Mexico Connect
Forums  > Specific Focus > Learning Spanish


Lilmsmaggie


Jul 31, 2012, 5:40 PM

Post #1 of 22 (29810 views)

Shortcut

Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
I'm 63 y/o thinking about living in Mexico within the next 3-4 yrs. I understand that an immersion course is the best way to learn a language but I also understand that not all courses are created equal. I tried taking a Beg. Spanish class at the local community college after work about a year ago, but the instructor I found to be quite inflexible probably due to the schools policy more so than the instructor's. Bottomline, there were too many reasons where a student could be dropped. Being late to class among them. Since I was coming to class directly after work, this created a lot of stress knowing very well that I could be late.

Anyway, I recently decided that maybe I should try attending an immersion course in Mexico staying with a host family. My thought is to perhaps spend two weeks each year at a different locale (Guadalajara, Merida, Cuernavaca, Oaxaca, Guanajuato, etc.) This way, I would get exposure to different regions and get a better idea of where I'd like to live. Question is which language school?
Dwain (aka Lilmsmaggie)



Rolly


Jul 31, 2012, 6:05 PM

Post #2 of 22 (29805 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
You'll find a lot of information here: http://rollybrook.com/spanish_schools.htm

Rolly Pirate


joaquinx


Jul 31, 2012, 7:01 PM

Post #3 of 22 (29798 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
In Veracruz http://www.veracruzspanish.com/default.htm
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


Lilmsmaggie


Aug 1, 2012, 7:35 AM

Post #4 of 22 (29776 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Rolly] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
Thanks Rolly & Joaquinx. I'll check them out.
Dwain (aka Lilmsmaggie)


esperanza

Aug 1, 2012, 9:31 AM

Post #5 of 22 (29760 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
In Guadalajara, IMAC has an excellent reputation: http://www.spanish-school.com.mx/...jtxrECFSVvTAod1GYAqw

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









tashby


Aug 1, 2012, 6:21 PM

Post #6 of 22 (29737 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
Hi Lilmsmaggie, and welcome to MexConnect.

I think your plan is an excellent one. You will likely benefit from language instruction a lot more in Mexico, since you'll be surrounded by it en vivo! But since it sounds like you're at the beginner level, it doesn't hurt to take advantage of any resources you have available to you now as well, especially since you indicate your trips will probably only be for two weeks. Getting even the most basic foundation pre-trip will go a long way toward helping you learn more while you're in Mexico.

Every city of any size in Mexico will offer you a choice of different schools. I would suggest you prioritize your list of places you think you might like to live based on other criteria important to you, and then start hunting for the right school in whichever city you choose to visit first.

Lastly, if you're so inclined, there are a LOT of Spanish language learning websites available over the internet. One of the ones I've been using lately and am very happy with is called SpanishPod.com. (I also take in-person classes here in Mexico, using SpanishPod as a supplement.) What I like about SpanishPod is that it is recorded conversations from native speakers, many Mexican. It includes a transcript of the conversation....so you hear and see the words at the same time. The site includes hundreds of pre-recorded lessons on countless topics. You can play them over and over again, listening to the accent, practicing your pronunciation, etc. It's a pay-subscription site, but there are different levels of service at different prices, and you can try it out for a week for free to see if you like it. I bought a one-year subscription to their basic package for $69 US total. (They also offer month-to-month plans.) Here's the link:

http://spanishpod.com/

There are also many, many other internet sites available. And some are free.

Good luck!


Lilmsmaggie


Aug 2, 2012, 11:26 AM

Post #7 of 22 (29718 views)

Shortcut

Re: [tashby] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
Excelente! Gracias -- Thank you for the link.

See, I'm leaning already.

I'm gonna try the community college route again too. Unfortunately, evening classes fill up fast and I waited too long to register for the current semester. I live in Northern California and have seem some immersion programs offered in the San Diego area but on the surface, they look to be more expensive when you factor in the cost of lodging and meals in addition to the tuition, than just going to Mexico in the first place.

I'm kind of leaning towards the colonial towns, although most of of my visits to Mexico (with the exception of visiting Tijuana while stationed in San Diego) have been to the Yucatan. And while I would LOVE to be able to live in the Rivera Maya, or Cancun or Playa Del Carmen, I'm not sure I could afford it. And while I don't plan on "Tripping the Light Fantastic" every night, Social Security only gets you so far.

I've been looking at Rolly Brook's website and one thing he mentions has struck home: vacationing in Mexico, is a lot different that LIVING in Mexico. So, I need to keep things in perspective.
Dwain (aka Lilmsmaggie)


esperanza

Aug 2, 2012, 11:46 AM

Post #8 of 22 (29711 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
In Morelia, Michoacán--one of the loveliest small colonial cities in Mexico--you can try http://www.baden-powell.com/en/index. Morelia is gorgeous and the green and mountainous surrounding area is filled with marvelous things to do.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









tonyburton


Aug 2, 2012, 12:32 PM

Post #9 of 22 (29705 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
Another possibility is the wonderful city of San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas:
As I wrote a few years ago:
"I'm not normally drawn to make personal recommendations for places, but the Instituto Jovel - http://www.institutojovel.com - in Chiapas is my number one recommendation for language classes and homestay in Mexico. My very difficult-to-please daughter and a friend attended classes there last summer and both professed themselves to be completely satisfied that the classes, tuition and homestay could not possibly have been any better anywhere else."



Lilmsmaggie


Aug 2, 2012, 5:51 PM

Post #10 of 22 (29674 views)

Shortcut

Re: [esperanza] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
Lot of good suggestions here. I have a few Hispanic friends but most are American born, speak Spanglish or are not fluent. Of those that are, I've thought about approaching and asking if they would consider tutoring me but I'm kinda shy about asking. I've volunteered in several Latino cultural events in the Sacramento area where I live. I was the volunteer coordinator for Festival de la Familia for two years straight:

http://festivaldelafamilia.org

I also volunteered as VIP concert coordinator for La Raza Galeria Posada:

http://www.larazagaleriaposada.org/larazagaleriaposada.org/Bienvenido_Welcome.html

I actually got to meet Carlos González Gutiérrez, Consul General de Mexico here in Sacramento and I know the founder of the Ballet Florico center here. She makes frequent trips to Mexico but I've lost touch with her.

Many people I've met are either from Michoacán, Tlaquepaque or the Jalisco area in general.
Dwain (aka Lilmsmaggie)


dos gatos felices

Aug 3, 2012, 5:45 AM

Post #11 of 22 (29663 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
Since you have some time before moving to Mexico, and since you are considering a community college, why not try some online courses? I have just finished 2 - 6 week courses of Speed Spanish. I'm not necessarily recommending these particular courses, but I do not regret taking them. There are certainly fewer time restrictions than in a traditional classroom.

Also, www.StudySpanish.com is a very good website to visit. You may find all you need there, at least for a good start. I like the 'click and listen' features of both the online courses and the StudySpanish website. Now that I have finished the 2 Speed Spanish courses, I'm going back to StudySpanish. They have both free and pay-for lessons.


(This post was edited by Rolly on Aug 3, 2012, 6:43 AM)


La Isla


Aug 3, 2012, 7:42 AM

Post #12 of 22 (29654 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dos gatos felices] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
Do these online language classes give you feedback from live teachers? Otherwise I can't see how they can help you learn how to communicate in the language you're studying.


dos gatos felices

Aug 3, 2012, 5:56 PM

Post #13 of 22 (29626 views)

Shortcut

Re: [La Isla] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
In the Speed Spanish classes there is a discussion section where one can post questions, concerns, or comments. The response comes from the author of the course.

On the StudySpanish.com website there are free lessons and for pay lessons. The free lessons do not have a section for discussion or questions. I do not know about the purchased lessons. I like the free lessons. Now that I have had two Speed Spanish courses I am going back over the free lessons on StudySpanish.com, and taking advantage of the free lessons on verbs.


La Isla


Aug 3, 2012, 6:57 PM

Post #14 of 22 (29616 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dos gatos felices] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply

In Reply To
In the Speed Spanish classes there is a discussion section where one can post questions, concerns, or comments. The response comes from the author of the course.

On the StudySpanish.com website there are free lessons and for pay lessons. The free lessons do not have a section for discussion or questions. I do not know about the purchased lessons. I like the free lessons. Now that I have had two Speed Spanish courses I am going back over the free lessons on StudySpanish.com, and taking advantage of the free lessons on verbs.


What I was thinking of more on the lines of a SKYPE conversation, where you talk to a live person in real time in Spanish. Discussions about grammar points or vocabulary will not give you practice in using the language, which is what a good language course should offer, whether live or online.


tashby


Aug 3, 2012, 7:07 PM

Post #15 of 22 (29616 views)

Shortcut

Re: [La Isla] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply

In Reply To
Do these online language classes give you feedback from live teachers? Otherwise I can't see how they can help you learn how to communicate in the language you're studying.


(Ooops. La Isla's reply above appeared while I was writing this. Anyway....)

I'm not sure I understand your question, La Isla? You could make the same comment about a traditional textbook (which doesn't include audio). Even without a teacher, a self-motivated person could learn a lot just by pouring over (and over, and over again...) the 501 Spanish Verbs book, including the grammar sections, of course. That thing is like the Bible.

There's simply no avoiding it. At least for me, a lot of language learning is exposure/exposure/exposure, repetition/repetition/repetition, and memorization/memorization/memorization. Until some things finally start to sink in.

Nothing replaces a teacher, of course, or exposure (ear/accent) to spoken, conversational Spanish. But some of the better on-line sites prove valuable to me also, as a supplement. They're just another tool in the learning toolbox.

And I think that some of the fancier sites also include (for a cost) access to video/audio conferencing with a Spanish speaker. (Hello Skype and whatever else.)

Like I said, I use on-line sites as a supplement. I personally get lots of feedback since I attend traditional classes with a teacher and live in that larger classroom.....México!


(This post was edited by tashby on Aug 3, 2012, 7:13 PM)


La Isla


Aug 3, 2012, 7:22 PM

Post #16 of 22 (29607 views)

Shortcut

Re: [tashby] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply

In Reply To

In Reply To
Do these online language classes give you feedback from live teachers? Otherwise I can't see how they can help you learn how to communicate in the language you're studying.


(Ooops. La Isla's reply above appear while I was writing this. Anyway....)

I'm not sure I understand your question, La Isla? You could make the same comment about a traditional textbook (which doesn't include audio). Even without a teacher, a self-motivated person could learn a lot just by pouring over (and over, and over again...) the 501 Spanish Verbs book, including the grammar sections, or course. That thing is like the Bible.

There's simply no avoiding it. At least for me, a lot of language learning is exposure/exposure/exposure, repetition/repetition/repetition, and memorization/memorization/memorization. Until some things finally start to sink in.

Nothing replaces a teacher, of course, or exposure (ear/accent) to spoken, conversational Spanish. But some of the better on-line sites prove valuable to me also, as a supplement. They're just another tool in the learning toolbox.

And I think that some of the fancier sites also include (for a cost) access to video/audio conferencing with a Spanish speaker. (Hello Skype and whatever else.)

Like I said, I use on-line sites as a supplement. I personally get lots of feedback since I attend traditional classes with a teacher and live in that larger classroom.....México!


Of course, as a supplement, an online course can be very useful, especially if it includes an audio component. I was thinking more of dos gatos felices post when I wrote my comment since it gave me the impression that he or she was trying to learn Spanish exclusively online.

Repetition of certain elements, like verb tenses is necessary too, but if this kind of practicing is done without access to correct pronunciation and a means to use the elements being memorized in some sort of context, it can often be wasted effort.


dos gatos felices

Aug 4, 2012, 5:45 AM

Post #17 of 22 (29589 views)

Shortcut

Re: [La Isla] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
La Isla, I was not suggesting an online class exclusively. As suggested by Tashby, it is one of many tools. Everyone has their own choices to make based on their particular situation. I was suggesting an online class as an option.

If one searches on the web for online classes, there are many, many options. One could be chosen, or not, based on personal needs and expectations. I don't doubt that a class with skype conferences could be found, as one of many options for the learning environment.

Besides, the poster was saying it would be a few years before she would be moving to Mexico. Evidently getting to class at the community college is not always convenient. I thought an online class would help to keep her learning in the interval.

Best wishes,
Susan


Lilmsmaggie


Aug 7, 2012, 4:36 PM

Post #18 of 22 (29496 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dos gatos felices] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
It happens. Not often but it happens. My user name tends to suggest my gender; however, my sincere apologies because that would be an incorrect assumption.

"Lilmsmaggie" was chosen as a way to remember a cat I once had named Maggie. Her litter mate, Socks continues to provide great companionship. I use Lilmsmaggie most of the time just to be consistent. I have a seller/buyer account on eBay and I've purchased and sold photographic and astronomy gear on various forums.

So, using "Lilmsmaggie" is a way for me (as a buyer and seller), to show that I've established a track record so to speak when doing business. It's one way for a potential buyer to "check me out," and know that they're dealing with a reputable individual. I've used Lilmsmaggie continuously for about 12 years now.

Please accept my apologies. My intent was not to mislead.

Dwain (aka Lilmsmaggie)
Dwain (aka Lilmsmaggie)


dos gatos felices

Aug 8, 2012, 2:47 AM

Post #19 of 22 (29475 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
And I was feeling so proud of myself for being observant enough to notice. . . (*_*)

Anyway, best wishes on your studies.


carolgreen363

Sep 9, 2012, 6:39 PM

Post #20 of 22 (28949 views)

Shortcut

Re: [dos gatos felices] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
In Guadalajara, IMAC has an excellent reputation


brincolina

Mar 15, 2013, 6:28 PM

Post #21 of 22 (26734 views)

Shortcut

Re: [Lilmsmaggie] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
Check out the Colegio de Axixic's Summer Program; www.SpanishAjijic.com.


schoolcounselor

Apr 18, 2014, 12:17 PM

Post #22 of 22 (21315 views)

Shortcut

Re: [esperanza] Looking for a few suggestions on Spanish Immersion programs

Can't Post | Private Reply
I spent a week at IMAC and it was dreadful! Very canned curriculum and the school's true focus is on teaching Mexicans English to pass the international certifications tests. It was not personalized and is a big school. After a marvelous month a few years ago at The Spanish Institute of Puebla, my standards are high.

Two best experiences I have had studying Spanish in immersion settings, with excellent teachers and home-stays are:

Puebla and Tlaquepaque
 
 
Search for (advanced search) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.4