I booked a trip to Costa Rica and decided to "brush up" on my Spanish before I went. I found Olehola when googling Spanish classes on the UWS. The free introductory lesson confirmed my suspicion: whatever small degree of fluency I had 20 years before had evaporated. I signed up for private lessons twice a week for the 2 months before I left. I was amazed at how much I learned in that time. I was able to function very well in restaurants, stores and basic conversations. I could order, ask directions and questions AND understand the answers.
I have continued my lessons because I enjoy them. I've been studying with Juan Carlos for over a year now. I'm happy with his approach and my progress. I like the privatae classes as I have to be alert; there's no one else to pick up the slack. I have to think and speak. Each class has a focus - a verb tense, a point of grammar and there is a workbook with exercises which reinforces the topics. Now that I am more fluent we spend more time in general conversaiton - talking about food, cooking, my work, films, books - normal conversations. No discussions about the locations of pens and pencils.
If you are studying Spanish for the first time or want to build on your current level, check out olehola.com. It is near the W 72nd St. subway; scheduling is flexible, rates are reasonable and Joan Carlos and his staff are good teachers. It's a very comfortable and friendly environment. - Shannon R. New York, NY -