Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
We are very excited about our ‘Cool School” this month because it’s our first school in Guatemala. Miguel Angel Asturias Spanish School is located in the beautiful town of Quetzaltenango (aka Xela, pronounced "shay-la"), Guatemala. Quetzaltenango is the second largest city in Guatemala and is nestled high in the mountains, in the heart of the Sierra Madres. Quetzaltenango’s high altitude ensures warm days, cool nights and best of all, no mosquitoes. Old cobblestone streets and Spanish architecture make this a picturesque city a walking paradise.
Many people say that Guatemala is the best place in the world to study Spanish! Guatemalan Spanish is universal and clearly spoken, making it easier to learn and useful for speaking with native speakers from any other Spanish speaking country. While studying Spanish in Quetzaltenango, you will only hear Spanish on the streets. As a result, students have more opportunity to interact with the local population and participate in Guatemalan life. Few Guatemalans speak English, so it is a true immersion experience. The inviting and friendly people of Guatemala make this town even more delightful.
MAA was founded in 1995 by three highly experienced Guatemalan Spanish teachers, and continues today under the same administration and ownership. They are not part of a chain nor owned by a corporation. The owners are highly experienced Spanish teachers and run the school on a day-to-day basis. We love the fact that they are always there to support the students and teachers and maintain the high quality of the school. Over the years many experienced teachers have been added to the staff. All of their teachers are university students or graduates, have completed the MAA teacher training program, and have completed or are attending the Spanish teacher certificate program of the University of San Carlos, Guatemala.
The method of teaching at MAA is exceptional! ALL of their classes are one-on-one individual classes. Individual one-on-one instruction for five hours a day is the ideal way to learn a foreign language! Also, since every class is private tailoring the studies to your level, whether it’s beginning or advanced, is simple. Your classes will be geared exactly to your needs. For a lot of people being in a classroom setting can be intimidating or confusing when people are at varying levels. We can’t stress enough how valuable one-on-one classes are. Individualized classes are proven to result in far greater progress than you will see in a classroom!
And it gets better! Not only do you get one-on-one classes, but the classes are surprisingly affordable! We have not seen prices this low anywhere else from such a reputable Spanish school. The tuition of US $150 per week covers 25 hours of private class and homestay, including three meals a day seven days a week.
They also offer optional afternoon and weekend trips during your stay. Some of the activities and attractions you can experience nearby include: visiting a Mayan village and experiencing authentic Mayan rituals, trips to a local a weaving community, exploring the wonderful market of Chichicastenango, hiking around spectacular Lake Atitlan and to natural hot springs, salsa lessons, and local parties or events to truly feel what it’s like to be part of life and the culture of Guatemala. Activities and trips are an integral part of the MAA program, and the cost of organizing and leading them is included in the cost of tuition. Personal expenses, however, such as bus fare, food eaten out, hotel (on overnight trips), and park or museum admission, are extra but are very low in Guatemala.
We know that all of this sounds almost too good to be true.. but it’s not! You can read what some of the other student’s are saying on the MAA website. And since their administration offices are located in the United States they are very accessible and will answer questions quickly and thoroughly.
We highly recommend studying Spanish with MAA Spanish School. We hope that many of you will book with MAA for your next study abroad trip and we can’t wait to hear all about it when you return!
Improve your Spanish while learning about Ecuador's traditional drink: La Chicha.
Click here to read the article and listen to the accompanying audio.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
With six different cities to chose from you might have a hard time deciding where to start your immersion. The good news is they are all such great locations that whatever decision you make, you can’t go wrong. Explore the cosmopolitan culture of Buenos Aires, have fun with a younger crowd and the university life of Cordoba, climb to the top of The Andes in Mendoza, explore the wonders of Patagonia in Bariloche and even travel up to Ushuaia, the closest city to Antarctica. Or perhaps, in the end, your adventure will lead you to the modern capital of Santiago in Chile.
With COINED you have the opportunity of staying with a host family or with local students where you can practice and improve your language skills outside the classroom. In general, the results of these experiences are long-lasting friendships. This is a great advantage, as you can continue practicing your Spanish several years after you have finished the program, via letters, e-mails, and telephone calls. In any case they will take into consideration your likes and preferences regarding smoking, children, pets, and special diets.
Buenos Aires is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Latin America and has a strong European influence. Entertainment never ends: from sunup to sundown there are countless cultural places to explore, restaurants to indulge in and shops to shop in! When you aren’t basking in the cultural perfection of this city, you will be studying Spanish at the beautiful COINED school building located in one of the most valued historic buildings of Buenos Aires, "Palacio San Miguel". Located downtown, just 5 minutes walking from the "Plaza de Mayo" the COINED school has easy access to bars, shops and restaurants. The school has 20 spacious air-conditioned classrooms, a computer room for students, a cafeteria, and a video room. As part of the Spanish course, COINED offers 2 organized activities every week and a daily schedule of cultural events, including visits to theatres, museums, and festivals as well as information on ticket prices. Activities include: tours of local places of interest, dance classes. cooking classes and even special invitations to parties and fiestas!
You hear a lot about Buenos Aires and not as much about Santiago. Santiago is an amazing city that has lots to offer and within a days travel you can visit some breath taking locations; explore Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak mountain in the Americas, go wine tasting in Chilean vineyards, relax on the beach, or hit the slopes at some of the best Chilean ski resorts.
All the Spanish courses will give you the chance to have a taste of the real Chilean way of life. Spanish courses are designed to enable you to learn Spanish in an effective way. Santiago, its capital, has a population of 5 million people and is located in the central valley at the foot of the Andes. Santiago is South America's self proclaimed “most modern city” and is a city full of charm and character.
The COINED Spanish school in Santiago de Chile is located in Providencia town. The Spanish school was built in 1925 by Ricardo Larraín Bravo, a recognized architect of the time. Now the building is considered a National monument and belongs to the historic center of Chile. The Spanish School has 12 classrooms, Video room, Internet, cafeteria and a big terrace with a wonderful view of the city center of Santiago. The school also arranges activities and excursions at this location to fully maximize your time and your learning experience.
At both locations you can take private or group classes and will be studying with top-level teachers. COINED also offers internships and volunteer programs which is an entirely different and exceptional experience. Please visit these links to learn more about these opportunities:
We think these testimonials from past students sum up the great experience you will have studying abroad with COINED. The cultural and language immersion is at the heart of what we believe in at Think Spanish and COINED has done an amazing job at creating a truly memorable cultural and language learning experience for students of all ages!
“Not only did I learn to speak Spanish but most importantly I learned about the Argentine culture and felt part of it! For me my volunteer work was an incredible experience which I would recommend to anyone! I would do it again any time!” – Female Student, 21 years old
“I could not have passed a more productive or congenial month improving my Intermediate Spanish than the month I spent here in Buenos Aires! The staff are attentive and thorough, and my instructor excellent. Rigorous attention was paid to both grammar and conversational skills in a helpful weave that advanced my abilities quite rapidly. Then, of course, there is the wonderful city of Buenos Aires to commend itself with its tremendous cultural offerings, cuisine, transport system, night life, and welcoming people. Can't wait to return!” - Male Student, 61 years old
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
We hope that the Think Spanish community is staying healthy and strong this season, but just in case, let's review some Spanish phrases for use with the Doctor.
Review and practice the Spanish phrases listed below. In addition, you can click here to listen to these Spanish phrases spoken aloud:
Listen To At The Doctor Spanish Phrases
¿Donde te duele? Where does it hurt?
Tengo un dolor de estomago. I have a stomachache.
You can use this phrase to describe where you feel the pain in Spanish. Just replace stomach with any other body part that has pain.(cabeza: head ; espalda: back; muela: tooth, toothache; piernas: legs; brazo: arm)
Tienes una fiebre de 102 grados. You have a fever of 102 degrees.
Another word that is used to say fever in Spanish is calentura.
Mi niño tiene una cortada en el brazo. My son has a cut on his arm.
You can also say su brazo instead of el brazo, to clarify that the cut is on the arm of your son.
Me duele la cabeza. I have a headache.
Dieta y ejercicio te ayuda a mantener la salud. Diet and exercise helps maintain good health.
Termina toda la medicina recetada. Finish all of the prescription medicine.
This phrase is commonly seen on the prescription medicine bottle.
Tu presión de sangre esta bien. Your blood pressure is OK.
Quiero hacer una cita con el doctor. I want to make an appointment with the doctor.
The Spanish word cita is a powerful word that can mean appointment, meeting, and date depending on the context.
Regresa a verme en dos semanas. Come back and see me in 2 weeks.
¿Tienes un doctor familiar? Do you have a family doctor?
Esto no te va a doler. This won't hurt a bit.
Famous line from the doctor! A good example of expressing something that will (or won't) happen in the future.
¿Tiene tos? Do you have a cough?
¿Qué medicina toma? What medicine do you take?
¿Tiene fiebre? Do you have a fever?
¿Tiene escalofríos? Do you have chills?
¿Ha tenido dolor muscular? Have you have muscle pain?
¿Ha tenido dolor en los huesos? Have you have bone pain?
¿Ha tenido comezón? Have you had itching?
¿Está herido? Are you hurt? (male)
¿Donde le duele? Where is the pain?
¿Puede hablar? Can you talk?
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Notes in Spanish brings you free, fun, up-to-date and authentic Spanish audio conversations between Marina, a 'Madrileña', and her British husband Ben, who has lived in Spain for the last ten years. Although Ben is practically bilingual, he still makes the occasional mistake, which is when Marina's instant corrections are invaluable: they help correct the same mistakes most Spanish learners make all the time! It's a really useful learning experience.
There is a huge amount of free audio here for all levels from Beginner to Advanced, and a few paid supplementary materials with transcripts and exercises for those that are extra keen to make the most of the audio!
Start listening now over at Notes in Spanish: