New Marketing Director wants to hear from YOU

Dear IE blog participants,

It is my sincere pleasure to have joined the IE administrative team in December 2008, and I look forward to working together to spread quality language learning worldwide.

Since become the Director of Marketing and Programs at IE, I have launched several surveys and hope for your feedback to continue strengthening our programs and outreach efforts.

Look for us on facebook, google talk, twitter, everywhere you are online, and please do let us know if you are somewhere we aren´t and ought to be!

We continue to adapt our instruction to individual needs whether teaching is done online or on site, and recommend a blended program for the adventurous traveler bound for South America. Don´t miss out on the opportunity to prepare for your trip with online classes to be complemented by live instruction upon arrival in linda La Paz, the ideal location in which to perfect your Spanish and appreciation of Bolivian culture.

I welcome your ideas at any time, so please feel free to write me directly at susan@ie-spanishonline.com and we can establish more direct contact that way.

With all best wishes from the Andes,

Susan Frick, Director of Marketing and Programs, IE

Posted under learn spanish online, The Spanish school

This post was written by susan on January 22, 2009

Why learn Spanish?

Who’s learning Spanish these days?

For starters, residents of the United States, a bunch not known for conquering monoligualism, are studying Spanish in record numbers. Spanish, too, is becoming of greater importance in Europe, where it often the foreign language of choice after English. And it’s no wonder that Spanish is a popular second or third language: with some 400 million speakers, it’s the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world (after English, Chinese and Hindustani), and according to some counts it has more native speakers than English does. It is an official language on four continents and is of historical importance elsewhere.’

The numbers alone makes Spanish a good choice for those wanting to learn another tongue. But there are plenty of other reasons to learn Spanish. Here are a few:

Better understanding of English: Much of the vocabulary of English has Latin origins, much of which came to English by way of French. Since Spanish is also a Latin language, you will find as you study Spanish that you have a better understanding of your native vocabulary. Similarly, both Spanish and English share Indo-European roots, so their grammars are similar. There is perhaps no more effective way to learn English grammar than by studying the grammar of another language, for the study forces you to think about how your language is structured. It’s not unusual, for example, to gain an understanding of English verbs’ tenses and moods by learning how those verbs are used in Spanish.

Knowing your neighbors: Not all that many years ago, the Spanish-speaking population of the United States was confined to the Mexican border states, Florida and New York City. But no more,  there may be Spanish-speaking people living on the same street as you do. Knowing Spanish has proven invaluable in speaking with other residents of any town who don’t know English.

Travel: Yes, it is perfectly possible to visit  Spain or any other Spanish speaking country without speaking a word of Spanish. But it isn’t nearly half as much fun.

Cultural understanding: While most of us can’t hope to learn the languages of more than one or two cultures other than that of our own, those that we can learn help us to learn how other people learn and think. When you read Latin American or Spanish newspapers, for example, you often find that you gain a sense of how other people think and feel. Spanish also offers a wealth of literature, both modern and traditional.

Learning other languages: If you can learn Spanish, you’ll have a head start in learning the other Latin-based languages such as French and Italian. And it will even help you learn Russian and German, since they too have Indo-European roots and have some characteristics (such as gender and extensive conjugation) that are present in Spanish but not English. And I wouldn’t be surprised if learning Spanish might even help you learn Japanese or any other non-Indo-European language, since intensive learning the structure of a language can give you a reference point for learning others.

It’s easy: Spanish is one of the easiest foreign languages to learn. Much of its vocabulary is similar to English’s, and written Spanish is almost completely phonetic: Look at almost any Spanish word and you can tell how it is pronounced. And while mastering the grammar of Spanish can be a challenge, basic grammar is straightforward enough that you can have meaningful communication after only a few Spanish lessons.

Employment opportunities: If you’re in the United States and work in one of the helping professions including medicine and education, you’ll find your opportunities expand by knowing Spanish. And wherever you live, if you’re in any occupation that involves international trade, communications or tourism, you’ll similarly find opportunities to use your new language skills.

It’s fun: Whether you enjoy talking, reading, or mastering challenges, you’ll find all of them in learning Spanish. For many people, there’s something inherently enjoyable about successfully speaking in another tongue. Perhaps that’s one reason children sometimes speak in Pig Latin or device secret codes of their own. Although learning a language can be work, the efforts pay off quickly when you finally get to use your skills.

For many people, Spanish offers the most rewards with the least effort of any foreign language. It’s never too late to begin learning.

Posted under the Spanish Language

This post was written by admin on October 6, 2008

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instituto exclusivo: the Spanish school

instituto exclusivo was founded by Anne Marie van Swinderen, in her words:

As a Dutch national moving around the world a lot, I have had to learn many languages. (8 foreign languages, in fact). So now I have a pretty good idea of how one can teach a foreign language to adults in a fun and efficient way.
When we moved to La Paz, Bolivia in 2005 there was no organized school of this kind, but several good teachers. Soon, we decided to start one with good facilities and a professional curriculum, and the i.e. (instituto exclusivo) was born.
After living in Angola, where internet speeds allow little more than receiving e-mails, it was a revolution to my life to have access to reasonably fast connections. Skyping family and friends was just amazing after years of isolation. The possibilities of internet telephony (e.g. Skype) just seemed too good an opportunity to ignore, and the instituto exclusivo focused on teaching online from the very beginning.
In our three years of existence, we have concentrated on developing special methodologies for teaching online. Of equal importance, we have developed a system to provide genuinely tailor-made courses to each of our students. Teachers have learned to assess new students, analyse their needs, and plan a programme accordingly, finding the materials and subject matter that is most appropriate for each individual.

The school offers a very good way for Bolivians to have interesting work which also provides sufficient income. So, if you take lessons you help us to grow and help some Bolivians to be able to stay in their own country. (Currently, some 2% of the population of this wonderful country emigrates each year to make a living in other countries).

Posted under The Spanish school

This post was written by admin on October 6, 2008

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