Classroom by the Ocean...
Learn Spanish Costa Rica Style!


Today it was off to learn Spanish Costa Rica style!... right next to the ocean on the Nicoya Peninsula, in easily - one of the most beautiful parts of the country.

Motorcycling it out past the entrance to the Montezuma Waterfalls - no less than a minute later... I'd arrived at Proyecto Montezuma.

A private volunteer organization - Proyecto - founded by Vill Benavides Ramirez and Kerri Bowers - began with the premise of providing free English classes to local students in need...

Learn Spanish Costa Rica Proyecto Montezuma
Proyecto Montezuma - Learn Spanish... Right on the Ocean!

And a number of years later - today they offer not just free English lessons, but Spanish classes, surfing lessons, various tours around the Nicoya, and also...

Learn Spanish Costa Rica Vill and Kerri
Kerri & Vill - Your Teachers!

The opportunity to become TEFL certified - qualification to teach English as a foreign language...

Just about anywhere in the world!

...

Well, arrival was just in time...

A beginner-level Spanish class soon to start, Vill was ready to take to the white board - a review of some basic Spanish... words, basic phrases, and verbs... really helpful to anyone looking to make the move to become a full-on Spanish speaker.

Invited to take part in today's lesson - I invite you to join in too!

Please read on to learn more...








Learn Spanish Costa Rica Style!

It's hard to get around it - environment plays a pretty big role, in just how enjoyable the learning process is.

Learn Spanish Costa Rica Sign and Flowers
This is the Classroom! :-)

And no wonder I'm stressing this now...

Here at Proyecto Montezuma - situated right next to the ocean...

Surrounded by palm trees, flowers, birds - lava rock lining the shore...

It puts you ease - immediately.

Relaxed and ready to learn!

And yes - plenty of learning going on today...

Richie, a beginner-level Spanish student - was going through a bit of a review with Vill and Kerri...

Learn Spanish Costa Rica Richie
Left to Right... Kerri, Richie and Vill

And following along with the review - it was nice to see, not just how attentive and patient Vill and Kerri are while teaching...

But also...

The way the information was taught...

Learn Spanish Costa Rica the Verb To Be
In Spanish - There are Two Different Instances of the Verb 'To Be'

A great example - something anyone new to the class will learn early on - is understanding the verb(s!) - to Be.

In Spanish - unlike English - there are two forms of the verb to Be.

And so yes, it really helps early on... to have a good grasp on when and how you should use each one - Ser and Estar.

For example...

Learn Spanish Costa Rica Examples of the Verb To Be
Try Matching the English Sentences (Left) with the Spanish Ones (Right)

Matching the various English sentences on the left - to the appropriate Spanish sentences on the right - you get a feel for why we'd use Ser - as opposed to Estar.

The ring is mine / El anillo es mío - for example - indicates possession. And by rule - in Spanish... possession - my, your, their, our, etc - calls for using the verb Ser.

Learning basic things like this, part of the program at Proyecto... really helps the transition to speaking better Spanish, all the easier.

...

On to some basic phrases now... any idea what these Spanish sentences mean in English?

Learn Spanish Costa Rica Expressions Spanish
Some Basic Classroom Expressions in Spanish...

Here they are again - in English...

Learn Spanish Costa Rica Expressions English
...Along with Their English Counterparts

Recounting the lesson with Richie, I can see just how important it is - keeping everything nice and simple, a pace that's easy to follow along at.

Was a pleasure to take part in, and again...

Learn Spanish Costa Rica View Right
Your Classroom Looks Out to This!

...in such an amazing place to learn! :-)

The lesson finishing up, next - I caught up with Regina, a student at Proyecto Montezuma, two weeks into their TEFL program...




Become an English Teacher in Costa Rica

Catching up with Regina Gooding, a student in the Proyecto Montezuma TEFL program for two weeks now... it was a chance to learn more on how to become a certified English teacher...

The opportunity to teach English in Costa Rica - or anywhere in the world for that matter!...

Learn Spanish Costa Rica TEFL
Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Costa Rica

Recounting her experiences here in Costa Rica...

It was a trip to Montezuma last summer... taking in the beauty of this amazing place, as well as meeting up with Vill & Kerri for the first time...

That planted a seed.

Learn Spanish Costa Rica Amanda and Regina
With TEFL Students, Amanda and Regina

Back on the Rich Coast an entire year later, Regina was saying how a job teaching English - would be an excellent opportunity.

As she put it...

It's a chance to make a huge difference in someone else's life, while at the very same time...

...gaining a deeper insight to Costa Rican culture - living and working here, a member of the community...

Learn Spanish Costa Rica Class
Making a Difference

Going on about the program itself - all 120 hours of it... Regina went over some details of the TEFL program.

For example...

  • There are over 60 hours of real teaching at nearby schools.
  • The program includes formal training, lesson planning, and observed practice training.
  • It includes peer observation, as well as feedback sessions - a chance to realistically gauge your performance and improvement as a teacher.
  • Classes run 30 hours each week, from 10:30am to 4:30pm - 4 weeks in total.

    And of course - at the very end of it all...

  • You receive an internationally recognized TEFL certificate - allowing you teach English as a foreign language in Costa Rica, and many other parts of the world.

Explaining on...

Over and above the benefits of taking the program itself - Regina stressed... it's the people and the environment that truly cement it all together.

Learn Spanish Costa Rica Beach
Montezuma Beach

It's like one big family.

Vill, Kerri, the other students, and myself...

We do all sorts of cool things outside of class. A hike to the waterfalls, day at the beach...

...even the odd weekend excursion.

And Montezuma - being the small, quaint town that it is - makes it easy to get to know people - making new friends along the way.

Reflecting back on her story, and actually seeing her in person - living it up here in Montezuma - acquiring invaluable skills and knowledge along the way - I have to agree...

What an awesome experience!