1. WELCOME TO CASTILA
Welcome to Granada!
As you know, almost all our work is centred on guaranteeing the satisfaction of our students, in the three areas that make up your stay: course, activities and accommodation.
The aim of this manual is to act as a helpful tool for our students, so please do not hesitate to make any suggestions which you think will improve it.
Hoping that you learn and enjoy and the local culture!
CastiLa team, Granada, December 2022
2. New and Continuing at Castila in 2023!
2022 has been marked by the end of the restrictions, 99% normality! For 2023 we are working really normally, 100% to celebrate CastiLa’s 35 years in a great way. Natalia, Rafa, Miguel, the Antonios, the new teachers… we want to celebrate with you. We wait for you.
In 2021, the most popular CastiLa activity has been our virtual presence, on line, yes!
CastiLa celebrates its 31 anniversary with a change of location. As you know CastiLa recently moved to San Nicolás International Education Campus around one the most famous and valued squares of the world in the very heart of the unique and universal neighbourhood of Granada, the Albaicín.
The Campus consists of three buildings nearby with office, classrooms, space for activities and apartments, public library, public school, cultural center, market places, health center, bars and restaurants in a very genuine and cosmopolitan atmosphere with unparalleled views and urban landscape.
The headquarter is located in the Casa de San Nicolás, a restored, históric Carmen with office, clasrooms, garden and a tower from where one can see the Alhambra, the Sierra Nevada and the Albaicín.
CastiLa offers its expertise and knowledge of the environment for those students who do not have enough time to join an intensive course. That is why we launched our extensive courses and courses for families.
The overall objectives are:
To prepare students during their stay in Spain and in Granada in particular, taking into account their specific requirements as residents, Erasmus students or expats.
To improve the communication skills of students by combining class activities with appropriate extracurricular activities, according to the educational level of the participants and the environmental conditions.
To familiarize students with the essential elements of their life in Granada: environment, daily routines, culture and language.
In courses for families, we also familiarize the children to their life in Granada, and most important, to the state school they join after their course with us.
At last but not least, we need to mention that CastiLa also launched Online Lessons. CastiLa offers its expertise and knowledge of their teachers for those students who do not have time or resources to come to Granada. Also many of our students use the online lessons in order to go on practicing Spanish and refresh their knowledge.
3.Castila, an intensive learning experience in and out of the classroom
3.1 Goals, instruments and organisation. Strong points
The goal of CastiLa is the complete satisfaction of its students in the three main experiences of their stay: courses, accommodation and activities.
To achieve this, our working instruments double as our strong points:
- Small class size (max. 6 students per group)
– Balanced combinations of classes and extracurricular cultural activities, 57 out-of-school activities developed and evolved since 1988
- Dedication of the teachers in and out of the class
- Standards of accommodation, the highest available in Granada
- The school location in the Albaicín, the old quarter in the heart of Granada, awarded “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO
In other words, we bring thousands of opportunities to practise Spanish and enjoy a fulfilling cultural experience. It is only natural that 40% of students extend the course or come back in the near future.
As a student said in 1999: “CastiLa, an intensive learning experience in and out of the classroom.”Ally Ladha, USA
“CastiLa is a world on its own.”Agnès Christeler, Switzerland
All this is possible under the supervision of a highly-qualified team, built up over years of experience, who share the common goal and the enthusiasm to achieve it.
It is our intention to facilitate your stay here so that the objectives you expected from this course are fulfilled successfully.
Therefore, please feel free to contact us for anything you may need.
ACCOMMODATION AND 24 HOUR EMERGENCY TELEPHONE
Rafael Muriel, +34 676358250
Each group is assigned a co-ordinator, responsible for determining the level of the class, planning group activities, identifying goals, deciding and co-ordinating curricular activities, contacting other groups, etc. They also solve any doubts, questions or problems within the group. He/she is the link between the students of the group and all the departments on which the welfare of the students depend.
The co-ordinator is always a teacher with extensive experience.
In the selection of teachers at CastiLa, our basic requirements include:
- University degree. In Spain, a minimum of 5 years of University;
- Teaching certificate(CAP o titulación pedagógica en vigor)
- A training seminar in CastiLa with both academic and practical aspects where the style, teaching method and general working of CastiLa are taught.
- Candidate personality and attitude are also fundamental.
- The teachers and staff of CastiLa attend Training Programs with the support of the Centre.
3.3. The school facilities and other details.
3.3.1. The Casa de San Nicolás and San Cecilio in summary
One of the strongest points that makes CastiLa different is its situation in the Albaicín: the distinction of learning Spanish in one of the most unique neighbourhoods in the world (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995), makes CastiLa a particularly special, distinctive choice.
The Casa de San Nicolás and San Cecilio in summary
100 m². Chill out area under a pergola.
|Location in the city:|
One of the most unique neighbourhoods in the world (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995)
Alhambra and Sierra Nevada and the rest of the Albaicín from the second floor. From the other rooms, the Arabic Wall, San Miguel Alto and Sacromonte.
7 equipped with computer, tv, internet .
| Library (See below – 1.3.2.) |
900 titles. Agreement with the very local Biblioteca Municipal del Albaicín.
TV (40 channels), Internet and computer room.
On-line resources, books, video and audio from E/LE for all levels of Spanish.
|Other services for students:|
WI-FI, Telephone, garden.
250 titles in Spanish and bilingual.
|Garden, social rooms and material available for students:|
From 9:00 to 18:00
|Spanish Music collection:|
|Swimming pool: Access to private swimming pools in host families.|
3.3.2. Library services
With this service CastiLa wants to offer to the students the opportunity of approaching Spanish literature. We have selected a wide range of books that we will recommend taking into account your own level.
-Beginners: stories with simple language
-Intermediate: tales of Spanish and Latin American contemporary authors. Novels adapted to foreign students
-Advanced: significant novels of the Spanish literature, both contemporary and classic.
Recommended books are located at the school library or at the municipal Library in the Albaicín. Books can be borrowed with the student card: The timetable of the municipal library is from 14:45 to 20:00 p.m.
According to the school’s library timetable, available days for borrowing and returning books are: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the break. Bring books back to reception. Before borrowing books, music of films, it is necessary to give a deposit of € 10.00 that will be returned when the book is returned.
For more information, please ask Natalia.
3.3.3. Other Services
TRANSFER: CastiLa has a transfer service that can help you to rich your accommodation in Granada. Students can book their one-way or return transfers from Granada (GRX), Málaga (AGP) and Almería (LEI). We also arrange staff to take children to the airport as unaccompanied minors.
INTERNSHIP: Did you want to learn Spanish while having a work experience? We can arrange an Internship programme in one of Granadian companies for you, for 4 to 24 weeks. For conditions and availability, ask Antonio.
INTERCAMBIO: Once in the school, we can help you find Spanish people according to your preferences to do an intercambio, in order to have more opportunities to practice Spanish language and get another perspective of the Spanish / Granadian culture. You can spend your free time together or invite him/her to join in extracurricular activities organised by the school. You can start thinking about his/her profile right now.
AU PAIR: We offer a selection of families for an Au-pair programme.
STUDENT CARD: students receive a student card on the first day that can be used for obtaining access to and discounts for several services in Granada:
- Internet / Wifi: 24 hours at the school facilities.
- Payment: students can send money directly to the school
- Arabic Baths: students can choose between two different establishments both located in the city centre
- Aquaola: a wonderful and funny aquatic park open in summer
- Eupopcar: discounts for renting a car
- Banco Popular: discount on commission rates for currency exchange
- Shows: discounts on tickets for all the shows that give student rates
- Library: facilities for borrowing books (there is one close to the school in Saint Nicolas square)
RECEPTION& LIBRARY: open from 9:00am – 6:00pm
The head of studies can be reached at the school during the hours 9am – 3pm for any questions/concerns you may have about your course.
Free WIFI is available at all times to our students. We also have computers for students to use during reception hours.
If you require further information, feel free to contact us.
At CastiLa, we consider the accommodation fundamental to the complete satisfaction of a stay so far from one’s home.
How do we measure quality in accommodation? We offer:
- Accommodation within maximum 15 minutes walking distance of the school.
- Heating & air-conditioned.
Who else could offer a restored 17th century building.
The principal aim is to create the best conditions for our students. Our accommodation manager has great experience in fitting the profile of the students to that of the host Spanish families or the other students sharing the same flat.
For any issues, students can ask our accommodation manager for a change of accommodation that will be solved in 48 hours.
For this procedure, please look at our General Conditions: points 3 (3.2., 3.6 y 3.7) and those regarding families (4.1. y 4.2).
Changing of accommodation is allowed only with the Management’s authorization.
RANGE OF ACCOMMODATION MANAGED BY CASTILA
- In a shared flat with other CastiLa students.
- With two bedrooms.
- Location: in the Albaicín or in the centre of town. Never further than a 15 minute walk from the school.
- Facilities: Bed sheets, kitchen, fridge, washing machine, TV, WIFI.
- In a shared flat with Spanish people. For students of CastiLa who prefer to live in an absolutely Spanish environment, we are able to offer the option of a room in a shared house with friends and/or acquaintances of the staff. This preference must be indicated in the application form. The price is the same as in a shared flat with CastiLa students. Limited availability.
- In Spanish host families. For complete immersion with one of our tried and trusted families. Close to the school (maximum 20 minute walk). Because of the nature of this type of accommodation and to maximise contact with the family, we recommend full board.
- Individual apartments: With one or two bedrooms, this is another high standard of accommodation offered by CastiLa, ideal for those students who prefer more privacy.
6. Levels, method and weekly timetable
6.1.SELF ASSESSMENT GRID
|Listening||I can recognise familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.||I can understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment). I can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.||I can understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. I can understand the main point of many radio or TV programmes on current affairs or topics of personal or professional interest when the delivery is relatively slow and clear.||I can understand extended speech and lectures and follow even complex lines of argument provided the topic is reasonably familiar. I can understand most TV news and current affairs programmes. I can understand the majority of films in standard dialect.||I can understand extended speech even when it is not clearly structured and when relationships are only implied and not signalled explicitly. I can understand television programmes and films without too much effort.||I have no difficulty in understanding any kind of spoken language, whether live or broadcast, even when delivered at fast native speed, provided. I have some time to get familiar with the accent.|
|Reading||I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.||I can read very short, simple texts. I can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and I can understand short simple personal letters.||I can understand texts that consist mainly of high frequency everyday or job-related language. I can understand the description of events, feelings and wishes in personal letters.||I can read articles and reports concerned with contemporary problems in which the writers adopt particular attitudes or viewpoints. I can understand contemporary literary prose.||I can understand long and complex factual and literary texts, appreciating distinctions of style. I can understand specialised articles and longer technical instructions, even when they do not relate to my field.||I can read with ease virtually all forms of the written language, including abstract, structurally or linguistically complex texts such as manuals, specialised articles and literary works.|
|SPEAKING||Spoken Interaction||I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.||I can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. I can handle very short social exchanges, even though I can’t usually understand enough to keep the conversation going myself.||I can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. I can enter unprepared into conversation on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life (e.g. family, hobbies, work, travel and current events).||I can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible. I can take an active part in discussion in familiar contexts, accounting for and sustaining my views.||I can express myself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. I can use language flexibly and effectively for social and professional purposes. I can formulate ideas and opinions with precision and relate my contribution skilfully to those of other speakers.||I can take part effortlessly in any conversation or discussion and have a good familiarity with idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms. I can express myself fluently and convey finer shades of meaning precisely. If I do have a problem I can backtrack and restructure around the difficulty so smoothly that other people are hardly aware of it.|
|Spoken Production||I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.||I can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms my family and other people, living conditions, my educational background and my present or most recent job.||I can connect phrases in a simple way in order to describe experiences and events, my dreams, hopes and ambitions. I can briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans. I can narrate a story or relate the plot of a book or film and describe my reactions.||I can present clear, detailed descriptions on a wide range of subjects related to my field of interest. I can explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.||I can present clear, detailed descriptions of complex subjects integrating sub-themes, developing particular points and rounding off with an appropriate conclusion.||I can present a clear, smoothly-flowing description or argument in a style appropriate to the context and with an effective logical structure which helps the recipient to notice and remember significant points.|
|WRITING||Writing||I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.||I can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. I can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking someone for something.||I can write simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. I can write personal letters describing experiences and impressions.||I can write clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects related to my interests. I can write an essay or report, passing on information or giving reasons in support of or against a particular point of view. I can write letters highlighting the personal significance of events and experiences.||I can express myself in clear, well-structured text, expressing points of view at some length. I can write about complex subjects in a letter, an essay or a report, underlining what I consider to be the salient issues. I can select style appropriate to the reader in mind.||I can write clear, smoothly-flowing text in an appropriate style. I can write complex letters, reports or articles which present a case with an effective logical structure which helps the recipient to notice and remember significant points. I can write summaries and reviews of professional or literary works.|
This is a student-centred method, which considers the teacher as the facilitator and organiser of learning activities according to the student’s levels, needs and personalities. Communicative, traditional and leading-edge activities in the classroom are selected depending on the specific characteristics of the student and his group.
Every lesson is taught by a different teacher, all carefully planned by the Co-ordinator and the Academic Manager.
|6.3. WEEKLY TIMETABLE|
Weekly lesson plan of the General (A) and (B) courses (101 and 102)*:
* Specific Purposes Courses (200) and DELE Preparation and Spanish Business Certificate (401, 402) also preferably fit into the 8:30-14:30 schedule.
- Practice based on Grammar
Grammar and exercises are practised in real communicative situations. Also, correction of homework and explanation of grammar are done if necessary.
- Practice and conversation based on thematic units
Oral and written exercises; communicative activities, conversation related to the specific subjects studied, comprehension practice – audio-visual material – analysis of documents (magazines, books, television, radio) and all concerned with the communicative skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing.
- Extracurricular activities (optional)
To achieve knowledge of a language a cultural immersion is necessary. With this goal in mind, CastiLa has developed 57 different social activities that help the foreign students to integrate into the Spanish life. These activities are of very
different kinds: Spanish movies, thematic evenings, musical evenings, trips, visits, parties, sports, “tapas time”, “paellas”…
8. Welcome and Arrival
All the students starting a course have to be at Casa San Nicolás at 9:00 on Monday morning. After a greeting, they are given an oral and a written test in order to place students in classes according to their different levels. The written test can be done in advance to their arrival.
The test finishes at 10:20, just in time for their first lesson. At 11:15 there is a morning coffee break, when the teachers have a short meeting to confirm the levels of the new students.
This break can be used to meet the other students and learn more about the school and its organisation.
After the break, the students go on with their lessons. Textbooks and learning material (included in course price) will be given to the student at this time.
The timetable for the following days will be 9:30 – 13:35 for the 101 General (A) course and 8:35 – 14:30 for the 102 General (B) course. (See “Method and levels” on page 10)
The activity program for these two weeks will be given to the student on his/her first day at the school, along with a welcoming/informative document.
TRANSFER ARRANGED BY CASTILA
If requested, Castila can arrange for students to be collected from the airports in Málaga or Granada and taken to their accommodation in Granada
The agreement between Castila and Europcar makes it possible to pick up a car at the airport and leave it at the office in Granada. According to this agreement, there are special prices for Castila students and it is not necessary to pay more for leaving the car in a different place.
This is also possible for departure (from Granada).
If you have a medical emergency during class, notify the staff as soon as possible. One of our staff will accompany you (if desired) to the nearest heath centre. The health centre closest to the school is the Centro de Salud Albaicín. If you have a medical emergency outside of school hours and need help, call our emergency number +34 676358250.
9. Castila Quality Guarantees
One cannot overlook the prestige and credibility of Castila. In addition to our experience and professionalism, quality is endorsed by the leading national and international quality control organisations and trade associations of language teaching.
|CERVANTES INSTITUTE||UNIVERSITY OF GRANADA|
|BILDUNGSURLAUB||Socrates – Comenius Action 2.2|
|CSN||Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service|
|INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF ANDALUSIA|
Other numerous institutions (universities, teacher organisations, education centres, companies….) find in Castila the optimal destination for their students and personnel.
9. Student services, complaint forms and procedure
As you know and have read in this document, the entire CastiLa organisation is focused on guaranteeing the satisfaction of our students, in addition to the Administration procedures, in the main three areas that make up your stay: course, activities and accommodation.
In order to achieve this, the management offers you the following complaint and suggestions procedure.
You have these options:
- Complaint forms of the Junta de Andalucía (Regional Ministry of Employment and Industry. General Direction of Commerce).
- Complaint register of AEEA, that watches over the fulfilment of the compromises in the Quality Declaration of AEEA.
- Complaint and suggestions box
Student service of the Centre. Anonymous or personal suggestions/complains.
Ask your teacher/Coordinator for more details, procedures and forms, he/she will be happy to help you.
The management of the Centre takes responsibility of the revision of documents at its due frequency, diagnosis and required procedure for each case. It also covers the register of incidents and interventions, as well as dealing with external instances.