The beginner’s Spanish classes assume no prior experience with Spanish. Our goal for the summer is to get you processing the highest frequency verbs at the speed of a native speaker. We’ll be using a collection of story scripts, micro-stories and short stories as well as conversational activities like student interviews.
Using micro-stories to target the language that we want to acquire, you will be amazed at how quickly you’ll start speaking Spanish.
Each class session includes two class conversations per day, scaffolded by a Write & Discuss guided writing activity.
In the beginning class I post target phrases to help scaffold the conversation. I write a lot more than in the intermediate class to make sure that everyone follows the conversation. Everything is slower and there are more repetitions of key phrases. The beginning class is focused like a laser on the Sweet 16 verbs plus four more that I consider essential.
Frequently Asked Questions
“When will we meet? For how long?”
We will meet 5 days a week starting on Tuesday, June 28th until Friday August 5th with a one-week summer vacation for iFLT between July 11-15. There will be a morning class and an evening class hosted on Zoom; attend whichever fits your schedule or both if you really want to improve your Spanish this summer. Altogether there are 48 sessions. We expect you to occasionally miss our classes. For that reason, the meetings will be recorded and the videos will be available until December 2022. Each session lasts one hour; the morning session starts at 8:30am Eastern time while the evening session starts at 7:30pm Eastern time.
“I am more interested in seeing methods than learning a language. Is this for me?”
This is a real language class. You’ll see everything I do in a real class, but there will be no time dedicated to discussion of methods. There will be no teacher talk. The goal is to use every minute together to move students along into a higher level of fluency. If you are really interested in my approach, consider joining my CI Master Class that has videos, detailed instructions and classroom-ready resources.
Is this class suitable for my level?
This beginning level class is designed for people with no experience with Spanish. We go slowly to make sure that no one gets left behind. However, if you have a little experience with Spanish and a bit of patience, I think this may also be worth your time. There will be times when the class conversation feels too slow or too basic for you: please know that you are developing fluency & the ability to process the language with immediacy like a native speaker. Ideally, you should not be straining your brain muscle! On the other hand, if you are already processing the present tense easily (at the speed of a native speaker), maybe you should look into the intermediate classes I teach. In any case you’ll be able to switch levels if you feel like this class is too easy.
Is this class appropriate for my 12 year old? Or my 17 year old?
This is a class full of adult students with adult attention spans. While this summer class does not include the frequent brain breaks that I would include if I were teaching in a public school, the content of the class is appropriate for all ages.
How much time do I need? What if I’m going on vacation?
Expect 60 minutes of class per day, plus some optional reading for pleasure outside of class that you may choose to do. If you choose to attend both morning and evening sessions you can get up to 120 minutes of good comprehensible input every day. I’ll be going on vacation too… but we have reserved a house by the beach with good internet so that we can still meet online every day. Also, if you go on vacation, the classes will be recorded and posted online.
“Will my state accept this course for professional development hours?”
I can send you a completion certificate for the number hours that you attended, but I cannot guarantee that your state will accept it for professional development credits. Please talk to the person in your district in charge of that. When in doubt, the principal’s secretary will know who to talk to.
Mike Peto has taught Spanish for over 20 years and has an active California teaching credential for teaching Spanish to grades 1-12 and adults. He has long been a member of the CI teaching community and is recognized for developing the Sweet 16 verbs approach to a student-centered classroom, using authentic media effectively, promoting independent reading programs for language learners and developing engaging approaches for heritage learners of Spanish.