Ailola Otavalo Spanish School

Ailola Otavalo Spanish School - opiniones y fotos

Ailola Otavalo Spanish School
3.5
De 09:00 AM a 05:30 PM
Lunes
09:00 AM - 05:30 PM
Martes
09:00 AM - 05:30 PM
Miércoles
09:00 AM - 05:30 PM
Jueves
09:00 AM - 05:30 PM
Viernes
09:00 AM - 05:30 PM
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3.5
3 opiniones
Excelente
1
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2
Mala
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sofia s
1 aporte
Amigos
Me and my friend went to this school for one month. We lived in an apartment and had 4 hour classes with Carlos. We quickly became great friends and our Spanish improved. Carlos was very kind and helpful during our stay, he took me to the dentist 3 times, took us to local markets, on 3 full day hikes, and brought crossings every morning. We learned a lot of grammar in Quito, and in Otavalo Carlos helped us put what we had learned into conversation. He made sure we understood concepts, urged us to ask questions, and made learning fun! We would highly recommend this school to anyone that is looking to learn or improve their Spanish for one week to a couple months. Otavalo is a beautiful town with so many hikes, markets, and sights to see. We are so thankful to have learned from and made friends with Carlos.
Escrita el 26 de junio de 2021
Esta opinión es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor les hace controles a todas las opiniones.

Gretchen Z
Kimberley, Canadá17 aportes
Solitario
This was a great place to learn and practice Spanish. I didn’t like that I had a change of teachers after only one day, nor did I like that the second teacher had a Facebook emergency on my time - she was hacked.
Escrita el 18 de diciembre de 2017
Esta opinión es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor les hace controles a todas las opiniones.
Hi Gretchen, I'm very sorry that you had such a bad experience. This makes me feel very sad. I already discussed your complaint with Eugenio (school director) who immediately sent you an email. I understand that you didn't like the change of teachers. This is actually part of our teaching concept. Some students don't like it but most do. At the moment we don't plan to change that since most students are very happy with this teaching concept because that way they have the chance to practice their Spanish with different teachers. Your other complaint regarding the teacher using Facebook during your class is absolutely valid. Our teachers are not allowed to use their cell phones during class but they should concentrate 100% on teaching Spanish. We asked you to advise us if you encounter anything that is not as you would expect. Unfortunately, we have only got your complaint via TripAdvisor and therefore couldn't fix the situation directly when you have been at our school. In this particular case we decided to fire the teacher. While she was good, this behavior is not acceptable and not the expectations we as language school have towards our Spanish teachers. We want to offer our teachers a great working environment enabling them to do their job with passion. We give our teachers the trust, confidence and responsibility to do so. It is really sad that in some cases this trust is misused. We don't want to change our philosophy however because it would punish all our teachers even those who are doing a great job. The best option is that you and future students immediately inform our student advisor immediately when something like this happens. Thank you for letting us know about your experience. The info was very helpful. I'm glad that you overall wrote "This was a great place to learn and practice Spanish". When you decide to return to Otavalo or Quito, you are more welcome to visit us with new teachers in Otavalo. Keep on learning Spanish! All the best, Philip and the Ailola Otavalo team
Escrita el 6 de enero de 2018
Esta respuesta es la opinión subjetiva del representante de la gerencia, no de Tripadvisor LLC.

Johann U
16 aportes
Pareja
We took classes at the school located in Otavalo. We cannot speak more highly of the teachers there--though we only worked with one directly who was wonderful. The teachers at the Otavalo school are smart, kind, funny, engaging and create a welcoming environment. They are also patient with annoying students--which we were witness to a number of entitled, rude, prone to complaining adult students who also negatively impacted our experience.

The curriculum is good though too focused on grammar with lacking attention to conversational Spanish (which is what travelers need). The first week we attended we were in the first tier of Spanish and the curriculum and practice was great--but the second week piled on more grammar and we felt lost immediately. The curriculum doesn’t include review or revisiting of previously learned information—it is all new. Sadly, because of this heavy-grammar curriculum, I didn’t benefit from the second week and feel it was a loss financially.

The school needs to improve the curriculum to focus equally on conversational Spanish because grammar is pointless if you can't use it in a sentence. Travelers need to be able to communicate more than just conjugate.

We LOVED our teacher and enjoyed the other teachers, in conversation, at the school in Otavalo. We were sad to leave the school primarily because of the quality of the teachers. Who are unfortunately, beholden to the curriculum.

We didn't enjoy or value the field trips because they were poorly planned and we never got more than a half-day warning. We also didn't have a clear understanding of the objective of the field trips--we thought they were perks but the school director mentioned (when we were on a trip) they were intended for students to practice speaking Spanish out in the world.

A good idea but it misses three important points:

1.) At least students in lower levels, like us, are not learning conversational Spanish—so expecting us to speak in complete sentences on these field trips is unrealistic.

2.) Nearly every student is a traveler and engages in rudimentary Spanish daily at the store, market, on the bus, etc. What would be helpful would be conversational Spanish training so we can engage in more meaningful conversations.

3.) In order to keep up with the fast-paced curriculum, students need to study at least 2 hours each night. Field trips cut into study time and when they don’t end up feeling worthwhile, its a bummer as that time could have been spent studying.

One field trip was changed at midnight the night before to accommodate for another student who complained. We didn't get the notice in time and ended up on a field trip that didn't meet our needs or expectations--and the student who complained didn't bother to show up at all. We got the impression that squeaky wheels tend to get the oil. A bummer for people like us who aren’t complainers. (Feedback givers—yes)

We can’t offer a comparison to other schools because this was the only one we attended. While we LOVED our teacher and learned from her in spite of the limitations of the curriculum, we would choose a different school the next time around.
Escrita el 10 de abril de 2017
Esta opinión es la opinión subjetiva de un miembro de Tripadvisor, no de Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor les hace controles a todas las opiniones.
Hello Johann, Thanks so much for your great review. I really loved to hear that you enjoyed our teachers. I’d like to briefly comment the critical points that you have mentioned: A.) “They are also patient with annoying students--which we were witness to a number of entitled, rude, prone to complaining adult students who also negatively impacted our experience.” – From time to time we have students (like probably any school) that are not really interested to learn Spanish and simply disturb classes which negatively impacts the learning progress of other students in the same group class. If we notice such a case and it’s a significant problem, we talk with the students personally and please them to improve their behaviour. Right now I’m not sure if that happened in the case of your class. It’s also important that the school administration gets informed about the case. If there is no chance for improvement, we sometimes re-group the class so that motivated students are not annoyed any more and can progress with their Spanish learning. This happens then in the following week when the groups again are defined. Occasionally we expel students. However this is really a very rare case and ultima ratio where we can’t assure a productive learning environment. I’m sorry that the student negatively affected your learning experience. It’s like in college or school where some students might have disturbed the classes. Taking private classes would be an option to avoid this. B.) “The curriculum is good though too focused on grammar with lacking attention to conversational Spanish (which is what travellers need).” – The small group classes must meet the expectations of all students. Some attend classes to learn Spanish for their trip and others want to learn Spanish seriously to become a Spanish teacher, for job purposes, to join a volunteering project, for their University programs or simply to learn the language to become proficient. For beginners it’s important to set a good ground of grammar and vocabulary knowledge that can then be used in conversations later on. While conversation is part of the program, also the areas grammar, vocabulary and listening are part of the curriculum. Having taught 1,000s of students until now, we found out that this curriculum works pretty well. In the advanced levels, the share of conversation will take a higher percentage than in the beginner classes. In case of very specific requirements, it’s generally better to take private lessons which can be 100% customized to your needs. I’m not sure you which program you have chosen and participated in. C.) “We didn't enjoy or value the field trips because they were poorly planned and we never got more than a half-day warning. We also didn't have a clear understanding of the objective of the field trips--we thought they were perks but the school director mentioned (when we were on a trip) they were intended for students to practice speaking Spanish out in the world.” – The mentioned trip was a free bonus offered by our school. I totally agree that the communication wasn’t perfect leading to a misunderstanding. The free trip was going to “Cotacachi” and not “Cuicocha” and we called the students a night before to correct it. Cuicocha is further away than Cotacachi and we wouldn’t have returned in time to start the classes. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding and we will improve that. The objective of the field trips is to learn more about the Ecuadorian culture and environment and make friends with other travellers. While it is in Spanish, it will not replace Spanish classes. We have a Traveling Classroom program which combines Spanish classes with traveling together with a Spanish teacher. Regarding your suggestions: To 1.) It really depends on each individual students. We not only have travellers in the classes. Some students want to learn Spanish from the ground up and work in a volunteering project later on as one example. So it’s not so easy and just leave out the grammar and put the major focus on conversation. We would then get complaints from other students. Private classes can be better aligned to the objectives and expectations to each student. To 2.) We don’t have many students in Otavalo (especially compared to our location in Quito) and it can be coincidence that in your class have been only travellers. This can vary from class to class, from week to week. When you register at our or any other school, clearly communicate that you’d like to focus on conversation so that we can suggest better options for your case (given your review, I’m not sure if that happened or not). To 3.) Often you get home work during the classes to be done for the next day, e.g. during the afternoon. The activities that we offer are optional and each student can decide whether he/she wants to join them. We never oblige a student. Maybe that wasn’t clearly communicated. About the fact that you haven’t been informed in time about the change of the trip, I’m really sorry. We tried to inform each student the night before and it didn’t work out. That was really a mistake by ourself and it will not happen again. I find it really awesome and productive that you shared your experience in such detail allowing us to improve some valuable points that you mentioned. Thank you! Even though you write that you would choose a different school next time around, give us a 2nd chance. Keep your good memories of Ecuador! All the best, Philip and the Ailola Otavalo team
Escrita el 18 de abril de 2017
Esta respuesta es la opinión subjetiva del representante de la gerencia, no de Tripadvisor LLC.
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