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Lengua Rica: Certified Spanish Language Instruction




WINTER 2016 

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

  • Cost: $1000

  • Includes: Accommodations, food (during homestay) Spanish instruction/activities/experiences, and general guide/coordinator sorts of services, travel within Costa Rica
  • Does not include: Cost of travel to or from Costa Rica, food (outside of homestay) or cost of non-Lengua Rica guides or entrance to any attractions.
  • Single supplement: $100
  • Please note that the focus of this trip is immersion in the Spanish language and Costa Rican culture, not sightseeing.

      Group Trip 2016

    • 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 2016. 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 addition, 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.
  • Includes (same as Group Trip): Accommodations, food (during homestay), travel within Costa Rica Spanish instruction/activities/experiences, and general guide/coordinator sorts of services.
  • Does not include: Cost of travel to or from Costa Rica, food (outside of homestay), cost of non-Lengua Rica guides or entrance to any attractions.
  • Please contact us if you are interested.
  • What participants say:

    "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 B., 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., 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 R., 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 S., 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 M., Costa Rica Trip 2012

    "I have really been struck by what a nice balance it was to have had a few days in the city, a few days in the mountains and a few days at the beach. I am so pleased to have been able to experience several different Costa Rican environments, particularly given our short time in country. Extending the visit by staying at the beach for a few extra days was very, very, nice. When I got back I looked at a bunch of companies who do tours of Costa Rica, and almost all of them have a trip with roughly the same sorts of territory and itinerary. Every one of them is WAY more expensive. I really think we got a terrific bargain."
    ---Midge P., Costa Rica Trip 2014

    "For me, the trip was perfect. Absolutely the best educational-adventure-vacation I've ever had. I was looking for something that gave me a sense of the real day-to-day Costa Rica (that is, as much of a sense as could be given in a week), and the design of the trip mirrored the pace of the country, and that worked for me. The design (i.e., the schedule of events, the structure of the experience) of the trip had a certain improvisational quality: things will come together when they come together, the bus will get here when it gets here, the fiesta will start when it starts.... a certain time-less quality that worked for me, because it fit the lifestyle of Costa Rica somehow. But the reason it worked for me is because my agenda was to experience what it would be like to live in Costa Rica because I've been thinking about moving there for awhile now. There was enough structure for me to know when we were going to start each day, and a general sense of what we were going to do. The rest was improv, and that was great. I loved Alajuela, and the Pacandé hotel. Loved the people at the Pacandé. I loved the walking through the mercado and asking about different foods. I loved eating as a group together and talking about the day and what we had discovered. I loved catching the buses to various places. I really liked my host family. They were wonderful. They were very nice to me, and the accommodations were perfect. Also, I really liked the hot springs and also the Hotel Huetares at Playa Hermosa. I think that was the perfect way to end the trip, at the beach resort. So basically, I am your most satisfied customer. It was a great, perhaps life-changing, experience for me."
    ---Frank L., Costa Rica Trip 2014

    "I absolutely loved my trip to Costa Rica for Spanish language immersion as part of my educational experience with Lengua Rica. I had only just started studying Spanish a few months prior to the trip, but that did not detract from the value of the experience for me. There is so much that was great about the trip, from hanging out with Ethan, Isa and their daughters, having the opportunity to experience Costa Rica from a hands-on, real life perspective and not as a tourist, getting to know my wonderful host family in San Vicente and getting so many opportunities to meet new people, see the beautiful country and practice Spanish. It was without a doubt the best introduction to a country and language one could ever get. I fell in love with Costa Rica, am very motivated to continue to study Spanish, and certainly hope I can return again on another trip with Lengua Rica."
    ---Val A., Custom Costa Rica Trip 2015

    Lengua Rica


    Lengua Rica is offering TUTORING SESSIONS via Skype or FaceTime.
    • This is an excellent way for students to continue to work on grammar, thematic vocabulary, writing and conversation.
    • We can work both with individual students and groups. (Visualize gathering with friends over margaritas for a tutoring and practice session. For practical purposes, groups should not exceed 5 students.)
    • The rate is $50/hour and can be prorated. (Same rate for an individuals and groups.)
    Please contact us  for further details.

    In addition, we recommend:

    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


    4-week intensive


    (course: Rojo)

        Mondays (& Wednesdays) Starting 16 November 10:00 AM-Noon


    (course: Anaranjado)

        Tuesdays (& Fridays, AM class) Starting 17 November 10:00 AM-Noon
    or Tuesdays (& Fridays) Starting 17 November 06:30-08:30 PM


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


    See above

    APRIL-MAY 2016


    (course: Amarillo)

        Wednesdays (AM class) Starting 6 April 10:00 AM-Noon
    or Wednesdays Starting 6 April 06:30-08:30 PM


    (course: Esmeralda)

        Tuesdays (AM class) Starting 5 April 10:00 AM-Noon
    or Tuesdays Starting 5 April 06:30-08:30 PM

    Advanced Intermediate

        Mondays Starting 4 April 10:00 AM-Noon
    or Mondays Starting 4 April 06:30-08:30 PM


        Thursdays Starting 7 April 11:30 AM-01:30 PM
    or Thursdays Starting 7 April 06:30-08:30 PM

    New Round

    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. For groups, we charge a flate rate of $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 B.
    Lengua Rica


    "I think your teaching methods are fantastic!"--Jessicarae N.

    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 K.
    "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 Y.

    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 P.

    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.

    "I have found it comparable to the excellent immersion language training I did when beginning Peace Corps in Central Asia. I am grateful to have Lengua Rica as a resource right here in the city of Olympia! --Rebekah O.

    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 C.


    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
    Back to top

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


    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, with supporting vocabulary lists and corresponding grammar units.

    JULY-AUGUST 2015 Advanced Intermediate students will watch episodes of the vox populi interview series "Easy Spanish" and we will discuss them in class. Please watch Episode 1, "Professions," for the first class. Students should watch three times: the first time allowing him or herself to read the English subtitles; the second time reading ONLY the Spanish subtitles; the third time without reading any subtitles. Please contact us  for more info.
    SEPTEMBER-NOVEMBER 2015 Advanced Intermediate students will read the children's novel "Manolito Gafotas" by Spanish author Elvira Lindo. You can download a PDF of the book here. Please contact us  for more info.

    • For Class 1 (21 September 2015): Chapter 1 & 2 ("Los de mi barrio se quejan" & "El cuerno de Manolito")
    • For Class 2 (28 September 2015): Chapters 3 ("Vaya diagnóstico más idiota")
    • For Class 3 (5 October 2015): Chpater 4 ("El capitán Merluza")
    • For Class 4 (12 October 2015): Chapters 5 ("Un pecado original")
    • For Class 5 (19 October 2015): Chapters 6 ("El uno para el otro")
    • For Class 6 (26 October 2015): Chapter 7 ("Paquito Medina no es de este mundo")
    • For Class 7 (2 November 2015): Chapter 8 ("No sé por qué lo hice")
    • For Class 8 (9 November 2015): Chapter 9 ("La paz mundial")


    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.

    Over the course of 8 weeks, advanced students will read the transcript for, watch, and discuss the award-winning Argentine film "
    Nueve Reinas" (2000). There is an assigned reading for the first class. Please contact us  for more info.

    • For Class 1 (24 September 2015): Scenes 1-7
    • For Class 2 (1 October 2015): Scenes 8-18 (plus p.9 of "Prólogo")
    • For Class 3 (8 October 2015): Scenes 19-24 (plus p.10 of "Prólogo")
    • For Class 4 (15 October 2015): Scenes 25-34 (plus p.11 of "Prólogo")
    • For Class 5 (22 October 2015): Scenes 35-41 (plus p.12 of "Prólogo")
    • For Class 6 (29 October 2015): Scenes 41-50 (plus p.13 of "Prólogo")
    • For Class 7 (5 November 2015): Scenes 51-62
    • For Class 8 (12 November 2015): Scenes 63-79

    Over the course of four classes, advanced students will read selections from "
    El libro de los abrazos" by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano. Students should use this PDF version. " Please contact us  for more info.

    • For Class 1 (19 November 2015): pp.112-121 ("La televisión/1" through "La alineación/1")
    • For Class 2 (3 December 2015): pp.122-131 ("La alineación/s" through "Onetti")
    • For Class 3 (10 December 2015): pp. 132-141 ("Arguedas" through "El exilio")
    • For Class 4 (17 December 2015): pp.142-151 ("La civilización del consumo" through "El exorcismo")
    • 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: 15 November 2015.