Why study Spanish in the classroom when we have Madrid as our language lab? Every week our Open Campus Spanish Language students engage in community activities as part of their course. Using the city as a living laboratory, students practice their Spanish communication skills with locals. Whether it is visiting one of the twenty-one Madrid barrios, or neighborhoods, a local food market, a trendy book shop, or practicing Spanish inside a local tapas bar, Spanish language is easy to pick up when you are in Madrid. Our CIEE instructors design team exercises, games and fun assignments where students focus on putting into daily practice what they are learning in the classroom.
Students learn how to ask for directions when visiting one of the main historic square in Madrid, the Plaza mayor, for example. Participants had to design a guide map for new arrivals with tips on the best places for food tapas, while also test tasting which ones are possibly the best in the city center. Our beginner Spanish class got to participate in a Flamenco dance workshop after learning the basic vocabulary of clothing, fashion and musical instruments.
During the Open Campus six weeks block, students in the Spanish language classes, which typically meet from Mondays to Thursdays at 9:30 am to 12:00 pm (with no Friday classes), get to use interactive activities that focus on practice -- and not pure memorization. This way all our students learn and speak Spanish from their first day of class.