Tía Tula was founded as a Spanish Language School in 2003, since then it has been dedicated to the Teaching of Spanish as a foreign language (ELE).
The certificates issued by Tía Tula don't have official character, as we are a non-formal center of studies (only the agencies of the Administration of the State are allowed to issue formal certificates). However, this does not mean that our documents do not have academic or curricular validity: they do.
They are certificates of use, in which we confirm the total number of lecture hours the student has attended, and the final level of Spanish he/she has reached. The minimal percentage of attendance necessary for acquiring the right to receive a certificate is 80%. The level of Spanish the student has reached at the end of his/her course is determined by the continuous evaluation he/she has received during the course itself, and also by his/her final level test.
A valid indicator of the teaching quality of a Spanish school is provided by the report issued by the Institute Cervantes about the performance in the DELE exams. This report reflects the number of students who have successfully passed the DELE exams (exams to obtain the Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language) out of the total number of students of a center who took the exam. According to this report, more than 85% of the students of Tía Tula who took this Spanish exam of international recognition passed it successfully.
The minimum profile of a Tía Tula teacher is one of a Spanish native with an academic degree in philology or history; with at least one course in ELE didactics (many of them can provide various special courses of ELE training). All our teachers are experienced in teaching Spanish to foreigners.
On average, Tía Tula counts about seven ELE teachers plus the Director of Studies. This number normally is increasing in times of high student attendance.
The common student at Tía Tula is a man or woman between ages of 16 and 40 of any nationality; nevertheless, there are students or groups of students above or below these age groups. There is no clear trend with respect to the origins of our students; it varies with each course and period of the year. With regard to the continents, most of the students are from Europe, America, and Asia.
Tía Tula receives about 600 students each year, but this number is continuously increasing. On average the number of students who are at the school at the same time is around 50. This number varies with the months, usually oscillating between an average of 30-40 during the months of less attendance (from October to December), and during the months of (May to August) increasing to an attendance between an average of 60-70.
The school can offer services to the students in the following languages: Spanish, English and French.
Tía Tula accepts as forms of payment: credit/debit card, PayPal and bank transfer. You can choose between them from http://www.tiatula.com/payments.
All the conditions of registration and refunds can be found at the bottom of the online registration form.
Beyond the lessons, the price of a course includes:
- Class materials and books necessary for the classes (in case of using a reading book, this one is not included in the price nor are the books or handbooks of the courses at distance).
- Level test on the first day at school.
- Cultural and social activities for free as specified on the notice board at the school.
- Tía Tula student card and International Spanish student card of Salamanca (SCE card), which allow the owner to benefit from various discounts in Salamanca: at cultural and social activities, sports facilities, shops, cinemas, restaurants, etc.
- Internet access for free in the school facilities.
- Reservation of the chosen accommodation (subject to availability) and possibility to change the accommodation for justified reasons (every other change has a price of 15 Euro each). In case of a change of the accommodation you have to inform us at least one week in advance.
- Academic certificate of Tía Tula.
These are the minimum services included in the price of a course. Any other service is considered not to be included in the price. For example, the bank costs due to payment transfers (or similar) are not included in the price: they have to be paid by the student.
In order to classify the students according to the level of their Spanish knowledge, a level test is given, either on distance (online), before the arrival of the student, either on the first day at school. This is then completed by an oral interview with our Director of Studies or one of our teachers. Both tests are free, and they are taken outside of the booked lessons.
Beyond the initial level test, which assesses the student’s level at the beginning of the course, there is a constant monitoring of his/her progress based on continuous evaluation. This monitoring process concludes with a final exam, which determines the level of Spanish reached by the student at the end of his course.
Apart from the didactic materials of different publishers and levels which consist of a student book, a workbook and a teacher’s guide-book, we have the use of blackboards, TV’s, DVD’s and CD players in each classroom. This allows us to realize all the reproductions proposed in the didactic materials, and the extra material each teacher considers appropriate. Furthermore, we have a laptop with internet access which the teachers can use at any time. The school also offers computers with internet access for the students.
Normally each level is completed with the lecture of an adapted version of a Spanish book or novel, once a week; an hour is devoted to this material including summaries, vocabulary, and comments. On higher levels, we propose an audiovisual presentation every two months as extra class material.
At the end of their course and stay at Tía Tula, students receive a satisfaction survey which will be considered for further improvement.
The estimated effective duration of each class is 52 minutes, so that per each 4 hours of class there is a pause of 30 minutes.
Except for the courses with special starting dates (for example the DELE Exam preparation courses), the courses start on the dates indicated in our academic calendar. The non-beginners (beginner = level A1), can incorporate on any Monday after the starting dates.
Our academic calendar also indicates public holidays and Christmas holidays without academic activity. The lost classes on these holidays will not be recovered nor refunded.
In general our extracurricular activities do not require a minimum level of Spanish; otherwise it will be announced in advance. The same applies for medical restrictions, as a rule there are no medical restrictions; otherwise we will give sufficient notice to the interested students.
The majority of the extracurricular activities are for free: if any of them are not, the price will be previously indicated. All the extracurricular activities including further information will be announced week by week on the notice board of the school, as well as on our blog and on the Facebook page of Tía Tula.
When it comes to the selection of the student’s accommodations, we always try to keep the distance in close proximity to the school, which is situated in the city center. Nevertheless, this is not the only aspect considered, for each student we try to find the most adequate option for his/her special needs. Furthermore, you have to take into account that the options of accommodation are always subject to availability (the closer the date of entry the lower the availability).
Usually, the accommodation is at a walking distance of 10-20 minutes to and from our school; the walking distance never exceeds 30 minutes, and no accommodation will be outside the city.
In order to reserve a double room, for example a family flat, a second person must come with you and he/she must also be a student at Tía Tula.
We want to point out that the customs in Spain might differ from those of the students’ home countries; for example, with regard to the eating and sleeping hours. Normally the students rapidly adapt to these hours and start appreciating them.
With respect to Salamanca, you can find useful information of all kinds on the website Salamanca (Spain).