Yelapa English Spanish Institute

Yelapa English Spanish Institute

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
47 reviews
Excellent
41
Very good
3
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Dylan
2 contributions
Apr. 2021
Studying with Juanita was wonderful. She was a dynamic, adaptive teacher, and over the course of the month we became close friends. Her place on the mountain is stunning, the stories and lesson plans she utilizes are sound, and you won't meet a better travel advisor when looking for adventure in and around Yelapa. On top of spending five+ hours teaching me every week, Jaunita took me to the botanical gardens in Vallarta, to live jazz outside on a Sunday morning in La Cruz, and treated me like a close friend, like family. I'm very, very grateful to have met her, a real gem of a friend. I highly recommend her.
Written June 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mariana
1 contribution
Aug. 2019
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.
Written September 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Randy S
Victoria, Canada33 contributions
Dec. 2018
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!
Written August 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RebeccaLDay
4 contributions
Jan. 2019
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!
Written August 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Elizabeth G
6 contributions
Jan. 2019
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!!!
Written August 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Becca
Everett, WA2 contributions
Oct. 2018 • Solo
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.
Written November 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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.
Written January 27, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

CBF23
New York City, NY9 contributions
Jan. 2018 • Couples
I have been coming to Yelapa for 13 years and finally signed up with Jean (Juanita) for Spanish lessons.
Jean is an excellent teacher and I was extremely pleased with my progress after 10 days. I have already signed up for more lessons in February when I return to Yelapa.
Aside from her teaching excellence in Spanish, Jean is impressively knowledgeable about the world in general but specifically about Mexico.
She also organizes trips and we will sign up for one of those. We also share with Jean our love for birds and she also offers a birdwatching class in Spanish.
Her location is perfect for birdwatching in itself, but she will take you different places.
Aside from her excellence in Spanish and Mexican travels and history, Jean also makes decorative brooms which are divine and a piece of spirituality in itself-and finally she is a lovely person!
Written January 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sally M
5 contributions
Jun. 2017 • Family
My daughter and I took lessons together. Jean worked with each of us at our level and provided us with an amazing number of resources to help us practice. Jean takes her job seriously and invested much of her energy and effort into helping us make progress. She was sensitive to our individual strengths and needs. Along with lessons, Jean also helped us get around the town and introduced us to local people and places of interest. It was a very worthwhile and enjoyable week.
Written August 1, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Monica L
2 contributions
Mar. 2017 • Friends
This was a great experience! Jeannie is a fabulous instructor who pushed me to learn far more than I thought I could. She kept us all motivated and inspired, adapted well to each student's individual learning style, and made sure all was going well for us during our stay in beautiful Yelapa, Mexico. I studied Beginning Spanish and Medical Spanish. I can't wait to return for further study!
Written May 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks Monica, first for coming and committing to the classes. I was SO impressed that you were SO sure you were coming back to Yelapa to study, although it took 15 yrs to make the work changes todo so. You are a very gifted student, and it was a pleasure guiding you. And you jumped right into a medical studies class with two others without much preparation. And did very impressively well!! Congrats
Written May 29, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mark B
4 contributions
Mar. 2017 • Friends
I didn't attend here myself but a good friend of mine did while we were in Yelapa. She had very good things to say about it.
Written April 5, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Mark . Thanks for writing. It is usually hard to write for students who come as it is already a busy life! But for friends - unusual, and I thank you very much. You are an exceptional friend! I would like to know who your friend is if you don't mind sharing this. I have just sent out my annual request for reviews. I hope I am not hitting on her again. e Hope to make contact with you next time you are in Yelapa. Look forward to it!
Written May 29, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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