I'll write it after a long time.
If you plan to travel to Central America or South America and considering to learn Spanish, here is some information.
You might have heard about learning Spanish in Guatemala.I have heard many times specially after I told around that I will travel to South America.
Why is Guatemala known as good place to learn Spanish?
Why do you need to learn Spanish?
Why study Spanish?
In the first place, I had no intention of studying Spanish through class.
I was going to learn Spanish while I am traveling to South America.
That is I did for English.I do not speak perfect English but I believe that if I can communicate with people, that is good enough.
Before I started my trip to South America, when I was in Canada and travelling to Alaska, I have met many people who has been to South America.
I was recommended to study Spanish before going on a trip to South America.
At the same time, I was recommended for a Spanish school in Guatemala.Because it is cheap.
I haven't decided whether or not to take classes after that, so I decided to start this travel from Guatemala.Guatemala is not South America though.
My plan was if I felt that I need to study Spanish then take Spanish class.
Soon enough I arrived at Guatemala.
I found that people do not speak English or understand even a little.
Then I took the bus to Antigua and I was checking into hostel
the woman at reception speaks Only Spanish.
I had really tough time from airport to checking into hostel.
In this way, I decided to take a class for learning basics.
Looking for school
After I made my decision, I decided to find a school.
I started exploring the school while walking around the city of Antigua.
I was surprised that there are so many schools. I was just walking around and seeing many.No wonder why people told me things about Guatemala.
I was only asking the price, most of school were really nice.There was people speaks English and they explained me about many things like curriculum, event,,,,,
After a few hours of searching school, I went back to the hostel and thought about it.
I couldn't decide which school to go, so I decided to do an online research.
And I found tons of information I finally realized how famous it is.
The reason is, as I heard it's cheap.
When you study Spanish, it is relatively easy to understand the Spanish that Guatemalans speak.It seems to be a side of the pronunciation, too.
Many people from all over the world come to Guatemala to learn Spanish
There were too much information on internet.I am not good to make decision on this stuff....
I stopped worring about it and relaxing for a few days,then I realized that I do not really like Antigua.
so decided to move to Quetzaltenango (Xela).
I had to make a decision soon, and I couldn't decide.
I found the hostel named "Taka House" that Japanese guy runs.It seemed famous between Japanese people.
I went there and told Taka san(owner) that I'm thinking about studying Spanish.
He asked me if I want to take short class just to see how it is.
Then He called a woman who is professional Spanish teacher and in 10 min She came over and I had an hour of class.
It didn't get worse than I thought because She speaks English.
My Spanish was totally beginner level, I decided to take class with this woman.
That's how I decided to study Spanish in Quetzaltenango.
Quetzaltenango, as known as Xela.I don't know why but It is easier anyway
It is the second largest city in Guatemala.
It is a place where you can live without any inconvenience.
I did not know that
Guatemala is quite famous for its poor security.
If you search it on google it will make you scare.
As for Xela, I didn't feel so dangerous after a month of living and seeing it.
In the middle of the night, there are a lot of strange people wandering around, but if the street is a big road, should not be problem.
I felt that it was safe if I paid attention around.
From my point of view, most people are friendly.
Prices for Spanish classes.
It's important here, isn't it?
at the "Taka House" where I took class,
20 hours + homestay per week Q1,100 (approx. $150)
20 hours Without Homestay Q650 (approx. $90)
Other schools were roughly Q35-Q45 per hour.
"Taka House" is relatively cheap.
while I was in Xela, the cheapest I heard was Q30 for an hour.
hope that price helps you consider.
The feeling of the class
It is said that this is completely different depending on the teacher.
For your information, I will introduce the feeling of the class that I had taken.
I discussed with my teacher how I wanted to study in the first class.
Examples for travel/ Spanish test/ Daily conversation level, etc.
I wanted to learn grammar well.
Daily conversation + a little grammar in the main flow.
I thought that it would be good to study grammar with a teacher, and then study it by myself.
Then it really started with the basic alphabet, numbers, greetings, and so on.
I went on and on with the feeling of the present form, the future form, the past tense, and the present completion.
The pace of progress was really good because She always looked at my understanding of the point and moved forward.
Plus I was given homework every day and had time to check and explain + questions at the beginning of the next day.
In my class, We spoke in Spanish and English 50/50
The reason why there is a English is the cause of me.
This is because there was a habit of running away to English as soon as Spanish did not come out.....
Looking back now, I think it was just right.
At Taka House
There are several teachers
teachers are used to teaching Japanese
some of them speaks English as well
There are a lot of Japanese teaching materials.English one too not many though.
Try studying for about a month.
At first I was going to study only for a few weeks.
There were two personal happenings, and as a result, I studied Spanish for about a month.
4 hours a day, 20 hours a week for the first week
After that, I took three hours a day and 15 hours a week.
Other people usually work 20 hours a week and 25 hours at other schools、、、
It may sound not good enough
but to me,It was perfect.Not long or short.
In about a month, the grammar aspect has finished almost everything.If it's perfectly in my head...
Even if you learn only grammar, it's no use learning it.I think that there is a person who thinks, too.
That's right.Speaking doesn't catch up at all as far as what I learned in grammar.
However, I can now have a conversation that is good enough for traveling + everyday conversations and conversations with little content.
After that, I just want to continue studying by myself.
I will update more things about Xela.