Standard and Intensive Language Courses

gloriateaching200.jpgGet ready for one of the most memorable experiences you’ll ever have, living and learning Spanish in Costa Rica!

IPEE has developed a method for teaching Spanish that is by far the fastest and most enjoyable you’ll find. Our program consists of three levels (Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced) with each of these sub-divided to suit your specific language needs (for example Beginning I, Intermediate II, and Advanced III). A brief verbal test before you begin your classes will ensure that you are placed in the correct level.

Our classrooms are attractive and comfortable providing an ideal learning environment. As individual attention is a top priority, classes are limited to a maximum of six students. Active participation of the students is achieved with a variety of games and interactive material which nurture a rich learning environment and promote fluency.

IPEE teachers are extremely competent and qualified; all are professional philologists with many years of experience teaching Spanish as a second language. Most importantly they love what they do, and share this enthusiasm with their students.

The standard course length is four hours a day, five days a week. But, we also offer an Intensive Course which is six hours per day for those who want additional instruction or who have time constraints.  Both courses follow the same syllabus.  During the high season (June, July, August) some students will receive classes in the afternoons.

Home stays are a very important part of our courses. Our method of total immersion extends beyond the classroom and includes lodging with a friendly Costa Rican family. All of the families have been carefully selected and are monitored so that your home stay experience is to your complete satisfaction. Your progress will be phenomenal when you live and learn at IPEE!

Take the afternoon to study or go out to experience theater, movies, museums, dancing and more in lively San José. We can even arrange tours and excursions to beautiful rain forests, beaches, and volcanoes throughout Costa Rica. Whether to receive University credit, fulfill professional education requirements or perfect conversation skills, IPEE is the school of choice. Plan on having a great time and making great friends.




The purpose of this course is to provide the students with the basic Spanish structures, as well as the necessary vocabulary required to communicate in the new culture. This course will also reinforce and increase conversation skills.


The course will address the needs of those students who are new to the language. The grammar exercises and directed conversations are designed to allow the student to progress rapidly and master the most basic Spanish expressions and constructions. Students will engage in dialogues and practice giving instructions and directions to improve their conversational skills.


Classes start every Monday year-round.  Students may attend for as long as they wish.  It takes approximately one month to complete each level and students will progress naturally to higher levels as they complete them.  Classes are four hours (Standard Course) or six hours (Intensive Course)  with breaks.  Lessons will be given on a morning or afternoon schedule, in accordance with the School’s policies. Each student will be provided with text and workbooks consistent with the level of their classes.


Different methods of teaching will be implemented according to he specific needs of the students, including audio lingual, audiovisual, magisterial, immersion and communication systems. In addition, the use of cassette tapes as a corrective method and sequential drawings for story narration will be emphasized.

a. Greetings, Introductions, Self identification
b. Definite and indefinite articles
c. Agreement of number and gender
d. Telephone calls
e. Possessive adjectives
f. The verb “to be”
g. Present tense
h.”There is”,”there are”
i. Present progressive tense
j. Idiomatic expressions
k. Direct and indirect pronouns
l. Future tense (going to)
m. Prepositions of places
n. Past tense
o. Comparatives and superlatives
p. Gustar, and some verbs of the same structure
q. Simple future
r. Conditional tense
s. Past participle
t. Compound tenses (present perfect and past perfect)
u. Subjunctive (present, imperfect, present perfect and past perfect)
v. Conditional sentences
w. Adverbs
x. Propositions
y. Conjunctions
z. Imperative mode  Furthermore latin literature, orthography and “ley del acento” will be integrated into the program.


Different techniques aimed at improving students oral expression and comprehension will be used.  Activities such as survival dialogues, dramatizations, games, etc., will be employed to enhance vocabulary and present new structures. Lessons will be reinforced through the use of charts and audiovisual aides that further encourage the students interest and involvement in the classes. Cultural events, field trips, lectures, films and participation in professional events concerning the students field of interest are offered, too.



The purpose of the course at this level is to reinforce and increase the knowledge of Spanish structures and, at the same time, generate better skills in oral expression. This level is divided into classes, Intermediate I and Intermediate II.


This course is intended for students with a basic knowledge of Spanish and a working acquaintance with at least, fifty percent of the contents of the first level. The grammar exercises at this level will be related to everyday language and conversation. Students will engage in dialogues and practice giving instructions and directions to improve their conversational skills.


Different methods will be implemented (audiovisual, magisterial, immersion). The active participation of the students will be highly encouraged. In addition to the cassette tapes and sequential drawings, outside-of-the-classroom interviews will be used to strengthen the students comprehension and conversational skills. Cultural immersion, cultural differences and historical perspective are addressed within the context of the language study.


a. Present tense (regular and irregular verbs)
b. ‘Ser’ vs. ‘estar’
c. ‘Por’ vs. ‘para’
d. Indefinite preterite (regular and irregular verbs)
e. Imperfect preterite
f. Differences between indefinite preterite and definite preterite
g. Comparatives and superlatives
h. Indirect and direct object pronouns
i. Gustar, and some verbs of the same structure
j. Simple future
k. Conditional tense
l. Ser, estar, hacer, haber, tener in weather expressions.
m. Past participle
n. Passive voice
o. Compound tenses of the indicative mode (present perfect, past perfect, conditional)
p. Uses of the subjunctive (present, imperfect, present perfect, and past perfect)
q. Idiomatic expressions


Cultural events, field trips, games, lectures, readings, films and participation in professional events concerning the students field of interest are offered.



The purpose of this course is to introduce more complex grammatical structures and to promote fluency in conversation. This level divided into class of Advanced I, Advanced II, and Advanced III.


This course is intended for students with a working knowledge of at least eighty percent of the contents of the previous level. The grammar exercises and conversation are more complex and elevated, stressing fluency and technicality.


In this level we seek to achieve full student participation by means of informative, interpretive, and specific readings, lectures and interviews. In addition, the immersion and audio visual methods are integrated to better address the various interests of students.

a. Review of indicative mode
b. Complete review of the subjunctive mode
c. Conditional sentences
d. Use of the pronoun ‘se’
e. Differences between reflexive and non-reflexive verbs
f. Adverbs (adverbial phrases, difference between adverbs and adjectives)
g. Most commonly used prepositions
h. Periphrastic verbs
i. conjunctions
j. Compound and simple sentences
k. Imperative mode (of usted, tú, and vosotros)
l. Idiomatic phrases
m. Proverbs and common sayings


In accordance with the level, students are able to participate in seminars, conferences and films that both inform and promote discussion.


Cultural, sociological and historical aspects are part of our Spanish language classes. In our classes we discuss problems of today in a way that lets the students make up their mind about the Latin American culture. In general the topics are accompanied by videos and articles from newspapers.

The topics consist of:

1. Social problems in Costa Rica
2. The role of men and women in the society
3. A comparison between cultures; legal, economic, and social aspects
4. The family
5. Ecological problems
6. Personal conscience and group conscience
7. Abortion
8. Euthanasia
9. Religion
10. Aborigines in Costa Rica
11. PROs and CONTRAs in the discovery of America by the Spaniards
12. Costa Rica as a democratic island in Central America
13. Cultural influence of the USA in Costa Rican culture
14. Economic dependence of Costa Rica and the North American economy