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Learning Spanish

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I'm looking to learn Spanish in either South America or Central America. Has anyone on these forums done this? And if so, where did you go and can you give me a brief review of what your experience was like?
11 years ago, February 5th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #26729  
I'm looking to learn Spanish in either South America or Central America. Has anyone on these forums done this? And if so, where did you go and can you give me a brief review of what your experience was like? (please include costs, class time, quality of instruction, etc.). And what is a realistic time frame to be fluent in Spanish? Is a month of full time class enough?

I have pretty much narrowed my choices down to learning Spanish in the countries of Ecuador, Columbia, or Guatemala but this can change.

Any advice/reviews/tips are much appreciated! Thank you.

Jason Reply to this

11 years ago, February 5th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #26771  
Hi There,

I´ve studied a fair bit in Central America - in Panama, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

I´m currently in South America (Argentina), and I wouldn´t recommend it as the Spanish here has quite a distinct and unusual accent, they talk very fast, and use quite an archaic form!

My best experience was in Nicaragua (check out my blog if you´re interested) at the Mariposa school. Very cheap and lots of activities and stuff thrown in.

Guatemala was also quite good and cheap, though I´d probably go for Quetzaltenango over Antigua where I stayed, as it´s a bit cheaper.

I wouldn´t recommend Panama or Costa Rica though. Both countries are quiet expensive, and there´s also a big US influence, so a lot of English was spoken!

I´ve heard Ecuador is quite a good place to study in South America, but I´ve not been there so maybe someone else can comment!

Cheers

Simon Reply to this

11 years ago, February 5th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #26781  
Thanks a lot for the post Simon! What was your school in Nicaragua called that you had such a good experience with? and how much per hour were your lessons? How long have you taken Spanish for and can you carry on a conversation with a local yet? Thanks,

Jason

PS. I read your blog and am definantely going to Nicaragua now! Keep up the good work! Reply to this

11 years ago, February 6th 2008 No: 4 Msg: #26816  
Hi Jason,

The school was La Mariposa, near Volcan Masaya. It was $270 a week, for 7 days accomodation, 3 meals a day, 4 hours spanish a day, and all excursions. I also had the best teacher I've had so far there (by a long way) - a guy called Bergman.

http://www.spanishschoolnica.com/

I think Guatemala is about the same for a homestay.

I've done about 4 weeks in total now, and yeah I can definitely have a fairly decent conversation with locals (though not in Buenos Aires!)

If you're going to go for it, my advice would be to download some lessons first, as you'll get loads more out of it. I used to listen to the Michel Thomas lessons on my way to work. You can probably find them on BitTorrent if you look - not that I'm advocating that 😉

have a look at this website for more info:
www.123teachme.com

Cheers

Si
Reply to this

11 years ago, February 6th 2008 No: 5 Msg: #26847  
I was also looking to learn Spanish in Ecuador.

If anybody has any experience there please, let us know! Reply to this

11 years ago, February 11th 2008 No: 6 Msg: #27248  
I took a Spanish course with Spanish in the Mountains in Bariloche, Argentina. I accept that the Spanish in Argentina may be different to that in other countries, but it hasn´t affected me too much. As a beginner you don´t tend to pick up too many of the " bad habits", you are just desperately trying to understand the basics!
I found the teaching with Spanish in the Mountains to be first rate and the classroom was in a gorgeous location - in a wood cabin outside Bariloche. The teachers were friendly and willing to teach us all grammatical forms (ie the ones you would use in other countries) not just the Argentine forms.
My course was only a week, 3 hours a day of one-on-one classes. I feel that my Spanish really improved in that time and confidence increased lots.
As an aside I have heard that there are good opportunities for learning Spanish in Sucre, Bolivia.
Best wishes, Ruth Reply to this

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