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Best Place to Study Spanish?

 
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Incredible Ape



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
Posts: 118
Location: Witness Protection Programme

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 6:48 am    Post subject: Best Place to Study Spanish? Reply with quote

I'm looking for some specific information as to the best place to study Spanish in Latin America.

Of course there are a number of factors that will decide which institution is worth attending. In no particular order, the ones I can think of are: cost, location, teaching quality, quality of Spainish spoken in the country, and probably a few others I haven't thought of.

So if anyone has had some happy experiences learning Spanish, I'd love to hear your opinions.
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MELEE



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2583
Location: The Mexican Hinterland

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 4:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Best Place to Study Spanish? Reply with quote

Incredible Ape wrote:
: cost, location, teaching quality, quality of Spainish spoken in the country, and probably a few others I haven't thought of.


Cost: Guatemala has to be just about the most affordable place to study.

Location: This depends on what you like to do. If you're in to nature, Ecuador has a just about every climate in a small area and lots of excusions that can be added on to your course. If your coming from the US, the flight componet of the course will make Mexico a more affordable option.

Teaching Quality: Hit or mis as far as countries go, but look for programs that offer accredited university credit for quality, but this also makes the cost go WAY up. You can also check out Amerispan sponsored schools, they seem to be fairly standard. Your level also makes a big difference here. It seems that there are lots of great schools for beginners, but once you're beyound that it becomes more difficult to find good schools.

Quality of Spanish spoken in the country: GRRRRR! How would you feel if students didn't want to learn English from you because your English is of poor quality????
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Incredible Ape



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
Posts: 118
Location: Witness Protection Programme

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

edit

Last edited by Incredible Ape on Thu Mar 10, 2005 8:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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grahamb



Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Posts: 1360

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:45 am    Post subject: Accents Reply with quote

... hence the importance of exposure to a variety of accents.
Some folk find American English easier to understand than British English, and vice versa. Australian English seems to induce palpitations.
If you really want a challenge, study Spanish in Cuba. Cuban Spanish is ... interesting! Plus of course the cost of living's low and it's a safe place to be.
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MELEE



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2583
Location: The Mexican Hinterland

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ape,
I think you'll find that Spanish doesn't have as much variation as Chinese does. (Bear in mind I know next to nothing about the Chinese language) But someone from Spain could have a conversation with someone from Argentina and as I understand it the Chinese dialects can be mutually unintelligible.

As an English and Spanish speaker, I would say that while Spanish has more variation than English does--for example there are verb forms that are not used from country to country, like English the variation is minimal and thanks to mass media, getting smaller every day.
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nomadder



Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Posts: 709
Location: Somewherebetweenhereandthere

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are also different words for things in different countries. I've heard 3 or 4 words for pen now. Funnily an Uruguayan friend was in Colombia and wondering why they were asking him if he wanted wine first thing in the morning. The word tinto is usually used for red wine but is black coffee in Colombia.

For me so far. Mexicans and Guatemalans were easy to understand. I learned Mexican Spanish first tho. Parts of Central America are weird-Honduras has cotton mouth, Nicaragua doesn't like s's. Parts of Panama are strange and even Costa Rica. Colombian Spanish is usually good but not everywhere such as on the northern coast. Ecuadorian spanish seems easy enough to understand. Heard bad things about the Spanish in Chile. Have met Argentinians and an Uruguayan and hope to understand their Spanish better when I get there tho I think I'll stick to my more Mexican accent.
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Incredible Ape



Joined: 10 Jun 2004
Posts: 118
Location: Witness Protection Programme

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

edit

Last edited by Incredible Ape on Thu Mar 10, 2005 8:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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MELEE



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2583
Location: The Mexican Hinterland

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd love to help you more, but I haven't studied formally since 1995 and even then I was studying in Spanish, rather than studying Spanish.

But here is some second or third hand information, from people I worked with.

In San Cristobal de la Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, good things were said about "la Puente"

In Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico, Becari has been mentioned as a having very good classes. (And language teachers can be very critical about the classes they recieve).

UNAM in Mexico City offers a good program for foriegners--especially if you are already at or above an intermediate level.

Guatemala is repeated mentioned as the cheapest in terms of "packages" including homestays, meals, extra-curricular activies, but no one ever mentions names of schools there to me.

In Cuenca, Ecuador, CEDEI (Centro de Estudios Interamericanos) offers both accredited and nonaccredited courses, has a beautiful building (I worked there years ago) but at certain times of the year is overrun by US college students.
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nomadder



Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Posts: 709
Location: Somewherebetweenhereandthere

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oaxaca. Think the name is Cultural Instituto Oaxaca or something like that. Good teachers, extra curric and nice grounds too.

Guatemala if you want cheap and one on one. $3 per hour. Teachers are hit and miss tho but since you are the only student you can ask for what you want if you don't like what they are doing.
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2004 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Incredible Ape wrote:
Righto, thanks for the posts, but actually we've got a little off topic.


In the city where I live, there are at least a dozen different places to study Spanish. Some private language schools that are mostly EFL also offer Spanish language classes and provide a range of options from only classes to arranging homestays, tours, social outings, etc. There are a couple of private language schools that concentrate only on teaching Spanish. Some tourism schools offer Spanish language classes. The state university and an exclusive private university both offer Spanish classes, mostly arranged as exchange programs with universities in the States, but they also accept students not associated with exchange programs. It's also pretty easy to find private tutors. I'm not sure if these options are commonly found in many cities in Latin America or if this city is unique in that regard.
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MoveThru



Joined: 02 Jul 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2004 6:23 pm    Post subject: What about the Spanish Caribbean ? Reply with quote

I haven't seen any mention of the Spanish Caribbean - in particular Cuba and the Dominican Republic. How do they rate in terms of quality of spanish spoken and does anyone think its worthwhile travelling to either of these places to learn spanish?

I'm from the English Caribbean (the Bahamas) and I love the vibe of the islands, so I was seriously considering doing a 2week immersion course in either one of these neighbouring islands. I speak a little spanish (basic level) right now ... but am looking to make a significant improvement this summer.

I'll be studying on my own during July and plan to travel for 2weeks in early August ... another reason I was considering DomRep, in particular, was because they have the merengue festival in early August Smile but in the end learning the language is most important for me.

I'd appreciate any feedback ...
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8829
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's some more info

http://www.eslcafe.com/forums/job/viewtopic.php?t=9239
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mariah27



Joined: 01 Aug 2004
Posts: 5
Location: New York,USA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 6:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Best Place to Study Spanish? Reply with quote

Incredible Ape wrote:
I'm looking for some specific information as to the best place to study Spanish in Latin America.

Of course there are a number of factors that will decide which institution is worth attending. In no particular order, the ones I can think of are: cost, location, teaching quality, quality of Spainish spoken in the country, and probably a few others I haven't thought of.

So if anyone has had some happy experiences learning Spanish, I'd love to hear your opinions.


Hello
I know a program in Buenos Aires, which is really affordable and very intensive.I īve been learning Spanish there and I am fully satisfied with everything they are www.iberospanish.com , now they are also offering discounts if you wanna ask me something pls drop me a line mariahadkins@yahoo.com
All the best,
Mariah Adkins
North Hollywood,CA.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8829
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2004 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

at the thorn tree discussion forums on the lonely planet website, there is lots of info about language schools.
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