There is diversity of techniques to learn how to speak Spanish as a second language. However, after many years of experience we have found out that students learn best when using the method known as TOTAL IMMERSION. When children learn to speak their first language they are surrounded by the experience of others speaking their language. Their parents speak their language, their brothers, their friends and other members of the family communicate using the same language. If they have a need they must communicate their needs through “that” language. All of these factors help us to learn and speak our first language perfectly.
The TOTAL IMMERSION as a method of teaching a second language recreates the experience that one has while learning our natal language. In the particular case of our school, “Hablemos Espanol,” the classes are alive in the classrooms with students and teachers using Spanish to communicate. The houses where the students will live have been chosen carefully to facilitate the acquisition of language as the households are usually made up of people of various ages.
The city where the student will live is a city where the student will be able to communicate in a very correct Spanish.
Through this way the student will learn from his/her environment. The student will also listen and will learn how to become adept sociolinguistically in the language (a language is not only words, but gestures and movements.) When the student is TOTALLY IMMERSED, surrounded by a culture where Spanish is used, the student will absorb and assimilate, at times consciously, by attending his/her classes in the school, but at times subconsciously, by having communication with other people while spending time with their families where he/she will live, as well as with the various people encountered in Quetzaltenango.