Marilia Soto

It’s been decades since Spanish has gained popularity through TV flicks and popular culture. Yet nowadays, it has become truly a necessity and a plus aspect for job applications in the U.S. and overseas. That’s why many people around the world have decided to plunge into the learning adventure of studying Spanish abroad. Today, we´d like to show you two real experiences from real people, Sarah, a teacher from California and Gerald, a teacher from Germany. Here, they share their experiences when they went to CRLA in Costa Rica to study Spanish as students, and now they teach the language. Sarah: How She Became a Spanish Teacher “Hi my name is Sarah Sobkoviak; I’m a Spanish teacher from California. I teach Spanish: grades 3rd  through 8rd .My first experience with the CRLA Language Academy was as a junior in college and I had such a wonderful experience, I really enjoyed my homestay family to this day, 16 years later and still really close with my homestay family. I really loved the way in which their teachers focused their teaching on us. It was very conversational based; we did some grammar work and they really focused on becoming more bilingual, feeling
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Although there isn´t a short cut to achieve mastering a new language, there are fun ways to start it. In the case of Spanish, you can begin watching Latino TV series on the net, or dabble in reading magazines in Español, if that´s your preference. Yet if you´d like to go beyond speaking short sentences at hotels or restaurants, you may want to learn the following quick guide. This one will help you learn the more basic regular verbs in Spanish and start your journey to mastery. Verbs that end in ar: The general rules to conjugate Spanish verbs are a little more complicated that in English, but the good news is that regular verbs are used more often. So, once you learn to conjugate them, you´ll notice how easy they will become part of your learning process. So let’s begin:  Dar (to give), hablar (to talk), estar (to be), llegar (to arrive). Now, let’s conjugate each of these verbs: Yo doy (I give)                             Yo estoy (I am)                            Yo hablo (I talk)                        Tu das (You give)                        Tu estás (You are)                       Tu hablas o (You speak)                     Él da (He gives)                           Él está (He is)                               Él habla (He speaks)                       Nosotros damos (We
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Spanish is a rich language that is now the second most spoken language around the globe. With the numbers of Spanish speakers only growing, many are now considering taking Spanish studies abroad. Costa Rica is one of the most popular destination options for Spanish studies abroad. On this latest post, we’ll explore why so many are now choosing to study Spanish in Costa Rica with the Costa Rican Language Academy. Immerse Yourself in Costa Rican Culture with Home Stay Options One of the many reasons our students choose Costa Rican Language Academy for their Spanish studies abroad is that we offer home stay options.  Through our team, you can stay with a family in Costa Rica and enjoy an in-depth introduction to Costa Rican culture. You’ll spend time with your host family sharing meals and learning more about their history. Not only does this envelop you within local community, but it helps you become more connected with the rich history of those speaking the Spanish language. Learn Vocation-Specific Spanish If you’re considering moving to a new Spanish-speaking country to live or work, you might wish to learn Spanish before you go so you can better acclimatize yourself to your new
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Many are now considering taking Spanish studies to improve upon their understanding of the language. But to truly gain a clear understanding of the language, its history, and the context in which the language is used on a daily basis, students must immerse themselves in a Spanish-speaking culture. Within this latest post, our Costa Rican Language Academy team explain the benefits of taking Spanish studies abroad. Learn More from the Speakers Those speaking the Spanish language on a daily basis are those that advance the language. New phrases are being coined and new words are added to Spanish dictionaries as speakers in their native countries enhance the culture’s lexicon. By connecting directly with Spanish speakers in their home country, you’ll get a well-rounded understanding on how the language is used and build upon your knowledge of common phases. Hone Your Dialect While speaking Spanish in a classroom in your home country can be great for learning the key phrases in conversation, there’s no better way to learn the language expertly than living in a country where Spanish is the first language. If you choose to take Spanish studies abroad in a country such as Costa Rica, you’ll learn the local
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What’s the way to have the most wonderful experience of your life? I had no idea until I travelled to Costa Rica with CRLA for my Spanish studies abroad. The best part about travelling to learn a language has been that it’s not just about the language, but about making new friends while immersing myself in a new language and culture, and that’s why I posted a photo album of all the fun I had with my new friends. “From the first day, CRLA helped me with all my questions or worries. And thanks to them I only needed 4 weeks to learn to understand and express a lot in Spanish!” I know I’m not there yet, but my Spanish teacher helped me in taking the first steps. I really appreciate how much patience he had with me and how he found new ways every single day to get the most out of me. He didn’t only teach me a lot about the Spanish language but told me a lot about Costa Rican culture too, which I’m really grateful for. If I have the opportunity, I think I definitely come back! Coming to Costa Rica all the way from Belgium,
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“The reason why my experience was so worthwhile is because of the people here. I felt like the entire staff really cared about helping me and making me comfortable. I am truly glad that I decided to study Spanish abroad with the Costa Rican Language Academy (CRLA).”   Immersive Education Taking your Spanish studies abroad and immersing yourself in a Spanish-speaking culture is the best way to learn—and CRLA offers some of the best Spanish immersion programs in the world. CRLA offers structured classes during the day like any other school, but they also bring you into the culture: Spanish immersion students stay with Costa Rican families during their program. CRLA also provides complementary classes on Costa Rican cooking and Latin dance. The teachers and host families are all carefully vetted, and the care and attention they put into making everyone comfortable is incredible.   Places to visit There are several great destinations to visit while you stay in Costa Rica to study Spanish abroad: Manuel Antonio beach Monteverde Rio Celeste de Guatuso Puerto Viejo de Limón La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano Sarapiquí Tamarindo   The wonderful people at CRLA can help you plan a trip that includes some or all of
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Dreams can become a reality when you work hard and define your goals are clear. I remember having tried making a vision board last year; and it worked! I made a collage with some photographs of cool places like Costa Rica and of students studying Spanish abroad. Well, guess what? Six months later I was living the same unforgettable experience I visualized in those images.   I went to Costa Rica to learn Spanish at CRLA, travel the country, and immerse myself in a new culture. At CRLA (Costa Rican Language Academy) they provide one the best immersion programs for Spanish studies in the region. Plus, they have taught more than 15,000 students from all over the world.   What helped me the most was having the opportunity to explore amazing places in Costa Rica all while learning Spanish abroad. On top of that, CRLA offered me advice and assistance to arrange various trips in the area. Also, I had plenty of options for food, hotels and tours.   Popular Tours & Destinations at CRLA   These are some of the places you should visit when you are in Costa Rica:   Canopy San Luis Best of Pacific Tortuguero Arenal Volcano and
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People often think that learning a new language can be achieved by reading books through online courses or watching movies. The reality is that this can´t be farther from the truth. One of the best ways of learning a language, like Spanish, is to learn it abroad.   At CRLA (Costa Rican Language Academy) we provide one of the best immersion programs for Spanish studies in Latin America. We have taught more than 15,000 students from all over the world in the past 25 years. We understand the importance of learning Spanish first-hand and to have a deep understanding of the language and culture where it is spoken.   Our Spanish classes go beyond text books since students have the chance to speak in the language with Costa Ricans and learn Spanish in a variety of very enjoyable and different activities. Our immersion programs include staying with a Costa Rican family, Spanish lessons and much more.   CRLA include extracurricular activities such as: Conservation volunteering projects Costa Rican cooking Latin dance Home stay programs   Spanish is growing   It´s very important to remember that the Spanish language has become a true necessity due to the increasing expansion of the
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The Spanish language has been present in the United States way before actor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s catchphrase: “hasta la vista, baby” was released in 1991. Nowadays, Hispanics are the second-largest ethnic group in the USA with 52 million and counting. That means Spanish has spread so vastly that it is almost imperative to learn this useful Romance language anywhere in the world. For this reason let’s check the 4 main reasons why everyone should learn Spanish, and even better: learning it abroad: Nowadays, it is top priority to study Spanish abroad in the businesses field. The Spanish language has becoming a necessity because it´s one of the fastest-growing market segment. Enterprises are striving to offer products / services to 350 million Spanish speakers around the world. So in the near future, if you would like to do business, you must learn how to speak it. To be able to talk with locals when you are traveling to Latin America, you should learn the new language first-hand. Your trip would not be as amazing as it could be if you learn Spanish abroad. Handling just one language will confine you only to guided tours, which could be expensive; you will probably miss
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How My “Amiga” Lauren Studied Spanish in Costa Rica Hi, my name is Karen Putter and I am from England. Recently I came back from a backpacking trip through South America with my high school friend Lauren. We started off in Argentina and visited some amazing places, went shopping, and even got to go to a soccer game at one of the most famous stadium called la Bombonera. Two days later we were off to travel across the continent with just two backpacks, a few bucks, and a lot of courage. Yet I was amazed the most in the fact that we didn’t have to struggle when talking to the locals. Surprisingly, we didn’t have to speak a single word of English. You may be wondering how two British girls could travel there without speaking the local language? Well, the answer was in my friend Lauren. She spoke Spanish almost like a native speaker; with just a little bit of accent. Thanks to her fluent Spanish, we had the chance to experience one of the best trips we have ever taken. She did all the talking when we needed to arrange tours, make a reservation, or ask locals direction or
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CRLA students have the opportunity of contributing to make a tangible difference in our world and to leave something positive for future generations.

May 23, 2017

CRLA makes Spanish an experience of living, not a long slog in a dry textbook. It´s really fun.

CRLA makes Spanish an experience of living, not a long slog in a dry textbook. It´s really fun. The methods used by the Costa Rican Language Academy WORK! I spent the first month of a 5-month exploration of Costa Rica at the CRLA, and, as I had hoped, I received a solid foundation in Spanish that allowed me to start speaking with the fine people of this country. CRLA makes Spanish an experience of living, not a long slog in a dry textbook. It’s really fun Dr. Jeff Stewart Maine, USA December 2014
March 17, 2017

4 Great Reasons to Learn Spanish

With globalization and a more competitive job market, Spanish is getting more attention from students around the world. It’s the second most spoken language in North America, is spoken not only in Spain and most of the American continent, but also in some parts of the Philippines, some Caribbean islands, and many other areas around the world. Spanish is constantly growing in popularity through music, popular culture and the increase in Latin population. For this reason, Spanish immersion programs have gained popularity in every Spanish-speaking country and thousands of people are choosing to participate in said programs. While there are many reasons to learn Spanish, some of the most popular include: If you learn Spanish, you will stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. You will be able to apply for jobs around the world and have a great opportunity to improve your work profile and to get to know other cultures, which you can get a head start with a Spanish immersion program. As the Hispanic population is one of the fastest growing in the U.S. and many people come from Spanish speaking families; you will have the opportunity to meet more people and create strong relationships with
March 1, 2017

My Lam – Everett, Massachusetts, USA

To those students who have chosen the Costa Rican Language Academy (CRLA) to learn Spanish, I say, “Congratulations, you made the right choice!” As a former student who has studied 4 months there, I can say this school will meet your every expectation. If students take advantage of all that the school has to offer, they will leave Costa Rica speaking a lot more Spanish than when they arrived. Through its Spanish lessons, cooking and dancing activities, conversational classes, and staff, CRLA has an environment that will provide students a better understanding of Ticos and their friendly culture. In all aspects of the school, quality is premium. The Spanish teachers are fantastic and very knowledgeable. Professional and well qualified with their degrees from area universities, they make classes fun, productive and effective. They will squeeze every bit of Spanish out of you before you leave! As with all subjects, styles vary among students when learning Spanish. Teachers do a great job to accommodate individual needs to maximize the student’s time at the school. Also, not all learning has to take place in the classroom. Often teachers take their classes out to the city, some heading for a stroll to the downtown area
March 1, 2017

Varum and Shabnam Frei, Switzerland

I would like to thank you for a wonderful experience with your school. For the first time I have come across an institution which delivers exactly as they promise on the website. Me and my son have felt well looked after, safe, and all our needs were taken care of in a happy friendly way. The quality of teaching and all the services was excellent. I shall recommend this school to everyone I know and meet, and try and come back again to you. Thank you very much. Pura Vida.  Varum and Shabnam Frei, Switzerland, Dic.2009.
March 1, 2017

Karin B., Switzerland

During 10 weeks I was attending Spanish classes at the CRLA in San José. Besides studying grammar, discussions about the world, and practicing the language, I learned a lot about Costa Rican culture, the way people live, their cuisine, their mentality. They are very friendly and helpful and at school we were like a big family. For my trips on the weekends they recommended me places to visit and did the reservations. In the afternoon we could choose between dancing, cooking and conversation class. With my host family I felt very welcome and more like a member. During meals we spent hours of discussing, laughing and getting to know more about the other culture. I know that with my” tico” host family and the CRLA I will always have a second home. Karin B., Switzerland
March 1, 2017

Nina Hilario, USA

Before I chose the Costa Rican Language Academy, I was the most skeptical person you could imagine. I asked dozens of questions about the program and even e-mailed the available references.Now that my stay is over, I´m only sorry that it went by so fast. The reason why my experience was so worthwhile is because of the people here. I felt like the entire staff really cared about helping me and making me feel comfortable. Also, it was so easy to make new friends. There are many different activities available so not only do you learn Spanish, but you LIVE IT and ENJOY IT. I´m returning to my country as a better Spanish speaker, a better dancer, and now I can even cook! Nina Hilario, USA 
March 1, 2017

Anna, Towson University, USA

Thank you for allowing us to participate in this lovely program. We had a wonderful time! “Pura vida”! Thank you for helping coordinate an incredibly successful program. We all had a fantastic and meaningful experience and I hope to send many more groups.  Anna, Towson University, USA, 2009
March 1, 2017

Rick Shaughnessy, CA, USA

We want to thank you sincerely for the great experience Daniel had at CRLA and throughout Costa Rica. His elevated Spanish skills have been especially noticed by his high school Spanish teacher and by our many Spanish-speaking friends. We saw his teacher a few days into the school year and she excitedly announced: “Daniel just wants to speak Spanish all the time. He doesn´t want to use English at all in class.” In fact, Daniel takes every opportunity to practice his Spanish with friends, business owners, really anyone who is a native speaker or fluent. This was definitely not the case with the young man we sent to you a couple of months ago. We knew you could teach Spanish but we had no idea you could teach emthusiasm so successfully. Daniel speaks glowingly about his experiences throughout the country and the friends he made…Thank you for delivering much more than we ever expected. We´ll be sending him back soon.  Rick Shaughnessy, CA, USA. Sept. 2011.
March 1, 2017

Edward Stevenson Esq – USA

In the last 3 years, I have been in Costa Rica many times and have taken several weeks of classes at CRLA. I am very pleased with this experience and have learned much more Spanish in these classes than in anything else that I have tried. The instructors at CRLA are friendly, professional, and most important patient. I began by taking basic group classes and now take private lessons that are more focused on business matters. I highly recommend both types of classes. In short, I continue to take classes at CRLA because I am very pleased with the instruction I have received. Edward Stevenson Esq., C.P.A. USA, July, 2011.
March 1, 2017

Annelien, Belgium

  My stay in Costa Rica is by far the most wonderful experience I’ve had in my life until now! For more than 6 months I looked forward to these two months, and I couldn’t have imagined it better than this! From the first day, CRLA helped me with all my questions or worries. And thanks to them I only needed 4 weeks to learn to understand and express a lot in Spanish! I know I’m not there yet, but my Spanish teacher helped me taking the first step. I really appreciate how much patience he had with me and how he found new ways every single day to get the most out of me. He didn’t only teach me a lot about the Spanish language but told me a lot about Costa Rican culture too, which I’m really grateful for. I would have liked to stay longer and take more weeks of Spanish classes but right now I’m really happy I feel confident enough to go and learn more through speaking with native Spanish speakers! For example, for my volunteer project I was at an orphanage and I learned a lot of vocabulary by talking to the kids. In
March 1, 2017

Dr. Jeff Stewart – Maine, USA

I have been involved with education and educators for many years – even teaching a bit at Harvard – so I am familiar with how real learning happens. The methods used by the Costa Rican Language Academy WORK! I spent the first month of a 5-month exploration of Costa Rica at the CRLA, and, as I had hoped, I received a solid foundation in Spanish that allowed me to start speaking with the fine people of this country. The classes are small, the instructors smart and effective, and the methods are fun. I began to speak and understand before I knew it! CRLA makes Spanish an experience of living, not a long slog in a dry textbook. It’s really fun. And the CRLA offers much more than language instruction. There are Latin dance classes, cooking classes, conversation periods for extra practice- as well as any kind of help you need in finding great tours of Costa Rica, or finding you way in San Jose, or whatever your discover you need. The staff is absolutely wonderful. So I’m off to put my Spanish to good use. You will not go wrong in starting here in learning to communicate will a huge
December 28, 2016

Costa Rican Language Academy Now Offers Volunteer Opportunities That Reinforce Spanish Studies Abroad

December 5, 2016 – San Jose, Costa Rica – For over twenty-five years, Costa Rican Language Academy (CRLA) has created amazing opportunities for students to engage in Spanish language immersion programs that go far beyond the classroom environment.  Now, CRLA takes another step forward with the integration of volunteer opportunities into its Spanish studies.
December 22, 2016

There Are So Many Opportunities for Group-Based Spanish Language Immersion Programs

One of the features that sets Costa Rican Language Academy (CRLA) apart from other Spanish studies abroad programs is that we can work with groups of any size.  Rather than focusing solely on individual students or small groups, we have the resources to accommodate university or high school groups, often a few at a time.
December 12, 2016

What to Expect When You First Arrive for Spanish Studies Abroad at Costa Rican Language Academy

For many students, a stay with Costa Rican Language Academy (CRLA) is the most exciting adventure they’ve ever been on, especially if they’ve never been outside their own country.  Joining the CRLA Spanish language immersion programs is an incredible opportunity which will provide lifelong memories…  but it can be a bit overwhelming when you don’t know what to expect.
December 2, 2016

What Courses Are Available when You Choose Spanish Language Immersion Programs With CRLA?

One of the most common misconceptions we hear from prospective students or teachers organizing group trips is that intensive Spanish studies abroad require extensive existing knowledge of Spanish.  That’s not the case at Costa Rican Language Academy!