Ready to start learning? Find a class and enrol now!

Did you know? Bring 4 or more friends and we can offer a group discount!
(New students only)

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

< Back to Courses

El Patio is Melbourne's most popular language school!

What makes learning at El Patio so great:

  • Excellent teachers
  • Lots of classes
  • Friendly school
  • Flexible timetable
  • Our lessons are fun!

Scroll down for class times!

What are our classes like?

You're going to love our classes and teachers! El Patio specialises in Spanish, with short courses for beginners through to proficiency. Classes are small, serious - and importantly - fun!


In response to new requirements on social distancing, all El Patio classes have now been made into live online classes. This has been like making a brand new school! But we're so glad we did, as everyone's study experience has not been interrupted! More than that, we've discovered just how convenient and practical classes from home can be! 

If you're wondering how it all works, read Hints and Guidelines for Zoom Classes for instructions.

Students say...

“It was really fun doing the class from home on my laptop!’

- Cam, Upper Intermediate 3


“I’m so glad our classes can continue and thank you for your work in making it happen.”

- Anne, Advanced 3


“That class was excellent and so was Marta. I think once people have tried online lessons they'll be hooked.”

- Clare, El Cheapo Introductory


“I just wanted to say that tonight’s lesson with Linda went well - I know how hard it is to transition classes online in a short space of time! The exercises we did were creative and effective. We’ll only get better!”

- Eugenia, Lower Intermediate 2


“Just finished another tremendous class with Clara...using the chat room steadily, splitting the class into groups, and doing great learning documents in powerpoint and word to sharpen up our skills… the Zoom-teaching interface has worked extremely well.”

- Bob, Elementary 1


"El Patio is a great community for learning. The teaching style and delivery is focused, encouraging and genuine. 

- Anonymous survey participant, 2018


"I've LOVED the program so far. El Patio has a great program which has kept me constantly engaged"

- Sam Dowling


"Ramiro is a great teacher! So attentive and interested - he makes the class run smoothly with his sense of humour"

 - Darren Tyrrell


“After each class we get on a high from the fun that we have each class.”

- Maddie Wooster


“I would like to say a big thank-you to the El Patio team for inspiring me with their love of language, patience in explaining new ideas and most importantly making learning Spanish fun”

 - Estelle Kamp


“We've been very impressed with the quality of the teachers!”

 - Lindsay Hussey


"After becoming frustrated at my lack of progress with their competitor, I received a recommendation for the classes at El Patio. Since enrolling I have never looked back, the teachers are knowledgeable, the students are great, the classes are fun, and my Spanish quickly improved enough to converse confidently with the locals when I arrived in Latin America "

- Angela Hayhurst


What you Learn...

En estos niveles de Upper Intermediate (1-6) vamos a trabajar con las siguientes estructuras verbales - entre otras muchas:

Upper Intermediate 1

  • Hablar del pasado (pretérito imperfecto - pretérito indefinido)
  • Hablar del futuro (futuro simple)
  • Expresar condiciones y sus consecuencias (sí + presente de indicativo + futuro simple)
  • Futuro de probabilidad

Upper Intermediate 2

  • Describir la situación o las circunstancias en las que se produjo un hecho (pretérito imperfecto de estar + gerundio)
  • Expresar una acción pasada anterior a otra acción pasada (pretérito pluscuamperfecto)
  • Verbos y expresiones con preposición

Upper Intermediate 3

  • Expresar deseos, fiestas, celebraciones (presente de subjuntivo)
  • Planes y proyectos (ojalá que + subjuntivo)
  • Describir carácter y relaciones personales (subjuntivo)

Upper Intermediate 4

  • Describir problemas (imperativo afirmativo y negativo)
  • Aconsejar/recomendar (condicional simple)

Upper Intermediate 5

  • Describir (la impersonalidad)
  • Expresar opiniones (contraste indicativo - subjuntivo)

Upper Intermediate 6

  • Formular hipótesis sobre el futuro (indivativo y subjuntivo)
  • Ciertos usos de SE

Textbooks (Libro del Alumno y Cuaderno de Ejercicios) are required for all Upper Intermediate levels

Welcome to the Upper Intermediate levels!

This is where your Spanish really starts to take shape.

In the Upper Intermediate levels you really expand the range of what you can talk about. In Upper Intermediate 1 you learn the futuro simple, in Upper Intermediate 2 you see the pluscuamperfecto and then in Upper Intermediate 3 the present subjunctive is introduced for the first time.

The Upper Intermediate levels are also where you really consolidate the past tenses you learnt in the Lower Intermediate levels.

Where am I up to?

Together, the Upper Intermediate levels form the B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Click here for more information about the CEFR.

And click here for an overview and detailed explanation of all our levels.

Before joining your course, study up on:

The key topics seen previously in Upper Intermediate levels

Depending on where you jump in to the Upper Intermedaite levels you’ll need to consider what has been seen before and do a little bit of extra study these topics beforehand.

It’s good to remember that although a lot of new grammar is introduced in these levels, there’s no expection that you be an expert at it all immediately. 

Throughout the Advanced levels (the levels that follow the Upper Intermediate levels) there are many opportunities to consolidate the main ideas introduced here.

For example, the present subjunctive, first seen in Upper Intermediate 3, is something that takes a long time to bed in. You don't feel real confidence with it until after having studied other aspects of the subjunctive mood in the Advanced levels.

The sunjunctive infamous – probably due to the fact that it’s unfamiliar to many of us. In reality, it’s not extraordinarily difficult once you get a sense of it and have the opportunity to put it into practice.

The Upper Intermedaite levels open your eyes to new possibilities grammar-wise. Enjoy the adventure.

Also study up on topics from lower levels:

The present tense

By now, you should be feeling fairly confident with the present tense. 

If not, take a detour and spend some extra time on it, the basics are always good to get right.

Some uses of the present tense we've seen so far are:

1) to describe actions happening now (present continuous: ESTAR + present participle (-ing)

2) to express intentions / plans for the future (IR a + infinitive)

3) to express obligation (TENER que + infinitive)

4) to create impersonal expressions (se puede + infinitive / hay que + infinitive)

The Spanish Verb System – an El Patio resource
Regular verbs in the present tense – an El Patio resource
Irregular verbs in the present tense – an El Patio resource
Verb Wheel for Spanish irregular verbs – very useful (and fun!)
Spaleon verb conjugation trainer – for the present tense and beyond – ESTAR + gerundio – IR a + infinitive
Trent University – TENER + que (exercises)

Get dexterous with the past tenses

Some time soon, you'll be able 'flip' between past tenses for any one verb. If he estado isn't right you can quickly try estuve or estaba.

This kind of dexterity takes a lot of hard work, especially if you're learning in a country where the language is isn't spoken and don't often get to observe native speakers making these subtle choices in their own speech.

So be kind to yourself (it can be tough-going), and also put in the time to do the hard work.

Musicians practise scales and rock climbers do finger-strengthening exercises. If you're learning a language, nothing will help you more than learning your verbs!

El pretérito perfecto

The pretérito perfecto is a compound tense (made up of two parts – the auxiliary verb HABER and the past participle). Learning this tense inside out will help you immensely when you come to learn another compound tense – the pretérito pluscuamperfecto – in Upper Intermediate 2.

Be completely familiar with the pretérito perfecto – the forms of HABER and the regular and irregular past participles. – the pretérito perfecto – the past participle – the past participle (quiz)

El pretérito indefinido

We first nutted out the pretérito indefinido in the Upper Elementary levels and explored its irregular forms in more detail in the Lower Intermediate levels.

Of all the past tenses, the pretérito indefinido has the most irregularies. Thankfully there are patterns even in the irregular forms.

Learn the verb patterns and endings for the regular verbs and memorise the irregular forms. – the pretérito indefinido (part 1) – the pretérito indefinido (part 2)
Trent Universitythe pretérito indefinido (exercises)

El imperfecto

Compared to the pretérito indefinido, the pretérito imperfecto is a dream, with only three irregular verbs IR, SER and VER.

The tricky thing to master is not so much the form itself but the kind of time this tense expresses and how it differs from the pretérito perfecto and pretérito indefinido.

Check out the El Patio resource that shows these three past tenses side by side.

Perfecto, indefinido, imperfecto - an El Patio resource – the pretérito imperfecto
Trent University – the pretérito imperfecto (exercises)

Direct object pronouns, indirect object pronouns, reflexive pronouns

Learning to distinguish the direct object pronouns (me / te / lo / la / nos / os / los / las) from the indirect object pronouns (me / te / le /nos / os / les) and the reflexive pronouns (me / te / se / nos / os / se) is a long-term project.

It's good to keep in mind that native speakers of Spanish get these little words confused too – but don't let that stop you!

Trent University – The direct object pronoun (exercises) – Verbs like GUSTAR – Direct and indirect object pronouns used together – Reflexive verbs
Trent University – Reflexive verbs (exercises)
Trent University – Reflexive verbs (ESTAR + present participle, IR a + infinitive) (exercises) 

Happy studying!

We hope you enjoy your course.

If we can help with anything please get in touch.

Find a Class

No classes are currently available for this course. Perhaps you could try one of our other courses below. If you are having trouble finding a class get in touch now and we'll sort you out.

Other Courses

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Each month we'll send you Spanish language tips, practice exercises, useful links, special offers and fun upcoming events.

View past newsletters

Join our online community!

Become our friend on facebook or follow us on twitter. Connect with us and become part of our online spanish community.