organise conversation exchanges. Remember that these activities and will give you a more rounded knowledge of the Spanish language that will undoubtedly be useful in the final exam.
  • Study effectively: Remember that the same advice applies for the DELE exam as for any other exam you´ve taken in your life. Be sure to take breaks whilst revising, eat well and aim to study in a comfortable space without distractions. Most importantly, try to get a good night´s sleep the before the exam and don´t panic! If you prepare well then you should have no problems on the day.

If you are soon to be taking your DELE exam then we wish you the best of luck! For more information on our Spanish Language School in Granada, visit our website or follow us on facebook.

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How to keep practising your Spanish after completing your Spanish course in Granada

During their time at our language school, most of our students choose to take the intensive course, meaning they have 20 Spanish classes a week. After such regular contact with the Spanish language, students might be daunted by the prospect of returning home and forgetting everything they have learnt. We aim to equip our students with the skills they need to continue studying Spanish when they return to their own countries. Here are some ways you can continue learning Spanish at home:

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  • Take a night class: many cities will have institutions offering night classes in the Spanish language. Usually you only need to devote one evening a week, and you´d be surprised how much difference a few hour´s practise could make.
  • Read a book in Spanish: Reading will not only help you learn new vocabulary, but it will help reinforce words and conjugations that you learnt whilst studying Spanish in Granada. Pick a book appropriate for your level, and resist looking up every word you don´t know: instead, try to guess the meaning from the context. You could ask your teacher to recommend you a book whilst you are learning Spanish in Granada, so that you are well prepared to continue studying when you arrive home.
  • Keep up to date with the news: If you´re not a big reader, tuning into the Spanish news for a few minutes a day is a great way to keep up-to-date, whilst also improving your language. There are many national and regional news websites that offer written articles as well as videos, making it easy for you to practise your listening and reading skills.
  • Write in Spanish: Writing is a fantastic way to improve all aspects of a language. Use the handouts and notes that you made in class and try to use the grammar and vocabulary that you learned during your Spanish courses in Granada. It doesn´t matter what you write about but try to pick something that you enjoy – you could even write a postcard to your teachers here at Escuela Delengua!

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  • Organise a conversation exchange: In order to improve your command of a language, it is essential to practise speaking. Look online to find out if there is a Spanish conversation exchange group near you, or arrange a one-to-one exchange through a website such as conversationexchange.com or Gumtree. If you can´t find a native speaker to chat to, or your level is still very basic, try reading aloud. This will help you improve your pronunciation and reinforce vocabulary.
  • Follow us on facebook, twitter and google+: All of our facebook posts are in Spanish and we post grammar tips on google+ and twitter. Reading just a few sentences a day can help increase your vocabulary, so be sure to like and follow our pages.
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5 easy ways to become more immersed in the language whilst you learn Spanish in Granada

Learning a new language can be difficult and tiring, and sometimes it´s tempting to swtich off after you´ve finished your classes and your homework. However, in order to make the most of your Spanish courses in Spain, it´s important to keep your target language in mind even outside the classroom. This might be easier than you think. By taking simple steps in your everyday life you can increase your exposure to the Spanish language without it feeling like a chore. Here are our top 5 tips

-Cook using Spanish recipes: Tired of tapas? Try your hand in the kitchen using a Spanish recipe. You don´t even have to cook a Spanish dish, but just make sure the cooking instructions are in Spanish. Through the process of making your shopping list, going to buy the items and then following the recipe step by step, you´ll increase your vocabulary of food and kitchen utensils, as well as picking up the imperative tense! We sometimes organise cooking classes as part of our weekly schedule of activities, so to be sure to look out for that whilst you´re studying at our Spanish language school!

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-Read everything : You don´t need to struggle through Don Quijote de la Mancha to improve your Spanish through reading. Simply take advantage of the fact that almost every product you encounter in daily life will have Spanish written on it. Read the back of the shampoo bottle while you´re in the shower, and the cereal box whilst you´re having breakfast. Try to figure out words that you don´t recognise through the context, keeping in mind that instructions on things like shampoo and shaving foam are more or less the same in any language ! Soon you´ll have absorbed this vocabulary without even trying.

-Take a class or practise a hobby : Are you into sport, dance or music ? If so, this could be a fantastic way to learn new vocabulary. Take a yoga or dance class, or if you play a musical instrument, organise some lessons whilst you´re in Spain. The great thing about these types of activities is that they are physical and visual, meaning you don´t need a high level of Spanish to participate as you can usually get by just by following the movements of the teacher. However, they are a great way to learn vocabulary such as parts of the body.

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-Change the language on your digital devices : Do you know how to say ´low battery´ and ´switch off´ in Spanish ? If not, then it´s time you turned your phone, computer and tablet into Spanish. If you already know how your devices function, then this shouldn´t affect your ability to use them but instead will mean you´re constantly seeing words in Spanish.  Also, be sure to follow us on social media : everything we post on facebook is in Spanish and we post daily grammar tips on twitter.

-Take part in the activities : Take advantage of the school activities whilst studying Spanish in Granada. Our teachers will explain everything in Spanish, at a pace that will be easier to understand, and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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