My business partner François and I met at a language exchange event in Madrid. We had a lot in common as we both loved languages and had emigrated to Spain from other countries – France in François’s case and Venezuela in my case. Over time and without us realizing, we became good friends.
After many years of friendship and sharing experiences in the city we love, we decided to embark on a business venture together. What started with a friendship between two foreigners, which happens a lot here in Madrid, turned into a life adventure.
Above all, what united us was our love and appreciation for learning languages. It was therefore clear that we wanted to open a Spanish language school in Madrid. Everything fit together: I had been organizing sightseeing tours and language exchange events for Spanish schools and the international community for years, while François had worked for an English academy.
Both of us had learned several languages but were disappointed by certain experiences we had had at traditional language schools. These schools were often devoid of much character and personality, and they focused on old-fashioned forms of teaching, lacking in depth and substance.
I remember perfectly the day, in a local bar, when François and I agreed:
“Our school must organize encounters with native Spanish speakers so that the learning process is motivated by social factors (social learning)!”
“The classes have to be dynamic with fun activities, games and simulations so that students can learn the language in a natural and spontaneous way – and not by just using a book (learn by doing)!”
As the Embajadores district (consisting of Embajadores, Lavapiés and La Latina) was the most bohemian and alternative area of Madrid, we identified most with this neighbourhood. We wanted our school to be based there and for it to have a similar style. For instance, we wanted to incorporate trendy Street Art designs, which are common in the neighbourhood.
We wanted to be sustainable by, for example, furnishing our school with second-hand and vintage decor instead of buying new and impersonal furniture from some multinational company.
And that’s how Viva Spanish was born.
We have put a great deal of effort into making our ideas a reality, and creating an enjoyable and fluid way of learning Spanish.
Our school is still new and we continue to improve it, always with the idea to incorporate new ideas and events to make it even easier for students to learn Spanish and meet locals.
Sign up for classes today so you can start enjoying the alternative way to learn Spanish in Madrid with us!