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Lengua Rica: Certified Spanish Language Instruction




WINTER 2014 

Prepare yourself for Spanish immersion, cultural exploration, and lots of fun in the sun!

    Group Trip 2014

  • Dates: Sunday 12 January to Sunday 19 January 2014
  • Cost: $850
  • Includes: Accommodations, food (during homestay) Spanish instruction/activities/experiences, and general guide/coordinator sorts of services
  • Does not include: Cost of travel to or within Costa Rica or food (outside of homestay)
  • Group size limit: 10


  • Day 1: Arrive in San José (Alajuela really) get settled
  • Day 2: Tour and activities in Alajuela (a small and accessible city)
  • Day 3: Travel north to San Carlos (Ciudad Quesada and San Vicente) and activities
  • Day 4: Projects and activities in San Vicente (small farm community) and meet host families
  • Day 5: Continue projects and activities in San Vicente and spend time with host families. Go to hot springs.
  • Day 6: Travel to Playa Hermosa via Arenal volcano area and activities.
  • Day 7: Hang out at beach and/or in town and activities
  • Day 8: Head back to Alajuela or fly out of Liberia (NW airport)
  • "Activities" means Spanish instruction, scavenger hunts, man-on-the-street interviews, hot springs soaking, coffee drinking, exotic fruit tasting, bus taking, latin dancing and other fun stuff. 
  • We will take public transportation and students will be encouraged to sit next to Costa Rican nationals and strike up a conversation. 
  • Some knowledge of Spanish required.
  • Please contact us if you are interested.

Customized Trip

Your time with us can be a week long or longer during January, February or March 2014. We pick you up at the airport (SJO) and rest one night then we go by bus up north to San Carlos. This is an opportunity for you to get to chat with a native for a couple of hours. In the hillside village of San Vicente, you stay with a host family, giving you plentiful opportunity to converse in Spanish and learn about Costa Rican culture. Ethan and/or Isabella will give you 1-2 hours of daily tutoring. In addtion, you will have the option of doing daily volunteer work, possibly in the village or in the nearby city of Ciudad Quesada. Hikes, a visit to a hot springs, and a visit Arenal volcano are also options.

If you decide to go have further adventures like go to the beach or a national park, we can help you arrange that.
  • First week: $850
  • Includes (same as Group Trip): Accommodations, food (during homestay) Spanish instruction/activities/experiences, and general guide/coordinator sorts of services
  • Does not include: Cost of travel to or within Costa Rica or food (outside of homestay)
  • Subsequent weeks: $700
  • Please contact us if you are interested.
  • What participants are saying:

    "The trip that my wife and I made to Costa Rica with [Lengua Rica] took the two-dimensional Spanish we had been studying in the classroom and made it a three-dimensional language by giving it a cultural context. We would recommend this trip to anyone who wants to experience Spanish within the cultural context of those to whom Spanish is their native language. The richness of the language is embodied in the warmth of the people who speak it. "
    ---Bill Batstone, Costa Rica Trip 2007
    "There is a saying that 'the traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.' If that is true, the Lengua Rica trip to Costa Rica is not for tourists. The Lengua Rica trip is for people with a traveler's mindset looking for an authentic experience; for a cultural and language exchange. My thoughts and emotions were always active when I was in Costa Rica. I never felt like a passive outsider watching "others", even while on bus rides through the countryside. Instead, for a week, I was a participant in Costa Rican life."
    ---Kathleen O'Brien, Costa Rica Trip 2010

    "I'd been studying Spanish with Lengua Rica for several sessions and was looking for a way to really intensely immerse myself in the language. The trip to Costa Rica was just the thing.  Ethan and Isa designed the trip to maximize the amount of interaction we had with Ticos.   We stayed in a wonderful farm community in the mountains, welcomed with friendship, fresh and delicious food, and nonstop conversations in Spanish. By the end of this stay we were even making up puns and jokes in Spanish.  We also had the opportunity to see much of the northern part of the countryside, traveling by bus through beautiful scenery, conversing with our seatmates in Spanish all the way. And our beach stay was a place where Costa Rican tourists go. Foreign   tourism is a big part of the Costa Rican economy now and it is possible to take a trip there without ever speaking Spanish or really talking with Ticos.  But with Lengua Rica, we were immersed in the culture, the language and the land.  It was a great week."
    ---Linda Rubin, Costa Rica Trip 2010

    "Thanks for a fantastic trip. Loved the conversations with Jose Manuel [the owner of Hotel Pacandé]—very charming—that man could get a sack of rocks to talk. He was sincerely enjoyable company and very patient with my rusty grammar. The couple of days in Alajuela—loved the market scavenger hunt... could have done more of that. The market workers were the most friendly ever. Thank you for the opportunity to step up with a task and get local with the locals. I adored the days we spent in San Vicente... Having to speak in Spanish with [the] entire family was a true treasure—they were so patient and helpful... I loved every minute of it. I treasured the gift the folks in San Vicente offered to welcome our group with open arms and tons of patience (the welcoming karaoke, tours, etc).... There's nothing to compare to living in someone's house, sharing their space, conversing in their language, and coming to a common respect and caring. "
    ---Kara Steward, Costa Rica Trip 2012

    "I liked the variety (not staying in one place the whole time). I liked not being a tourist..., I liked the time spent in San Vicente with regular families..., I liked traveling in a small group because of the fun, positive interactions among ourselves, the hot springs was super nice, I liked being pushed to speak Spanish more... and more. I also really liked riding the bus. "
    ---Ruth Middlebrook, Costa Rica Trip 2012

    Lengua Rica


    Adult group classes normally run for 8 weeks and meet once a week for two hours each class.
    The cost of attending classes includes materials and is
    The per-class drop-in rate is

    April-May 2014


    (course: Amarillo)

        Sundays Starting 13 April 06:30-08:30 PM
    or Wednesdays (AM class) Starting 16 April 10:00 AM-Noon
    or Wednesdays Starting 16 April 06:30-08:30 PM
    or Fridays Starting 18 April 06:30-08:30 PM


    (course: Anaranjado)

        Tuesdays Starting 15 April 06:30-08:30 PM

    Advanced Intermediate

        Mondays Starting 14 April 06:30-08:30 PM


        Thursdays Starting 17 April 11:30 AM-01:30 PM
    or Thursdays Starting 17 April 06:30-08:30 PM

    June-August 2014


    (course: Carbón)

        Wednesdays (AM class) Starting 18 June 10:00 AM-Noon
    or Wednesdays Starting 18 June 06:30-08:30 PM


    (course: Esmeralda)

        Tuesdays (AM class) Starting 17 June 10:00 AM-Noon
    or Tuesdays Starting 17 June 06:30-08:30 PM

    Advanced Intermediate

        Mondays Starting 16 June 10:00 AM-Noon
    or Mondays Starting 16 June 06:30-08:30 PM


        Thursdays Starting 19 June 11:30 AM-01:30 PM
    or Thursdays Starting 19 June 06:30-08:30 PM



    (course: Azul)

        Wednesdays (AM class) Starting 20 August 10:00 AM-Noon
    or Wednesdays Starting 20 August 06:30-08:30 PM


    (course: Celeste)

        Tuesdays (AM class) Starting 19 August 10:00 AM-Noon
    or Tuesdays Starting 19 August 06:30-08:30 PM

    Advanced Intermediate

        Mondays Starting 18 August 10:00 AM-Noon
    or Mondays Starting 18 August 06:30-08:30 PM


        Thursdays Starting 21 August 11:30 AM-01:30 PM
    or Thursdays Starting 21 August 06:30-08:30 PM


    Starts mid-October

    All classes are held in the studio at
    303 10th Ave. SE
    Lengua Rica

    Registration for regular adult classes

    To register for an adult group class (that is to say, to reserve a spot), we require a non-refundable $30 deposit. (Deposits are applied to tuition.)
    • Checks should be made out to "Lengua Rica."
    • Please indicate which class, day, and time you are registering for.
    • Include your name, phone number, and email address
    • Mail your check to:
    Class Deposits
    Lengua Rica
    P.O. Box 806
    Olympia WA 98507

    If your desired class is starting in less than a week, you should drop off your deposit at the Downtown Olympia post office (98501). That way it will be sure to get to us by the next day. Prospective students can also just show up on the first day of class and hope that there is room for them: there sometimes is.

    Determination of level

    Please converse with us before deciding you are ready for our intermediate or advanced classes!

    In order to determine in which level students belong, we talk with them over the phone or in person. We get a sense of their vocabulary and how well they put words together. It just takes a minute or so. In the rare event that we place a student in the wrong level, there is no problem if he or she wants to switch level. Prospective students are also welcome to sit in on a class with no obligation. Please contact us and we will arrange for you to do so.

    Private classes

    Private classes can be arranged by calling or emailing us. For individuals, we charge $50/hour (prorated). Private group classes cost $75/hour (for the whole group) with a class maximum of 15 students. Scheduling is flexible.

    "A challenging, yet safe, supportive, and FUN atmosphere."
    -- Cherie Beckstrom, Labor & Industries
    Lengua Rica


    "I think your teaching methods are fantastic!"
    --Jessicarae Núñez, Quattro Studio

    Materials and content used in class are full of realistic, authentic language. Class activities address a variety of learning styles. We strive to create an engaging, fun, and relaxed atmosphere so that students enjoy themselves and are motivated to learn.

    "Such a wonderful experience and class atmosphere!"
    --Seth Kirby, Program Director Oasis Youth Center, Tacoma
    "Students are challenged to think deeper about ways to express themselves using Spanish. I was surprised at the advances I made in only a short period of time."
    --Jennifer Yamahuna

    Class size can be as small as six, but never larger than sixteen. There are four distinct courses at the beginning level and seven courses at the intermediate level. Courses at the advanced level vary widely from session to session depending on students' interests.

    "If you are in Olympia this is the place to learn to speak Spanish: 100% Spanish -- it's the way to go. Ethan is a patient, innovative & entertaining teacher."
    --Sienna Potts, Sienna Moonfire Designs

    We use traditional, popular, and original songs (check out our CD). In addition, students write their own songs, their own dialogues, perform role plays, read books in Spanish written for Spanish speakers and talk about them with their classmates.

    In our classes, we emphasize the importance of communication over perfection. Students are evaluated by comparing each individual with his or her own past work. We give students many and varied opportunities to demonstrate their progress so that they can see how far they've come and feel encouraged.

    We feel respected, included, engaged.... A class that is... accessible for students with differing learning styles."
    -- Maureen Considine, Take ChargeProgramManager, DSHS


    If you'd like to sit in on a class just to see what it's like, please contact us and we will arrange for you to do so.

    Lengua Rica


    Keep in mind: these items are not only "covered." Because we teach through immersion, students in our classes are constantly exposed to, and have ample opportunities to use, authentic Spanish. In truth, what's listed below is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Course Functional Language Objectives Grammar Objectives
    CARBÓN Greetings, farewells, food Definite and indefinite articles, demonstrative adjectives, the verbs SER and ESTAR, present progressive, how to express possession, and some important irregular verbs
    AZUL spatial relationships, family Regular verbs, negation, how to form questions, the irregular verbs QUERER, VENIR, DECIR, OÍR, and PODER.
    ROJO Describing things, body parts Adjectives, noun-modifier agreement, the verbs ser (to be), ir (to go), present progressive, demonstrative adjectives, and the prepostions POR and PARA.
    AMARILLO Shopping, numbers, time, days of the week, months, seasons The verb TENER (to have), TENER QUE (to have to), expressions that use TENER, regular verbs, pluralization, accents, possessive adjectives, negation, interrogative sentences
    Course Functional Language Objectives Grammar Objectives
    VERDE Asking for and giving directions, making complaints about goods and services Prepositions, stem-changing verbs, present and past tenses
    MORADO Talking about the future, the body Future tense of regular and irregular verbs, preterite tense of irregular verbs
    ANARANJADO Shopping, emergency situations Comparison of adjectives and adverbs, the intricacies of definite articles, verbs ending in -cir, -cer
    ESMERALDA Food, earth science Preterite and imperfect tenses
    CELESTE Talking about likes and dislikes, using direct and indirect object pronouns Using direct and indirect object pronouns, the verb gustar
    CAFÉ Commands, daily routines The imperative mood, reflexive constructions
    LAVANDA Health, talking about the past Preterite and imperfect tenses of regular and irregular verbs


    All classes are held in the studio at
    303 10th Ave. SE

    Spanish for kids through songs and games and silliness!

    To register for kids' classes
    , please contact us. Please include the name and age of you child.


    This level covers the gaps between our INTERMEDIATE classes and our ADVANCED discussion class. Students do weekly assigned readings (short stories, articles) and discuss them in class along with whatever other interesting topics arise. Grammar covered commonly includes the perfect tenses, progressive tenses, the subjunctive, the imperative, irregular verbs, prepositions, direct and indirect object pronouns, preposition use, and the passive voice.

    Advanced Intermediate courses feature readings on and discussions of a variety of contemporary issues such as Science vs. Art, Human Rights, Smoking, and Immigration, with supporting vocabulary lists and corresponding grammar units.

    OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2013: Reading and discussing excerpts from the book "Cajas de cartón" by Francisco Jiménez (ISBN 0618226168). Grammar will focus on the perfect tenses. Please contact us if you're interested.

    APRIL-JUNE 2014: Discussion of selected readings by Spanish and Latin American authors, including pieces by Esmeralda Santiago, Miguel Mihura, Dr. Rigoberta Menchú, José Donoso, & Julio Cortázar.


    Advanced courses feature study and discussion of literature, film, and current events. Activities include continued review of the perfect tenses, progressive tenses, the subjunctive, the imperative, irregular verbs, prepositions, direct and indirect object pronouns, preposition use, and the passive voice.

    OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2013: Reading the screenplay for the 1990 Mexican film "Rojo Amanecer"—read a description—and watching and discussing the film. There is a reading assignment for the first class. Please contact us if you're interested.

    • TAREA
      Students are to read according the schedule below, and write a one-page, double-spaced response paper each week in Spanish.
      The purpose is to help students focus on the themes of the reading and prepare yourselves for in-class discussion of the material.
    • Semana 1: "Introducción" (p.7-8) and scenes 1-10
    • Semana 2: "Los autores" (p.8-9) and scenes 11-25
    • Semana 3: "El tema" (p.10-11) and scenes 26-29
    • Semana 4: "El guión" (p.11-13) and scenes 30-45
    • Semana 5: "Antecedentes fílmicos" (p.13-14) and scenes 46-61
    • Semana 6: "La película" (p.14-16) and scenes 62-81
    • Semana 7: "La censura" (p.16-17) and scenes 81-112

    APRIL-JUNE 2014: MUSIC: Discussion of song lyrics in Spanish. Students are invited to bring printed song lyrics for discussion and a corresponding recording for the class to listen to. Please contact us if you're interested.

    Lengua Rica


    We work with any pre-formed group of up to ten children of similar developmental level to provide a customized class that is age appropriate. In addition, we offer private group classes for families. In either case, the group pays $75/hour or any pro-rated fraction thereof. Please call or write us for more information.
    Lengua Rica

    Certified Spanish Language Instruction,
    Interpretation, and Translation Services
    P.O. Box 806
    Olympia WA 98507
    (360) 357-9924

    This page was last modified: 26 March 2014.