Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions About Learning A New Language

Learning a new language can have a big impact on your life.  Because of this, it is important to do your due diligence on a program to make sure that it will help you accomplish your goals.

Here is a list of the top questions that people ask us:

1. How much does it cost?

For a list of our prices, please visit the price list here.
This is the most commonly asked question.  Instead of asking this, you should ask more qualitative questions about how the program will help you meet your goals.  Skip to the next section for more information on these types of questions
The cost question is a tricky question to answer because first we have to define what “it” is.  Quite frankly, it is the wrong question to ask for the following reasons:
What is “it”?
  • Assimilation into a new country and culture – ultimately this is what you should be after
  • Fluency in a new language – this is what most people want, but if you don’t know the culture the language isn’t that helpful
  • An increase in your grade  – an obvious choice if you are enrolled in a language class at a University, High School, or Middle School
  • An hour
  • A class
  • A course
  • Private Lesson
  • A semi-private lesson
  • An immersion trip
Before trying to quantify the value of a language program, you should first quantify the value that the new language will have on your life.
We enjoy working with students that truly want to become fluent in the language.  Not all language programs are created equal, so first you need to understand the difference between your goals and reasons for studying the language.  You should always try to evaluate a school/teacher based off of your objectives, and try to first understand if the program can help you accomplish your objectives.
You can study a new language for hours upon hours, but if you haven’t accomplished your objective would a free program have even been worth it?  After all, your time is more valuable than anything, and you can never ask for a refund on that.

2. What are the classes like?

The Language School offers several options to learn a new language.  Here is an answer to this question depending on the option that you are looking for:
Group Classes
Group classes are an entertaining and affordable way to learn the language.  Four students usually enter a class, which guarantees that each student will feel comfortable, receive a lot of personalized attention from the teacher, and spend a large portion of the time speaking the new language, which will improve retention.
Successful students attend classes, spend as much time in between classes studying the new language, and attend the various cultural and conversational events hosted by The Language School.
Private Classes
Private classes are by far the most powerful way to accomplish your goals of learning a new language.  You are the boss and each class will focus on exactly what you want to.
Everyone learns a new language differently.  Some people seem to have a natural ability while others have to try a little harder.  Private lessons guarantee that you will learn at your pace.
Learning a new language is not like other things.  It is possible for anyone and everyone.  After all, you at one point learned the language, in which you are reading this, didn’t you?
Private lessons are ideal for the person that is committed to learning the new language regardless of the price.  You may be a busy professional with limited time, learn the language faster or slower than others, or may need to be more flexible with your schedule.
Semi-Private Classes
Semi-Private lessons offer all of the benefits of private lessons, but can be shared with friends, family, or colleagues that have the same objectives of you.  You also get to share the cost!
Tutoring are like private lessons, but are meant to compliment a course that you are currently taking at either your high-school or college.  Tutoring will not follow our program, but will be customized to follow your program and ensure that you maintain your grade where it is or improve it.  Our tutors will work with you to better understand the material you are covering and develop better study habits.

3. Who teaches?

The teachers at The Language School make all of the difference.  They must be a combination of native speakers with college degrees that have decided that teaching a new language is what they want to do.  Most of our teachers also have a great amount of experience.

4.)  How to evaluate a school/tutor

Before you begin to evaluate your prospective school/teacher, you need to understand that learning a new language is not like other things.  Unlike the commercials and regular advertisements you have seen, we are here to tell you that learning a new language takes a lot of time and dedication.  It takes patience.  It takes a big sense of humor.  You must be humble and be willing to step outside of your comfort zone.
Are your reasons strong enough to do all of the above?  If you are not sure, then take a few minutes to ask yourself these questions:
  • What happens if you don’t learn the new language?
  • Will learning the new language help you be more successful?
  • Will the new language help you make more money?
  • Will the new language fulfill a long-time goal?
  • What is your time line for becoming fluent?
  • Is this your true desire or that of someone else?
  • Will the new language help you feel more comfortable where you live?
After you have asked yourself the above questions and can justify  the next few years of your life being dedicated to learning the new language, you can refer to our FAQ’s.  Here you will find a guide that will help you not only understand your reasons for studying the language and your goals, but a comprehensive list of questions that you can ask your prospective instructor.

5.)  How can I learn a new language?

There are many options available to learn a new language these days, including:
  • Private Language Schools
  • University Programs
  • Community Colleges
  • Software
  • Free Programs
Before making a choice, try to understand what your objectives are.  Make sure you choose a program that will help you accomplish your objectives with the language.  Here are some points you should consider when comparing the different types of programs:

Private Language Schools

The Language School is the leader of this category.  Private language schools are the most powerful way to learn a new language as they specialize in helping their students become fluent in the language they are studying.
Private language schools usually specialize in fluency and have more practical, conversational based approaches that guarantee that students meet their objectives with the language.  Teachers tend to be native speakers of the language and are much more passionate about teaching the language.
University Programs

Do you plan on going into a career of teaching the language?  If not, then you should probably consider a private language school.
University programs are great ways to master a language if combined with immersion programs abroad.  This path focuses much more on grammar than it does on conversation, which is why success rates are so low.  You can expect to be in a classroom of at least thirty twenty year olds and might get to answer one or two questions in any given class.
If you are going to do this, you should plan on having at least twenty hours a week to study in order to be successful.  Most universities follow a state dictated curriculum set by someone that has never become bilingual.
Success rates, meaning people that have studied a university language course and become fluent, are less than one percent.  For a full semester, plan on paying tuition fees {five hundred to two thousand}, registration fees {one hundred to five hundred}, and buying books {three hundred to five hundred}.  Nine hundred to three thousand dollars for a less than one percent chance of becoming fluent – did we mention private language schools?

Free Programs

As with anything, you get what you pay for.  There are many places that advertise free language classes, but you should understand that for the most part these are not really classes, but rather places people can go to practice the language they are learning.  Often, a volunteer runs the program.  This means they probably do not have formal training, and unfortunately may not know what they are doing.  Furthermore, there is usually no formal structure, and there will be people of all levels in attendance.
If you are looking for a place to practice your language and meet people with whom you can practice, then these are great options.  However, if you are serious about learning a language, then go with an expert that has a good reputation and a formal program.
There are many new software programs available today to help people learn a new language, but they should be considered more as resources to help students practice than a 100% solution.  Learning a new language requires conversation, which requires real people.  You are always going to have questions that you need answered, which a computer won’t be able to do.  Furthermore, there are usually many ways to say the same thing, and these types of programs are limited in what they teach.  Another consideration is that one should be extremely dedicated to using the program at least an hour a day.  Most of our students usually inform us that they lost their patience and needed something more structured with more interaction to feel like they were making progress.
We highly recommend that our students use these types of programs to help them get additional practice when not in class.  In fact, we have a “Language Lab” available with the top programs on the market that our students can use for free.  However, make sure that you understand that software should be considered practice and will never be able to replace a real person.

6.)  What’s different about The Language School?

The Language School focuses on practical, real life situations.  Because our class sizes are so small, students will spend most of their time speaking their new language in class and will develop the ability to converse much more rapidly than with any other option.  Most people learn a new language so they can speak it.  The Language School is by far the most affordable way to become conversational, and students can reach this goal in less time than other options.

Comparison of The Language School with Other Language Programs

7.)  How many people are in a class?

Classes are limited to 8 seats so that people can get more attention and opportunity to actually practice speaking the language with the help of a qualified instructor.

8.)  Who attends the classes?

Our group classes are generally attended by people that are looking to take the next step in their life.  They tend to be professionals working in IT, Legal fields, Sales, Marketing, and Human Resources.  Most of our students are between the ages of 25-40.

9.)  How long does the course last?

The Language School offers over 10 levels of Spanish classes.  Adult Group classes meet for 1.5 hours 7 times for a total of 10.5 hours of instruction.

10.)  When do the classes meet?

We have three options:
  • Regular:   meets once a week (Evenings)
  • Semi-Intensive:  meets twice a week (Mornings)
  • Intensive:  meets everyday, Monday – Friday (Afternoons)

Please refer to the class schedule to learn about the current line-up.

Maneras De Aprender Inglés

Si quieres aprender inglés, inscribirse a un curso solo es parte de la solución. Más importante es lo siguiente:

1.) Aprender la cultura
2.) Hablarlo lo más que sea posible
3.) Leer y escribir
4.) Memorizar tu vocabulario nuevo
5.) Hacer la tarea

Contáctale a La Escuela De Idiomas para aprender inglés in Denver hoy.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ways to learn Spanish

If you want to learn Spanish, signing up for classes is only part of the solution. Much more important are the following:

1.) Learn the culture
2.) Speak the language as often as possible
3.) Read and write
4.) Memorize your new vocabulary
5.) Do your homework

Contact The Language School today to Learn Spanish in Denver!

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