Spanish Course in Costa Rica

Enjoy Our Spanish Courses in Costa Rica


We offer a variety of programs and the opportunity to design your own schedule, which is flexible to fit your needs. Students may also choose to supplement their group classes with additional private lessons.

Our Spanish classes usually consist of three  to four students never more than six. This intimate class size helps us tailor our programs to your specific needs and to adapt our teaching methodology to your learning style. You will be placed in classes according to your Spanish proficiency level, which is determined by a written test sent by email and an oral evaluation exam before starting your course. Your level will be confirmed by your instructor based on your performance during the class.

Throughout your course, your progress will be assessed daily by your teacher and our Academic Director. Every day instructors hand in a progress report for each student in the class. This information helps our Academic Director determine and decide, along with the student, the best way to reach his/her language goals.

We provide four levels of Spanish instruction:

Beginner Level

Beginner’s courses I, II and III has been designed to provide an introduction to elementary Spanish. The primary objective of this course is to offer students the opportunity to acquire communication skills in what we call “Survival Spanish”. Functions include: asking/giving directions, using appropriate greetings, introductions and courtesy expressions as well as being able to communicate in different situations such as visiting a bank, restaurant, or other public places. Furthermore students should be able to give their personal information, and talk about personal preferences and activities in growing details.

As a beginner’s  student, you will study basic sentence structures, learn everyday vocabulary and develop the ability to clearly communicate basic ideas in Spanish.

Intermediate Level

The intermediate course is divided into Intermediate I, II and III and covers most grammatical structures, which will give students the tools needed to achieve more confidence and fluency when using the language. Students will learn these grammatical structures, while improving vocabulary, pronunciation, comprehension, as well as written and oral skills. At this level the students learn to use different compensation strategies to communicate their ideas when they do not know the exact structure or word that should be used. Students will also be able to hold conversations on various topics with native Spanish speakers, using the appropriate forms for each situation. This course emphasizes on cultural aspects of the language and its real usage. Course emphasis is on culturally authentic reading and writing, along with continued development of listening/speaking competencies.

Advanced Level

This course includes the study of advanced Spanish grammar. The student should begin to master complex syntactical and morphological structures and special differences used in the language. In addition, the students will face current topics and conversations with a higher level of complexity and abstract thought in order to improve considerably in fluency and precision. This level includes cultural, social and historical aspects on different Hispanic speaking countries as a way to explain the relationship between language, history and culture.

The objective of this course is the proficiency and fluency in the Spanish language. Furthermore, emphasis is placed on the comprehension and use of the language in unrehearsed situations in culturally appropriate ways.


At CRLA we believe that only when Spanish lessons are interesting, functional, and fun to do is it possible to learn quickly and easily. Consequently, the essence of our courses is a varied and dynamic teaching approach. Our aim is to teach classes that are intensive, yet challenging and enjoyable.

Our methodology calls for active participation from our students.
Our practical courses entable the students to communicate, comprehend and use accurate pronunciation in Spanish as quickly as possible.

The intimate classroom setting and particular training methodology provide the flexibility to adapt our teaching style and approach to meet your individual needs. 

All our classes emphasize speaking abilities, but we consider the Spanish language as a whole; therefore, our methodology takes into account its different components: grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, cultural understanding and pragmatic use.


In accordance with our teaching experience and specific needs of our students, we have produced our own teaching material, which includes games, charts, flashcards, audio tapes and an original and special student book.


We also offer medical Spanish for nurses or doctors, business Spanish, Spanish for lawyers and special courses for Spanish teachers.

If you already speak fluent Spanish, the Costa Rican Language Academy offers the opportunity to improve your ability to converse in Spanish. We help you achieve an understanding of the technical structure of Spanish, as it relates to your specific interests. You will learn more about our culture and its impact on the language.

If you are a Spanish Language teacher or studying for this profession, we offer private courses providing additional training. We discuss Latin American history and literature, focusing on textual and advanced grammatical analysis, composition and literary style. You may select the area in which you would like to specialize, then our Spanish Language Coordinator will work closely with you to develop your own program.

Spanish Language Course for Medical Professionals

This course is designed for health care professionals who need to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients and their families as part of their daily work. It caters to various types of medical personnel including doctors, medical students, nurses, paramedics and can be adapted to each student’s specific needs. This specialized course is offered as a supplement to a general Spanish language curriculum specially selected for each student’s level. Together, these courses facilitate effective communication between provider and patient within the health care setting. Students will benefit more from this course if they have reached at least an intermediate level in Spanish, after attending a regular group class program at CRLA.

Text used was designed by medical professionals with ample experience, in order to allow students to become familiar with the Spanish medical vocabulary and have the necessary tools to interview patients, explain or discuss various medical topics, and also act as interpreter, if required.

The medical Spanish course is offered through private tutoring; depending on the month student attends, classes are offered in the morning and afternoon, or only in the afternoon. 

Occasionally students have the opportunity to further solidify language skills through work at local clinics and hospitals with Costa Rican medical staff. However, we cannot guarantee that you will able to participate as a volunteer or intern in a medical facility in Costa Rica.

Spanish Language Course for Teachers

This course is designed for Spanish teachers or those studying to become teachers. The main objective is to improve their skills in three specific areas:

  1. Oral communication – fluency, pronunciation, structures and social, regional and stylistic variations of the language.
  2. Culture – includes various cultural differences, based on the study of current topics in Latin American literature and mass media communication.
  3. Grammatical precision – widens use of structures, taking into account differences in style and the purpose of the message. Written communication is studied in detail, considering formal aspects such as cohesion, coherence and precision.

The course provides Spanish teachers the opportunity to considerably improve their knowledge (linguistic and cultural), and to share their experiences in the classroom with native Spanish speakers who work in the same field. Classes at CRLA definitely guarantee a better professional, who will improve performance on a daily basis, applying training received at our school.


Spanish classes at the CRLA can be taken on an hourly basis or in conjunction with one of our Homestay Programs. The Homestay Programs include a regular schedule of Spanish lessons and lodging with a Costa Rican family. Your Costa Rican family provides you with breakfast, dinner and laundry service.

Our families are carefully selected for their friendliness and warmth. They all offer clean lodging in safe neighborhoods. Homestays are an excellent way to immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture. As part of the family, you will practice speaking Spanish everyday and learn first-hand about the Costa Rican way of life. You can stay with a family for a minimum of one week or as long as you would like.

With any of our programs you may select as many classroom hours per day as you wish. Please see our price list for current prices.

You may also participate in our outside excursions, social and cultural activities. Some of these are included in intensive Homestay Programs or they are available at an additional charge, which varies according to the type of activity.


If you are not interested in a Homestay program, we offer you the flexibility of paying for your classes by the hour. You may take any number of private classes or participate in our group sessions. Latin Dance classes, Costa Rican Cooking Classes and our Conversation “Hour” are also included for students enrolled in classes without homestay.

Please see our price list for current prices.


Morning classes start at 9:00 a.m. and run until 12:00 noon. Then there is a lunch break from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 

Afternoon classes are from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (for students receiving 4hrs/day), from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (for students receiving 5 hrs/day) or 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. (for students receiving 6 hrs/day).

After their Spanish classes the students participate in the afternoon cultural activities:

Latin dance classes:

High season ( Monday-Thursday from 3:00 – 4:00 and 4:00 – 5:00pm)

Low season (Wednesday 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm)

Cooking classes High and Low season (Thursday from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.)

All the classes (including culture classes) are conducted completely in Spanish. This is the ideal setting to improve your conversation skills and fluency. Therefore, we have designed our classes to ensure maximum student participation. Our Homestay program, afternoon cultural classes and the school’s friendly atmosphere also provide additional opportunities for conversation.

In addition to activities and classes with the school, you may also participate in activities outside CRLA during your free time such as:

Visits to museums and markets located close to CRLA
Night outings to local discotheques and dance clubs
Night outings to restaurants, bars and theaters located near the school
Weekend excursions to beaches, rain forests, volcanoes and National Parks


On the first day of class we require students to be at the school at 8:00 a.m so that we can make an oral evaluation to determine their Spanish level (placement test). We also give them information, a student card with telephone number and exact address of the homestay (for giving a taxi driver), and general orientation.

On the first day of class the host family will accompany the student to CRLA and make sure that the student knows how to get to the school. (It is usually a short 10-15 minute easy bus ride. Students catch the bus about 1 or two blocks away from their homestay and it drops them off 1 or 2 blocks away from the school.**
Students learning Spanish in the academy
Families will also return to the Academy in the afternoon and take the student back home after classes on the first day and as long as necessary until the student knows his/her way around.

** Public buses are very easy to use, very cheap (about US $1) and they run every 10-15 minutes from 5:30AM until 11:00 p.m.. If students go out at night we recommend that they take a taxi home (are also cheap: about US $5 – $10).



CRLA students have the opportunity of contributing to make a tangible difference in our world and to leave something positive for future generations.