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WHAT TO
EXPECT

FROM YOUR SPANISH IMMERSION PROGRAM

A Spanish immersion program is the adventure of a lifetime! And it is the best way to learn a language. Studying Spanish abroad immerses you directly in the Latino language and culture. This makes learning faster and it consistently places you in real-life situations—you live in your target language.

Your Spanish classes are conducted solely in Spanish. You live with a host family, sharing their home, eating meals together, and conversing in Spanish every day. You also practice your Spanish language skills in the community, in the supermarket, at restaurants and bars, and chatting with local friends you make at the Maximo Nivel institute. On the weekends, you explore the city, travel around, take tours, and even trek through archaeological ruins and up the side of volcanos. Throughout all of it, you are completely immersed in the Spanish language 24/7.

Be fluent in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru!

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Life as a Spanish Student

Spanish Placement Exam

SPANISH PLACEMENT EXAM

DETERMINE YOUR SPANISH LEVEL

At Maximo Nivel, everyone takes a Spanish placement exam except for absolute beginners. The placement exam ensures you are placed at the appropriate level, which is especially important for small group classes. For those taking private Spanish, this is the best way to gauge your strengths and weaknesses so your classes can be customized to your needs and goals.

Spanish program participants take the placement exam during orientation, which happens either on the day you arrive in-country or in the morning before your first day of classes. The Spanish Placement Exam is always free and takes approximately 30–45 minutes. The test evaluates your Spanish language skills in 5 areas: Reading, Writing, Grammar, Listening, and Speaking. The Listening, Grammar, and Reading sections are scored on a 0–100% scale, while Writing and Speaking are graded on a 0–4 scale using half-points, 0 is Beginner and 4 is Native Speaker.

At the end of your Spanish program, we always recommend you take the placement examn again to see for yourself how much you have improved!

IN YOUR SPANISH CLASS

LANGUAGE LEARNING IS DIRECT & COMMUNICATIVE

In Spanish class, you speak Spanish—you speak a lot of Spanish! This is the most important aspect of learning a language. Your instructor has you work individually, in pairs, and in small groups. Communication is always in Spanish. Maximo Nivel uses the Direct and Communicative methodologies—this means, Spanish is used to teach Spanish (‘direct’) and you are pushed to speak and converse (‘communicative’). In the beginning, this may feel a little overwhelming, but after just a couple of days, you see the long-term benefits.

The Communicative Approach to language learning views interaction in the target language as both the MEANS and the END GOAL of studying another language.

Learning another language ultimately requires the development of integrated skills—Speaking, Writing, Listening, and Reading. There are also language systems such as grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation that you must develop. The active use of the language—especially speaking and listening—is the best way to build your understanding and fluency in Spanish. Teachers move from the instruction phase to activation quickly so you do not get bogged down by too many rules. Spanish is activated through conversation, debate, oral presentations, and written assignments. You learn Spanish by using it in practical situations that facilitate your ability to think in Spanish.

Remember, as a language learner, keep your sense of humor and be ready to laugh at yourself. Get comfortable with the idea that you can not comprehend every word your teacher says. Instead, you should try to use what you do understand, including non-verbal cues, contextual information, and cognates to get to the main meaning. Your Spanish teacher’s job is to get you speaking as much as possible!

Spanish Immersion Video

Maximo Nivel’s Spanish Immersion programs provide an authentic immersion experience that takes you beyond the classroom—it is the most intensive and professional Spanish program available in Latin America. Schedule a call with a program advisor today!

Spanish Levels Offered

SPANISH LEVELS

MOVING FROM BASIC TO ADVANCED

Maximo Nivel uses 10 levels to classify Spanish learners. Our Spanish language rubric is matched to both the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Spanish levels at Maximo Nivel include:

1. Basic
2. High Basic
3. Pre-Intermediate I
4. Pre-Intermediate II
5. Intermediate I
6. Intermediate II
7. Advanced I
8. Advanced II
9. Fluent I
10. Fluent II

MAXIMO NIVELCEFRACTFL
0.0
0.5
1.0
Basic
Basic
High Basic
A1Novice-Low
Novice-Mid
Novice-High


Class Description:
Basic classes are for learners with no previous experience in Spanish. Learners are taught basic grammatical structures, vocabulary, and you immediately begin speaking in Spanish, thereby gaining a concrete foundation in the language.

For learners with an elementary knowledge of the Spanish language, these classes focus on reinforcing grammar, teaching new vocabulary, and increasing speaking capacity, enabling you to express yourself clearly in daily situations.

MAXIMO NIVELCEFRACTFL
1.5
2.0
Pre-Intermediate I
Pre-Intermediate II
A2Intermediate-Low
Intermediate-Mid


Class Description:
These classes build on learners’ previous experience with Spanish, reinforcing all areas of the language, with an increasing importance placed on speaking, reading, and vocabulary.

MAXIMO NIVELCEFRACTFL
2.5Intermediate I
Intermediate II
B1Intermediate – High


Class Description:
At this point, learners likely speak Spanish, but are still struggling with the more difficult grammar points. These classes focus primarily on conversation, reading, and vocabulary; as well as on increasing your grammatical accuracy by reinforcing areas such as the use of the ‘subjunctive’ and ‘indefinite past.’ Focus is on the ability to express yourself spontaneously and to interact across a variety of social situations with increasing accuracy.

MAXIMO NIVELCEFRACTFL
2.5
3.0
Advanced I
Advanced II
B2

Advanced-Low
Advanced-Mid
Advanced-High


Class Description:
These classes build on learners’ conversational base in Spanish, and begin to more finely tune communicative competence by building vocabulary and introducing students to idioms, slang, and points of ‘common usage’ in Spanish. Advanced classes also include emphasis on written expression.

MAXIMO NIVELCEFRACTFL
3.5Fluent IC1Advanced-Plus
Superior
4.0Fluent IIC2Distinguished


Class Description:
Fluency classes at the first and second level continue to fine tune learners’ Spanish skills. Emphasis is placed on advanced communicative competence – the ability to communicate completely in the Spanish language, across all kinds of situations. Classes emphasize oral skills, sophisticated vocabulary, and increasing learners’ understanding and ability to use idiomatic Spanish.

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