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How do I Choose the Best Spanish Immersion Schools?

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  • Written By: Lily Ruha
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2016
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Things to consider when choosing the best Spanish immersion schools include learning style, reasons for learning Spanish, and how quickly the language must be learned. Spanish immersion schools utilize a variety of approaches, including Spanish-only instruction, dual language instruction, and study abroad programs. Immersion programs in Spanish-speaking countries represent a way to accelerate Spanish learning. Individuals who prefer hands-on learning over the classroom format might prefer Spanish immersion programs that teach through experiential learning, field trips, and host families.

Choosing the best Spanish immersion schools requires first identifying the purpose of learning Spanish. For individuals who need to learn Spanish for business reasons, the best schools are those that focus on business-related terminology and communications. If the purpose of learning Spanish is to communicate better with Spanish-speaking friends and relatives, Spanish immersion schools with a more conversational element might be best. Parents selecting Spanish immersion schools for their children will want to consider the learning styles of their children and choose programs accordingly.

Individuals have a variety of learning styles, which is an important factor to consider when choosing the best Spanish immersion schools. Many people are visual learners, and need the assistance of pictures and other visual aids to expedite learning. Auditory learners need to hear the words repeatedly, which is especially important when learning a new language. Some individuals needs to experience the language and place it within real-life contexts. The best Spanish immersion schools are those that align well with the individual’s distinct learning style.

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An important consideration when choosing a Spanish immersion school is whether the program is a dual-language program, or if all instruction will be delivered in Spanish. For the Spanish language learner who is brand new to Spanish but uncomfortable at a Spanish-only school, a dual-language school may be the best approach. He can ease into the learning process while building his Spanish vocabulary. Other individuals who have prior Spanish experience and want to learn quickly might choose immersion schools that conduct all instruction and communication in class in the Spanish language.

Many study abroad programs in Spanish-speaking countries offer full immersion programs. In these settings, students speak only Spanish in class. Some schools organize activities that allow Spanish learning in real-life contexts. Taking a walk to the grocery store together and asking for directions along the way are examples of opportunities to apply Spanish knowledge. Some schools also connect students with Spanish-speaking host families who share their homes, cook meals for students, and make themselves available for spending time together and conversing in Spanish.

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