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Language School: What Is It Like?

We are winding down on our first trimester and wanted to share some of what it is really like being in language school each day. Our language school (Instituto de Lenguaje Espanol, ILE for short) is where our entire family spends 4 to 5 hours per day in a learning capacity. ILE is a specialized language school for missionaries with many different countries and organizations represented. Our specific trimester that arrived together in May, includes missionaries heading to Ecuador, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.

We came into language school in the smallest trimester of the year with around 12 other missionaries. Typically a trimester can range from 30 to 60 people. The school functions not only as language school but also a K-12 for the missionary kids as well as local Costa Rican children looking for a Christian private school. The girls are in traditional english speaking classes most of the day with the exception of P.E and a daily spanish class. The staff of Sojourn is broken up between Costa Rican and American teachers and students which creates a great bilingual environment for the girls. The difference we can see in their language learning has been so impressive just in these 3 months.

Our maestras (teachers) are well-trained and all have personal relationships with Jesus Christ which adds a lot to our learning every day. We are broken up into separate learning groups during the 4 hours of actual class time. Those learning groups are beginner, intermediate and high. Angel is currently in the high class and I am in the intermediate class. We are together with our classmates for all of those four hours so you can guess we have a lot of time getting to know each other! We have two classes daily, gramatica y lenguaje (grammar and linguistics) which allows us to get both sides the language which has been proven to work well over the many years ILE has been serving missionaries.

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