Common Ground International Spanish Immersion for Educators

Spanish for Teachers & Spanish Teachers | Total Language Immersion in Costa Rica & Ecuador – Earn CEUs and PDUs!

Everyone knows that immersion is the best way to learn Spanish. So you are left with 2 questions:

  1. What is the most effective way to do immersion?
  2. And who is a partner I can trust?

I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with our Spanish for educators immersion course abroad!

Rory Foster
Immersion Director
Summer volcano and Spanish immersion for teens
Ecuador Teacher Spanish Immersion
Spanish Immersion in Ecuador
Based in Otavalo, Ecuador

1 – 2 weeks in length

Starts June 11, 2022
Consider 10 days to have a full weekend to explore!
Host family, hotel, or hostel
20hrs/week Spanish Classes
Optional 1:1 private lessons
Tuesday – Thursday community service outreach projects
Great day trips to the equator, hot springs, etc
CME & CE Accredited
Great Andean mountain hikes
Learn Spanish with other professionals from all walks of life
Approved for Continuing Education Units and Graduate Level Credits
24/7 leadership, coordination & support by immersion program leaders
Pura Vida Spanish Immersion Programs are immersions in Costa Rica
Costa Rica Spanish for Educators Immersion
Spanish Immersion for Teachers
Based in Santo Domingo de Heredia

1 – 6 weeks in length

Starts January 29, 2022 & June 25, 2022
Consider 10 days to have a full weekend to explore
Host family, hotel or hostel
20hrs/week of Spanish classes
Optional 1:1 private lessons
Tuesday – Thursday outreach projects
Great day trips
Amazing beaches, volcanoes and national parks
A great place to include your family or significant other for a post-trip vacation
Interprofessional mix of fellow travelers
Approved for Continuing Education Units and Graduate Level Credits
24/7 leadership, coordination & support by immersion program leaders most of the program

Spanish for Educators: Spanish Immersion Program for Teachers in Costa Rica & Ecuador. Whether you’re a Spanish teacher or a classroom teacher, you can’t find a better immersion program to improve your Spanish!

Why should I choose Common Ground Spanish Immersion Program for Teachers and Spanish Teachers?

This teacher’s Spanish immersion program is inspired and implemented BY educators FOR educators. Program planning, host family coordination, language classes and leadership are designed intentionally for YOU the TEACHER!

You’re not alone:

When you travel with Common Ground, you are not on your own. At a very minimum, you have the CGI onsite coordinator with your during your whole trip. Additionally, you will work closely with one of our lead Spanish instructors for at least a portion of your trip. We are in country to support you!

You know where we live

When you travel with Common Ground, you are not on your own. At a very minimum, you have the CGI onsite coordinator with your during your whole trip. Additionally, you will work closely with one of our lead Spanish instructors for at least a portion of your trip. We are in country to support you!

We offer the best language and cultural outcomes:

You learn Spanish for educators (and general Spanish) in daily Spanish immersion classes with native Spanish speakers. Therefore, you know you’re exposed to native Spanish all day long.

Staying with a local host family keeps you immersed in speaking Spanish 24/7, and forces you to acquire Spanish.  As you relate to your host family and experience daily culture in Latin America, you notice your everyday communication improving.

Preparing and delivering educational workshops to target communities with identified educational needs provides community support. Additionally, it requires you to use Spanish in a practical and educational context

Visiting local schools and interacting with local teachers gives you insight into education systems in Spanish speaking countries.

You can earn Continuing Education credits and graduate level PDU credits

We’ve taken the time and invested the energy into accrediting this Spanish immersion trip for you so that you can add to your professional education while meeting your Spanish language goals. Additionally, you may be able to seek funding from your employer for continuing education activities.

We prepare you before you travel:

Preparation is essential for establishing clear expectations for your trip, staying safe while you travel, knowing the day to day plan, and positioning yourself and your Spanish for maximum success on your program. Therefore, our custom pre-departure course is an amazingly effective online course that connects you with your fellow travelers and prepares you for every single detail – including culture shock!

This program fills on a first come, first served basis. Reserve a spot on the program for 30 days – no obligation – no credit card, just 30 days to help you coordinate your schedule!

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What type of teacher is this program for?

  • Classroom teachers who want to / need to learn how to communicate with their Spanish-speaking students, parents & guardians. For many classroom teachers, Spanish has become an extremely helpful tool to connect with Spanish-only parents; and the ability to understand families on a cultural level is invaluable.
  • Dual language immersion teachers that need to refine their Spanish skills in a variety of contexts.
  • Spanish teachers benefit as well! It’s easy to get into a rut with your Spanish if you’re teaching the same levels over and over every year. Spanish teachers know that every 3-5 years they should get abroad to immerse themselves in the language and refine higher level grammar concepts and reach native like fluency in everyday conversations.
  • Our Spanish for teachers immersion program is hands down the BEST way to improve your Spanish over the summer!
Spanish Immersion for teachers

Thoughts from recent Spanish For Educators Immersion Travelers:

This was exactly what I was looking for! I wanted a program where I could use my large base of Spanish knowledge to practice and reinforce my skills. I wanted the opportunity to use the language as much as possible and relate it directly to professional development. It was flexible and exactly what I wanted!

H. Abullarade
Minnesota

My Common Ground International immersion trip was challenging, inspiring and satisfying in all the right ways. I grew personally and linguistically in leaps and bounds. The people I met and the experiences I had will live forever in my heart and will inform every aspect of my professional life as well as my personal life. I will definitely be back!

L. Kropp
Illinois

I would say that my time in Costa Rica has truly met or exceeded all of my expectations! For example, I came down knowing only a few words, but after three short weeks, I’m leaving with the ability to communicate in Spanish with my students and their parents – what a gift! Additionally, I’ve gained so much by being immersed in this culture and truly believe I will be a better teacher in the future because of it.

S. Stuntz
Massachusetts

The pre-departure Spanish material was excellent. Wish I knew more when I got there, but that’s why we went. The leadership could not do a better job. Anything we wanted to do any time. Hard to beat. You can’t dip your toe in the pool. This is the cannonball version of getting in the pool. Don’t miss it. They’re waiting for you!

M. Rucks
Nevada

This Spanish Immersion program for teachers in Ecuador and Costa Rica is perfect for the educator who wants to improve their Spanish skills for personal and/or professional purposes.

The primary difference with our Educator Spanish immersion programs is that we weave 4 Spanish language components into your everyday experience to help you learn Spanish for your classroom and conversations with your students’ parents through everything you do Mon. – Fri. Every element incorporated into this program is intentional and focused on maximizing your Spanish language learning and cultural exposure. Here is how we do it:

Small Group Conversational Spanish classes

Daily Spanish immersion classes with native Spanish speakers. Classes are 4hrs/day in the afternoons. You’re placed in a class at your level.

“Spanish for teachers” can mean a couple of things: Spanish for classroom teachers or Spanish for Spanish teachers. During the pre-travel period, you will define for us which type of Spanish immersion you’d like your classes to focus on.Our Spanish for classroom teachers curriculum revolves around classroom management and parent conversations in Spanish.

Our Spanish for Spanish teachers curriculum focuses on refining higher level communicative proficiency in Spanish, and/or it can include a focus on tips and techniques for teaching Spanish back home.

Lodging with a local host family

Participants are immersed in speaking Spanish 24/7 and acquiring Spanish as they relate to the host family and experience daily culture in Central and South America.

Your host families will take care of all of your basic needs:

  • Provide you with a private bedroom
  • Share breakfast and dinner with you
  • Make sure that you are as comfortable as possible in their home

We recommend host family stay to complete the 24/7 immersion aspect of the program, your general Spanish conversational skills will sharpen quickly!

Of course, you have the option in both Costa Rica and Ecuador to stay on your own in a hostel or hotel. You will miss out on some conversational Spanish, but if you need your private space, you can certainly get it.

Educational Service Projects

Educational service projects (10-12 hrs. per week): where participants deliver educational topics in our outreach projects to underserved communities with identified educational needs. Participants also visit local schools and interact with local teachers.

Our community engagement projects give you the opportunity to:

  • Practice and improve your Spanish in an educational setting and a real life context.
  • Not only will the community service activities help meet the needs of the underserved, but they also require teachers to be using Spanish in a practical context to meet certain objectives.

This is an important piece to your language development and improving your Spanish.

We generally volunteer between 9 and 12 hours per week.

Weekend Adventures

Saturday through Monday mornings we have time off to explore the countries we visit! You can do this on your own or with the CGI group. We speak Spanish on these excursions and help you capture teachable moments as they pop up.

  • In Ecuador you can expect a mountainous & “hikey” weekend excursion.
  • In Costa Rica we’ll take a weekend trip to the beach, to a volcano, and we may have a chance to see turtles nesting and laying their eggs!

Immersion Program Objective

Spanish Immersion for Educators is specifically designed for teachers to drastically improve their Spanish communication skills. Participating in this program results in more effective and successful communication with your Spanish-speaking students and families in and out of the classroom.

Immersion Program Rationale:

We have a problem. Today, teachers are graduating with cutting edge methodology and training to teach their students.  HOWEVER, considering the growing Spanish speaking population in the US, many educators lack the Spanish language skills they need to successfully and effectively manage their classrooms. Additionally,  communicating with their parents to  improve outcomes of LEP populations in their classrooms is difficult. This Spanish Immersion Program for Educators equips teachers with the Spanish speaking skills and cultural understanding they need in order to successfully and effectively work with their populations.

Immersion Program Summary:

This program was designed by Spanish teachers for teachers that need to: improve their Spanish, better serve their educational communities, and break down language barriers. Whether you are a classroom teacher with a high percentage of Spanish speaking families, a dual language immersion teacher that needs a deeper knowledge of the language and culture, or a Spanish teacher that needs to brush up on native skills, this program is for you.

Continuing Education Credits:

Continuing Education Credits (CEU’s) and Graduate Level Credits (PDU’s) are available for an additional cost for teachers who would like to apply for them.

Suggested Trip Length:

Learning Spanish well is not a quick endeavor. And your language progress on immersion isn’t necessarily linear either. Every week you add to your program, you learn exponentially more than the previous week.

If you truly want to make progress on your Spanish skills, we suggest a minimum program length of two weeks.


All of our programs include basic travel medical insurance with trip interruption, delays, lost bags, etc. Here is the standard description of coverage for your included travel insurance plan. If you you have any uncertainties about your upcoming adventure, it might be a good idea to consider a Cancel for Any Reason insurance policy.  We suggest you shop for it here:

Registration is open …

Summer volcano and Spanish immersion for teens


Pura Vida Spanish Immersion Programs are immersions in Costa Rica

General Program Itinerary:

MonTueWedThurFriSatSun
Return from Optional ExcursionVolunteer orientationVolunteer prepVolunteer workVolunteer work
-or-
1/2 day excursion
Optional ExcursionOptional Excursion
LunchLunchLunchLunchLunch
Spanish classes 1-5pSpanish classes 1-5pSpanish classes 1-5pSpanish classes 1-5pSpanish classes 1-5p

First Saturday

Saturday is generally the day we ask you to arrive in country so that you can get settled in with your host family and have Sunday to get to know the town before your program starts on Monday.

Mon – Fri afternoons

Small group Spanish classes from 1-5pm

Tue – Fri mornings

These are the days we dedicate to community outreach work

Weekends

Take time to explore the country! We put together a weekend trip every weekend. You are free to join us, stay with your host family, or DIY a weekend excursion!

Adult Spanish Immersion Trip in Costa Rica

A few video testimonials from recent travelers:

Registration is OPEN and space is LIMITED! Spots are filled on a first come, first served basis.

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Why does learning Spanish even matter?

Learning Spanish matters for a variety of reasons:

  • First of all, it makes a tangible difference in the lives of your underserved students and families every day, which fulfills our mission.
  • Secondly, your students & parents are put at ease when they see you trying to speak Spanish, which opens doors
  • Thirdly, you understand your community members more easily, and are less frustrated
  • Additionally, you observe the results when your students are successful in your classroom, which makes all your efforts worthwhile
  • And finally, you feel better about your work with Spanish speakers

When you learn Spanish on immersion with Common Ground, you learn it by participating in a well-rounded total Spanish immersion context.  For example, we include: educational outreach work  in underserved communities, Spanish classes tailored and differentiated for teachers, host family lodging and weekend adventures. Therefore, you work hard and you have a lot of fun. However, the real reason that we invite you to participate in this Spanish immersion trip is to impact your community. We want you to take Spanish back to your home community and have a bigger impact in the lives of your students for a lifetime!

For more details from Leslie Foster, director Spanish immersion for Educator Program watch this pre-recorded informational webinar:

http://commongroundinternational.wistia.com/medias/tgie7e4zb4?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=350

Optional Excursions Class Trips Host Families Testimonials

any question about this program?
Spanish Immersion FAQs
How is this program different from other Spanish immersion programs abroad?

Common Ground’s Spanish immersion program for Educators is unique in several ways from other options available to teachers. Firstly, the differences relate to pre-trip preparation. Secondly, integration into the local communities and the type of educational outreach work we do. Thirdly, out-of-class learning experiences, and program supervision. If you’re not sure how to choose between the programs you’re considering, we’ll also be happy to give a free comparison/contrast with any other program you’re considering. It will be our pleasure to help you make a well-informed decision on which program will be best for you.

Who usually travels on this Spanish for Educators Immersion program?

We welcome all teachers, so we accept teachers and students preparing to be educators from across the country. While everyone has unique specialties and varying professional aspirations, the one thing that EVERYONE has in common is a sense that they need Spanish for their work. Regardless of your teaching speciality, our goal is to match your expertise with a need in the communities where we work to benefit the local population. We have a small team of teachers that help supervise our programs in Central America and ensure that our outreach work remains ethical, accurate, and applicable to the local populations that we serve.

How can I prepare for this Spanish Immersion?

Preparation is one of the key elements of our Mission Statement for responsible international outreach work. Therefore, you can and should be preparing as much as possible with your Spanish language before traveling. As mentioned elsewhere, beginners are accepted onto the programs without hesitation. However, you will never regret a single minute of Spanish preparation before you travel. There is a truism when it comes to language immersion programs: the more you know before you travel, the more you learn while abroad.

The reality is that the stronger your foundation is in Spanish before participating in a program, the more you have to build on when you are in-country. You will also be joining a series of live webinar meetings online to help you prepare for logistics and plan the outreach work that you’ll be participating in. For example, we typically have 4 meetings in the 2-4 months preceding a program in order to systematically help you prepare for your travel. Additionally,  we ask you to complete an online pre-departure course.

Can I join if my Spanish is beginning level?

Yes, of course. Our Spanish Immersion Program is designed to improve your Spanish regardless of your level. Since we expect you to be learning while you help communities with specific needs, we are intentional about the group you’re in. We strongly believe that improving your Spanish proficiency is key to providing enhanced service to your Spanish-only students, parents, and guardians in your home community. As long as you know that as a beginner, you will face frustrations and challenges that intermediate and advanced level speakers don’t face, then we welcome you! For example, it takes you longer for beginners to get comfortable with your host family, and you strain harder to follow conversations and presentations that we receive. Additionally, you work harder to develop and facilitate your charlas.

However, it’s totally worth it, and every trip beginners thank us for allowing them to participate because they can’t believe how much progress they’ve made with their Spanish.

How are the facilities chosen where we will be working?

We work with a few different non-profit groups and schools that focus on bringing education and enrichment to the poor and under-served in several different communities around the Central Valley of Costa Rica and the Cuenca & Quito areas of Ecuador. For example, we spend significant time in schools or other public meeting places in these communities to deliver our workshops and respond to the identified needs of the community. For more information on our guiding principles for  work abroad, please see our mission statement.

What about donations?

Donations are great! For example, during your pre-departure course, we may ask you to collect both physical and financial donations for your work on immersion. Normally, your donations will relate directly to any charlas that you will be giving in select communities. For example, if you’re giving a talk on oral hygiene, we will suggest that your charla group try and secure toothbrush and travel toothpaste donations to accompany your charla. Other situations may lend themselves more to education materials as donations. You will receive more details on the talks you will be delivering and have the opportunity to define your own donation items during your pre-departure preparation.

Can I bring my family with me?

Of course! We’re happy to have your family join you on your immersion program. This does require some additional planning – so we will want to know that you’re thinking about bringing a spouse and/or children sooner rather than later.

The ratings and reviews for this Educator Spanish Immersion Trip speak for themselves


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