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Escuela de Español  

Spanish Classes at La Paz

Thank you for your interest in Escuela de Espaņol La Paz!

This brief list is aimed at answering some of the basic questions you may have. Please don't worry if we do not answer all your questions; we will have a thorough orientation before your first day in class. Feel free to contact us at xela.escuelalapaz@gmail.com with any questions.

Really your teacher is not "teaching" you as much as he or she is helping you teach yourself. Rather than a passive one-way flow of information, your teacher will be more of a guide to assist you, correct you, and facilitate the learning process. It is almost fair to say that the student will get only as much out of the experience as he or she is willing to put into it (although we do our part by maintaining a staff of conscientious, well-trained teachers). Some students choose to limit themselves to the 5 hours of personal instruction each day (Monday-Friday), spending most of their free time speaking their native language with other foreigners. Others immerse themselves completely, spending extra time studying, working as a volunteer, or conversing with their family, other Guatemalans, or other dedicated students.

As for actual study time with your teacher, you are free to tell him or her exactly what you would like to work on, or let your instructor be the guide. Your teacher will try to keep it as interesting and painless as possible by mixing in grammar exercises with conversation, reading, and other methods which may include a relaxing walk in the streets or park. All teachers at La Paz are Guatemalans. The length of study time is also up to you; some students immerse themselves for months, while others study one or two weeks to enhance their travel experience. Study time is generally 5 hours a day, either in our morning session from 8am to 1pm, or in our afternoon session from 2pm to 7pm.

We have a break between 10:30am and 11:00am.  Where the school provides snacks, fresh fruit, herbal/normal tea or coffee and purified water all at no extra cost.  This break is a perfect social time where the teachers and students get to talk and learn about each other in a nice relaxed atmosphere.

And it is a great opportunity to play a little ping pong with your teacher.

Bringing school supplies is optional, but a Spanish dictionary and notebook are, of course, recommended. You are welcome to bring any of your favorite grammar books, but we do have some here in our school library. The local stores sell dictionaries and very inexpensive notebooks.

Each Friday you will be asked to evaluate your weeks' experience. Please give an honest opinion about your teacher, your family, the scheduled activities, the administration, and the school in general.

It is no problem if you would like to change teachers every week (as a matter of fact, we recommend it!), and if there is some other teacher with whom you would like to study with, please feel free to request it. We will do our best to satisfy our students. We recommend to you change teachers every two weeks, as this facilitates your learning of the Spanish language.

We have an extensive, multilingual library including works of literature, non-fiction, autobiographies, video documentaries and more. You are welcome to view any videos during after school hours or borrow any books in the school library. Please be very careful with them - books in Guatemala are very expensive (for us) and many of our books are hard to replace. Grammer books can be checked out for one night at a time, and need to be at the school during the day as our teaching staff use the library during class time. Lastly, please do not leave books with your host family when you stop studying at La Paz, please return them directly to the school. We welcome any and all donations to our school library.

Every student will receive a diploma and graduation ceremony at the end of their stay at La Paz. This usually takes place on Friday evenings and includes a dinner at the school, in a restaurant or at the home of one of our host families. We ask that each student who is graduating do a little something (in Spanish of course!) to 'earn' his/her diploma. Your teacher can help you prepare whatever you like - a speech, poem... a song perhaps?