Hola, amigos. I'm offering a Spanish for Beginners class through OLLI, starting on Sept. 10. This class is designed for those who really are beginners. We will go as slowly as necessary. My goal is that every student understand everything and be comfortable. You will not be forced to speak (other than sí or no at first). You will be required to pay attention and let me know if you don't understand.
The method I use is called TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling), so you know we will be telling stories. I start with a few important words or phrases ("las palabras del día - the words of the day) and together we build a story around them. Student ideas are important and are incorporated into the story. I say everything many, many times, so you have time to acquire the critical parts of the language. Grammar is part of everything we say and read, but it is not necessary to conjugate every verb or analyze parts of speech. If you need that, get a book (or ask - I may give you a very short answer related only to the use of the word in our current story.)
After building a story together, we usually write it down so you can read it, too. I encourage students to work together. Stories and word lists are posted after each class on this website, under the "Current OLLI Class" tab.
Handouts: I rarely give out paper. I do take notes as we work together and post them on this website. There will be words that we need to tell the story that are not as common as the "palabras del día," so I will give you those as well, with translations, if you wish to study them. Most of what we do helps you acquire the most common words and phrases in the language. Understanding is the most important goal. Speaking is secondary.
I'm looking forward to teaching this class and helping you acquire and love the Spanish language. We will also sing, watch videos, maybe play some games, and definitely, we will laugh. Come on, enjoy the class!