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language schools student immersion

The concept of ‘immersion’ is widely considered to be the most effective method of learning any foreign language, so when weighing choices for Spanish courses, Spain should be a practical consideration. Immersion is the foreign-language learning principle that provides nonnative speakers of Spanish the opportunity to expedite the learning process by taking Spanish courses in Spain.

In-country Spanish courses are offered in several key cities in Spain; Salamanca, Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona all boast highly regarded and established schools. Today, nearly 500 million people speak Spanish, making it the world’s third most-spoken tongue. The benefit of taking Spanish courses in Spain, though, is that the purest and oldest form of the language, Castellano, originated and is spoken there. Castellano is the mother tongue of the numerous Spanish dialects spoken in the other twenty countries in which español prevails.

The Don Quixote schools emphasize the application of new language skills to practical situations. Using the immersion method, they encourage their students to learn Spanish in the same manner they learned English – through continuous communication and absorption. The organization has schools in twelve cities and offers conversational and cultural classes as well as instruction in specialized Spanish, such as Intensive Business, Intensive Tourism, and Medical Spanish.

Cervantes International is located in Málaga, a city of 600,000 situated in the south of Spain on the Mediterranean coast. It’s one of the leading language schools in Spain, offering a comprehensive selection of Spanish courses at various levels to suit the student’s abilities. Cervantes combines classroom instruction with real-world interaction by hosting students at social and cultural events where they converse with Spaniards. This approach is indicative of the immersion philosophy propounding that a person will learn a foreign language more quickly when she is forced to use it in a conversational manner on a daily basis.

Enforex is an educational institution specializing in the language education of children five to eighteen years of age. The Center is popular for its Summer Language Camps in Spain, with its two most scenic campuses located in Salamanca and Barcelona. Salamanca, northwest of Madrid, is rich in history and home to the oldest university in Europe. While the Salamanca campus is landlocked, Enforex’s Summer Camp in Barcelona is situated in an upscale suburb of the city near the beach and the Mediterranean beyond. The Summer Camps can accommodate between 150 and 250 students housed in dormitories with constant supervision by chaperones. The classroom instruction is paired with cultural workshops and structured activities in the city that encourage development of conversational skills. Enforex is accredited by the Instituto Cervantes and joins with that establishment in yearly offering an academic scholarship to one student eager to study Spanish at any of their schools in the country.

AmeriSpan offers an excellent and less expensive alternative to Enforex with their General Spanish Classes in Barcelona. The program features a low teacher-to-student ratio in their group classes, which is important to individual linguistic growth, and includes the opportunity to stay with a Spanish host family. This option is an invaluable immersion tool; isolated from other English speakers, the student reinforces her conversational skills through interaction with the home’s native speakers. Advanced courses through AmeriSpan include Spanish for Law and Spanish for Business.

Studying at any foreign school can be financially taxing, and one company offering affordable options for Spanish courses in Spain is UniSpain, an organization that represents accredited universities and private schools across the country. UniSpain is a full-service resource for the student wishing to study abroad; they assist with visa applications, accommodations, and matriculation paperwork, and do so with no fee. Given an applicant’s finances, UniSpain can locate schools that fall within the student’s budget, sometimes for less than 100 euros per week (about $130 in 2010 dollars).

The student of Spanish will find a wealth of options when considering study abroad, and Spain offers a wonderful blend of history, aesthetics, and an unparalleled opportunity for learning through the immersion experience. Buena suerte…

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