I am a semi-retired Spanish language instructor. My specialty was teaching Spanish as second language to native English speakers of all ages. If you live or retire in Costa Rica you should have at least survival level Spanish. What do I mean by survival level Spanish? Specifically the ability to handle most situations you will be confronted with every day. Learning a new language can be daunting and quite a challenge for adults, but it does not have to be if they put themselves in the right learning environment.
Many retirees who move to Costa Rica want to learn the language but do not know where to start. During my lectures at the Association of Residents of Costa Rica’s (ARCR) monthly seminar I talk about different methods of learning the language. One of the best ways is to enroll in a language school here. The problem is choosing the correct one. Most of the language institutes try to get their students to study as many hours as possible because they charge according to the number of classes a student takes per week — the more classes, the more the school makes. Some of these total immersion programs are just too much for adults who become overwhelmed and quickly get discouraged by the workload. I encourage students to take fewer weekly lessons so they can devote more time to mastering what they have studied and not end up dropping out.
I am really impressed by the program that Epifanía Language has designed for English speaking residents of Costa Rica. I have had the opportunity to observe their classes on several occasions and really like their approach to teaching Spanish as a second language. In fact, on my monthly relocation tours we pay a visit to the school and my clients receive a sample lesson. All of my guests love this education activity. At the end of the half-hour class all of the participants receive a diploma with their name on it for their participation.
I recommend Epifanía’s residents language program for anyone who really wants to learn the local lingo. They have one school in Escazú which serves expats and retirees who live west of San José and another institute east of the city for those who live in that area. Here is their contact information: