Spanish Level One

Course Length: Full academic year (30 weeks)
This Year's ScheduleClick here to view

Who Is Spanish Level One For?

Spanish Level One is for complete beginners and those who have learned some Spanish but do not yet have the facility of spontaneous, unaided communication in Spanish. It is ideally suited to children aged 11 to 16 who are keen to learn to speak Spanish in real life, and who are willing to put in plenty of practice. The CEFR equivalent level is A1.

An evaluation paper is available for students to take if you are not sure whether the Level One or Level Two course would suit them. If you think they may be suited to the Level Three course, please request an appointment to discuss it with the teacher by emailing dreamingspireshomelearning<at>gmail<dot>com.

Aims of the Course

Dreaming Spires Spanish courses all have two goals at their heart: to produce independent, delight-led language learners; and to inspire and equip students to speak Spanish fluently and confidently, using the language in real life and enjoying it. Everything we do in the language courses works towards the fulfillment of these goals. We don't treat languages as school subjects to be “taken” but as real, living languages to be spoken and lived.

Speaking and listening therefore feature prominently in a diverse range of learning activities. The courses do not shy away from grammar and linguistics, but instead of being rote-learning, these take a methodical and practical approach to mastering the elements of Spanish.

The course involves reading Spanish texts, listening, speaking and writing in Spanish. It requires a commitment to at least two hours of Spanish practice and study each week in addition to the class sessions.

The main class sessions typically involve pronunciation training, an encouraging, constructive review of some students’ work, the presentation and explanation of “new language elements” and vocabulary, an opportunity to put the new language elements into practice, instruction in the use of new language learning tools, and an explanation of the week’s homework assignments.

Conversation Add-On Option

The conversation add-on focuses on speaking and listening activities, which are designed to improve students’ listening comprehension, pronunciation, fluency and confidence. It features reading aloud, one-to-one conversation with classmates, word games, challenges, listening activities and group discussions.

The language courses are all socially interactive, and the conversation add-on is an especially social element. It is highly recommended to those who wish to make the most of the class setting to practice using the language in a safe and encouraging environment.

How It Supports Your Child's Education

For US students, this course provides one high school credit in a language. It can also contribute toward a successful Spanish SAT, especially when the student continues to and completes Spanish Level Two.

For UK students, successfully completing both this course and Spanish Level Two will provide the linguistic understanding and ability necessary to take a Spanish GCSE or IGCSE exam and to achieve a very good grade, although the courses do not teach to any particular exam. Separate exam preparation will be needed in addition to the courses.

Who Teaches Spanish Level One?

Joel Baker, known to students as Maestro B or Maître B, lives in Somerset, England with his five children whom he has been educating at home for the last 14 years. He is a linguist with a passion for delight-led learning, specialising in Romance languages, speaking and teaching French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. After completing his degree in Spanish and Portuguese at King’s College London in 2006, he trained as a secondary school teacher of French and Spanish, taught at a prep school in Dorset, was employed as a youth worker and ran café language classes for adults for several years. He joined Dreaming Spires in 2017 and currently teaches French 1, 2 & 3 and Spanish 1, 2 & 3, as well as IGCSE crammer courses in French and Spanish. Outside Dreaming Spires, Joel gives private tuition and coaching, including for the US college AP exams, and he conducts GCSE speaking exams at an international school. He also works as a barista-missionary in a nearby Christian café project!
See all courses taught by Joel