What I Wish I’d Known About Group Classes v. Private Classes at Habla Ya

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"What I Wish I’d Known About Group Classes v. Private Classes at Habla Ya".

Search our blog about all things Panama! From must dos, where to party or eat, to which beaches and hiking trails you shouldn't miss, in our blog you'll find great insider info about Bocas del Toro, Panama City and Boquete, as well as Panamanian culture, customs and traditions, and certainly tips and advice for learning Spanish! We've been writing about all things Panama for over 15 years and nothing beats local knowledge from the locals themselves.


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🙃 Get up to a 60% DISCOUNT OFF ONLINE PRIVATE LESSONS or up to a 40% OFF ONLINE GROUP LESSONS when you submit your payment by "UNKNOWN DATE, SYSTEM ERROR".

CLAIM HERE!

Or find out more about ONLINE SPANISH LESSONS HERE...

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🙏 And finally one last plea to help us ensure a just transition for our staff and Spanish teachers: please don't fly to learn Spanish because you can do it online without destroying our future as there's no Planet B regardless of what Elon Musk wants you to believe; besides dreaming of Mars, he also wants you to buy electrical cars as if that's the solution to this Planetary Crisis... spoiler alert: it's not!

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What I Wish I’d Known About Group Classes v. Private Classes at Habla Ya

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Dear My Younger Self,

Eight weeks ago you walked into your first day at Habla Ya with a sense of anxiety. When you looked at the activity board for students, you realized too late that you had packed too few bathing suits and not enough sunscreen.

However, your biggest challenge was whether to sign up for private classes or group classes. Back then, it felt like your entire future as a polyglot in Panama rested on making the right decision. Therefore, seven weeks wiser and tanned beyond recognition, I write you this letter from the not so distant future to help guide your choice:

Why haven't you booked your ticket to "paraiso" (paradise) yet for #springbreak?#BocasDelToro #hablaya #learnspanish #travel #panama #visitpanama #sun #beach #beachlife

Posted by Habla Ya Spanish Schools on Tuesday, March 1, 2016

You began Spanish classes at Habla Ya having private lessons with Ricardo. It wasn’t a hard decision to make because there were no other students in your same level at the time as you arrived to Bocas in the middle of the week. Based on Habla Ya’s system of teaching, you began learning the subjects taught the third week of Level A1.

Soon realizing how utterly useless those 4 hours of Spanish a week in Washington, D.C. last year really were in the real world, the private lessons served as a refresher course on how to actually apply the basics that you had previously learned. The class then built upon those skills with new vocabulary, more grammar, and an emphasis on speaking in Spanish. One of the greatest advantages of the private classes was that you could learn at your own pace. This allowed Ricardo to move through the material you were already familiar with more quickly while focusing on the subjects that you found most difficult.

After a week of private classes, you had the option of remaining in private classes, but having just arrived on Bocas del Toro, you wanted to meet other people and make new friends. Thus, when you ended Level A1, you moved on to small group classes for Level A2.

You enjoyed the group classes because they provided you with the opportunity to have longer class hours (four hours rather than the two hours that were available for private classes that week - if you sign up in advance you can have more hours of private lessons per day), which meant more learning. Group classes also allowed for a wider range of educational activities including board games, charades, and other games to reinforce what you were learning. You enjoyed this collaborative environment that allowed you to work through challenges as a team and benefit from the knowledge of your classmates. Everything was going well in group classes until you got to Level B1 and panicked during the 3rd week.

At Habla Ya, learning is never confined to the classroom alone! #BocasDelToro #hablaya #learnspanish #travel #panama

A photo posted by Habla Ya Spanish Schools (@hablaya) on

Can you guess which verbs are students are acting out? #BocasDelToro #hablaya #learnspanish #travel

A video posted by Habla Ya Spanish Schools (@hablaya) on

Let’s just say you have a flair for exaggeration that you’ve surely inherited from your mother. The fact that there are multiple tenses for the past (pretérito indefinido and pretérito imperfecto) in Spanish utterly confounded you. You were so convinced that you’d never learn how to speak in the past tense in Spanish that you wrote a blog post about it - yes, an entire blog post.

Before moving on to the next subject, you decided to take private classes for a week simply to reinforce what you’d learned about the past tense, and become comfortable with using both the indefinido and imperfecto simultaneously depending on the context of what you were speaking about. These private lessons turned out to be invaluable for you because you regained your confidence in speaking in the past tense. Rest assured that you made it through Level B1 with no other fatalist thoughts of dropping out and resigning yourself to a life of miming your way through Panama. The flexibility of the afternoon classes even allowed you to take morning classes with Esther at Bocas Fight Gym.

󾭞󾭞󾭞 Great class this morning 󾭞󾭞󾭞Monday through Saturday Strength & Conditioning Training with Esther 9-10am or 10-11am!!Sore today, STRONG tomorrow...

Posted by Bocas Fight Gym on Monday, November 2, 2015

As I’m sure you can now see, there is no right or wrong choice between group and private classes. Each one provided you with the advantage of learning based on your different needs at different times. There is no need to be anxious about whether or not one will hinder your learning experience while the other enhances it because there is ultimately no “fast track” to learning Spanish. In the eight weeks you’ve been at Habla Ya, you’ve learned to speak in Spanish in a way that you never thought was possible. Thus, my younger self, relax and Bocas.

FIND MORE ABOUT LEARNING SPANISH IN BOCAS DEL TORO... »

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Search our blog if you're visiting Panama! From must do's, where to party or eat, to which beaches and hiking trails you shouldn't miss, you'll find great insider info about Bocas del Toro, Panama City and Boquete, as well as Panamanian culture, customs and traditions, and certainly tips and advice for learning Spanish while in our country! We've been writing about all things Panama for over 10 years and nothing beats local knowledge from the locals themselves.


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