Should I Study Spanish in Mexico?

Should I Study Spanish in Mexico?

There are many wonderful Spanish language schools all over Mexico. You should study Spanish in Mexico before you live or retire here.

One of the best ways to both learn Spanish and prepare to retire in Mexico is to pick a school in the city in which you would like to retire.

Since the only thing consistent about Mexico is its inconsistency, it is very wise to “try out” your new place before you make solid plans. One of the best ways to do this is to study Spanish in Mexico while you get a first-hand feel for the area. If you end up not liking the area as much as you thought, you will still have had an enriching experience.


I recommend that you spend a few weeks and study Spanish in Mexico. It is possible to live in Mexico without learning to speak Spanish, but if you are the kind of person that would consider living here without taking Spanish classes, there are better places for you to retire.

cover page of Mexico: The Trick is Living Here
“Ever wonder what it is “really like” living day to day in another country with people whose expressions, attitudes and lifestyles you are not familiar? Afraid you will feel out of your element, certainly out of your comfort zone? Getting on the bus, shopping at the market, chatting with neighbors can be a bit different in Mexico.

“I felt after reading Mexico: The Trick Is Living Here that I had a much better understanding of what lay in store for the beginner American expatriate. Thanks to Julia Taylor for an instructive and also entertaining read.”
–Doug Stewart
Click here to see a description of an e-book prepared by the author of this website.

Not speaking Spanish would limit your interaction with the community so severely that you would only experience the 3rd world difficulties and little of the hospitality. But don’t be discouraged. There are many places where you can study Spanish in Mexico. Plus, you don’t have to speak Spanish well. Mexicans are so hospitable and flexible, that no matter how limited your language skills, they will make you feel welcome.


Also, in places frequented by tourists, many Mexicans speak English. In Cabo San Lucas, employers pay for English classes for even the lowliest members of their staffs. In Cuernavaca, people send their children to bi-lingual private schools, and take language classes early in the morning, after work, or on Saturdays, just so they can talk with you. Anyone with a university degree has at least an intermediate level of English. Anyone poor enough to have gone to the US to work will happily chat with you in your own language.

So, why study Spanish in Mexico?


Mexicans have so many wonderful hospitality traditions, that you will want to be able to talk with everyone in your neighborhood. They will give you food, do favors for you, and most importantly, give you information about how things are done in your area. If there is one thing I have learned from my husband about getting around in Mexico it is, ASK.

Ask, ask, ask. The only thing consistent about Mexico is its randomness. Nothing is done the same way in one place as another. Even the requirements for getting immigration papers differ from city to city. Nothing is even done the same way twice in one place! My friend and my husband were both doing their annual taxes at the same time at the same office and one was having a smooth flowing experience and the other was hitting road-block after road-block.

It is through communication that you will have access to all of the information that you need.

Be grateful for Mexican patience and flexibility. As long as you know a few basic phrases, you can learn Spanish slowly when you get here.

If you have already studied Spanish and want to know how to keep up your skills, read about Krashen’s Input Hypothesis

How Can I Study Spanish in Mexico?

Once you know where you would like to study Spanish, use the internet to preview the schools in that city on their web sites. Make sure that the school’s methodology is communicative. This means that the objective is for the students to be able to communicate in the language. As we all know, no one is going to ask you if you can explain Spanish grammar. They are going to ask you if you can SPEAK Spanish.

Spanish courses in Mexico

Learn Spanish in Mexico at IMAC Spanish Language Programs.

A communicative methodology means that during class the students are given ample opportunities to speak to each other in the “target language” (i.e. Spanish). See Good Language Classes, a methodology checklist that will guide you as you choose a school where you can study Spanish in Mexico. Good Language Classes

What are the Costs of Spanish Classes in Mexico?

Private Spanish language schools in Mexico charge between $120 to $500 USD per week. You can also check with state universities to see if they offer Spanish classes. Many schools offer a choice between small group classes and one-on-one classes.

In my experience, one-on-one classes are not necessarily better. If the school’s methodology is communicative and includes pair and small group work in class, students get enough practice speaking Spanish. On the other hand, if the school’s methodology is traditional and involves the teacher lecturing throughout the class, private classes would be better so that you can get a word in edgewise.

Once you have spent this money, keep up your skills back at home. Learn about Krashen’s input hypothesis.

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