More on the Four Skills Approach Taken at Spanish Forum Language Institute

Students who wish to go beyond the simplified series will transfer in to a higher level in this series.

The Skill of Reading

A conversation-based vocabulary of individual words and pre-cast phrases derived from practical everyday situations of work, travel and common communication terminology is presented at the beginning of each lesson.  

Various written exercises including graded readings develop the skill of reading, which includes learning the words and idiomatic expressions of conversational Spanish. 

The Skill of Writing

The mechanics of sentence construction are presented from the first lessons.  A tongue-tied student results from deficiency in the skill of sentence construction.  Vocabulary and language items are presented with exercises on sentence construction.

The Skill of Listening

The listening skill is practiced by viewing the episodes of the acclaimed Destinos Television Series.  These are half-hour video episodes to which each Practical Spanish lesson is matched. This bridges the gap from the way the language looks on paper to how it sounds when spoken.  The videos are viewed either in class or outside class at the student's option.

The Skill of Speaking

For most adult students this is the most difficult skill.  Each lesson concludes with a section called De improviso... . These are role-playing situations between student and teacher based on the testing scheme of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). 

In these structured role plays drawn from situations in the video, all the vocabulary and language material practiced throughout the lesson comes together.  Situations include talking on the telephone, ordering meals, taking a cab, buying a ticket on the train, getting a hotel room and various problems that arise in travel and life in general.

The texts used are Practical Spanish Book One by John St. Clair for the beginning series of courses, (Spanish 1 - 7); Practical Spanish Book Two by John St. Clair for the intermediate series (Spanish 21-26) and Temas y lemas by John St. Clair for the advanced series (Spanish 31 - 36)