(Newsroompanama) When you’ve taught your way around the world, helping people in 52 countries to get a grip on the English language it is likely that you have earned your way to setting up an English language school. You arrive in Panama, fall in love with the city and open a “Spanish” school.
“Spanish”? “Yes” says Canadian born Joseph Ennis.: “I considered the possibility of English but soon realized that with the increasing flow of foreigners to Panama, the real window of opportunity lay with an innovative approach to teaching Spanish.”
Soon after he met and married Carmen Castillo , a beautiful and talented Panamanian and together they expanded Spanish Panama from its one classroom in a student hostel beginnings in El Cangrejo, to an attractive multi-roomed entity staffed by selected Panamanian teachers on Via Argentina, providing group, or one-on-one classes to new arrivals from around the world. Each room has its own Panamanian decoration theme, and there is a communal chat and snack room. “School” as we knew it seems far away.
Students range from young backpackers to corporate executives, a Chinese minister to a Canadian retired policeman, tourists to established residents.
The courses include and introduction to Panamanian culture from traditional dances to Kuna Molas, history, traditions, even Panamanian recipes and cooking classes. Recently, using its worldwide network of alumni, Spanish Panama developed a news “Mix and learn” program that brings students to the school for small group classes lasting from one to four weeks, and involves them in local activities and exploration trips where they can put into practice what has been learned in the classroom. Planned cultural activities take place daily, and the vibrant life of Via Argentina and its environs becomes a living language lab for Spanish Panama. Where else will you learn how to deal with street peddlers, sample a “raspao” or “paleta.” School was never like this.
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