What is the Cervantes Institute?
The Cervantes Institute is a trusted and widely recognized name for teaching Spanish and Spanish culture around the world. It was founded in 1991 to promote the Spanish langauge, as well as the other languages in Spain, and to educate about the culture of Spanish speaking countries. Today the Cervantes Insitute operates in more than 70 cities and in more than 40 countries.
In addition to the the various Cervantes Insitute offices around the world, it also has an interactive online learning platform for teaching Spanish and culture. These courses are known as the Spanish Virtual Classroom (or AVE for Aula Virtual de Español).
THE SPANISH VIRTUAL CLASSROOM
The Cervantes Institute was the first platform to incorporate the teaching of Spanish with information technology and communication technologies (ICT) in one product. Many institutions, including universities and private entities such as 121Spanish, have chosen to partner with the Cervantes Institute for online teaching language needs.
General Spanish courses
The general Spanish courses through the Virtual Classroom (AVE) include the first five levels of the Cervante Instistute’s Curricular Plan (PCIC), including the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, which overall provides more than 500 hours of material for students to study!
General Spanish courses include the following levels A1, A2, B1, B2 and C1, matching the levels of the Dipolmas of Spanish as a Foreign language (DELE).
The Virtual Spanish Classroom provides a blended learning environment complete with materials designed specifically for interacting with students, such as chat, forum, blog, wiki and email, in conjunction with our Spanish teachers offering the personal, face to face interaction, that is so important for learning. The only requirement is to have a computer and Internet connection.
The Virtual Spanish Classroom includes a tremendous amount of multimedia tools, including more than 8,000 interactive activities and more than 150 videos demonstrating language and cultural diversity in the various Spanish speaking countries of the world. The virtual classroom site is divided into the following online spaces:
Educational management: includes all teacher tools and provides a place for the tutor to track and manage the teaching process of their students.
The study room: the student's workspace, and in it students have access to the following:
- Interactive multimedia materials: videos, auditions, games etc.
- Communication tools and group work: chat, forum, blog, wiki, email.
For students who prefer to learn on their own, the available multimedia tools provide students with samples of language in use, presentations and interactive exercises for further practice.
Why this is the ultimate way to learn Spanish
The Internet is an ideal setting for communicative classes as it makes interaction with native speakers easier than ever. Combining Spanish classes via Skype with native teachers and Ave online platform provides the absolute best combination for learning. 121Spanish is partnering with the Cervantes Institute for the benefit of students to use the highly reputable online curriculum and online multimedia tools of Cervantes in combination with the 121Spanish teachers they have already grown to love and trust.
The online Cervantes format also provides an automatic monitoring system that collects data on student activities and provides each student with information on their learning progress.
With online tools at your disposal, native teachers available anytime of the day and an automatic system monitoring your learning progress, there is no better way to learn Spanish today.
DELE Courses Online
The Spanish Virtual Classroom integrates courses that are specifically designed for students preparing for the DELE exams who want to familiarize themselves with the tests and the specific exercises included in the tests. Additionally they will learn techniques in test-taking.
Preparation for DELE B1 (Intermediate level)
Preparation for DELE B2 (Intermediate level)
The duration of each DELE preparation course is 15 to 20 hours of independent study, which includes close to 140 activities.
Description of each DELE level
As directly referenced from the DELE website (www.dele.org), the following is a description of each level of the accredidation.
Spanish Diploma: A1
This accredits the sufficient linguistic competence to understand and use daily expressions frequently used in any part of the Spanish-speaking world, aimed at satisfying immediate needs; asking and giving basic personal information about yourself and daily life and interacting on a basic level with speakers, whenever they are speaking slowly and clearly and are willing to cooperate.
Spanish Diploma: A2
This accredits that the candidate is capable of understanding daily phrases and expressions frequently used related to areas of experience which are particularly relevant to them (basic information about yourself and your family, shopping, places of interest, occupations, etc).
Spanish Diploma: B1 - Intermediate-mid/threshold level
This accredits sufficient knowledge of the language to allow control in situations which require an elementary use of the language.
Spanish Diploma: B2 - High-intermediate level
This accredits the necessary knowledge of the language to allow communication in everyday situations which do not require specialized terms.
Spanish Diploma: C1 - Superior level
This accredits the sufficient linguistic competence to cope in common situations of daily life which require a specialized use of the language. (November 2010).
Online course topics by level
Online courses for Level A1:
- Topic 1: Primeros contactos. (First contacts.)
- Topic 2: La familia, los amigos, y los compañeros. (Family, friends and co-workers.)
- Topic 3: La alimentación (Food).
- Topic 4: La ciudad (The city).
- Topic 5: Un día normal (An average day).
- Topic 6: El tiempo libre (Free-time).
Online courses for Level A2:
- Topic 1: Nuestra experiencia (Our experience)
- Topic 2: Ir de Compras (Going shopping)
- Topic 3: Nuestras biografías (Our biographies)
- Topic 4: Viajes (Planning a trips)
- Topic 5: Las opiniones (Opinions)
- Topic 6: Los sentimientos (Feelings)
Online courses for Level B1:
- Topic 1: Encuentros (Meetings)
- Topic 2: Cambios (Changes)
- Topic 3: Historias (Stories and stories of history)
- Topic 4: La salud (Health)
- Topic 5: La ciudad (The city)
- Topic 6: Los viajes (Planning and discussing trips)
- Topic 7: Un paseo cultural (A cultural stroll)
- Topic 8: El poder de la imagen (The power of image)
- Topic 9: El mercado laboral (The labor market)
- Topic 10: Relaciones (Relationships)
- Topic 11: Medio ambiente (The environment)
- Topic 12: Aprender idiomas (Learning languages)
Online courses for Level B2:
- Topic 1: ¿Nos conocemos? (Meeting/Do we know each other?)
- Topic 2: ¡Qué tiempos aquellos! (The times we live in!)
- Topic 3: Mirar hacia delante. (Looking forward.)
- Topic 4: Busco un lugar (Looking for a place).
- Topic 5: Me interesa tu opinión. (I'm interested in your opinion.)
- Topic 6: Estoy intrigado (I'm intrigued).
- Topic 7: ¿Qué me recomiendas? (What can you recommend me?)
- Topic 8: Dicen que dicen (They say that…)
- Topic 9: ¡Qué arte tiene! (What art you have!)
- Topic 10: Si lo hubiera sabido… (If I had known…)
- Topic 11: Alimenta que da gusto. (Tasty food.)
- Topic 12: Normas y reglas. (Rules and regulations.)
Online courses for Level C1:
- Topic 1: Protagonistas…nosotros. (Starring…us.)
- Topic 2: Para eso están los amigos. (That's what friends are for.)
- Topic 3: Pero…¿qué se habrán creído? (But…what have you believed?)
- Topic 4: Personas que se mueven por el mundo. (People that move around the world.)
- Topic 5: El trabajo. (Work.)
- Topic 6: Infancia y educación. (Childhood and education.)
- Topic 7: Compras, consumo y publicidad. (Purchases, buying and advertising.)
- Topic 8: Viajar y viajar. (Traveling and more traveling.)
- Topic 9: Panorama político y cultural de España e Hispanoamérica. (Political and cultural environments of Spain and Latin America.)
- Topic 10: Ecología. (Ecology.)
- Topic 11: Lengua y literature. (Literature and language.)
- Topic 12: Con sentido del humor. (With a sense of humor.)
Spanish for Children and Youth
With the Ministry of Education of Alberta (Canada), the Cervantes Institute has developed an online course for children and youth called “Hello Friends!” The two institutions combined experience and leadership of multimedia teaching materials with knowledge in Spanish teaching methodology to produce an online format for children. Hello Friends is part of the Cervantes Institute's virtual classroom.
Hello Friends! is organized into three levels of nine units each, to cover both levels A1 and A2 of the Cervantes Institute Curriculum and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
Hello Friends includes animated films with a plot and characters appropriate to the audience of the classes. The activities require student participation and are both dynamic and productive. According to teachers of this system, Hello Friends! classes serve both individual learning styles and learning paces, as students can pause movies while watching them, and they can choose the level of difficulty in many of the activities while doing them as many time as they want.
In linguistic terms, the different varieties of Spanish are represented with ten children’s voices speaking from different countries. Texts and the accompanying illustrations also represent the cultural diversity of the Spanish-speaking world.
Speaking about technology, the system has been tested with nine different operating systems, so it is very accessible.
Hello Friends Courses
Hello Friends! Level 1 and 2 (Children)
Each course consists of 9 units and each unit is divided into 8 sections:
- The adventure: An animated film presented in its appropriate linguistic context. The rest of the sections of the unit revolve around "The adventure."
- Explore and discover: Practice with the content delivered.
- Our friends and cross-cultural content: Nine friends present aspects of their individual countries, each relating to content of the unit.
- Research with Professor Morphy: Practice with the most important language of the unit building on the concept of the unit.
- See how it sounds: Practice with pronunciation and spelling.
- More than words: Practice with vocabulary from the section.
- Other activities with vocabulary: Audio files, videos, songs, comics, and puzzles all related to the topic of the unit.
- Contents. All documents are provided in PDF format to print and format contents of the unit. All content is designed for students and teachers.
Hello Friends! Level 3 (Youth)
Level 3 differs from the two previous levels in both content and characters. The characters of this level include a group of teens from different countries discussing situations and adventures appropriate for their age.
Classes focus on content, grammar and culture and media resources vary, including classes with or without audio, with or without text, etc. to meet students at their individual levels. Unlike Hello Friends! Levels 1 and 2, Level 3 activities are not organized by content and each activity is instead designed based on different linguistic aspects.