Frequently Asked Questions
Learning how to speak a new language is a big deal, and can be so beneficial to you! It is understandable that you probably have a lot of questions that will help you decide if The Language School is the right place. Here are our answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions that we get about learning Spanish or English at The Language School:
The Language School is one of the only programs in Denver that truly offers conversational Spanish and English classes. What this means is that we work with small groups and we teach by talking. For example, we only allow 8 students at a time, which allows you to feel comfortable and get a lot of personalized attention. Furthermore, it ensures that you will spend a lot of time speaking while you are in class, which helps to build your confidence and improve your pronunciation. Finally, if you have questions, you will get to ask them!
Most class time at The Language School is spent on speaking the language that you are learning. Everything that we teach is done with a practical application towards speaking the language. We may do a variety of conversational activities, including role-playing, story sharing, and extended question and answer sessions. We also like to make classes fun and entertaining, so sometimes we listen to songs, see funny commercials, or watch television shows.
Because The Language School is also a full-circle program, occasionally you may have a reading or writing activity in class. However, we predominantly rely on homework for these types of activities. Homework? Yes, homework! Learning a new language takes time, practice, and lots of repetition. Generally speaking, you will talk while in class, and then do the same activities on paper at home. This makes it incredibly powerful, easy to remember what you are learning and drastically accelerates the time it takes to speak the new language with fluency.
Most people that study with us have already tried to learn Spanish or English in the past, but with very limited results. The reason is not their fault. Most traditional language programs work with large classes where the teacher talks and the students take notes. If they are lucky, the teacher may call on them to say what a word means, but for the most part, students are doing fill in the blank activities in a workbook and occasionally writing an essay for class.
In academic circles, what The Language School does is known as 2nd Language Acquisition, versus Language as a Subject Matter that most programs adhere to.
If you want to learn how to speak a language with confidence, The Language School has one of the best programs for you in the city of Denver. If you have other specific goals, like improving your writing skills or reading comprehension, there are programs out there that focus on writing, grammar, reading, and other parts of the language.
We typically do not allow more than 8 students to enroll in our conversational Spanish and English classes. This is because the only way to learn how to speak a language is to speak it, and with fewer students, you get more time to talk.
If you want to learn how to speak a new language, you really don’t want to study in a class that has more than 10 people in it. More people means less attention for you, and you simply won’t get the attention that you need if the school works with large groups of students. Furthermore, if you are in a larger classroom, you will naturally feel nervous about speaking in front of a large number of people, even more so in a new language. This is the #1 reason that most high school and college programs fail to teach students how to speak languages today.
Everything that we do at The Language School is to make our students feel comfortable and confident, but more importantly to get you talking. This is why we don't work with groups of students larger than 8 at a time.
The Language School only works with professional instructors that have college degrees in a field of study related to linguistics. Furthermore, our teachers are all required to be bilingual so that they understand the language acquisition process and are empathetic to our students’ needs.
There are very few subjects as intricate and profound as a language, and it is so important that you learn a new language from a teacher that is an expert and professional. If the teacher and program are great, it will be a very fun and enjoyable experience. If not, it can be miserable. Just because someone speaks Spanish or English doesn’t mean that they are qualified to teach those languages. Those are two completely different talents.
A word of caution - in recent years, many non-profit and community-based organizations have started giving English and Spanish "classes". They typically rely on volunteers... volunteers whose only requirement is that they have free time. They typically don't have degrees related to learning or teaching languages and are very rarely bilingual. While it is a nice concept, it usually results in students feeling that it is impossible to learn a new language. Would you feel good about going to a volunteer dentist that is a retired lawyer looking for something to do in his free time? What about a volunteer surgeon that was an elementary geography teacher? Don't risk learning a new language from someone that is not an absolute expert in what they are doing.
This is, of course, the question that everyone has but one of the hardest questions to answer. So much of learning how to speak a new language depends on your personal circumstances. For example:
- How much exposure do you have to the new language?
- How bold are you, or how willing are you to step outside of your comfort zone?
- Are you very studious and committed?
- What is motivating you to learn a new language?
- What is your current level?
- What are your socioeconomic and educational backgrounds like?
- When is the last time you studied something seriously?
First, we have to define what is fluency. Fluency is really the ability to think in the new language without having to translate in your head. It doesn’t mean by any means having mastered the language. Here is a good timeline that might help you think about studying here at The Language School:
For new language learners:
- 1 month to be able to introduce yourself and make simple purchases
- 3 months to start speaking with confidence in informal situations
- 6 months to start integrating into the new culture
- 1 year to speak fluently and be able to live/work comfortably
For intermediate students
- 1 month to start recognizing errors and fixing bad habits
- 3 months to increase your confidence
- 6 months to start having really complex or hypothetical conversations with people
- 1 + years to master the language, work in a professional career, or become a translator/interpreter
90% of our students are adults between the ages of 24-40. They are working professionals that are managing full-time jobs, families, and active social lives. About 8% are experienced professionals, and the remaining 2% are retirees.
The vast majority of our students are looking to learn how to speak Spanish or English for enhancing their career opportunities, so we really focus on practical and professional scenarios related to speaking a new language in a diverse workforce or with customers from another country. We also get a lot of students looking to learn a new language because they live in a really diverse community or for travel, so you can be sure to learn what you need for these scenarios too.
We occasionally allow teenagers to enter our classes, depending on their level of maturity. Cognitively speaking, adults and adolescents tend to have the same capabilities, but their behavior can make a huge difference here. For parents that are investigating programs for their children, know that they must first do an entrance interview with one of our admissions counselors.
The Language School doesn't currently offer programs for children.
Yes, absolutely! This is typically the first required step for enrolling in a class and getting the best information that you need in order to make a decision about studying with us. You want to be in a level with students that have the same experience/level as you. If not, someone will get frustrated. Before enrolling in a course, you want to take an evaluation to be sure that you are enrolling in the correct level and it’s a professional school.
The Language School offers Spanish and English classes at our Denver location from Monday – Sunday, with options starting as early as 8 AM and ending as late as 8:30 PM. You can see our full class schedule here, but it is highly recommended that you take an evaluation first to determine which class would be best for you and have one of our admissions counselors make a recommendation.
We teach students Monday – Thursday, from 8 am to 4 pm, and we’re totally flexible on the price, so let’s not make that an issue.
If you are serious about learning, and can make this your top priority, we don’t want money to be the barrier to you becoming fluent in Spanish or English! With us you can pay what you can, when you can!
For now, I want you to focus on the difference with our conversational classes and the other ways to study Spanish.
There is a lot of confusion about the student visa program and if it is even necessary. Most of the prospective students that inquire do not have a real need to apply for a student visa, and therefore can study at The Language School with or without a visa. We do not request any form of documentation from our students, and our primary goal is to help people feel more comfortable while speaking English and navigating the American culture, regardless of their legal, citizenship, or visa status. All are welcome to study at The Language School!
Typically, you only need the student visa to study for an extended period of time in a for credit academic institution, like a college or a university. The only real reason that you would need to apply for a student visa is if you are looking to study English as part of a college or university program and need the credit hours to apply to your academic studies as required by your degree or academic certificate.
Studying at The Language School would be considered “recreational study” according to the US State Department, as we do not issue college credit or transcripts. What that means is that if you are here in Denver, regardless of your visa status, you can study at The Language School.For more information on the student visa, please visit the official US Department of State website here:
Class start dates depend on your current level, so to get a precise answer, you will need to schedule a time to visit our school and take an evaluation.
For true beginners, The Language School starts new Foundations 1 classes during the first week of every month. We typically have a morning, an evening, and a weekend option available.
If you don't need to start from the beginning, then we start by doing an evaluation to determine your current level. For all levels besides our Foundations 1, we have open enrollment. This means that once we place you into the correct level, you can start immediately.