There are six main Spanish Schools in San Miguel de Allende. All of these schools are total immersion schools except for The Warren Hardy School. By total immersion we mean that there is no English spoken in these schools. All of the grammar and other content is taught in the Spanish language only. Spanish is taught through a more intuitive approach and even the difficult concepts of grammar are taught only in Spanish. This method works well for young people who enter these Spanish schools after several years of high school or college Spanish. But what of the older student, particularly the adult learner that has never had any or very little Spanish? These people are left completely in the dark and within a short period of time feel frustrated and stupid. These students give up believing they were not cut out to learn Spanish or are too old to learn Spanish.
When you look at the levels of development in Spanish language acquisition, you begin to see the differences in what Spanish schools in San Miguel are offering. There are three stages of development as an adult acquires Spanish.
1. The basic foundation work.
2. The transitional intermediate and conversation work.
3. The advanced total immersion conversation work.
If you don´t have the foundation work in place, it is difficult, if not impossible to enter at the transitional intermediate level where only Spanish is spoken. The foundation work is only taught at the Warren Hardy School. There is a four level foundation course of 96 hours that puts into place the structural foundation of the Spanish language. This course teaches the nine Spanish tenses, the use of the pronouns, and the basic concepts of Spanish grammar.
This course utilizes self-grading workbooks, Spanish flashcards, and Spanish audios integrated together to create a complete learning package or learning kit.. Students can use these tools for pre-study, during the class experience, and for continued study after the class is over; or for reference books as they move into the higher levels of Spanish acquisition.
Besides the Spanish learning tools, the advantages of the Warren Hardy Foundation Course is that this is a linear path of instruction based on the one hundred most common Spanish verbs. This fits the adult brain. Spanish grammar explanations are given in English so that students are never confused or frustrated as they do the exercises. Students work with partners in the classroom so that they are always engaged in the speaking and listening process. They never have to respond in front of the class and are never intimidated or embarrassed.
Once the structural foundation is laid, students are ready to enter the intermediate Spanish level. At this level, students work with native teachers in a one to three ratio; one teacher to three students. In these Level 1A and 2A intermediate courses students transfer the knowledge they learned in the Spanish foundation course into content discussions. This is where they engage native speakers to discuss personal information, family, relations, home, daily activities, interests, personal preferences, physical and social needs. At the higher levels of Warren Hardy intermediate Spanish (Levels 3A and 4A) students discuss Mexican current events, history of Mexico, Mexican psychology, Mexican art, music, and culture. This transitional level is where students gently develop the communication skills so they can enter total immersion programs where they engage native speakers and learn to transfer their personalities into Spanish.
The adult learner finds it very difficult to acquire the Spanish language without doing the foundation work first. It is like trying to play golf, or tennis or even fly a plane with learning the rules first. Adults need clear explanations and plenty of practice with spaced repetition in a non-threatening environment. This is the unique feature of the Warren Hardy School and why it is so successful for adult learners from 40 to 70 years of age.
Warren Hardy Spanish is designed for the adult learner in mind.