The School

/The School
The School 2018-01-09T11:04:35+00:00


The Santa Barbara Language School is an accredited institution specializing in the education of Spanish as a FOREIGN LANGUAGE.

We offer a high quality service that guarantees the achievement of all student expectations. Our students will leave with the knowledge and the development skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking; all the stresses necessary to master the linguistic, academic and professional characteristics of Spanish.

Our permanent courses explore Spanish language and culture, Spanish commerce, Spanish for business communication and also teacher training courses in E/LE, among others.

We also offer preparation courses for the D.E.L.E exams and certifications for the varying levels of linguistic mastery by means of standardized examination, validated by and associated with the levels of the Common European Framework.


We are reference center recognized in the education of Spanish as a foreign language for:


The Santa Barbara Spanish School has been directed by specialists in the field for the last 31 years.

SANTA BARBARA is an independent and unique educational center, knowledgeable and innovative in the teaching of Spanish, directed by specialists in the field of education. It is a project realized by a great team. Our objective is to promote the learning of Spanish with a student centered methodology focused on the learner as autonomous, with the understanding that each student may be from a different country and culture.

SANTA BARBARA listens to you, acquaints you, advises you, and offers you personalized and flexible solutions for all your needs: the types of courses, the room and board, and activities that are best appropriate for your objectives.


Innovation: The desire for nonstop learning.

Leadership: The ability to confront challenges and come up with solutions.

Cooperation: The support and collaboration of a transparent business model.

Professional conduct: A respectful, professional, and honest work environment.

Tolerance: Acceptance of the difference of opinions, beliefs and cultures.

Sensibility: Immediate attention and service to the client.

Trust: Security and confidence that the most competent professionals are directing our students.

Compassion: Resolution of personal student problems. Confidential and personalized follow-up.

Modernity: Classrooms are perfectly equipped with new technology for adequate use by students to complement their learning endeavors.


To learn at SANTA BARBARA means to live a stimulating, enriching, and engaging educational experience. Santa Barbara is recognized for the highest quality of teaching, based on communicative and humanist focus. You are the protagonist and your teacher plays the supporting role. The principal objective is to provide the students with strategies and knowledge necessary to fully immerse themselves in the Spanish environment that is accepting of different cultures. To achieve this objective, the professor combines theory and practice, to relay all of the pragmatics, linguistic and functional characteristics of the spoken language through the social-cultural context, key to obtain a competitive communication level. The grammar, lecture, writing, native listening comprehension, oral expression and vocabulary are always integrated so that the student engages in the most authentic delivery of instruction.


  • Provides an appropriate teaching plan to guarantee the progress of the students.

  • Reliable and qualified professors.

  • Follows a methodology adapted to the needs of all students.

  • Implements evaluations of all programs and course.

  • Promotes the participation of all students in the Exams for the DELE in the center or in other centers in the area.

  • Updates the students about their progress in learning Spanish.

  • Provides adequate classroom and materials for instruction.

  • Provides the opportunity for collecting feedback and opinions of the students.
  • Assistance with complaints of students.

  • Offers complete and detailed information about services and courses.

  • No false advertising.

The center is located 5 minutes by foot from the Plaza Mayor and the Almudena Cathedral. The school is also 10 minutes from Plaza de Oriente which is home to the Royal Palace and the Royal Theatre and 20 minutes from the Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemisza Musem and National Museum of Art of Reina Sofia.


The professors at SANTA BÁRBARA are a team, highly experienced, motivated, qualified and work with great enthusiasm to teach Spanish. All of our professors are specialists in teaching Spanish to foreigners and many of them have a Masters and/ or Doctorate degree in their specialization. In addition to their extensive experience, they are innovative, open-minded, extroverted, and very approachable which makes learning especially fun and worthwhile for our students.


Biodata of María Sabas Elías

María Sabas has a degree in Hispanic Studies from the University of Deusto (Bilbao) and a Masters in Pedagogical Studies from the same university. She also studied journalism at the University of the Basque Country (Bilbao).

She has been dedicated to teaching Spanish as a foreign language since 1986.

One of her many titles in this field included Academic Coordinator at Ideal Education Group, at Enforex and Enfocamp brands.

María has been in charge of the DELE exam and CCSE test for the Cervantes Institute.

She also mentored Masters students of Spanish as a foreign language for the University of Alcala de Henares and Nebrija University.

She has been a linguistic editor for Susaeta publishing.

Her most recent title was professor of the Masters program of Spanish as a foreign language in the Comillas Foundation (University of Cantabria).

She has specialized specifically in pronunciation in the teaching of Spanish, a topic on which she has taught various courses and workshops as well as written several manuals.

She is a coauthor of the Nuevo Prisma series: levels A2, B1 and B2, in the section on pronunciation and spelling, Edinumen publishing, a global publishing company specialized for the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language.


Nina Revenga
Nina Revenga

Nina has a degree in Spanish Philology from the UNED and also a degree in English Philology from the Complutense University of Madrid. She has a C2 level of English and a B1 level of Chinese. She is the coordinator of the Spanish School of Santa Bárbara and since 2003 she is the classroom teacher of the subject of Spanish as a Second Language (ELE) at the Santa Bárbara Secondary School.

Claudia Quintana
Claudia Quintana

Claudia is a licensed veterinarian specializing in equestrian studies. She has the technical training level 3 of horseback riding and also holds the certificate to teach horseback riding for people with disabilities. Claudia has the first certificate level of English. She is the director of the Baytar Horseback Riding School in Madrid.

Ivonne Gaztañaga
Ivonne Gaztañaga

Ivonne has a degree in Spanish Philology from the University of Deusto (Bilbao) and a Masters in Pedagogical Studies from the same university. She has a C2 level of English from the British Council. She is the academic director of the Santa Bárbara Secondary School, where she has been part of the faculty for over 25 years.

Along with teaching, the culinary arts have always been a great passion of hers. Ivonne believes her passion for cooking is in genes because her family has been dedicated to the restaurant and hospitality business from generation to generation.

José Manuel Pardo
José Manuel Pardo

José Manuel Pardo is a stage director. He studied at the School of Dramatic Arts and graduated with a Masters degree from Darlington College. He started his career performing for companies like Amparo Larrañaga, CIA. Under the direction of Adolfo Marsillac he performed with the National Classical Theatre and also for eight years in a row under the direction of Gustavo Perez Puig he performed in the Spanish Theater of Madrid. From a very young age, he had always had an interest for stage direction and how it affects the interpretation of the theatrical performance. In 2004, at the Karpas Theatre, he directed: “The House of Bernarda Alba”, “La Celestina”, “Three hats”, “Eloisa beneath an almond tree” and “Blood Wedding” . Then he established his own production company “Two by two” where he directed and produced the musical “Someone wrote it for you.” He has been well-received for his career as a stage director with titles like “The Other Side of the Bed” which has been on stage for two years; “I Leonor de Aquitania” and “Things Mom and Dad Do” these two last starring actress Maria Luisa Merlo.

Paloma de Zulueta
Paloma de Zulueta

Paloma has a degree in History from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) and has a postgraduate studies in Archaeology (DEA-UAM),  Art History Spanish (Master, UCM) and Classical Archaeology (CSIC-Roma), among others. Since 2010 she has been teaching at the Santa Bárbara Secondary School: ESO Geography, History and Art History. She has the linguistic empowerment of CAM for the performance of bilingual positions (English).

In addition to her teaching experience in formal education, she is a member of the team of teachers of the City Council Program: Madrid, an open book. She is recognized for her contribution to the section of guided tours around the historic center of Madrid.

Within the area of Historic Heritage she has participated in various research projects (IAM-CSIC), conservation (Heritage Office – UAH), cataloging (HSA, New York) and coordination of exhibition projects and conferences on History, Archeology and Art. She has published articles on these subjects.

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