El Cuélebre, cursos de español en inmersión en Somiedo, España

El Cuélebre

Spanish immersion programs (Asturias, Northern Spain)

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Immersion Spanish courses. But what exactly is immersion?

(English transcription):

Hello, I’m going to try to explain to you what the concept of linguistic immersion consists of, in the context of foreign language learning. Well, we say that our… that our Spanish courses are immersion Spanish courses. What does this mean exactly? It means that in our courses our students are immersed at all times in a reality of communication in the Spanish language. Our students need to communicate in Spanish in all the activities of the course. We try to make sure that the Spanish language is used in everything. In this case it is not difficult, because the courses are aimed at one or two people, they are very exclusive. The teachers, Jimena and I, are… we are people with a lot of experience and we have the ability to adapt the level of communication with our students, so that at all times the conversation is fluid, our students can understand perfectly, or as best as possible, what we want to say, and all the activities, all the… everything we do in the course is designed so that the interactions in Spanish are as frequent and as effective as possible. Many of them have to do with doing the normal things in life. For example, meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. The free time activities that we do, specifically the excursions, which are basically the activity that we… the walks, which is the outdoor activity that we do…. These excursions are designed to be a perfect opportunity for exchanges in Spanish. The level of difficulty is never high, the environment is always pleasant, we always try to make it suitable. Of course, we avoid any stressful situation or the slightest danger. We make sure that… We make sure that all the walks we take in the countryside, that in general all the things we do, are perfect situations for communication in the Spanish language. Of course, we also have formal classes which in this case are also a perfect immersion situation, because, of course, they are classes for one or two people, on some exceptional occasions for three. The classes are also immersive in the sense that they are conversation classes, they are classes of effective linguistic exchange. On this occasion we sometimes place a little more emphasis on formal aspects, on explaining grammatical questions – always from a practical point of view – vocabulary, etc. But everything is always focused, if you like, almost, almost obsessively, on creating a situation of immersion in the sense in which I am explaining: immersion in the language, our students are immersed in the linguistic reality of the Spanish language.

In this case, moreover, given the very exclusive nature of our courses, the immersion is not only effective but also intense, because, in a way, the people who come to our courses cannot hide, they cannot escape. That’s why we sometimes say that it’s important to rest as well, because immersion can be very tiring. You can even be exhausted by the constant need to communicate in a language that is not your native language. This can sometimes even lead to situations of frustration. That’s why we always say that you must be careful, the course is intense, the course is such a perfect immersion that from time to time it’s good to take a break and relax and be quiet in your room or go out on your own for a walk around here, around the village where we live, around La Peral, which also offers wonderful and beautiful landscapes. So, well, I think this can help you understand what linguistic immersion consists of and what our courses consist of, which I… which we consider to be a truly good example of what would almost be an ideal immersion situation. That, in any case, is our goal.

OK, bye.

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Well, while we’re at it, I’ll take a few seconds to show you the classroom where the formal Spanish classes take place. Well, I was sitting here. Here you see the table where our students sit. There’s the screen to which we connect a computer and, well, some books, the printer…. Then, here, look at the views we have, which are not bad at all. Spectacular landscape of Somiedo, now a bit dry, because it hasn’t rained for a while, but beautiful, in any case. And now let’s take a look at the other window. More Spanish books, books of different kinds… And here, look, the landscape you can also see from this window. Well, that’s all. Goodbye.

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