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Spanish Language Schools — Oaxaca City, Oaxaca


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Oaxaca is a popular destination to study Spanish, with many established schools to choose from. Most schools offer conversation-based classes with a small number of students taught at a variety of levels from beginner to advanced; although, one-on-one instruction between student and teacher -- a more expensive option -- is often available. Most schools stress speaking Spanish immediately, even in beginners classes, with an emphasis on performing basic linguistic functions such as asking for directions, discussing feelings, making suggestions, and apologizing for minor faux pas. Many schools offer general Spanish classes for children or specialty classes that focus on the jargon of a particular professional field or activity like health care, education, social work, business, teaching Spanish, law enforcement, public safety, traveling, volunteer work, tourism, and literature.

An excellent way to practice and improve Spanish skills, regardless of expertise, is through one-on-one conversation with a patient and helpful native Spanish speaker. Intercambio is an equal exchange of time and expertise in native tongues between an English and a Spanish speaker. Generally, there is some fixed amount of time for conversing in Spanish and then for an equal amount of time in English. Most schools offer intercambio conversations, usually with students or professionals wanting to improve their English. Also, don't be surprised if, while walking in the Centro Histórico, a local college or high school student approaches you wanting to practice their English. Time permitting, be open to these encounters. You can often turn them into impromptu intercambios, trading their help in Spanish with yours in English.

In order to provide a deeper understanding of Oaxacan and Méxican culture and additional opportunities to converse in Spanish, a lot of schools offer extracurricular activities and workshops like dancing, weaving, cooking, film, and day trips. For those predisposed to academic study, a few schools offer Latin American Studies courses in subjects like art, writing, literature, history, politics, and economics.

Classes usually run from Monday to Friday and begin in the morning. However, some schools offer class starting times that begin throughout the day. Most schools charge a fixed rate for a week of study. These rates usually decrease progressively the longer the student studies. Beware upfront non-refundable registration fees and instructional material costs not included in the published course price. These can be significant -- be sure to inquire and consider them before agreeing to anything.

Spanish language departments in universities often have exchange programs with schools abroad. For university students, this can be an easy way to find a good school and receive college credit. If a school you are considering is not pre-accepted through a university exchange program, check with your department beforehand to see if they will accept credit from it.

Schools will almost always either book accommodations for students or offer helpful suggestions of places to stay nearby. Many schools offer inexpensive homestays where the student lives with a local family and speaks only Spanish. Some or all meals are usually included and the student is given a private room. Living with a Spanish speaking Méxican family while attending Spanish language school complements the classroom experience and is a good way to make quick progress.

Most schools have websites with detailed information on courses, costs, and extracurricular activities and are a good starting point for research.



Instituto de Comunicación y Cultura   Spanish Language School     (X)
General Spanish language courses are conversation-based and taught at multiple levels from beginner to advanced. The school also offers a full curriculum of specialized Spanish courses in health care, business, phonics, writing, reading, translation, literature, and Latin American studies. Some universities accept credit from the Institute. Be sure to check with yours beforehand. Extracurricular activities and workshops include intercambio, writing, tropical dance, and Oaxacan weaving and cooking. Homestays, posadas, hotels, rooms, apartments, and houses are available.

  • Escaleras del Fortín 105, walk up the stairs from Crespo, on the left;  Cerro del Fortín;  15/20 hrs wk,  USD$150/200 wk,  registration USD$50;  phone/fax 951-501-2359;  www.iccoax.com;  info@www.iccoax.com.  


Becari Language School   Spanish Language Schools     (B)
Located in a two hundred year old colonia-era building, Becari offers general Spanish language classes taught at multiple levels from beginner to advanced. Additionally, they offer a full curriculum in Spanish of specialized courses in health care, volunteering, social work, business, children, and literature. Extracurricular activities and workshops include intercambio, day trips, salsa dancing, ceramics, art, film, and Oaxacan and Méxican cooking. Homestays, hotels, and apartments are available.


Academia Vinigulaza   Spanish Language Schools     (C)
Offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced conversation-based general Spanish language courses as well as Spanish language classes for children. Extracurricular activities and workshops include intercambio, day trips, Oaxacan cooking, salsa dancing, painting, weaving, and other arts & crafts. Studio and bungalow apartments and homestays are available.


Solexico   Spanish Language Schools     (D)
The school is located in a beautiful colonial building with a large center courtyard where students congregate during breaks. General Spanish language courses are conversation-based and taught at multiple levels from beginner to advanced. Additionally, they offer a full curriculum in Spanish of specialized courses in health care, business, tourism, teaching Spanish, and law enforcement. Extracurricular activities and workshops include intercambio, day trips, Oaxacan cooking, arts & crafts, salsa, Méxican songs, and social events. There are two other Solexico Spanish language schools in México: Soléxico Playa del Carmen and Solexico Puerto Vallarta. Homestays, apartments, houses, and hotels are available.


Oaxaca International   Spanish Language Schools     (E)
Offers grammar and conversation-based general Spanish language classes and a full curriculum in Spanish of specialized courses in children's Spanish, health care, criminal justice, public safety, education, business, hospitality business, traveling, and volunteer work. Extracurricular activities and workshops include intercambio, day trips, Oaxacan cooking, and salsa, cumbia, and merengue dancing. Homestays are available.


Centro de Idiomas   Spanish Language School     (F)
The Centro de Idiomas (Language Center) offers six levels of general Spanish language classes — from beginner to advanced — all conversation-based, along with an extensive selection of Latin American Studies courses in art, writing, literature, history, politics, and economics. Associated with the University of Oaxaca Benito Juárez, the Center is housed off the main campus in a 1960s government-style school building five blocks south of the Zócalo Because of their affiliation with the University, courses taken here are good candidates for transfer towards university credit. Be sure to check with your university beforehand. Extracurricular activities and workshops include intercambio, Oaxacan folk art and cooking, and day trips. Homestays, posadas, and studio apartments are available.


Español Interactivo   Spanish Language School     (G)
Offers conversation-based general Spanish language courses and a full curriculum in Spanish of specialized courses in children's Spanish, health care, law enforcement, education, social work, and tourism. Extracurricular activities and workshops include: day trips, Oaxacan cooking and weaving, day trips, playing the marimba, film, and salsa, cumbia and merengue dance. Homestays, apartments, and hotels are available.


Instituto Cultural Oaxaca   Spanish Language School     (L)
The Institutes's campus is a former 19th century mansion where classes are sometimes held outside on its spacious, landscaped grounds and arched terraces. Their multilevel (beginner, intermediate, advanced) general Spanish language program is ambitious, with seven hours a day of instruction, conversation, and cultural workshops. For the less hardcore, programs with fewer hours are available. Additionally, they offer a full curriculum in Spanish of specialized courses in business, health care, and teaching Spanish as well as a course in Spanish for children. Extracurricular activities and workshops include intercambio, day trips, Oaxacan and Méxican history, music, film, ceramics, cooking, textile weaving, painting, kites, masks, piñatas, and salsa and merengue dancing. Homestays, posadas, and apartments are available.


Xcanda Spanish Institute   Spanish Language School     (M)
The school follows an immersion approach in their general Spanish language courses, homestays available.


Oaxaca Ventura   Spanish Language School     (N)
Oaxaca Ventura is a new school with experienced teachers that offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced conversation-based general Spanish language classes. Check their website for rates, times, as well as other specifics.


Amigos del Sol   Spanish Language School     (O)
Located in the San Felipe del Agua neighborhood, a ten minute drive north of the Centro Histórico, Amigos del Sol offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced grammar and conversation-based general Spanish language classes. Extracurricular activities and workshops include intercambio, day trips, and Oaxacan cooking classes. For convenience, there is a daily shuttle service from El Llano park (Pino Suárez 802) to the school. See their website for shuttle details. Homestays, bed & breakfasts, and hostels are available.


Oaxaca Spanish Magic   Spanish Language School     (W)
Offers beginner and advanced conversation-based general Spanish language courses, as well as Spanish language classes for children and Spanish specialty courses in business, medicine, and law. Extracurricular activities include intercambio, day trips, Oaxacan cooking, and arts & crafts. Homestays and apartments available.


Oaxaca Lending Library   Library     (J)
Privately run library with thousands of books in English and Spanish. Short-term memberships are available. Free intercambio every Saturday from 10 am - 12 noon, just show up at 10 am to participate.


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