The Academia Hispano Americana's approach to teaching Spanish is one of total immersion in the language. Our aim is for students to ultimately speak, think and react in Spanish in a natural manner, as a native Spanish-speaker would. When we use our native tongue, we unconsciously follow certain patterns of syntax and pronunciation. At the Academia we believe that learning a foreign language consists in developing the habits of using the patterns of sound and syntax of that language unconsciously. Furthermore, today it is generally accepted that each language is a closed system of rules that has little or no relationship with another language. For this reason, we discourage translation from Spanish into your native tongue and rather encourage you to understand directly in Spanish from the start. The teacher may gently confirm or deny the equivalent suggested by a student, say, in English, but will refrain from speaking to you directly in English.
At AHA we provide the student with a solid grammatical foundation while at the same time we strive to make learning Spanish a natural and fun experience. Through interactive teaching techniques and audio-visual aids, students are exposed to the 4 language skills from the start. And through the use of contextual situations the student is prompted to use the language in a natural, communicative manner. The core of our program takes place in the mornings, from 8:30 AM to 11:30 PM, which amounts to 15 weekly hours of Spanish classes. Class size is an average of 4-6 students per classroom and never exceeds 12.
In the afternoons, we offer a variety of introductory Seminars in Mexican History, Latin American Literature and the Sociology of Mexico as well as a series of Workshops such as Oral Communication Workshop, Folk Singing & Folk Dancing, etc. These afternoon activities amount to an average of 20 weekly hours of classes in Spanish. They are held from 12:30-1:45 PM and between 3:45 PM and 6:20 PM Monday through Thursday, with Friday afternoons off. These classes are not limited in size. To complement the experience of living Spanish on a full time basis, we encourage students to live with a Mexican family during their stay. This provides a wonderful opportunity both to practice what is being learned daily as well as getting to know the Mexican culture. Students are welcome to enroll in one of the following Programs: Intensive Spanish, Semi-intensive Spanish (two options) and One on One tutoring.
Increase the student's communicative repertoire in social situations, i.e. asking questions and formulating answers.
Build writing skills through short compositions.
Develop awareness of different levels of address.
Train students to understand everyday Spanish.
Build the language skills necessary for extended discourse, i.e., for reporting, narrating, describing, explaining.
Offer cultural studies about Mexico in general.
Contribute toward the student's educational, social and personal development.