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Monday, May 22, 2017

Learning Spanish in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve

There are several aspects to learning Spanish that are all important. The first, and most vital, is to learn as much as possible, to become as fluent as one can be, to make understanding the magical world of Nicaragua more open and understandable. So many people, especially tourists, come to Nicaragua without understanding much of the language, bumbling their way through the country, dependent upon the translation skills of someone else.

Once a person can manage the most basic of the Spanish language skills necessary to survive as a backpacker, tourist, or worker without the aid of others, doors begin to open. Suddenly, Nicaragua consists of more than Granada, Leon, and a few beach towns. There are places to go, things to do, and increasingly, as one learns to speak the language, people with whom to share. As those who live in Nicaragua for long periods can attest, the best that Nicaragua has to offer is off the beaten path. It is at once the geography, the landscapes, and the people. The key to the most intimate levels of sharing culture is language.

Nicaragua Spanish Schools
Spanish classes at Apoyo Spanish School are held in the natural setting of Laguna de Apoyo. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
Languages have many dimensions and interconnections. Thankfully for those who speak very little Spanish, Nicaragua is very open and friendly to visitors with little language capacity, but the "real Nicaragua" is awaiting the people who can communicate effectively. Furthermore, work requirements also demand excellent language skills. Basically, every level of accomplishment in a language opens the door to higher, richer and more complex levels.

Apoyo Spanish School is the oldest of the intensive Spanish schools in Nicaragua. It is the best place to learn, for the person who is serious about learning, regardless of the level. We have special courses for beginners, as well as tailor-made courses for the more advanced students. Advanced students can go deep into literature and technical discourse with teachers who are prepared for the most subtle issues of the language. We even teach the teachers-most of the long-lasting Spanish schools in Nicaragua have benefited from training given to their teachers by us.

Apoyo Spanish school
The lake is just steps away from us at Apoyo Spanish School, permitting students to combine rigorous courses with relaxing swims, kayaking and scuba diving. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.

Often, people think they will go from "hola!" to giving public speeches and participating in debates in Spanish in merely a couple of weeks. First of all, learning rates differ among people dramatically. Young adults learn language more rapidly than older adults, although our experience has proven that even into the eighth decade of life, people can improve their Spanish school measurably in just a week of study. Secondly, the rates at which students learn may be limited by what the students do outside the class period. Those who insist on staying in Spanish all day, taking only brief breaks to converse or communicate in their native language during the day, learn much more than those who spend their evenings chatting with other non-Spanish speakers.

learning Spanish
After classes, time at the lake, in the forest, visiting the nearby towns, or helping out with tasks at Estacion Biologica are all awaiting. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.

Sometimes, Spanish students in an intensive language program such as at Apoyo Spanish School may feel daunted by the concentration on verb conjugations in their Spanish class. It may be difficult for a beginner to appreciate that verbs in Spanish are much more loaded with meaning than in English. Our classes go beyond just pointing and grunting, to provide a solid foundation in the Spanish language so the student can make further progress effectively, after going on beyond a single round of Spanish classes.

Spanish classes
Spanish classes with individual instruction may be exhausting, but a huge learning experience, which benefits the student greatly. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
The objectives for learning a language may vary considerably among people, as well as their learning rates and their levels of management of the Spanish language when entering in classes at Apoyo Spanish School. We offer group classes for absolute beginners, in an economical program that also includes lots of volunteering, which we call the "backpackers' Spanish program". This course, at a considerable discount from the one-on-one classes, incorporates dorm stay and lots of volunteering to make the program more economical for the traveler on a budget.

Spanish course
Why study Spanish in a stuffy room when you can have fresh air and nature around? Photo Jeffrey McCrary.
In contrast, one-on-one classes can be had for Spanish students at any level. Teachers make a study plan with the student after an initial evaluation and consideration of the ability and level of the student. Additionally, homework is assigned to give the student direction in after-hours practice. Furthermore, the activities and informal conversations with the staff and friends reinforce the language skills learned in the day.

Among the greatest attractions in Nicaragua is Laguna de Apoyo. Come, study, and enjoy! Photo Andras Dorgai.

Nicaragua Spanish Schools
Click on the "escudo" to contact us.

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