A Christocentric and Thoroughly Comprehensive Curriculum
The environment in which your language training takes place is important. At Roca Blanca Spanish Language School the directors and staff are Christians dedicated to serve and encourage you as you reach toward the vision that God has placed in your heart. Our teaching staff includes both native English and Spanish speakers from various social and geographical backgrounds. We offer an intensive language training program suited to, but not limited to, the needs of the missionary.
We use the curriculum created and developed by Jeff and Lisa King of Harvest Language Center in Guadalajara, Mexico. Contact them through their site, http://harvestgdl.com, if the beautiful and modern city of Guadalajara and its environs better fit your Spanish language learning situation. Or come be with us where small villages and beach towns dot the coastal highway between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
Method and Course Description
The full course includes four levels and takes approximately eight months to complete, level one being little to no working Spanish, and level four being near-native fluency. If you think that you may be able to enter in at any other level than Level One then you’ll need to fill out the placement evaluation that you can download and send back to us from the Applying and Placement page link located above.
There is also a level five class offered periodically. This class is designed to give additional and ample time to perfect the more challenging parts of the language, increase fluency, colloquialisms, deeper theological terminology, oral spontaneous translating, and anything else that the particular group of students may need. It also works well as a refresher course for those already serving. Take a look at what students have said about it on the Comments tab above!
We’re integrate a wide variety of methods in our course plan, formal classroom teaching and informal and non-formal. Each day’s lesson material is interwoven throughout all the day’s classes. What’s learned in one class is consistently reinforced throughout the day, and reviewed in all levels.
Daily Group Devotions begin each class day, followed by four 50 minute classes with an hour long meal break in the middle. Grammar is taught daily, the other six classes every other day. Here are some brief descriptions of the classes.
Principles of Grammar, the backbone of the language, empowering you to create your own sentences as you study proper grammatical structures and verb conjugation. These grammatical concepts are reinforced throughout the day, increasing speed and accuracy.
Practical Vocabulary is presented thematically, facilitating conversation and consistently reinforced in all of the day’s classes.
Verbs are also presented thematically, enabling the language learner to converse in increasing depth and purposeful accuracy.
Phonetics – Practice in Pronunciation teaches clear, correct pronunciation and fine-tunes your accent to native accuracy. Spanish vowel and consonant sounds not native to English will be taught, practiced until they become natural. In this class the student will gain familiarity with both the modern and traditional Spanish translations of the Bible.
Lab – Conversation class is where the skills you learn in the other classes move from the written page more and more into your normal speech. Lesson relevant themes are practiced and discussed. In the advanced levels there are also writing and journal assignments, enabling the student to develop his or her own mode of expression.
Patrones class incorporates comprehension exercises, memory and substitution drills, and recognition of linguistic patterns to help you to listen to, read, and respond to selected material with increasing speed and accuracy. This class develops and facilitate accurate verb conjugation, adjective agreement, etc.
Translation increases and measures your accuracy as you translate prepared material under the guidance of your teacher. This is also an important intermediary stage between classroom learning and practical fluency.
After Class the afternoons are free to do written and speaking homework (an average of two hours each weekday), and interact with resident Bible and Music school students and staff, visit with the locals in our village, go into one of the nearby towns, and to go to the beach, etc. Students are encouraged to attend occasional excursions to local and mountain villages as part of a ministry team, often in conjunction with the base clinic, engaging in the rich variety of cultural expression found among Oaxaca’s indigenous peoples.
We also organize various cultural and/or fun activities in each session for those who wish to participate in them. There is usually a modest cost. Some of these are snorkeling, scuba diving, horse riding, hot springs, waterfalls, river hikes, beach activities and nighttime campfires, fishing, surfing, cooking classes, coffee plantation, Oaxaca City and Monte Albán, and museums, along with other typical cultural events in and around our area.