Spanish F.A.Q.

  1. Why should I study in Ecuador?

    Ecuador is not only a beautiful country with warm and friendly people, but the Spanish spoken in Quito is considered to be one of the clearest forms of Spanish in Latin America. Ecuador contains a stunning wealth of cultural and biological diversity for such a small country. Quito is a UNESCO-declared World Heritage Site with a well preserved and beautiful historic center. It also has a thriving modern center and offers a great variety of cultural activities and night life for the inquisitive and fun-loving tourist.
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  2. What other services does the school offer to its students?

    We organize regular social activities for our students and see this as an important aspect of your visit to Ecuador. Activities include free salsa classes, cooking classes, movie nights, excursions to cultural activities and football matches, and fun nights out. Wireless internet access is available for students at the school when a computer is available at no charge, or bring your own laptop and connect to our network. We also rent out cell phones so that you can keep in touch with us in case of emergency.
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  3. What are the costs for additional services?

    Our weekend excursions vary in price. We arrange these as a service to students rather than to make money, so we aim to cover the costs and keep our prices as low as possible. Costs for weeknight get-togethers vary depending on the cost of the activity.
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  4. How long will it take for me to gain the ability to communicate in Spanish?

    This varies according to the student, but normally, our students can learn basic Spanish communication skills in three to four weeks. The minimum requirement to receive a diploma from the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education is 240 hours or 12 weeks of regular Spanish classes. After this time, most people can expect a high level of proficiency in the language.
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  5. What types of Spanish classes does Yanapuma offer?

    Our basic classes are 4 hours per day of one on one instruction. We can provide group lessons of between 2 and 4 students on request. We offer several customized options detailed on this website for those wanting a bit more (or less) than our standard offerings, such as our Quito Cultural package. We try to be as flexible as possible, tailoring our offerings to the needs and wishes of the student. We also offer a wide variety of "Study and Travel" options that include adventure, culture and nature in various forms. See our "Study and Travel" page for details. And if you are interested in volunteering we have our "Volunteer Quito" package.
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  6. What is your teaching philosophy in class?

    We have developed a methodology based on the best theories in language acquisition, with communication as a base. This means less focus on drilling grammar and more time devoted to the different modalities through which a language is learned and expressed - reading, writing, listening, and talking. The mix of activities that this generates during class keeps things fresh and interesting, and results in a much more natural learning process than the old-fashioned "grammar drill."
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  7. Do you offer classes outside of Quito?

    Yes. You can study in small Ecuadorian communities, or choose one of our packages to study at the Coast, in the Sierra or in the Amazon regions of Ecuador. We can also arrange customized programs of study in other areas of Ecuador with one of our professors. See the Spanish Study and Travel page for details.
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  8. What class materials are included? Do I need to buy any materials?

    All basic materials for your Spanish classes are included, including a series of workbooks that we have developed that reflect our methodology and a free notebook. You only need to purchase pen or pencil for notes.
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  9. What are the schedules for classes? Are they flexible?

    Our normal class schedule is from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM and from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. We can arrange different customized schedules according to the needs of the student.
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  10. How can I pay for my classes?

    You can pay by electronic transfer, in cash, or with credit card. See our Payment Options document for more details. You can either pay us before you come, or when you are here, either in a lump sum or pay as you go.
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  11. What is your cancellation or refund policy? Is there a registration fee?

    We charge a $25 fee, but this is not for registration. Rather it is a direct donation to the work of our foundation, helping to provide scholarships for secondary education for underpriviliged children in two indigenous communities. Our refund policy is to withhold an administrative fee for cancelled classes. For apartment accommodation with Yanapuma we cannot refund because we rent it by the month and cannot find a replacement if a student decides to move out without notice. For apartment accommodation with other hosts you will need to discuss this with your host.
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  12. When do I have to pay for classes?

    You can pay by the week at the start of each week. Or you can pay us all at once, or with an advance. We ask that payment be made in advance for each week of classes taken as a rule.
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  13. What if I am not happy with my classes?

    We urge you to talk to us if for any reason you are not happy, at the earliest moment, to see if we can reorganize everything for you. Very occassionally we find that there is not a good chemistry between a student and a particular teacher, and we are open to helping to sort out this type of problem quickly. Good two-way communication is essential.
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  14. Do the teachers speak English?

    Yes, all speak basic English. However, during class, our teachers will use English only when necessary, and encourage our students to never use English.
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  15. How do I arrive at the school from the airport?

    A new airport was opened for Quito in March of 2013. This is much further from the city than the old airport. There are several options for arriving at your accommodation or at the Spanish school. These will be sent to you upon registration confirmation and we will be happy to help you arrange transfer from the new airport.
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  16. Do I need a certain level of Spanish before starting classes?

    No. We receive many students with no knowledge of Spanish when they arrive.
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  17. Do you teach at all levels?

    Yes, we teach from absolute beginners to advanced students. We have teachers who can prepare you for the DELE exam too.
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