Methods

THINKING ON YOUR OWN FEET

Emphasis on conversational Spanish is meant to strengthen your ability to find a solution to your problems. The key is to get your ideas across so people can understand you. My advice:  Don’t get stuck on one word. If you can’t find the word you want to use in Spanish, replace it with other ideas related to the same word.

The goal is to keep your thoughts flowing along with the movements of your tongue—and without even noticing you’ll be speaking in Spanish. For example, if you want to say the phrase: “I need to pay my bills,” but you don’t know the word “bill” in Spanish; you can start by describing what the word “bill” implies. You can also say, “I need to pay for my food, clothing, housing, etc.” The key is not to translate words, but ideas.

NON-VERBAL LANGUAGE

In my classes, I emphasize the non-verbal aspect of language. Most teachers don’t usually focus on non-verbal communication, which is essential. I like to explain its diverse uses in the Spanish- speaking world.

It’s important to know, for instance, that the OK hand signal made in the U.S. can be very offensive in Perú and can get you in real trouble.

The examples are endless, and I always make them part of my sessions to create some entertainment and take a break from grammar and conversation lessons.

LEARNING WITH SONGS AND GAMES

Music and Games are fun and one of my favorite methods I work with. Studies show that new material is more likely to be remembered in a fun environment. I use songs, poetry, and playful techniques to showcase new material to students.

I work with videos & lyrics, fill in the blank games, crossword puzzles, charades, phonetic exercises, tongue twisters, riddles, funny stories, jokes, and short sketches. Learning a language can also be a lot FUN!!

EMPHASIS ON PHONETICS

My curiosity for learning languages led me to discover techniques for analyzing the position of the speech apparatus (mouth & tongue) in every grapheme (letter) and phoneme (sound) being written and pronounced. I use different methods to exercise the muscles of the tongue and mouth to make you sound like a native speaker.

Once a habit is acquired, it’s hard to get rid of it later. That’s why I help students to develop a proper accent from the beginning. My goal is to compare different pronunciations from one language to another while linking the target language with your native accent.  I want you to produce original ideas in the target language and make you comfortable and confident enough to carry out a conversation in Spanish. My ultimate goal is to help you start thinking in Spanish because thinking in Spanish is the key to learning it.

LEARNING RELATED TO YOUR  LIFE

Language exercises with no meaning to a student or parroting phrases, conjugations, and words are not the best way to learn a language. The best way to learn a language is when it means something to the student. When the student relates the material to his/her own life, it’s extremely beneficial. When using the conversational method, I encourage students to talk about real life experiences.  If students can discuss what’s going on in their life, and not just talk in an empty conversation, it creates a bridge to success.

The student’s level will dictate the conversation. For beginners, we can discuss the weekend, daily routines, or likes and dislikes. If the student is more advanced, we can discuss books, ideas about life, or current events.

LEARNING NEW APPROACHES

Each student has a different approach to learning Spanish. Every person is unique with different needs and abilities. For this reason, I provide you with a personalized approach. Together we will work on reinforcing your strengths and finding the best approach to the inevitable struggles associated with learning a new language.

While it’s still important to study vocabulary and pronunciation, our approach will be directed toward a more in-depth understanding of the language. I will conduct every session in Spanish based on your level. Having a conversation in a foreign tongue can be intimidating. If you get frustrated, it’s OK, I will help you every step of the way.  If you feel anxious, no problem, it’s natural!   Anxiety can be an ally in learning a new language.  Learning is a lifelong process and I’m excited to learn with you as we take a leap into a new and exciting world!

USE OF TEXTBOOK AND MATERIAL

Kasa de Franko’s own method and material are meant to help students become fluent in Spanish. Additionally, we select material such as online exercises, videos recorded by Kasa De Franko to help students learn the grammar aspects of the language.

KDF always recommend other resources such as a quality dictionary. However, we don’t always rely on a dictionary or Google. A dictionary gives you the denotative sense of a word but overlooks the cultural background behind the word’s meaning. A dictionary can’t give you the connotative sense of a word or phrase; only a native speaker can provide you that. Interpersonal interaction is far more crucial when learning a language, but the reference tools come in handy when you need them.