"Speak Spanish, Think Español!" : Discount Available Now for Innovative Language Program in Mendoza, Argentina´s Wine Capital

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“Spanish for Grown-Ups” program combines upscale lodgings in a garden apartment, most meals, and small-group instruction in Mendoza, Argentina´s wine capital.

The Mendoza Intercultural Association (MIA) announces its 2011 schedule of “Spanish for Grown-Ups” sessions in Mendoza, the heart of Argentina´s wine country, at the base of the scenic Andes mountains.

Ellen Hoffman, president of the non-profit association, recommends the program for adults, including Baby Boomers and retirees, who:

  •     Want to jump-start their rusty Spanish language skills
  •     Plan to travel, for business or pleasure, in Spanish-speaking countries
  •     Want to keep their brain active by adding an educational experience to their travels
  •     Operate businesses, including medical practices, in areas with a significant Spanish-speaking population
  •     Want to take advantage of the reversed seasons of the Southern Hemisphere, to escape the frozen North in the winter or the heat and humidity of the summer in the U.S. and Canada.

Two-week sessions are scheduled to start March 13, June 19, July 17 and September 4, 2011. MIA, whose purpose is to encourage intercultural exchange between people of Argentina and other cultures, can also arrange longer courses of study and other dates on request. MIA is currently offering a discount price of $750.00 U.S. dollars per week per person for the program including lodging, most meals, Spanish instruction, and opportunities to experience cultural and artistic activities. The normal rate is $850.00 U.S. per person per week.

"Speak Spanish, Think Español!" The phrase sums up the teaching method of Spanish for Grown-Ups, which stresses that true communication in a foreign language requires learning to think like a native-speaker, not just making grammatically correct sentences. The innovative approach, devised by North American Riccardo Accurso, emphasizes the importance of the cultural and psychological aspects of learning Spanish. Accurso, who has a master's degree in psycholinguistics, developed the method based on some 50 years of studying and teaching language in Spain, Mexico and Argentina.

A unique aspect of the program is that students benefit from the instruction and perspectives of two different teachers. One is Accurso, a native English-speaker. The other is a native Spanish-speaker, Sandra Boffi of Mendoza, a highly credentialed teacher with years of experience.

"Because we keep classes very small, we tailor the instruction to students' needs and level. For some, this may mean reviewing what they learned in high school or college. For others, it may mean a first-time exposure to key conversational phrases and concepts to aid in communicating with an existing or growing population of Spanish-speaking clients or customers, or in the case of physicians, patients," Accurso explains.

Lodging: To enhance the experience of their study program, “Spanish for Grown-Ups” students enjoy the luxury of their own well-appointed, private apartment in a lush garden setting conveniently located in the center of Mendoza. The apartment is equipped for preparation of light meals, and the location offers extensive restaurant options from pizza to fine dining. Nearby street vendors offer excellent local produce. Within two blocks are a pasta factory, a chicken barbeque restaurant, and a shop offering traditional Argentine food, such as empanadas (flaky pastries filled with meat, cheese, etc.), all cooked on the spot and available for takeout.

A 1.5-hour flight from Buenos Aires and a half-hour flight from Santiago, Chile, Mendoza was named one of 50 world destinations worthy of visiting in your lifetime by National Geographic Traveler magazine. When not in class, students can easily fill their time with winery visits and tastings, gourmet meals, cooking classes, excursions into the majestic Andes Mountains and outdoor activities such as horseback riding and rafting. The base of Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere (nearly 23,000 feet), is a three-hour drive from the city.

A city of about 120,000 in a province of 1.2 million, Mendoza has green, leafy streets, and a Mediterranean lifestyle visible in the numerous outdoor restaurants and cafes. It also has a dynamic street life and lush parks with fountains and flowers, and plazas animated by artisan fairs, art exhibits and live music.

Package price includes:

  •     14 nights’ lodging in a garden apartment
  •     Breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday
  •     Three hours of formal Spanish instruction Monday through Friday
  •     One special cultural or artistic activity per week
  •     Airport transfers
  •     On request, arrangement of activities such as visits to wineries or the Andes Mountains or cooking classes (additional cost).

For details, see http://www.spanishforgrownups.com or phone 304-579-4068 in the U.S.


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