From the 15th to the 19th March, the students of Spanish language had the perfect opportunity to unite the use of the Spanish language and Valencian culture. During this time of the year, Valencian people celebrate one of the most important festivals of the region: Las Fallas! During the festival the Spanish language schools of Valencia organised activities for their students so they were able to become more familiar with Valencian culture.
Last Friday, 16th March, a Spanish language school situated in the heart of Valencia organised a paella contest in the street. Five typical Paellas Valencianas, made of chicken and rabbit, were made by teachers and students. Apart from that, there are a lot of other types of paella: every village, even every family, has its own recipe.
After dinner the Spanish language students ate Churros, a characteristic dessert of the Fallas. Afterwards the students went to the city park to see one of the impressive fireworks displays Castillos de fuegos artificiales that are organised every day during Fallas. But that was not the end of the night: After the fireworks the students went to one of the verbenas which can be found at every corner of the city during the festival and danced until the crack of dawn. Doing all this, the students had the ideal possibility to practise their Spanish knowledge achieved during Spanish classes.
However, coming home at dawn there was almost no time left to sleep: at 8 o’clock in the morning the falleros woke up the whole city by throwing fireworks and playing music in the streets during the Despertà. At midday the Spanish language students met in order to visit the so-called Ofrenda at the Plaza de la Virgen. It consists of the installation of a giant statue of the Virgin of the Unprotected and its decoration with thousands of colourful flowers.
At night they went to Ruzafa, a district in the centre of Valencia, to see the artistic illumination (Iluminación)
On Sunday the students of Spanish language visited some of almost 700 Fallas, giant monuments made of papier mâché, polystyrene and wood. They are planned throughout the whole year and finally get arranged on the streets the 15th March.
The Fallas represent their respective neighbourhood and bring up problems of today’s society by means of satiric contents. At night the biggest and most impressive of all the fireworks displays La Nit del Foc attracted the Spanish language students. It illuminated the sky of Valencia with all possible colours and fascinated more than one million visitors.
The 19th March, the last day of Fallas, the language students of the Spanish language school Costa de Valencia experienced another event typical of Fallas. At 2 p.m. they visited the most important and spectacular Mascletà at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, situated in the centre of the city. The Mascletà differs from the Castillo de fuegos artificiales:
The climax of the Fallas was reached in the night of the 19th March during the Cremà, the burning of the monuments in honour of Saint Joseph.
After a week full of incredible experiences the Spanish language students return to focus their powers on learning Spanish once again. Grammar and vocabulary instead of music and dancing!
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Since 1995 the language school Costa de Valencia has focused on teaching Spanish to non-native speakers. This language school, which is situated in the heart of Valencia, is a Centro Acreditado of the Instituto Cervantes and a member of many associations.
The teaching material, which is used during the lessons, is worked out by a team of well-versed teachers. One of the most important aspects of teaching in this school is the individual involvement of every single student. This way every student has the possibility to speak very much during the language course. Furthermore, both managers place big value the quality of the language lessons and a broadly diversified leisure programme.