1.- When will the courses start?

Immersion courses begin every Monday and finish on Fridays six months a year (from October 15th through April 15th) with the exception of the week on which Christmas falls). Students typically stay for 1 to 6 weeks and some even longer!

2.- Can I decide to extend the length of my stay once I arrive?

Yes, students often like to take a week or two of classes and then decide if they would like to commit to staying longer. We can almost always accommodate students to stay for additional week with the classes. With home stays, however, if you do not book the full amount of time you would like to stay in advance, there may be other reservations that would interfere with you being able to extend your home stay, especially during our high seasons which is November through March.

3.- What do students do on their first day?

Students participate in a one-hour orientation on the first day, where they will take an oral assessment to determine their Spanish level, receive an orientation of the school and methodology and pay for the balance of their course. After the orientation, students will return to the school later that same day to start their first day of class.

4.- What is the teaching method you use?

We use a natural methodology where the focus is not on learning grammar or on rote memorization of vocabulary. The goal is to practice listening and speaking in a natural, fun, engaging and painless way and move you to fluency naturally and quickly! We provide our own specially designed workbooks and Cds for our students, using the natural approach, that provide a wealth of activities and exercises to improve your Spanish quickly.

5. – What kind of activities do you do in your classes?

Classes are organized by themes. Beginning classes focus on survival, everyday Spanish, whereas the intermediate and advanced classes focus on specialized topics, including cultural, historical and current event issues. Students will have conversations, read and discuss articles or short excerpts, translate text, do repeating and listening exercises, and do some daily writing which will be corrected by the teachers. Students will also enjoy learning some traditional Mexican songs, like “Las Manañitas” (the Happy Birthday song), see short video clips, and play games.

6. – Is there required homework?

It is highly recommended that students listen to the Cd that they will get with their course materials 20 to 30 minutes a day, as we believe the true key to learning a second language is listening, listening, listening! It is also suggested that each student keep a short diary to practice writing daily.

7.- Are all your teachers qualified?

Our teachers are the cream of the crop in the area. Most of them are also teachers in the public schools and hold their B.A. or advanced degrees. We also have tutors, which are teachers in training, who assist our teachers or teach small classes of 1 to 2 persons. Our tutors are also cream of the crop and many are as pleased with the tutors as they are with the teachers!

8.- Do you offer college credit to US students?

Currently we do not offer college credit, but do provide you with a certificate upon completing your course. Your certificate of completion will be presented to you on the last day of your course.

9.- What is the average age of students in your school?

We have a wide range in ages of students who attend La Catalina School. Typically our students tend to be in their 40’s, 50’s or 60’s, but we do often get backpackers who find us in the Lonely Planet Guide, teachers, college-age students, grad students, teenagers, and families as well.

10.- Are there group discounts?

Yes, we do give discounts for groups of 6 or more persons. Please email us with an estimate of how many people will be in your group and we will let you know what your discount will be.

11.-How do I get to La Manzanilla?

The most comfortable way to arrive to La Manzanilla is to fly into the the Manzanillo international airport (ZLO). You will then be able to catch a cab from the airport, for a comfortable 45-minute ride to La Manzanilla. One of our staff members can also pick you at the ZLO airport up for the same cost that you would pay for a taxi (approx. $55US). Just email us 3-4 days prior to your arrival day to arrange this with us. Students can also fly into Puerto Vallarta (PVR) or Guadalajara airport and take a bus San Patricio Melaque or Barra de Navidad, where they would then catch a taxi to take them to La Manzanilla.

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