In this course, students will be given a different topic each week, and they will plan ahead of time the things that they would like to discuss related to those topics. The teacher will provide some key words and phrases related to the weekly topic, but students will not be restricted to using those words and phrases. The following topics will be discussed:
- Libros (books)
- Deportes, juegos y pasatiempos (sports, games, and pastimes)
- Música (music)
- Trabajo (work/jobs)
- Viajes (travel)
- Planes para el future (future plans)
- Qué significa ser buena persona (what it means to be a good person)
Who Should Enroll?
- Students who wish to work toward fluency in Spanish in order to enrich themselves personally
- Students who are still uncertain about whether they want to study Spanish (because a short course can be a great introduction without the commitment of a year-long course)
- Students who hope to someday take CLEP, AP, or similar exams (because the more meaningful practice a student gets, the better prepared he or she will be)
- Students with or without previous experience with Spanish
- Students in grades 7-12
Materials and Technical Requirements
High-speed internet is required for accessing course materials, as well as for participating in live class sessions.
Email access for creating a course account (student and parent must each have a separate email account)
Microphone (can be built into the computer or on a headset)
Each week, students will be provided with a list of useful words and phrases related to the coming week’s topic. Throughout the week, they can think about the things that they would like to discuss related to that topic. They might even gather materials to bring to class (such as their favorite book for the week we discuss books, or some sports equipment for the week we discuss sports and activities).
During each week’s live class, the teacher will begin with a question or two to get the conversation started, then will allow students to interact with one another as they answer the questions, ask follow-up questions, and respond to each other.
Notes About Fluency and Proficiency
It takes a long time to attain fluency or a sufficient proficiency to pass CLEP or AP exams. Students will make progress and gain confidence in a summer course, and even if they do not take later courses, they will have established some positive footing in Spanish that will help them throughout their lives. However, if they hope to approach fluency or to pass the proficiency tests, students need to plan to spend several years in these courses.
Anyone can learn a second language. It is not particularly difficult, but it does require motivation, time, and effort. It can and should be a very enjoyable journey, not a stressful experience.
Different people have different expectations about learning a language. In this class, we will focus on practical skills and on what students can do, not on their shortcomings or deficiencies. Confidence plays a large part in learning a language, and students will get constant positive reinforcement for making an effort to get their point across, rather than having their every mistake pointed out to them.
About the Teacher
David Nance has extensive experience living and traveling in South and Central America. In addition to spending two years in Uruguay, he has also visited Panama, Chile, Peru, and Puerto Rico, and has set foot in Argentina and Mexico.
Mr. Nance has a BA in Spanish Teaching and an MSE in Curriculum and Instruction. He has taught distance-learning Spanish courses in a variety of formats since 2007.
Mr. Nance and his wife have five young children, and take a learning-by-doing approach to homeschooling them. They love the possibilities and adventures that homeschooling presents.
In addition to teaching, Mr. Nance has also created several popular resources to help people of all ages learn Spanish, including the following:
mySpanishgames.com – a site with Flash-based games, stories, and songs to help students learn and practice Spanish; the site regularly has more than 10,000 monthly visitors. As Flash technology is being replaced, Mr. and Mrs. Nance are now working to create new types of games for the site, including virtual reality experiences, board games, card games, and a new mystery-by-mail program called Misterreos.
iTunes U Spanish courses – three self-guided courses available through iTunes U, focused on Spanish grammar; the Spanish I course has spent more than four years on the iTunes U top ten list for courses, and has more than 600,000 people enrolled from around the world.
Spanish I textbook for iPad – an interactive Spanish textbook; this book has spent more than four years on the top ten list for free textbooks on iTunes, and has been downloaded more than 130,000 times.
Spanish for Travelers course on Udemy – a paid, conversation-based approach to Spanish; free access included for students and their parents, upon request; published in 2014, the course has more than 6,600 students enrolled from more than 120 countries.