Yanelys Nuñez Leyva
HAVANA TIMES — Every year at the end of August, the doors open to the Julio Antonio Mella Language School, an institution is located within Jose Marti High School in Old Havana.
To enroll there, on the day of registration an individual must present a letter from their job (a requirement that, in my opinion, is too limiting), a certificate evidencing their level of schooling, two passport-size photographs, and copies of each of the official documents.
Taught there are a number of languages, including English, Russian and Italian.
In addition, there are several class starting times and meetings per week, all of them in the evenings after 5:00 p.m.
One of the reasons that brought me to this school was the need to improve my English, since I didn’t get the training I needed at the university.
After a month and a half at the school, I can see that the teachers employ an excellent teaching methodology (at least the teachers I have) and are very well prepared.
However, there’s a notable absence of books and study materials, a situation that put limits on our learning. Though the school has a library where we can review the materials we need, most of us students are workers who have schedules and responsibilities that make it difficult if not impossible to take advantage of that resource.
Similarly, the visual image of this school suffers from dim lighting in the classrooms, stairs and corridors, as well as the marked overall physical deterioration of the facility.
Nonetheless, the opportunities offered by this school make it a place that is highly sought after by a wide and heterogeneous public, who — for various reasons — are concerned and interested in a “taste of other languages.”