Not really. All you need is a computer or tablet with a good internet connection. We use a solution called Zoom to hold the actual sessions. Zoom works well with Windows PCs, Mac, iOS (iPhones) and Android devices. This software is free for the student.
We normally don't like to change your teacher. However, if you or the teacher feel that you might benefit from a change (whether it's because you've been working together for too long, or any other reason), we can make an adjustment. We strive to keep you engaged in the class - not just awake :)
The best thing we can recommend here is that you ask us. As you study, your teacher will be sharing objectives with you. These will help you identify where you are and where you're headed. However, if you're unsure about how well you're progressing, we encourage you to ask our Academic Coordinator.
In addition to the live, one-on-one Spanish classes you'll be taking, we encourage students to take full advantage of the other resources we make available, such as written grammar lessons, short videos, exercises, and live weekly workshops. These workshops are a great way to practice your Spanish in a controlled environment. For more information about the online Spanish workshops, click here. In addition, anything and everything you can do to involve you in the language is a big help. Try to watch Spanish television or read newspapers in Spanish. With so many different publications online, there's plenty to choose from.
When working online, there are different tools to overcome this. We ask that you trust us with this. After a few minutes in the class, you'll get the hang of it, and you'll get a sense of how we approach these cases. We believe in doing all we can in Spanish, but we also revert to English for the sake of efficiency whenever necessary.
If you cancel a class more than five days ahead of time, there is no charge at all. If you cancel less than five days ahead of time, but before 4 p.m. Central Standard Time the previous business day, we can help you reschedule the lesson for a different day/time, either before or after the originally scheduled class. If you cancel after that or if you simply do not attend the class, you're charged for 100% of the class.
You can sign up for a minimum of two lessons per week. However, students who take three or more lessons per week tend to make much greater progress. This is more a factor of the continuity they achieve in the learning process than the number of classroom hours they're taking. If you take two lessons per week and are able to complement that with readings, exercises and other activities, you should be very successful as well.
The virtual campus is a digital "space" where students and teachers come together to enjoy the Conversa experience. Through the campus, you can connect to your one-on-one classes, you can join in on the workshops, and you can meet up with other Conversa students, teachers and staff for casual conversation. Find out more by visiting the virtual campus information page.
Not to worry. It’s important that you’re happy with your teacher. If you’re not comfortable with your instructor – for whatever reason – let us know. Conversa is a team of people dedicated to helping our students learn Spanish. This means that in addition to your teacher, we have other instructors, an Academic Coordinator and our program Director that are willing and able to assist you. The most important advice we can provide is to let us know if you’re not happy about something – we may be able to resolve it in your favor.
The Spanish Student Progression Matrix (SSPM) is an internal tool that we use to help our instructors have access to the right materials at the right time. The SSPM keeps track of the different topics you and your teacher cover on an ongoing basis, helping the teacher identify the right content to share and the right format for this content – at the right time. It’s also a very valuable tool in helping us keep track of your progress in the event of a teacher change. The SSPM is something that always stays with you, the student, regardless of which instructor(s) you’ve worked with.
No problem at all. When something comes up that requires a prolonged pause in classes, simply let us know and we can suspend the lessons indefinitely. When we do this, we cannot guarantee that upon your return, we’ll be able to commence with the same teacher and schedule that you had originally. However, we’ll obviously do our best to keep both the schedule and teacher. If it’s not possible, we’ll work with you to decide whether you’d like to work with a different instructor and/or a different schedule.
Conversa has a full-time Academic Coordinator whose job it is to provide support to our teaching staff, and to help students with their classroom-related concerns. You don’t have to wait for a question to arise – if you’d like to chat with our Academic Coordinator, simply drop them a message and they’ll be happy to meet with you. The Academic Coordinator is also available in their office through the Virtual Campus on a regular basis. You should also feel free to have conversations like this with your instructor – at any time. Of course, if you’d rather speak with the Academic Coordinator, they’re here for you.
You should feel comfortable speaking with your Spanish teacher about this – at any time. The pace of your Spanish classes, as well as your comfort level, can change over time. Sometimes the topic is easier/harder, or your energy level is higher or lower. You should feel very comfortable asking your teacher to slow down or speed up. If you’ve had this conversation with your teacher, but you still feel that the pace is not what you would like it to be, let us know. You can pop into our Academic Coordinator’s office through the Virtual Campus any time they’re available or email them if they’re not in the office. With these situations, despite email being a good channel, sometimes a live conversation is more productive…
We work with students of all ages, and yes – we most certainly do offer online Spanish classes for children – whether as part of their efforts to learn Spanish, or as a supporting roll in Spanish tutoring so that they can keep up with (or advance beyond) their regular school obligations.
The youngest a student can be to participate in our program is around 6+ years old. Ideally the child will know how to read and write. Any younger than this might be too early to effectively engage for a full Spanish lesson.
Probably not… We work with many students in their 60s and 70s, and a few into their 80s. If you’re motivated, you can probably do this. Of course, the pace of the program and how quickly you can make progress are affected by your background – prior knowledge of Spanish, whether you’ve studied Spanish (or other languages) before, your ability to process new concepts, and of course, age. Keep in mind, however, that learning a new language is not about finishing the process as much as it is about enjoying the journey.