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Yelapa English Spanish Institute

46 Reviews
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Yelapa English Spanish Institute

46 Reviews
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Mariana wrote a review Sep 2019
1 contribution
I studied with Jeannie for two years and enjoyed it thoroughly. I learned a lot of basics and made good progress and I continue to use the materials she uses and recommends. They are invaluable. She makes learning dynamic and interesting and I always had lessons to work on between classes, which I love. I highly recommend her.
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Randy S wrote a review Aug 2019
Victoria, Canada30 contributions5 helpful votes
I have now studied with Juanita several times over the years at YESI and despite the year-long gaps, she has continued to improve my fluency and confidence in my ability to converse. She is not only a skilled language teacher but also very knowledgeable about Mexican history, culture and the local flora and fauna. I'll be back for more!
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Date of experience: December 2018
1 Helpful vote
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RebeccaLDay wrote a review Aug 2019
4 contributions2 helpful votes
Cannot recommend highly enough - I had Spanish lesson at the Yelapa English Spanish Institute while staying in Yelapa and they were really great! Juanita was so lovely and made the lessons interesting and enjoyable. I knew enough Spanish to get by before I arrived but there were a lot of holes in my grammar and past/future tenses and she was able to adjust every lesson to exactly what I needed and totally tailor it to where I was at. She was very accommodating and would always find a time and place to fit my schedule. If you are in Yelapa and interested in advancing your Spanish (which makes the whole experience of being in Mexico SOOOO much better) or you are just starting out with the language, I would highly recommend having some lessons with Yelapa English Spanish Institute!
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Date of experience: January 2019
2 Helpful votes
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Elizabeth G wrote a review Aug 2019
6 contributions1 helpful vote
Juanita’s awesome!!! I feel so lucky to have taken a handful of Spanish lessons from her while I was in Yelapa. They were tailored to my needs, she followed my learning curve and she has made a super great text book. I wish I could take more!!!
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Date of experience: January 2019
1 Helpful vote
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Becca wrote a review Nov 2018
Everett, Washington2 contributions
I was in Yelapa 11 years ago and saw information about this school. I finally decided this was the year! Arrangement were made and paid for ( as specified) for a month of instruction and housing. Jean (Juanita) was nice enough, and really knows her Spanish, however, instruction was very spotty. All told, out of a week, I think we worked on Spanish about 5 hours ( "You have to be flexible in Mexico").Other times, we wandered around the area and she visited with friends, speaking in Spanish to them. After she stated she would try to "fit me in" one day, I had had enough. I told her this is not what I had in mind for a school (on the porch of her home), she said "it's early in the season and I'm just getting things together" (she just returned from Canada and was trying to get her AirBNB ready), "We just went through a hurricane" (we got heavy rain). There always seemed to be something more important than a student who had paid for a month. She should either not offer classes until she has everything settled or explain the possibility that things will be scattered to a potential student. When I told her I was going back home, she stated that that posed a problem for her as she had already spent my tuition money and couldn't refund it, which she hasn't. Nor have I heard from the man whose casa I stayed in that I paid for the duration of my stay there, arranged by Jean. My advise; DON'T GO!!! There are other schools in Puerto Vallarta that appear much more reputable if you really want to learn Spanish.
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Date of experience: October 2018
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Response from Jean H, Propietario at Yelapa English Spanish Institute
Responded Jan 27, 2019
Lack of Communication I was surprised and sad when Becca decided after less than a week that she was going home. It takes a while to figure out how students study best, what approaches to take and how I can best direct the classes and activities with this feedback. This never happened with Becca. This review is the only feedback I actually got about what she really wanted. When notified of her plan to leave, I asked why and she said it was because she wanted more students in the class. I did inform her in the 2nd email months back that October was not the month for high numbers of students here. There was no notification, no discussion of any problems, no feedback or direction as to what she wanted to change while here. We definitely spent lots of time together. . She arrived Saturday at the beginning of a hurricane warning that was expected to hit the north part of Vallarta. Actual land-fall was unpredictable. That "we got heavy rain" [only] underestimates the potential threat. The last large escale evacuacion of hundreds from Yelapa in 2016 saw blue sunny skies the next day as the hurricane landed south of us. In 2002 it had a huge impact in Vallarta and San Blas, with lots of loss. Despite all Puerto Vallarta ports being closed, I was able find a private boat back to Yelapa Monday morning. The rains had been heavy, her hosts were stuck in the mountain village above and her palapa roof leaked. I changed her accommodation. The threat still lingered. I offered her options for evacuation if she felt the need, I made arrangements, and we waited for the boat to evacuate. The only active boat cancelled. That "there always seemed to be something more important than a student who had paid for a month" was definitely not the case.I did not have October on the normal schedule but I accommodated her as it was the only time she could come. I quit work and came back from Canada a month earlier partly to set up for this first class of the year. During the hurricane threat and subsequent preparation and clean-up, and her first week, my biggest concern was Becca .My time commitment to her was supposed to be 2 hours daily, but most were days of many more hours (meeting, set-up, orientation, location of places, evacuation plan, re-settling into new accommodation, logistics, meals). If she wanted more one-on-one attention, it would have served her to have a home -stay which she declined. There is an enormous amount of work to set up for the season - all washed,painted, repaired, or newly purchased. The storms required a lot to be redone, or added new work. "She should either not offer classes until she has everything settled or explain the possibility that things will be scattered to a potential student" The weather situation and her other needs aside from class time on top of the regular commitments and schedule played on scattering the focus. I had a meeting in Puerto Vallarta on the last Friday in the early afternoon, and offered to do an early morning class. This should not be seen as "fit me in". I phoned to set up a Saturday morning class. This was when she informed me she had bought a ticket at 2 a.m. to leave that day. I met her then and we talked, but none of these concerns stated in this review came up at the time. "We wandered around the area, and she visited her friends" was not an accurate depiction of the practise, the intention or the long-term gain of the immersion experience for her of talking to people. I am passionate about grammar and structure of the language typically. We did start structured classes and had 3 sessions of about 2 hrs. When she had some difficulties with the work, I proposed that we walk and develop vocabulary and give her contacts within the village - a change in activity and approach. I started YESI in Yelapa because people are friendly and will talk and help almost anyone. Many students ask for this contact and activity. She gave no negative feedback at the time. I was aware we had a month together and we would find our pace, and see her advance with the time. Any time needed would be added to classes over that duration. I did indicate I was negotiable in sending back some of the money paid in an email on November 3, 2018 without having seen this post of Nov 2. In fact I did not see this until a few weeks ago, as I received no notification from Trip Advisor. Refunds are rarely asked for, but in the few I have negotiated fairly. That I did not have cash on hand, and it would take some time did not mean I would not reimburse. Her letter written Nov 2 was just five days after leaving. The host had indicated he would see her to give her back portion of the month´s rent. I just talked with him, and he did see her, and she stated it was "okay" and waived off the refund. I have nothing to do with finances between host and guest. To this date I have had no response to my Nov 3rd email to Becca. No payment for the extras described above was asked for, nor expected. But Becca showed no acknowledgement of the extras and no appreciation. Most schools give NO refund from 15 to 30 days prior to the beginning of classes. I will still try to settle a fair sum for reimbursement,which she has the option to respond to.
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