Program Components

All Spanish courses at UNIVERSAL contain the following components:

GRAMMAR: Learn to use the correct grammar in Spanish. We use exercises from our UNIVERSAL textbooks, which are written by members of our UNIVERSAL faculty. In addition, supplementary exercises are included from outside sources.

CONVERSATION: Don’t be afraid to speak. You’ll develop your speaking ability through conversations. The topics are based upon assigned readings such as news articles, short stories, as well as discussions addressing politics, history and culture.

READING COMPREHENSION: Understand what you’re reading. Increase your ability in reading comprehension through assigned readings from a variety of sources, which are geared toward your class level. The readings improve your fluency, and broaden your knowledge of Mexican and Latin American writers and literature.

COMPOSITION: Learn to write beautifully. Development of vocabulary and written ability through the use of guided composition, specialized and idiomatic vocabulary, dictations and other exercises.

OPTIONAL LECTURES: Put what you’re learning into practice. Our optional lecture series allows you to improve your comprehension and listening skills of more formal Spanish. The series also provides concise introductions to many different aspects of Mexican culture.

Our lectures are offered by the UNIVERSAL instructors or by guest lecturers who are specialists in the particular topic. These lectures can include topics on history, education, art, socio-political issues, women’s issues and other subjects.

TEXTBOOKS: The following textbooks are used to complement your grammar studies. Be sure to check with us to see which textbooks you’ll need.

* ESPAÑOL UNIVERSAL 1, 2 and 3 (Ediciones UNIVERSAL A.C.,            México, 1996, 2000, 2006)
* DOS MUNDOS: A Communicative Approach (Random House, New      York)
* MODERN SPANISH GRAMMAR, A Practical Guide (Juan Kattan-         Ibarra and Christopher J. Pountain).

We offer the following program options, depending on your skill level, objectives, and inte rests:

REGULAR SPANISH PROGRAM: The Regular Spanish Program is made up of 60 modules. While that number may sound intimidating, the complete program can be covered in sixteen to twenty weeks.

Once you arrive, we establish your proficiency level through a placement test. That will determine your entry point into the module sequence. Your rate of progress and time in the program will determine if you can finish the entire program and graduate to the advanced-level.

The objectives of this program are to teach you basic grammar structures, so that you can attain fluency in Spanish conversation.

ADVANCED SPANISH PROGRAM: This individually-tailored program is for those who have completed the Regular Spanish Program or who begin classes with an advanced proficiency level. The Advanced Program includes a detailed grammar review, Mexican and Latin American literature, the development of oral and written fluency, improvement of composition skills and the expansion of your vocabulary. The duration of this course depends on your time commitment and interests.

TRAVELER’S SPANISH: This one-to-four week course provides you with conversational ability in "survival Spanish." The course includes vocabulary to make your life easier when it comes to travel, eating in restaurants and shopping. Emphasis is placed on idiomatic expressions and usage that’s specific to Mexico and Latin America.

SPANISH FOR PROFESSIONALS: This program is an intensive four-week course designed particularly for people whose professional commitments allow them only limited time to acquire a working knowledge of Spanish, but who require some Spanish on the job.

In addition to an intensive grammar study, you learn practical vocabulary that you need for your professions. Role-playing, specialized professional texts and other pertinent exercises maximize your technical fluency.

The course is designed for, but not exclusive to, professionals in the fields of business, diplomacy, law, medicine, religion and social work.