At the Costa Rican Language Academy our mission is to always provide our students with a complete and effective learning experience in the Spanish language and a deeper understanding of the Costa Rican culture through personalized attention and dynamic teaching methods in a professional and friendly atmosphere.
Only things which are pleasant and fun can be learned quickly and easily, and for this reason the essence of our courses is varied and active teaching. Our aim is to give classes which are intensive yet enjoyable. We also give each student the personal attention needed to reach his or her language goals.
We offer you:
- Authentic Costa Rican experience: Our school is one of the few schools completely owned and operated by Costa Ricans and all of our teachers and staff are native Spanish speakers. We will share our culture with you while you learn our language.
- Excellent results: We make sure that you are making the most of your stay and learning Spanish quickly and easily, no matter what your age, background or Spanish skills are. We will even offer you extra classes at no cost, if necessary, to ensure that you will achieve your language goals.
- Highly qualified instructors: In order to teach at our school, we require our professors to hold a university degree and have ample training and experience.
- Flexibility: You can start our programs any time year-round, study for as long as you want and with as many hours of instruction per day as you wish. Our students say they greatly appreciate our flexibility and the diversity of our programs because they are able to travel and enjoy other activities while learning Spanish.
- Individualized service: At our school we guarantee personal attention to each student. From the moment you arrive in Costa Rica we consider you part of our family. We will go out of our way to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.
- The most for your money: Only our school offers students all the following services for free:
* Daily Latin Dance classes (2 hours per day);
* Weekly conversation classes;
* Weekly Costa Rican Cooking classes;
* 24-hour airport pick-up and drop-off;
* Books and class materials;
* Extra "level adjustment" Spanish classes at no cost when required;
* Internet service;
* Telephone for local calls;
* Mail service;
* Fresh coffee and fruit refreshments;
* Luggage storage while you travel;
* Wholesaler tour rates for our students;
* Travel arrangements, bus ticket purchase and hotel reservations.
- Great facilities and convenient location: We offer modern and comfortable facilities in a warm, homelike atmosphere. Our school is located in San José, in a quiet and secure neighborhood. We are on the East side of the city, 20 minutes walking distance from downtown and within easy access to museums, theaters, restaurants, stores and bus stations.
- Warm and friendly atmosphere: our goal is to make you feel at home when you are away from home.
- Flexible class schedule: We offer diverse programs and the opportunity to design your own schedule. At the Academy we believe that only things that are interesting and fun to do can be learned quickly and easily. Consequently, the essence of our courses is a varied and dynamic teaching approach. Our aim is to teach classes that are intensive, yet challenging and enjoyable.
Our methodology calls for active participation from our students. Our practical courses enable the students to communicate, comprehend and use accurate pronunciation in Spanish as quickly as possible. The intimate classroom setting and particular training methods provide the flexibility to adapt our teaching style and approach to meet your individual needs.
- Spanish classes: Class schedules are flexible. We offer diverse programs and the opportunity to design your own schedule. Students may also choose to supplement their group classes with additional private lessons.
Our Spanish classes usually consist of 3 to 4 students-never more than six. This intimate class size helps us tailor our programs to your specific needs and to adapt our teaching method to your learning style. You will be placed in classes according to your Spanish proficiency level, which is determined by an evaluation exam before starting your course.
We provide four levels of instruction:
* Beginner level: Beginner's course I, II and III has been designed to teach introductory Spanish. The primary objective of this course is to offer students the opportunity to acquire communication skills in what we call "Survival Spanish". They would be able to communicate in different situations for example in a bank, in a restaurant, giving their personal information, asking/giving directions, and other everyday situations. As a Beginning student, you will study basic sentence structures, learn everyday vocabulary and develop the ability to clearly communicate basic ideas in Spanish.
* Intermediate level: The intermediate course is divided into Intermediate I, II & III and covers most grammatical structures, which will give students the tools to achieve fluency. Students will learn these grammatical structures, while improving vocabulary, pronunciation, comprehension, as well as written and oral expression. They will be able to hold conversations on various topics with native speakers and use appropriate verb forms. Course emphasis is on culturally authentic reading and writing, along with continued development of listening/speaking competencies.
* Advanced level: This course includes the study of advanced Spanish grammar. The student should begin to master complex syntactical and morphological structures and special differences used in the language, mainly the subjunctive mode and other complex forms. In addition, different topics are introduced to the class in order to encourage discussions and improve general oral proficiency. Written texts will be presented to the class for analysis, to increase vocabulary, and to promote advanced conversations about Hispanic countries, culture and current events.
The objective of this course is the proficiency and fluency in the Spanish language. Furthermore, emphasis is placed on the comprehension and use of the language in unrehearsed situations in culturally appropriate ways.
- Specialized Courses: If you already speak fluent Spanish, the Costa Rican Language Academy offers the opportunity to improve your ability to converse in Spanish. We help you achieve an understanding of the technical structure of Spanish, as it relates to your specific interests. You will learn more about our culture and its impact on the language.
If you are a Spanish Language teacher or studying for this profession, we offer private courses providing additional training. We discuss Latin American history and literature, focusing on textual and advanced grammatical analysis, composition and literary style. You may select the area in which you would like to specialize and then our Spanish Language Coordinator will work closely with you to develop your own program. We also offer medical Spanish for nurses or doctors, business Spanish and Spanish for lawyers.
- Classes and home stay with Costa Rican families: Spanish classes at our school can be taken on an hourly basis or in conjunction with one of our Homestay Programs. The Homestay Programs include a regular schedule of Spanish lessons and lodging with a Costa Rican family. Your Costa Rican family provides you with breakfast, dinner and laundry service.
- Conversation hour: Improve your oral skills with our extra "Conversation Hour" (twice a week). Students get the opportunity to learn about our culture, share experiences and practice speaking in Spanish. Students can grab a fresh cup of coffee and sit in a relaxed atmosphere with one of our Spanish instructors to learn new vocabulary and discuss various topics such as current events and cultural differences.
- University credit: Students who wish to receive academic credit for their studies at our school have two main options:
* apply for credit directly at their own college/university
* apply through one of our partner institutions such as the Seattle Central Community College (SCCC).
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