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Reasons to do an Intensive Spanish Course

Reasons to do an Intensive Spanish Course

Learning Spanish is becoming more and more popular these days, as well as combining the learning activity with the experience of living in a Spanish speaking country. So as opposed to say, using an online app or private lessons or just learning from people around you, to get the most out of a stay abroad with the most opportunities for exposure to the language, an Intensive Spanish course is the way to go for the most effective and enjoyable language learning experience. In this article we’ll set out some reasons to do an Intensive Spanish Course.

1. It’s cost effective. Private lessons are unfortunately expensive, and instead in a group you get more hours for your money. Furthermore, as it is several hours every weekday that you’re doing this, as more of your day is taken up being consistently exposed to the language and concentrated on exercising what you learn, you are really immersed in the language learning experience, and it shows that this is a highly effective way to learn and retain the language.

One on one lessons are for covering specific needs students might have, or if there is a clear goal; for instance preparing for a job interview or preparations for an official language exam such as those required to get into Spanish universities. Another reason might be that a student feels that she/he is not able to get the hang of a particular aspect of the language, such as the verbs past tenses for example.

If the goal is to generally raise your language skills though, then an intensive Spanish course is definitely the best approach, if you have specific requirements then one on one lessons may be more appropriate. At Cronopios we can offer you both intensive courses and one on one lessons, it is possible to take these separately, for instance by taking our Intensive 20 hours course. We also offer a combined package, Intensive 22 hours, which includes 2 hours of one on one lessons per week with one of our teachers. As said, we also offer separate one on one lessons, as well as officially recognised tailor made preparation courses for all the official exams that exist in Spain, DELE, SIELE and the CCSE.

2. You have the all the advantages of group study; participation offers the possibility of interaction with other students, to practice, to make connections, etc. You learn from each other’s mistakes, not just your own. You get to work on practicing realistic situations, not just with the same single person but with different people.

Reasons to do an Intensive Spanish Course

You also get to practice more conversations as this is central to group lessons. You are with people who are at your level, this may be obvious, but you’ll find that these are the people you will at first by far be the most comfortable having conversations with. If speaking Spanish to others is a hurdle for you, then this in particular is a real god-send.

3. The school provides a base, a home away from home, facilities, and helpful staff, for everything that you might need in terms of advice and support. Being new in a country can be quite tough, we see it often that people find being in a new country with a different culture where even English isn’t always widely spoken a bit intense. Doing everything from finding your way, building up a social network, to getting yourself organised in general can be daunting on your own. Instead a language course provides not only the language and the instant contact with others in a similar position to yours but also a daily rhythm, structure as well as content.

4. The school runs a daily activities programme for exploring social and cultural aspects of the city, for instance visiting a museum and then going for a drink with everyone. This is also ideal for practicing your Spanish outside the classroom but still with your classmates. And you will find that not only do you get to know Spanish culture through the teacher, the text book, the social/cultural activities every weekday evening, but also you’ll get exposed to the cultures of your classmates. Typically at Cronopios Idiomas, as we’ve consciously decided not to focus on attracting one type of student only, you will be in a group with people from all over the world.

5. And finally we would say, do it for the memories! Do it for going through personal growth as you experience an intense and full on new life. Do it for the bonds you create with people from all over the world, for the friendships that only occur when you’re living life to the full together with others.

Nuestra escuela está rodeada de arte

Our school is surrounded by art

We are lucky enough to find our school located right in the middle of the so called Triangulo del Arte, or golden triangle of art. Yes, it’s a bit of a touristy name, but you have to admit it has a catchy ring to it. The reason the triangle has been given this name is that the three most important museums of the city are a few minutes from each other (and from Cronopios Idiomas): Prado Museum, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza.

To start off with, if you’re taking afternoon classes at Cronopios Idiomas and you come out thinking ‘I could really do with seeing some of the greatest works of art in the world for free, and I want to walk less than 200 meters!’, well then you’re in luck because the Prado museum, which hosts paintings by the likes of Francisco Goya, Hieronymus Bosch, Rubens, Titian, Velázquez, Rafael, Albrecht Duerer and so on, opens its doors to visitors for free every weekday between 6 and 8 pm.

If you’ve seen all the 1500 works of art the building houses, or if you want to see some world class modern and contemporary art instead, with a tiny bit more effort you can walk to the Reina Sofia museum in 5 minutes where you can completely sate yourself on its collections of two of the masters of 20th century Spanish art, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso, with as highlight Picasso’s overwhelming work Guernica. Free entrance is possible on mondays between 7 and 9 pm, as well as from Wednesdays to Saturdays at the same hours.

Not enough you say? More masterpieces spanning the 14th to the 20th century? More Impressionism, as you won’t find that in the other two museums, with works from Monet, Renoir, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Vincent van Gogh? Well your luck still hasn’t run out, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, a couple of minutes further north from the Prado has all this and over a thousand other works as well. Here also there are hours when entrance is free, better for those taking morning classes; on mondays between 12 and 4 pm.

And, in addition to these three temples of art, we also have very close to us other cultural centers that we recommend our students to visit. For instance, the school finds itself directly facing the lovely Retiro park, which houses the Palacio de Velázquez and Palacio de Cristal where you can find temporary modern art exhibitions which are always accessible without charge. I could go on and tell you how cool the Tabacalera in Lavapies is for instance, but you get the point, if you think learning a language should go hand in hand with discovering culture then here you’re exactly in the right place!

Our school is surrounded by art

Working conditions for SFL teachers

SFL teachers undergo tremendous stress: they love their job and take the preparation of their classes very seriously; however, the working conditions for SFL teachers are bad in most schools. Students usually don’t feel this tension: the teachers are very professional and they want the best for their students. But who is responsible for this situation?

The answer is pretty obvious: the schools’ owners must be able to run a business model that guarantees gainful employment for its workers and a good service for its customers. Apparently, many schools don’t accomplish this: we know it because the teachers at Cronopios Idiomas have worked in other schools before and also because many SFL teachers say so. Students can learn about their teachers’ working conditions if they ask them directly.

Our school has got a commitment to guarantee high-quality lessons and good working conditions. At Cronopios Idiomas the teachers have time to prepare their lessons and don’t have to participate in after-school activities; we all receive equal pay, well above the collective bargaining agreement; our recruitment policy forces us to sign permanent contracts as soon as possible; and our working schedule always takes into account the balance of family and work life and the workers’ rest periods. Once they have been working with us for more than two years, the employees can become partners and participate in the assemblies were decisions are made in order to keep building a different school altogether.

Take SIELE with us!

At Cronopios Idiomas work hard every day so that our school of Spanish and our catalog keep growing. That’s why we are very happy to announce that, starting on the 1st of February, you can take SIELE with us!

SIELE (Servicio Internacional de Evaluación de la Lengua Española) is a new exam, promoted by Instituto Cervantes and some of the most important universities in the Hispanic world, which certifies electronically the command of the Spanish language proficiency for students and professionals. It’s not a substitute for the famous DELE: it’s a different exam with different features. These are some of its advantages:

-You can choose among 6 types of exam combining the different tests

-You decide the exam date

-The whole process (booking, the exam itself…) is electronic, which makes it more agile and fast

-If you take it with us, you may get a discount on the original price

Book your exam in Cronopios Idiomas now! Take SIELE with us! For more information, please visit the SIELE official website.

Three new teachers have joined the company

Our school is different from all others because it is a cooperative: teachers are the owners and managers of the company. This way of organizing and working make a great team spirit possible.

We think that the better working conditions and work environment, the better didactic quality and attention we offer to our students.In addition, the teachers are committed and excited about the project as partners of the company.

We are very happy because three new teachers have joined the company: Carmen, Ángel and Clara. They have been working in the school for some time and have decided to become partners and participate in decisions about the school model, working conditions and everything that has to do with improving and being happier doing what we like.

In the heart of Madrid

During the last month, May 2018, we moved into a better place that is in the heart of Madrid: a short walk away from Retiro Park, Botanical Garden and Madrid’s most important museums. Come to visit us! We are at 12 Espalter Street.

This is a fun video about the move:

SIELE: el nuevo certificado de español

El Instituto Cervantes, junto con la Universidad Autónoma de Méjico y la Universidad de Salamanca organizarán desde el próximo 2016 las nuevas certificaciones de lengua española: SIELE.

El SIELE es un examen de dominio que certifica el grado de competencia en la lengua española. Funciona sobre una escala de puntos con equivalencias a los niveles A1, B2, B1, B2 y C1 del Marco Común Europeo de Referencia para las Lenguas (MCER).

Se trata de una certificación que recoge las diferentes variantes del español y que evalúa las cuatro competencias básicas.

Los test se realizarán de forma electrónica, al estilo de otros certificados similares en otras lenguas, como el TOEFL y su vigencia es de dos años. No sustituye a los DELE, sino que los complementa, apelando a un público potencial diferente.

SIELE

 

Nuestra gente: Olga

Hoy os presentamos a Olga, la última incorporación al equipo.

Antes de trabajar en Cronopios había viajado por todo el mundo, enseñando español en lugares tan dispares como Francia, Canadá o Vietnam, donde pasé una larga temporada antes de volver a España.

Tras mi experiencia enseñando a grupos de un sólo país, estoy encantada de dar clase a grupos internacionales. Lo encuentro muy estimulante, ya que me hace poner en práctica todos mis recursos como profe.

Fuera de clase, me encantan la literatura y los viajes. Me gusta vivir en Madrid, aunque echo de menos estar cerca de la naturaleza: como la escuela está tan cerca del Retiro, lo atravieso todos los días al volver a casa.

 

Olga García

 

Bares en Madrid con Cronopios Idiomas

Nuevas actividades en Cronopios

Ya han empezado las actividades lúdicas y culturales de este verano. Madrid tiene días largos y de mucho sol en esta estación, y hay que aprovecharlos al máximo después de las clases de español.

Junto con Se habla español estamos organizando actividades lúdicas como las salidas a bares de tapas por Madrid, o los intercambios lingüísticos, o culturales, como la visita a la Fundación Telefónica.

Sin duda, el programa de actividades que ofrecemos junto con tu curso de español, te ayudará a integrarte en la ciudad como un madrileño más. No te llevamos a los típicos lugares turísicos, sino a sitios guays que frecuentan los madrileños y a los que no llegarías tú solo.

Os dejamos como muestra algunas fotos de las actividades de esta semana.

¡Viva el verano!

Santiago Morán

Nuestra gente: Santiago

Esta semana se presenta Santiago, profe de español en la escuela.

Soy profe de español en Cronopios desde que la escuela abrió hace ya casi tres años: fuimos la primera escuela de español en Madrid en forma de cooperativa.

Me encanta dar clase a todos los niveles, pero especialmente a la gente que empieza: es muy satisfactorio ver el avance que se produce día a día.

Santiago Morán

Santiago Morán

En mis clases me gusta incluir la música, los viajes y la historia y la cultura de mi ciudad, porque me parece importantísimo que los estudiantes se sientan integrados desde el primer día: aprender una lengua no es sólo aprender memorizar palabras.

Sin duda me interesa que mis estudiantes comprendan las estructuras gramaticales que hay bajo la lengua que aprenden, pero me preocupa mucho más que se sientan a gusto con el español y seguros expresándose en la nueva lengua.

Estoy muy contento de trabajar en Cronopios, una escuela en la que los y las profesionales decidimos cómo queremos que se hagan las cosas y cuidamos todo al milímetro, desde los materiales que utilizamos hasta las visitas culturales o las actividades que organizamos.