Study Spanish in Dominical
Dominical is a beach town located on the central pacific side of Costa Rica, about four hours from San Jose. As it’s a small town, you'll get to know the locals very well. The town is about one hour from the next mid-size town called San Isidro, which is the southern agricultural hub of the country. The school is surrounded by plenty of activities such as surfing, ocean kayaking, hiking, running, swimming, zipline, horseback ridding, and many more. This beach is known as one of the best beaches to surf Costa Rica.
About the School Program
The school program uses a combination of immersion teaching methods centered around the Communicative Approach with a solid grammar component. Instead of a traditional grammar program, classes are designed to provide a fully balanced intensive immersion experience for students. This means that they incorporate all aspects of language acquisition: conversation, grammar, reading, writing, general comprehension and idiomatic expressions. The teacher’s role is seen as one of bineg a facilitator. Students have input regarding their learning process, thereby making it more meaningful to their own experience.
In addition to formal textbooks, they use a wide variety of current materials: newspapers, literature, audiocassettes/CD’s, videos, advertisements, music, short stories and more. Classes also incorporate field trips and out-of-class learning. Thus classes remain interesting as well as educational!
There is generally a maximum of four students per class. This designed so that the students received full attention from instructors. It also allows an open forum for discussion on topics such as daily classroom materials, culture, politics, tourism, and many more.
All the classes are held in Spanish, but administrators and some of the instructors are fluent in English, so that when a question needs to be answered in further detail the student can fully understand the response. The Universal philosophy for all the Spanish Immersion programs is encourage an enviroment where only Spanish is spoken. Classes usually take place Monday thru Friday and start at 9:00 am til 1:30 pm and with two fifteen minute breaks during the period.
Host Families or Student Housing (Cabinas/School Stay)
Host families are different in each location. In small towns like Dominical, host families are a little different compared to other locations. Generally all beach programs are the same all over Central America.
In the beach towns, many host families are in a lower income bracket and the availability of modern conveniences may vary considerably. Some students should expect to modify their lifestyle expectations in this regard if they choose this option.
With that said, most of the families in Dominical are extremely motivated to help students learn to communicate and have a desire for students to comeway from their visit with a positive experience . All host families are very friendly and love to chat when they get a chance.
The school has very nice on campus housing options as well.
Depending on the length of stay, students may want to consider a combination of housing choices (e.g 2 weeks with family, then 2 weeks of on- campus housing.)
School Stay, or Cabinas stay, is an option at Dominical. Because host-families live an average 11 kilometers away from the school, cabinas might be a better option because of distance. The rooms are shared, but they can be rented to a private for a higher price. All the cabinas do not have air-conditioning but they are equipped with electric fans.
A Few Considerations about the beach town and cabina. Because it’s in a tropical country,Dominical is always humid and most of the time clothes or sheets can get extremely moist. During the rainy season plenty of wildlife from critters to insects can come around the lighted cabinas. As a note always keep your doors closed, and windows are ok to leave open as all rooms are equipped with screens.
The school will work closely with the families that best suite the programs needs. If a student decides to not participate in the host family program there are plenty of hotels in the area to choose from. However, we highly recommend staying with a family in order to give oneself many more opportunities to be fully engaged in the Immersion process.