spanish immersion programsSpanish Programs

Our programs offer students the opportunity to learn
Spanish and to discover our culture first hand

These programs include:
Intensive Spanish classes, Homestay with carefully selected Costa Rican Families, afternoon Latin Dance, Costa Rican Cooking and Conversation classes, 24-hour airport transportation upon arrival, excursions and cultural activities.

Class schedules are flexible. We offer diverse programs and the opportunity to design your own schedule.

  • OPEN ENROLLMENT: Courses are offered year round. New classes start on Mondays every week of the year.
  • SHORT & LONG TERM COURSES: You may choose the length of the program (from one week up to six months).
  • HOURS OF INSTRUCTION: With any of our programs you may select as many hours of Spanish instruction per day as you wish.
  • SMALL GROUPS: Spanish classes are offered in small groups with an average of 3-4 students (max. 6). Individual classes and special packages for groups are also available.


At the Academy we believe that only things that are interesting, functional, and fun to do can be learned 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.

spanish lesson in the classroomOur methodology calls for active participation from our students. Our practical courses enable 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 language as a whole; therefore, our methodology takes into account its different components: grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, cultural understanding and pragmatic use.


Class schedules are flexible. We offer diverse programs and the opportunity to design your own schedule. Students may also choose to supplement their group classes with additional private lessons.

Our Spanish classes usually consist of 3 to 4 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 steps for reaching his/her language goals.

spanish class with one of our teacher

spanish class

We provide four levels of instruction:

Beginners I, II & III
Intermediate I, II & III
Advanced I, II & III
Specialized courses
beginner spanish class

Beginner Level
Beginner's course 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 Beginning student, you will study basic sentence structures, learn everyday vocabulary and develop the ability to clearly communicate basic ideas in Spanish.

intermediate spanish classIntermediate Level
The intermediate course is divided into Intermediate I, II & 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 Leveladvanced spanish class
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.

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.


According to 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.

specialized technical coursesSpecialized Courses
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.
specialized spanish teacher program

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


student university credit
Many of our students have received college credit for their studies at CRLA. Most of these students come on their own and apply forcredit independently at different universities in the U.S., Canada andEurope. This is usually the most economical option.

In order to meet the requirements for credit we provide students and universities with the following documents:
- Confirmation of enrollment
- After completing the course: a certificate of attendance and a letter stating the Spanish level and type of course received.
- A transcript of their grades, including the total amount of hours completed.

Usually, students who are applying for credit must first have approval from their university prior to beginning studies at CRLA. Most institutions also require that students take a final exam and receive an evaluation of their work & progress during the course. However, each university or college has a somewhat different system for granting credit so if a student is interested in this option, we can work with their Spanish or Study Abroad department to set up a program that will meet their specific credit requirements.
university credit

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.
costa rican family

With any of our programs you may select as many classroom hours per day as you wish. Please see the enclosed 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.

CLASSES BY THE HOUR (without Homestay)
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 the enclosed 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 (every day from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. and 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.)
  • Cooking classes (Wednesdays from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.)
  • Conversation classes (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 - 5:00 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 conversation classes and the school's friendly atmosphere also provide additional opportunities for conversation.

spanish immersion studentschool activity

In addition to activities and classes with the school, students may also participate in activities outside the Academy during their free time such as:
  • visits to museums and markets located close to the Academy
  • night outings to local discotheques and dance clubs accompanied by our dance instructors.
  • night outings to restaurants, bars and theaters located near the Academy
  • weekend excursions to beaches, rain forests, volcanoes and National Parks
surfing in costa rica

FIRST DAY OF CLASS Students learning spanish in the academy
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 the Academy 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.**

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 .40 cents) 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 (taxis are also cheap: about US $4 - $8).


Toll-free: 1 (866) 230 6361 (in the US)
Tel: +(506) 2280-1685, 2280-1739, 2280-5834
Fax: +(506) 2280-2548
E-mail: /

© Copyright 2007
     Author: Laura Cordero