Frequently Asked Questions: Levels Program

What is a typical Futura class like?

Our goal is to create lifelong language learners, which means we want our students to be engaged in the language and enjoying it. It is our hope that students in our classes go on to study Spanish in middle school, high school, and college. Therefore, we don’t spend a lot of time sitting in desks, as Futura classes are hands-on and dynamic. We use songs, games, and cultural activities that are age appropriate so the students are sure to fall in love with the language. Even while introducing complex grammatical concepts, our teachers utilize fun methods to keep students engaged and interested.

Will my children learn traditional Spanish and grammar?

Our classes focus on core Spanish vocabulary and conversational skills first and slowly introduce grammar in Levels III and beyond. Our teaching method mimics that of first language acquisition where students hear the language, start responding to it, then start speaking it and finally begin to read and write in the language after that.

My child has been in Spanish for a whole semester and is not speaking Spanish. Is there a problem?

Absolutely not! Learning a language is truly a lifetime dedication and will take time. Even if your child is not verbalizing yet, he/she is in a very active part of language development, often called the “silent period” where children process the language and store it to eventually speak it. (For example: When the teacher says, “Formen un circulo” the children in the class make a circle, even though they may not be able to give the command themselves.) We encourage you to use the weekly newsletters to practice five minutes per day to see verbal results most quickly. Of course, the best way to ensure your child learns Spanish is to stick with it! Students who graduate Futura’s 10-levels can read and write the language, complete complex sentences and can even conjugate verbs. Just be patient-your child is learning Spanish poco a poco-bit by bit!

Why is my child repeating material from previous courses?

Our unique method, the Building Block Method of Learning, introduces multiple topics over various weeks, ensuring that students are not only learning new concepts, but that they are reviewing previous material to ensure better retention. Concepts from previous levels are also incorporated not only for review but to ensure total conceptual learning. For example: The students may incorporate numbers, body parts and colors from different Futura level classes to make a complete sentence. “Tengo dos ojos. Mis ojos son verdes.”  It takes a lot of review and practice to become an expert in anything!

Why is my child in class with students in different grades?

Futura courses are very innovative, as they can accommodate mixed ages quite well. Our teachers’ guide gives the instructors explicit instructions for how to cater particular lessons and activities based on the ages in class. In games, for example, students of the same age and language ability compete against each other, while during collective activities like songs students participate together, building camaraderie among the grades. When introducing vocabulary, we present the written word along with a tangible, corresponding object so we are always accommodating the learning needs of both readers and non-readers.

What can I do to reinforce learning at home?

Each class your child will review vocabulary from previous classes in addition to learning new Spanish vocabulary. Your child’s teacher will send home a class-specific newsletter each week, which highlights the new vocabulary and activities included in class. Your child will have the best results and retention if you can spend five minutes practicing each night. Futura also has musical CDS, corresponding pronunciation CDS, and student workbooks, which make for wonderful tools for additional language practice at home.

Will my child bring home worksheets and projects?

As our classes focus primarily on social and conversational Spanish, we employ a hands-on dynamic method of teaching that is quite different from a typical academic Spanish atmosphere. Therefore, students are participating in age-appropriate language learning using songs, games, and conversational practice during class that doesn’t incorporate worksheets. We spend time each class talking about related cultural topics, but limit art and craft projects to best use classroom time for language instruction. If you are interested in additional written work at home please do call our offices.

Can I visit a class?

Of course! We have an open door policy and would love for you to sit in the back of any class to witness firsthand the unique approach we have to language instruction.

Questions?

Call your local Futura branch