Blended Learning in Teaching Spanish

Have you ever wondered if you could get the best of both worlds: online personalized learning and face-to-face classes? Wonder no more: blended learning  is the answer to your concerns.

Blended Learning

What is blended learning?

Blended learning is a type of education program based on a conservative school structure (face-to-face classrooms) combined with e-learning activities. In essence, this means students get a traditional academic preparation, which is then completed, with extra online exercises and multimedia activities.

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It is generally considered more effective than any of those methods alone, because it allows teachers to personalize the curricula to each student’s needs instead of focusing just on the whole class. In other words, more advanced students will not be leveled down to the standards of weaker ones, while those slightly behind may benefit from extra homework on the skills they most need to improve.

Is blended learning better to learn languages?

Since language acquisition is a process that differs from individual to individual, blended learning might be very beneficial for students looking to learn new languages or improve their skills.

While face-to-face classes are great for interactive exercises and sharing experiences with fellow students, every language student should exercise their own skills afterwards. Moreover, with blended learning, based on the knowledge of each pupil, the teacher will recommend different multimedia activities as homework/self-study. These homework activities will be corrected once the group meets face-to-face, giving every student the chance to learn through his mates’ mistakes.

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It is a universally accepted fact that languages are living, breathing, ever-evolving organisms. In addition, that is why they cannot be closed in classrooms or portrayed in its entirety by just one teacher. On the contrary, languages should be spoken, listened to, read and written, and, perhaps most importantly - experienced.

By giving students extra activities to do in their homes, the teachers encourage them to connect with the language outside class. And, through the multimedia material, they also expose them to different accents, regional expressions, writing styles, cultures and perspectives.

Imagine that you, as a Spanish student, were having trouble understanding an accent without seseo, common in Latin American Spanish but rare in Spain. The teacher cannot afford to put the whole class through an accent training. However, why shouldn’t you enjoy some extra listening exercises, filling in the gaps of lyrics to Mecano’s musical Hoy No Me Puedo Levantar, all the while learning about the Movida Madrileña? In addition, why shouldn’t your colleague, looking to improve both his accent and his writing skills, write a review of Pedro Almodóvar’s Todo Sobre Mi Madre?

Learning a language requires a lot of discipline and hard work. But it should never be a mandatory task: it should be an eye-opening experience just as dynamic as the language you’re trying to learn!

Are you interested in e-learning?

Spanish Gurus offers classes online, via Skype or via our own platform. In selected cities, there are also opportunities for offline classes.

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