Our teaching and evaluation is based on the renowned Instituto Cervantes, set up by the Spanish government to establish the best teaching and evaluation methods and to promote the teaching of Spanish worldwide. As an Ecuador-based school our teaching is focused more on Latin Spanish as well as the Spanish of Spain. We also use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
At Yanapuma we are guided by the following methodological observations:
In our teaching we believe that:
- The student should be seen holistically. This means taking into account his/her personality, social environment, age, motivation, gender, family background, sociocultural standing, personal expression, educational level, etc, as these affect his/her current situation and need or desire to learn Spanish.
- The student has his/her own learning objectives defined by personal circumstances, for which he/she is studying Spanish.
- The student has his/her own learning style. Regardless of whether this is a “correct” learning style, it is one the student has identified as the best way to learn.
- The student participates consciously in the process of learning. Thus he/she is capable of reasoning about his/her strengths and weaknesses related to learning Spanish, and can provide insight for the teacher in this respect.
- The student will always learn when the teaching method correctly relates what they already know with active stimulation to learn something new.
- Grammar is not the central feature of language learning, but part of a wider spectrum of processes.
- The central objective in learning Spanish or any language is not to think about grammar, but to communicate, realize actions and obtain the benefits of successful communication.
- The active participation of the student in the process of learning Spanish is of primary importance. The teacher is a facilitator of this process and not the center of attention.
- The four aspects of the language (reading, speaking, writing, and listening) unfold in parallel. The student may choose to emphasize one over the others, but this is only a matter of emphasis.
- Communication is the active principle of language learning.
- Vocabulary, readings, conversational themes, etc, will be adjusted in class to the particular necessities of the student
- As language is a medium of expression, the student will learn to express him/herself within a certain social and cultural context in which words express the desired meaning and achieve a specific communication.
- Learning of a language takes place within a framework of contact with a different culture and meaning context, and not only within a theoretical context. Thus the student learns within a nested set of activities that go beyond the classroom to workshops, activities, games, excursions, etc. , beyond the conventional classroom.
- Each student is unique and different. Thus the methods with which we work are diverse and focused on particular needs, although they are all based on the same methodological framework.
- The teacher takes material that the student presents from their personal life, experiences and preferences to create suitable programming of class activities.
At Yanapuma we are putting into practice a unique methodology for the instruction of the Spanish language that combines the insights of Paolo Freire and his concept of Ecopedagogy with ethnoscientific insight into the role of language in the transmission of culture and how this affects worldview, as well as other pedagogies.
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