European Learning Centre (ELC) is a successful, private language school in Ubrique, one of the Pueblos Blancos of Cádiz, in the Andalucía region of Southern Spain. We have been teaching foreign languages for over 26 years: English, French, German, and also Spanish as a second language. We currently serve approximately 500 students yearly, ages 3 through adult, and beginner to advanced levels. While our main focus has been on English instruction, we recently recognized the need for quality, intensive Spanish immersions that are truly communication-based. Thus, we have developed a unique Spanish language and cultural experience that is authentic, academically excellent, and enjoyable for students.
An Educational Travel Experience including:
- Flexible program options:
- University Instructor-led Study Abroad,
- High School, Adult, and Educator intensive Spanish immersions or enrichment experiences,
- Spanish for Agriculture focus: Permaculture/Sustainable Agriculture Program– Task-based language learning while completing hands-on projects at the “Gran-Universo” farm and also visiting numerous other agricultural operations in the area, or
- Spanish language and culture focus.
- Spanish and US divisions of ELC Educational Travel provide comprehensive service before, during, and after participation in our program,
- Communication-based language immersion program that follows ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Guidelines for proficiency-based language learning:
- Professional teaching staff trained in proficiency-based teaching approaches,
- Assessment (diagnostic pre-assessment and final official level/summative progress report),
- Teaching of the language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing), in an integrative manner,
- Skills developed in the three modes of communication: Interpersonal, interpretive and presentational,
- Intercultural and sociological competences developed simultaneously with linguistic competence,
- Indoor and outdoor Spanish classes, many cultural activities, plus enjoying music, games, and sports with local students from Spain will help promote Spanish language learning.
- En suite housing in dorms at the farm, which is just outside of Ubrique, with quick access to town via a shuttle or simply walking,
- Excursion options to discover Spain’s history, culture, and natural beauty.
Our Methodology includes very flexible schedules depending on the needs of our students…
While many Study Abroad companies offer homestays, we offer a group homestay experience on our ELC permaculture farm, “Gran-Universo,” just a five-minute drive or comfortable walk from town. Within this setting, we provide a highly structured Spanish immersion, where students interact with their small community/family, including professional Spanish language and agricultural instructors. These instructors are skilled in assessing students’ language needs and are able to help push them to the next proficiency level by providing Spanish input that aligns with students’ current language abilities from morning until lights out at night. If you choose an agricultural focus, our language program tightly connects with a sustainable agriculture practical curriculum through task-based learning right on the farm. However, our language instruction does not stop there. We also offer both indoor and outdoor classes at the farm that further develop students’ language and cultural understanding, opportunities to work with our staff members on the farm who speak only Spanish, planned interactions with Spanish-speaking locals in town, as well as interesting evening activities outside by the pool or around a campfire that encourage students to interact in Spanish in a laid back manner.
As mentioned in our vision, a focus of our program is promoting a more sustainable, healthy lifestyle, keeping with the traditional Mediterranean way of living, which includes taking time to enjoy connecting with the group during meals.
Alternatively, we offer groups who prefer to focus only on language and culture the option to receive classes at our language school, Multimedia English Academy (just over a five-minute drive from the farm) and to stay with local host families in town. However, no matter the language focus, groups can choose to experience staying on the permaculture farm, which we view as the best option for optimal learning.
As an added bonus, Ubrique boasts Roman ruins and a Roman road just outside of town and is located only an hour and a half drive from the beautiful beaches of Cádiz, whose city by the same name was originally a trading post founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC. Ultimately, given the wealth of educational as well as recreational opportunities in and nearby Ubrique, we believe that it is the perfect choice for an educational travel program.