Learn Spanish In Ecuador

By Jason Murphy

Learn Spanish in Ecuador and you will gain much more than anotherlanguage! The Learn Spanish in Ecuador portion of this website provides insight into why Ecuador is an excellent place to learn Spanish.

I am not a “foreign language” person.  I do not have a special aptitude to learn or study languages.   However, I can speak English, French, and Spanish.  How is this possible?

All I have is a need to communicate.  When you need to communicate, you will learn.  Your ability to learn will amaze you.  Relax, and allow life in Ecuador to serve as your classroom.

I recently gave a 30-minute presentation, in Spanish, to about 100 university students…..without ever taking a formal Spanish class.  You can do it too; it’s really that easy.

Learn Spanish in Ecuador – Language Immersion

Life is precious and I have no patience for wasted time.  I learned French in Nova Scotia, Canada, during a 5-week intensive language program.  We only spoke French and the method of instruction was a mix of classroom learning and life experience. 

I returned to university in the fall and enrolled in advanced French conversation.  There were some surprised French majors in my class.  I could actually speak French.   I just had to find the right classroom.

Formal Spanish instruction runs less than $200 per week.  Ecuador is full of Spanish schools and immersion programs.  We suggest that you take a look at the Vida Verde Spanish school with locations in Quito, the Pacific coast, and the Amazon Jungle.

Living in Ecuador

Living in Ecuador is the perfect classroom for Spanish immersion.  It will be difficult at first, but every day will provide countless opportunities to learn new material.  Moreover, the Ecuadorian people are very patient and want to help foreigners learn.  

I get enormous pleasure every time I effectively communicate with someone who does not speak English.  It does not matter if the communication is in Spanish, French, hand gestures, or a simple smile; the connection alone is rewarding enough.  Our Canadian friend Joanne spends each winter inEcuador and communicates exclusively with hand gestures and post-it notes. The work required to learn Spanish in Ecuador is a good investment.

A foreign language is much more than a communication tool. Learning Spanish, even basic Spanish, is your ticket to enter and understand Ecuadorian culture.  Language is central to culture.  Knowing Spanish will serve you immeasurably in Ecuador.  

You can meet new people, find opportunities, explore the best Ecuador has to offer.  Knowledge of Spanish will allow you to understand much more about Ecuadorian culture.  Also, knowing Spanish can save you a lot of money as you learn to participate in the market bargaining ritual.

Don’t let anyone make you believe that you can learn Spanish in Ecuador without doing some homework.  Learning a second language is difficult, but life in Ecuador makes the process much easier.  

Living in Ecuador complements your independent study.  The more you study the more you will benefit from life in Ecuador. TIP: if you are coming to Ecuador as a couple, one person may choose to focus on language and the other on the trip logistics.

Build a Foundation

Start a few months before your trip to Ecuador.  I would highly recommend hiring a Spanish tutor or attending some kind of personalized Spanish training. 

To find a teacher check classified advertisements, local university language departments, or online services such as www.craigslist.org

Become Familiar with Spanish

Watch Spanish TV with the closed captioning turned on.  You can start listening and looking for words you recognize.

I highly recommend The Ultimate Spanish Review and Practice published by McGraw-Hill.  This is one of the most straight-forward language books I have ever seen.  The book explains the basic grammar forms (in English at first) and has lots of examples and exercises.  

I have two Spanish dictionaries.  One is Spanish/English and the other is Spanish only.  I always use the Spanish-only dictionary first because it is much easier to remember a vocabulary word when it is learned in the context of the language, rather than as a translation.

Gary says that for him, his electronic Spanish/English translator is invaluable.  His favorite is Franklin Merriam-Webster model DBE-1470.  They even have a speaking model  BSE-1850, which will help with pronunciation.  Both models are user-friendly and have nearly 5,000,000 words, with complete verb conjugation and travelers phrases.   Check them out at www.franklin.com.

Although Spanish is not necessary for living in Ecuador, your life in Ecuador will be more fulfilling once you can speak Spanish.  Good luck!  


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