Spanish classes in Des Plaines

Take Spanish classes near Des Plaines with an online teacher. All our classes are live and synchronous.

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$99/month after that
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The Berges Experience

We offer both Spanish group classes and private lessons for adults in a relaxed atmosphere. We use our own teaching approach: the Graf Method. It is a logic-based system that takes advantage of the speaking skills you already have in your native language to teach you Spanish.

We show you how the language works. By taking classes with us, you will acquire a basic set of tools that will allow you to express yourself in nearly every topic and every tense in a relatively short amount of time.

Download Unit 1 for Free

Download a PDF version of The Graf Method for Spanish Language, Vol.1, Unit 1 for free!

In this unit, we discuss the alphabet, definite and indefinite articles, and verbs ser and estar, among other topics. You'll also find some exercises at the end to practice the material.

Reviews from our students

Claire Tondreau
star 4.0
2022-07-04
Berges offers a great way to learn, incorporating the basics of Spanish grammar with vocabulary so you understand how to put ideas and words together. The course took me from an absolute beginner to a beginner who can form both written and spoken sentences . . . haltingly for now, but way beyond what I could have imagined during my first class.
Dee Dee Goldpaugh
star 1.0
2022-07-04
This course fell far below my expectations. Honestly, I'm surprised you even sent an eval form given when I discontinued coming to the course I sent a detailed email as to why, requested a conversation about continuing with private lessons instead, and never received any response from the school or instructor. First, the pedagogical methods used, from my understanding, are outdated in terms of approaches for adult language learners. My class, and I'm not kidding, consisted of a full hour of laboriously going over sentences assigned for homework, which few of the participants did, so we had to sit there and wait for the students to figure out the homework on the spot. Then maybe 30 minutes of actual instruction of new material. Moreover, we are ADULT LEARNERS. Calling on students without their consent, just calling out someone's name to give an answer, is insulting and does not take into account different learning styles or anxiety someone may feel speaking in front of others. It also means the entire class has to sit there while another *adult* who does not know the answer has to sit and sweat it out in front of the group. Not acceptable. I attended this class with my husband who is already fluent in three languages. We couldn't believe how not engaging it was. I can't believe we paid to primarily review homework sentences every week. One day we were sitting doing our homework together and my husband started yelling, "I'm not going to write a paragraph in the present tense using this vocabulary. I'm not doing it!" And we just decided to never go back. At that point, I looked for the instructors contact info but couldn't find it. So I wrote a very nice email to the school stating the class wasn't a good fit for us, but were potentially interested in private instruction with the teacher and never heard back. So that was that.
Alison Foster
star 5.0
2022-07-02
The course offered a way to immerse yourself into the fundamental grammar and vocabulary of Spanish and a great review after a long time. I look forward to continuing on to level 2.
Corinne Coates
star 5.0
2022-07-01
This course was great! I've studied Spanish in the past but it's been a long time, and this was a great review. Silvana is a fantastic instructor, and was very encouraging in each class.
Kayla Coleman
star 5.0
2022-06-30
Great basics course to get a base knowledge of Spanish! A lot to learn but not too overwhelming.
Sheila Schlesinger
star 2.0
2022-06-30
Ms. Ordonez is a very lovely person and I am guessing she taught the class based on the requirements of Berges. The class each week was 1 and 1/2 hours. In that time, we spent half the time going over the homework from the week before. The other half of the class a lecture about the current information. There was no additional support other than the text book from Berges and frequently it was difficult to understand. I could have taught myself instead of taking the class considering the lack of information about various parts of how Spanish works. The college classes were cheaper and were more time for each lesson. I'm not sure who benefits from your classes.

FAQ

How long will it take to speak Spanish?

Every Spanish language student is different as it depends on the student’s goals for speaking the language, their schedule/time commitment and effort. As a base, you can start to speak, understand, read and write in about one or two years. Learning a language is an evolving skill and over time you will spend many years slowly improving.

Will I ever speak and sound like a native Spanish speaker?

You will be able to read and write like native speakers if you choose to and with continuous study. In terms of sounding like a native, if you learned Spanish as an adult, you will always have your native accent when you speak Spanish, but accents are endearing and unique!

I am traveling to [insert Spanish-speaking country] in three months, and I want to take a course to be able to communicate, ask for directions, etc. Will I be fine?

The Graf Method that Berges uses focuses on building a strong foundation of grammar that will be easily applied to higher levels of learning as you continue with studying Spanish. Skills are built slowly and methodically so you understand how Spanish works on a grammatical level, which will help you speak properly. Rote memorization is not one of our tactics to facilitate learning. After completion of our Level 1 class you will be able to speak in the present tense, read basic sentences, talk about yourself, home and activities, ask simple questions, and start a conversation.

How many students are in your classes?

Berges offers intimate classes, which can range from seven to 14 students depending on the level of study. Beginner level classes usually feature more students.

What age are your students, on average?

Most students at Berges are between 25 and 70 years old, although we have many students who are younger or older than that.

Do you teach kids/teens?

Berges does not instruct students under the age of 15 years old.

Do you speak only in Spanish during classes?

Berges teachers do not speak solely in Spanish during class, especially in Levels 1 and 2. Once you move to Level 3 teachers will predominantly speak in Spanish, and in the conversation courses, teachers speak Spanish at all times in every level.

I just want to speak, but I don’t care about reading/writing. Are your classes the right choice for me?

Berges’ Graf Method was created under the belief that writing and reading are vital to building a rudimentary understanding of Spanish. Reading and writing are a big focus in the Berges classroom, and as a student you will be asked to do reading and writing assignments regularly.

How are classes at Berges different from classes at other language schools?

Berges classes differ from other language schools because the curriculum builds foundational skills in reading and writing, which are used to complement speaking. By understanding the grammar, sentence structure and vocab, students will be able to build sentences for their own use in a variety of tenses and contexts.

Where can I read about the different instructors?

Please read about our instructors here.

Are you accredited/certified?

Berges Institute is not accredited or certified, as there aren't any federal or state licenses or accreditations for Spanish language schools.

Do you sponsor student visas?

We do not sponsor student visas because the Berges Institute program is not full time. A full-time program, which can issue an I-20 visa for study, follows an intensive schedule with a minimum number of hours per week. We currently don’t offer intensive programs or make our students commit to a certain amount of classroom time.

Will I have to take a test at the end of each course? Do I have to pass it in order to register for the next level?

At the end of each course, an exam will be administered to assess your understanding. You should pass the exam before you move to a higher level.

I want to learn [insert Spanish-speaking country/region] Spanish, are any of your instructors from there?

Our instructors all teach the same program and sometimes highlight regional and colloquial differences. When you are in class, our teachers are more than willing to discuss the variances in vocabulary used in different countries and contexts. Please read about our instructors here.

Do you teach medical/legal/business Spanish?

Berges does not offer specialized classes for professional Spanish in legal, medical or business fields. We focus on cultivating a strong knowledge base of conversational, everyday Spanish. Though, our teachers will be happy to share specific terminology in an area, if you ask and are interested.

If I want to do one-on-one Spanish lessons, how many lessons per week/month should I take?

If you are thinking of taking private Spanish lessons, we recommend twice a week, plus allocating 5-6 hours per week to study and review. If you have a very busy schedule, once a week might be better (you can always increase the frequency after a few weeks if you feel like you can keep up with a faster pace). Three times a week might be too much, unless you have plenty of free time to study/review.

Is it easier to learn Spanish if I already speak a second language? Is it even easier if that second language is a Latin-based one?

It is easier to learn Spanish if you speak a second language, whether it is a Latin-based one or not, because you already know how grammar, sentence structure and gender/number agreement are used in a language other than English, and that helps create an abstraction in your head. If, for example, you already speak French, Italian or Portuguese, you will find there are many similarities in verbs and vocabulary in Spanish and other romance languages, but you will need to put in hard work to learn the nuances of Spanish, cultural differences, pronunciation, and still memorize words and phrases.

What level is right for me if I had some Spanish classes and lessons in the past?

To determine what class you should take to start your Spanish-speaking journey, please take our free Online Placement Test.