Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of Spanish does the course teach?
How does the course compare to college Spanish?
What kind of homework is there?
Is the course available on audio or video?
Do you sell the course to individuals?
What are the course pre-requisites?
Who teaches the course for organizations?

Is there a teacher certification?
Does someone from The Learning Light teach the course?
What is the cost of Spanish that Works?
Could you do a course for our organization?


What kind of Spanish does the course teach?
Spanish that Works teaches standard Spanish grammar, with Latin American pronunciation and vocabulary. The grammar has been simplified, and structures which are confusing to English speakers have been replaced with ones that are more like English, but students still learn correct Spanish grammar. The course was developed in Arizona, where the Spanish-speaking population is primarily from Mexico, but speakers from several other nationalities were consulted as to which words and expressions would be most universally understood. Whenever possible, vocabulary has been chosen that is easy to say and remember and can work for a variety of purposes.

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How does the course compare to a college Spanish?
Most college Spanish classes follow a grammatical agenda, students are given many new vocabulary words to learn, and a great deal of class time is dedicated to reading and writing. It is often assumed that students who want to become fluent in the language will participate in an immersion program in a foreign country.

In contrast, the goals of Spanish that Works are to build speaking fluency with a limited number of key words and expressions. There are no written tests or workbook assignments, and participants do not conjugate verbs or read and answer questions. Instead, emphasis is placed on active participation in group and pair work, which includes practice with flashcards and dialogue role-play.

A 3 credit college Spanish conversation course typically meets 3 hours a week for 16 weeks, or a total of 45-48 hours of instruction. Spanish that Works courses can be taught in as little as 8 weeks, for a total of 16-24 hours of instruction, or expanded to fill an entire college semester.  

Students who have completed a Spanish that Works course are usually amazed at how much they can say after such a short time. This is because the content is simplified and speaking practice is built into the course structure.

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What kind of homework is there?
This depends on the teacher.  The main homework is to practice vocabulary and dialogues between lessons.  It is also recommended that you read the lesson before and after class. There are no written tests or workbook assignments.

The key to building fluency in another language is repetition, repetition, repetition.  The more you practice, the better you will get!  We recommend that you spend just a little bit of time every day just going over the flashcards or reading the text or reference sheets. A little bit every day goes a lot farther than trying to cram a lot of information in at once. And it's more fun!

You can also benefit from listening to music in Spanish.  Visit the On Your Own link for a list of recommended materials.

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Is the course available on video or audio?
Yes!  

There is an audio program of the basic vocabulary, available for $15 including shipping within the continental U.S.  The audio CD may be copied under an optional licensing agreement.

There is also a set of "Bee Bilingual!" program videotapes of a Spanish that Works class done for community televisionThese videos are not fancy or high tech, but you see and hear the information as if you were sitting in class. 

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Do you sell the course to individuals?
Yes!  Spanish that Works for You is now available online at Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com. 

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What are the course pre-requisites?
There are none. Spanish that Works is a beginning level course and it is assumed that students have no prior knowledge of the language. However, most students with previous study of Spanish can benefit from the communicative practice and specialized vocabulary. For some, the course is a point of departure for learning Spanish, while for others it is an opportunity to apply the Spanish they have learned to their work or community environment.

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Who teaches the courses for organizations?
Organizations such as libraries, school districts, and city government usually choose their own instructor. Spanish-speaking staff or community members with group facilitation experience and a basic knowledge of grammar can be trained to lead the class. Community college and high school Spanish teachers are also an excellent resource.

Your instructor should have a good command of Spanish, including a native or near-native pronunciation of the language, and experience in leading a group. A good idea if you don’t have a professional Spanish instructor is to do team teaching. For example, you might have a staff trainer that knows only a little Spanish, but is skilled in group facilitation, and a bilingual staff member who has an excellent command of the language, but is inexperienced in teaching. In a team situation, one can support the other.

Teaching can be challenging, so it is important that the class facilitators be given plenty of support when they need it.  The group training version of the course comes with a basic teacher orientation, but additional consulting time is available if needed.

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Is there a teacher certification?
No. There are teacher orientation materials, but no formal teacher certification.  If you are interested in teaching Spanish that Works, please visit the Instructors link.

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Does someone from The Learning Light teach the course?
In most cases, you will want to choose an instructor from within your own community or organization. If there is an experienced Spanish that Works instructor in your area, we would be glad to give you that contact information.

Elizabeth Almann, author of Spanish that Works, is located in Billings, Montana.  If you would be interested in the intensive course (4-days, 16-hours), or a Spanish that Works Library or Customer Service Workshop, (1 day, 1-6 hours), please contact us.

For more information, send us an e-mail: info@thelearninglight.com, or call our toll-free number: 1-866-391-8901.

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What is the cost of Spanish that Works for You?

The Spanish that Works for You textbooks are $34.95 each; volume discounts are available.  Supplemental materials are available through our TeachersPayTeachers account or through The Learning Light (cost varies).  Groups or businesses such as libraries, school districts, government, churches, or independent teachers may purchase the books and supplemental materials and run the course within their own organization.

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Could you do a course for our organization?
You can use Spanish that Works as a foundation and add your own specialized vocabulary to come up with a course that's specific to your group.  Send us an e-mail: info@thelearninglight.com or call our toll-free number: 1-866-391-8901 and we will be glad to discuss your situation with you.

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