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anavert May 12th, 2007 01:17 PM

SPanish immersion program
I am an intermediate/advanced Spanish student who, of course, needs a lot of work on comprehension and speaking more fluidly. I have been taking college courses so have the grammar down but need the practical application. Are there schools preferably in Mexico that focus on this aspect. Or is it perhaps better just to spend time in a city using it? This way has no one correcting you and probably only short conversations. There is a lot of talk here about which school is best but not much about which way to become a better speaker!

shillmac May 12th, 2007 02:42 PM

It's a combination, I think, for best results. I study out of the country occasionally, but also make a point of speaking with someone regularly whom I can trust to correct me because they know I want them to. For years, I hired a tutor (mother of one of my students) to just hang out with me once a week for an hour to hour and a half speaking. It was very helpful.

I also found it helpful to work daily in workbooks--reinforcing the grammar.

hopefulist May 12th, 2007 04:39 PM

I'm an intermediate speaker (wish I could say I have the grammar down!) and get a huge boost from immersion schools with 1-on-1 teachers in towns where little English is spoken. I like to talk so with that combination I can improve my conversational ability more in 2 weeks than in a term of college Spanish. I've studied at 3 schools in Honduras and am heading to Guatemala this summer.

Dude May 12th, 2007 05:23 PM

A combination of language School, homestay, and cultural imersion plus trying to speak as much as possible has worked the best for me.

SrFlojo May 13th, 2007 10:47 AM

Dude tiene razon. Es importante combinar lo que has aprendido en la clase o el libro en la calle o un mercado. Usualmente lo mejor es quedarse con una familia local. Vas a aprender mas de la lengua asi. La combinacion de una escuela con tiempo libre en una ciudad que ofrece muchas oportunidades de usar la lengua en situaciones diferentes es lo optimo. Suerte!

anavert May 16th, 2007 07:02 AM

For those who have studied in Guatemala or Honduras, do you have a recommendation for a school? I have studied in Costa Rica and wasn't happy with the school in general. Though the homestay was good.

mmb23 May 16th, 2007 11:12 AM

I would love to hear any comparisons between schools in Guat & Honduras if people have been to both. I, too, am researching the options.

anavert, I'm curious, do you mind sharing which school in CR, and what you weren't crazy about? I'm always interested in Spanish school stuff.

hopefulist May 16th, 2007 03:36 PM

I've posted this information before, so please ignore if it's a repeat for you:

I'm heading to Guatemala to study this summer (5th trip to Guat but 1st study trip). I've studied with 2 schools in Honduras and both were excellent:

Ixbalanque in Copán Ruinas

Central Am. Spanish School in La Ceiba and Utila

Copán Ruinas is an especially nice place to study and offers good immersion and outdoor activities. La Ceiba ia a hot city but the school, teacher, homestay - all excellent. Utila is fun, awesome diving, not a good immersion environment but my teacher was very good.

Here's a link to my pictures and travelogues if you're interested:

Happy trails!

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