bilingual bridges

Learning Spanish in Costa Rica – Part 1

Lucy Allan, Bilingual Bridges’ Marketing Assistant, is a senior at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. She is majoring in Elementary Education and Peace & Conflict Studies, and minoring in Spanish and Mild Intervention. From May 12 – June 1, 2019, Allan participated in Butler’s Spanish Immersion trip to Costa Rica. Part of this trip entailed learning Spanish through language classes at the ILISA Language School in San José, which she describes below as her first of a series of travel stories!

learning spanish costa rica“Tuesdays through Thursdays, we spent our afternoons working one-on-one with a private tutor at ILISA. Each week, we were assigned a new tutor so that we could work on understanding a variety of different accents.

During my second week in Costa Rica, I worked with Elizabeth, a university professor from San José who has been teaching Spanish for 19 years. We spent the first part of each session discussing what we had done that morning, our weekend plans, and hopes for the future – all in Spanish of course!

Throughout the three-hour session, we engaged in fun, interactive Spanish language activities. Two of my favorites were a Candy Land-style game and Boggle SLAM Cartas. For the first game, Elizabeth had created questions on each square that were to be read aloud; however, Boggle SLAM Cartas was my favorite. I was given 5 cards at a time that each had one letter; then, I was tasked to manipulate those letters to create new words in Spanish. (Click here  to see the game in action!)

At the end of the week, I completed an opinion-based presentation about how to create a better world. (Perfect for a Peace and Conflict Studies major!)

Working with a private tutor like Elizabeth was arguably the most advantageous language learning experience I’ve had. The lesson content was geared towards my needs and relevant to my interests. I loved it! I was no longer being forced to memorize vocabulary terms or complete grammar worksheets; I was building on what I could already do in a fun, engaging way.”

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