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“Small and family-like school but a little lacking in some aspects”

Escuela Montalban - Day Classes
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Owner description: Escuela Montalbán has been offering Spanish courses in Granada, Andalusia since 1986. The school is accredited by the Spanish Instituto Cervantes and is a member of TANDEM International.
Reviewed 16 February 2012

I was reasonably happy with my study at the school. I especially liked the extracurricular activities which included a great pot-luck lunch put on by students, and a fantastic hike in the nearby mountains. Having two teachers with a twenty minute break in the morning was a very good idea as well. One of the teachers was fantastic, but the other one was not very attentive to the needs of the students and kept maximizing his talk time while we couldn't practice our Spanish. Other students who had been at the school much longer than me were very upset with this situation, so I think the school needs to be more careful about evaluating their teaching staff. The school location is fairly central and the school is cute with just the right number of students to make it feel cozy and friendly. During winter there were no advanced level classes, so if you are a high level student you might be put in a lower level class due to the smaller range of options in a school of this size. Like others have commented, it would be good if the school had a library of materials for students to study with in their own time. They have a few materials but you have to ask for them as they are kept under lock and key. I loved the homestay they provided in a very luxurious place just fifteen minutes walk from the school.

3  Thank sonofsalsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 November 2011

I think everybody is allowed to say his opinion, but I think it has to be the true. It`s true that the school don`t use books but I think that the reason is that they are working with a lot of books on the same time.
I stayed there for a lot of weeks in the last years and I think that it`s a very seriosly school. The teachers are friendly and very open for criticism and for every kind of questions. In all my time which I spend in this school I never heard students talking negativ about the school. The metodology in this school maybe is different, but very effective. The question is you learned something in this school o not? Because maybe you are not confirm with this metodology but sometimes you have to addapt another one.
All in all I think it`s not fair to make a criticism about things which are not happening like this. There are a lot of people reading this terms and it`s bad for everybody who read this.

I think the school is excellent and everybody can feel welcome because they all are like a big family.
Samuel if you are really disappointed I think you can say this directly to the school and talk to them, but this way it`s not the right one because I think that most of the things that you are writing are not truthful.

3  Thank Lena T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2011

Hi, I don't think that using a book in class is important to learn a language. I have been at the school some months ago and I was impressed by the quality of teaching. Even with photocopies :) I improved my Spanish level. In my opinion Escuela Montalbán, which is accredited by the Spanish Instituto Cervantes and offers teacher training for Spanish teachers, can be considered as a high quality institute. I have been at several schools in Spain and Latinamerica and this one was without doubt the best. Beside the teaching quality, the atmosphere at the school was great I enjoyed it!

2  Thank Mecki85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2011

I had a nice time on holiday at Escuela Montalban, but I didn't think the quality of education was as advertised. The web site promises that all materials will be provided, but the materials turned out to be random, photocopied worksheets that got squished together in a folder. No book at all, and for over 1000 Euros, I expected at least a book. Hell, I would have even been fine with paying extra for it. Anyway, as a result of not having a book, the lessons don't precede in a logical sequence, and students can't go back or forward on their own to fill in gaps. This was a common complaint among students while I was there.

There's also no library of books available to study. A friend of mine asked to study a grammar book after class in one of the available rooms and was told she couldn't use any of the books in the office, as they were just for teachers. Fine, but where are the resources for students?

I'm sure the school has a BS reason for their cheapness, such as, oh, the thing about not book is somewhere buried in the FAQ, and we use worksheets to be more flexible! Uh, no. Other spanish schools in Granada provide books.

Also, the teachers are nice and chirpy and somewhat fun, but you can tell they're not the type to go above and beyond. If you don't get something in class, they'll give up on you and not help you afterwards. And this happened several times, even when EVERYONE in the class didn't get it. Plus, as soon as, and sometimes a few minutes before, the class time is up, they are outta there so fast the wind blows behind them!

The teaching methodology isn't quite up to snuff either. One teacher did a lesson where we had to do a poorly planned role playing activity using vocab and grammar we weren't taught previously. Instead of helping and correcting us, or, like a real teacher, presenting the lesson BEFORE the activity, he smirked around watching us silently and then berated us for using incorrect grammar once we got inside.

So, all in all, it was fun as far as holidays went, and I loved meeting cool international students. Oh, also, the accommodation I had was nice. But, I can't recommend the school if you're looking for serious, sound study and pedagogy. Maybe try Don Quixote instead? I heard good things about it from other students. Granada is a fun place to study, so I just recommend finding another place.

6  Thank Samuel S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2011

I've already been to some Spanish schools in Spain, but I've never felt so welcome as in the school Montalbán. In my opinion the great advantage of the Escuela Montalbán in Granada is its size. It is quite a small school, so if you look for personal and individual treatment, it's the perfect option. Concerning classes and progress in learning Spanish, they try to find the perfect level for you and don't mind to open a „new“ level for 3 students. Anyway, mostly there are just about 5 to max. 10 students in each class, which makes every lesson very intensive. Furthermore, all the staff is really nice and open as far as wishes for changes were concerned and I felt that they really cared, if I or others had a problem.You can see in every detail that the owners want to create a nice atmosphere – you will recognise the school as soon as you enter the street for all its plant decoration and in the classrooms there are nice pictures of the city and cultural events.
Studying here you don't only learn Spanish, the qualified teachers (who even manage to make shy people talk) will provide you a hugh range of information about the Spanish culture, even more if you take part in the extra activities in the afternoon, which I highly recommend!!! And there are so many options!!! You can go to the impressive Sierra Nevada for a long walk or for skying, depending on the season, you can see a lot of dance festivals and even take classes at school by Carina and „William“ - they were so patient with us!!! - and don't miss the arabic baths to relax enjoying a massage. Really, it's impossible to be bored in Granada! Even the beach is just about 50km away and there are buses with a good frequency... So, what are you waiting for? :-)

Thank Kat-viaja-por-Espana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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