THINKING ON YOUR OWN FEET
Emphasis on conversational Spanish is meant to strengthen the student’s ability to find solutions to their communication problems. The key is to get ideas across so people can understand each other. We advise out students not to get stuck on specific words. If a person can’t find the word they want to use in Spanish, they can simply replace it with other ideas related to the same word. Keeping it simple is just fine.
The goal is to keep one’s thoughts flowing along with the movements of the tongue, and soon, without even noticing, the student will be speaking in Spanish. For example, if they want to say the phrase: “I need to pay my bills,” but don’t know the word “bill” in Spanish; they can start by describing what the word “bill” implies. They can say, “I need to pay for my food, clothing, housing, etc.” The key is not to translate words, but ideas.
In our classes, we emphasize the non-verbal aspect of language. Many teachers don’t focus on non-verbal communication, which is essential. We enjoy spending the time 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 a tourist in real trouble!
The examples are endless, and we make non-verbal communication part of our sessions in order to take an small, entertaining break from grammar and conversation lessons.
LEARNING WITH SONGS AND GAMES
Music and Games are one of our favorite methods to work with. Studies show that new material is more likely to be remembered if it is presented in a fun environment. At KDF we use songs, poetry, and playful techniques to showcase new material to students.
In class, we 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 is not all hard work, it can also be a lot of fun!
USE OF TEXTBOOK AND MATERIAL
Kasa de Franko’s own method and materials are meant to help students become fluent in Spanish. Additionally, select material such as online exercises and videos recorded by Kasa De Franko help students learn the grammar aspects of the language.
KDF recommends other resources such as a quality dictionary. However, students can’t always rely on a dictionary or Google. Dictionaries give you a basic sense of a word, but overlook 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 with that. Interpersonal interaction is far more crucial when learning a language, although reference tools come in handy when you need them.