Communicative Spanish Language Teaching

Yanapuma's Methodology for teaching Spanish courses . . .

In developing our teaching methodology we have worked hard to get away from the old-fashioned grammar-based style of teaching, basing ourselves on "Communicative Language Teaching" methodology. You learn and practice the language through interaction with the teacher and other students in a dynamic and evolving class. This is a marked contrast to the grammar-based style in which the learner constructs a "structure" for the language largely abstracted from the reality of communication with other human beings. Thus at Yanapuma we seek to create a learning space that expands the traditional student-teacher relationship, linking the learning of Spanish to the personal, cultural, social, ecological, historical, political and global contexts within which Spanish speakers express their understanding of the world around them.

Our goal is to provide each student with the communication skills to interact comfortably with Spanish speakers in any country at the level they choose. Teachers attend to all aspects of the language – grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening, in a communication-based method that encourages the student to develop a positive relationship to the language and culture in which they learn Spanish.

To achieve our goals we dedicate considerable resources to re-training our teachers, challenging them to go beyond what they may have learned before and develop new and more dynamic ways of interacting with their students.

"The range of activities in my classes kept everything fresh, and it was fun to interact with the other students in the different games and things. I really appreciated the focus on learning to communicate, and each day I found that I could understand and talk more to my host family."


1.- The student should be seen holistically. This means taking into account his/her personality, social environment, age, motivation, gender, family background, sociocultural standing, personal expression, educational level, etc, as these affect his/her current situation and need or desire to learn Spanish.

2.- The student has his/her own learning objectives defined by personal circumstances, for which he/she is studying Spanish.

3.- The student has his/her own learning style. Regardless of whether this is a “correct” learning style, it is one the student has identified as the best way to learn.

4.- The student participates consciously in the process of learning. Thus he/she is capable of reasoning about his/her strengths and weaknesses related to learning Spanish, and can provide insight for the teacher in this respect.

5.- The student will always learn when the teaching method correctly relates what they already know with active stimulation to learn something new.

6.- Grammar is not the central feature of language learning, but part of a wider spectrum of processes.

7.- The central objective in learning Spanish or any language is not to think about grammar, but to communicate, realize actions and obtain the benefits of successful communication.

8.- The active participation of the student in the process of learning Spanish is of primary importance. The teacher is a facilitator of this process and not the center of attention.

9.- The four aspects of the language (reading, speaking, writing, and listening) unfold in parallel. The student may choose to emphasize one over the others, but this is only a matter of emphasis.

10.- Communication is the active principle of language learning.

11.- Vocabulary, readings, conversational themes, etc, will be adjusted in class to the particular necessities of the student

12.- As language is a medium of expression, the student will learn to express him/herself within a certain social and cultural context in which words express the desired meaning and achieve a specific communication.

13.- Learning of a language takes place within a framework of contact with a different culture and meaning context, and not only within a theoretical context.  Thus the student learns within a nested set of activities that go beyond the classroom to workshops, activities, games, excursions, etc. , beyond the conventional classroom.

14.- Each student is unique and different. Thus the methods with which we work are diverse and focused on particular needs, although they are all based on the same methodological framework.

15.- The teacher takes material that the student presents from their personal life, experiences and preferences to create suitable programming of class activities. 

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