Summer Intensives and Term 1, 2021

  • Summer Intensives (Jan 11-22) – all classes will take place online via Zoom
  • Term 1 (Feb 1 – Apr 10) – all classes will take place online via Zoom except:
    • a selection of Elementary 1 classes – face-to-face at Northcote (none at Melbourne)
    • trials of a couple of higher level classes – as hybridised classes (face-to-face at Northcote and online via Zoom simultaneously)

Our reasoning for this decision

  • To open, all organisations are required to follow a COVIDsafe Plan. We have been advised that even with any further changes to restrictions towards a COVID-normal, that certain requirements will not change. There are 3 points which still make compliance a little complicated:
    • density requirements (effectively allowing very few students per classroom – 1 per 4sqm is around half of our normal capacity per room)
    • wearing face masks during class
    • avoiding interaction in enclosed spaces (keeping all students and staff 1.5m apart)
  • a survey conducted with El Patio students in November 2020 indicated that approximately 85% would be willing to join classes online via Zoom in Term 1
  • also in the survey, many expressed concern about a return to face-to-face classes with regards to:
    • being in enclosed spaces
    • not yet being willing to use public transport
  • El Patio's centre in the CBD is currently experiencing a high-rise building construction directly opposite, which means that opening the windows for ventilation would be very noisy and dusty
  • the city of Melbourne remains empty due to offices being closed. It is not convenient for many of our students to attend El Patio's CBD centre until returning to workplaces
  • we need to work on hybridised classes (face-to-face and online via Zoom simultaneously) before offering them to everyone. This totally new form of delivery is more complex than either face-to-face or online via Zoom

El Patio Online is here to stay!


Zoom is international!

After operating for most of 2020 online, a new demographic has found its way to El Patio – those who live further afield!

From regional Victoria, to Queensland, to even London and Perú, we have welcomed students who otherwise would not have joined our classes. 

Being able to join online means that students who need to travel for work or holidays can still attend their regular class.

We also find that some students living in Melbourne prefer the online space, for reasons such as convenience, avoiding any risk of infection, and pure enjoyment of the different "class ambience".

Hence the establishment of a new "Online Centre" for those who are either unable or uninterested in joining a face-to-face class. The centre is listed on the Enrol page, where you can choose from:

  • Melbourne (temp online)
  • Northcote (temp online)
  • Online Centre
  • Northcote (face-to-face)

What's coming up in 2021?

See the full timetable, including Term 1 from Feb 1! 

Download the 2021 Term Date Calendar!


Not sure which course is right for your Spanish level? Test your Spanish level now!

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By Toni Edwards
December 3, 2020


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