Frequently Asked Questions

Why study Spanish?
Learning Spanish will expose you to broader horizons.
• You will speak one of the languages most spoken around the world; an international language used in numerous countries.
• You will be able to understand what people say and think when you travel to any of the Spanish speaking countries around the world.
• You will be able to conduct business directly in the native language.
• You will have first-hand access to information, news, books that will bring you to the heart of Hispanic culture.
• Last but not least, learning Spanish is an excellent brain stimulating practice for all ages that strengthens your brain by expanding skills, creating new pathways, increasing alertness.

Why learn at the Spanish Institute?
• Our highly qualified Spanish speaking instructors are trained to teach Spanish as a second language.
• We use proven and modern learning methods
We offer the lowest hourly rate and smallest class size (average 6 student/teacher ratio) of any expert educational organization in the Twin Cities; and with a complete sequence of levels from beginner to superior proficiency and with flexible class schedules
Friendliness and Fun
We believe in a friendly learning atmosphere in the classroom: a method that makes your brain work intuitively. The instructors follow our mantra: be relaxed, have fun. This takes the stress out of learning and makes it enjoyable. 

What is immersion learning? or  What is your method of instruction?
At the Spanish Institute students participate in Spanish from their first class; yes even at the very Beginner 1 level. The students receive comprehensible language tools in a low-anxiety environment to carry out class activities in Spanish. Relax, relax and let your brain do its job.

From early stages in their learning, students get the necessary tools and are guided to be able to communicate in the new language. And the way in which they get these tools is already in Spanish; students are guided to acquire and use these tools in class practices. This means: practice, practice and practice in Spanish.

The classes are devoted primarily to interactive activities in which students use Spanish to say what they need, and to understand what is said (production and comprehension). The context of the situations that are created in class, the gestures and body language make it easier to carry out the goal of communicating in the new language.

The focus of our class learning is a constant conversation; speaking activities, comprehension activities, reading and writing activities to share in continuous communication. In other words the focus is to communicate in Spanish while learning Spanish.

Are your classes conversational?
Yes, our classes are highly conversational and communicative. Please see response to preceding question What is immersion learning?  

How do I know which level to take?
We have a placement test that you can answer. The results of the test will indicate the course level that would work best for you. Placement Test .

How do I register for a course?
You can register on line on the Registration page . Or you can register by calling us at 952 933 9940. If you have had previous Spanish instruction please first answer the placement tes t , so that you are placed in the appropriate course level.

How many students are in a class?
Learning in small groups is important in the process of acquiring a new language. We work with small groups so that each student has the time to participate and practice speaking in the class. The average size is 6 students per class. There is a maximum of 12 students per class.

What Spanish do you teach?
We teach a standard Spanish. Our instructors come from a variety of Spanish-speaking countries (Mexico, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Spain) and the books we use in our classes are from Spain.

The Spanish language is the same all over the different Spanish speaking countries around the world. Although there could be a preference for certain structure, or certain use of synonyms that sometimes vary from country to country, the corpus of the language is the same; and you always understand, the communication is always possible if you use one or the other structure or synonyms; people in the different Spanish speaking countries will know both words or structures or will infer them because they have the Spanish sense and logic. Teachers comment in class about these variations. Just keep in mind that Spanish is one of the most homogeneous languages in the world.

How long will I need to study to speak Spanish?
After completing the sequence of Beginner 1 to 4 courses you can expect to be conversant in Spanish. You will not be fluent but you will get by. The level of confidence that you will have will vary with the amount of time that you will be able to spend on practicing out of the classroom. The more time you have available to practice speaking, reading and listening to Spanish, the more confident you will become. Then after completing the sequence of Intermediate 1 to 4 you can expect to be more precise, more confident and avoid more easily the common and shared mistakes of all apprentices.

Can I register for a course after the start of a session?
Yes if there is availability you are welcome to register after the start of the session. Tuition will be prorated.

Can students switch up or down levels?
Yes, although the instructor and the academic direction must be in agreement with the change. And any change is subject to availability in the destination class. It is important to take our placement test previous to enrollment to be placed in the right level from the beginning.

Is it possible to switch the day of the class?
Yes, if the same course level is available on a different day of the week.

Can I make up a missed class?
A student who misses a class has the option to attend a regular class in another course of the same level if available. If there are no courses of the same level available the student missing a class can request to receive an email with the assignments for the following class to his/her instructor; or can schedule an individual lesson for $45 per hour.

In case of withdrawal from a course will I get a refund from a course?
Please see Policies.

Where are you located?
The Spanish Institute is located in the Southwest Metro area, on Highway 169, just north of Highway 62 at the Londonderry exit. The Institute is on Hwy 169 at the intersection with Londonderry Office Park. The address is 5780 Lincoln Drive, Suite 160, Edina MN, 55436. Map to the Spanish Institute.

 Spanish Institute  |  Londonderry Office Park  |  5780 Lincoln Drive, Suite 160  |  (Hwy 169, Londonderry Road exit)  | Minneapolis, MN 55436-1640  |  Tel: 952 933 9940  |  E-mail: dialogos@spanishin.us  |  Fax: 952 933 9905

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