ESL in Nosara, Costa Rica — Winter Term 2022
La Biblioteca de David Kitson
Aims of the program: Goals and teaching methods for English in the setting of Nosara is different from the way foreign languages are taught in the U.S. We are not teaching reading and writing skills, nor are we after an in-depth understanding of the grammar and structure of English. Our job is to help the local students to communicate with English speakers at whatever level they can reach. Many of the students will have taken the January course before and so have a little knowledge but are extremely hesitant to speak. That is our goal to get them to say/speak whatever they know.
Language requirement: No Spanish is used in class. It’s not only possible, but preferable, to use only English in teaching English. Nonetheless, for getting around town and for relations with people outside of class, having achieved a level of SPAN 220 is preferable.
Airfare: Between $400-700 from Boston.
Room: hopefully all will share a house we have obtained in the past for about $150/person for the month ($600 for the house).
Food: depends on the individual eating style and drinks but about $500-1000 for the month. Food prices at the restaurants are very reasonable in comparison with U.S. prices. One can buy breakfast fruits and cereals at the supermarket to prepare in the house. This is a considerable savings over three meals in a restaurant.
Description of Nosara. The town is small, about 2000 people, rural, isolated and poor. It is located about 2.5 miles from the beach. The weather in town is hot, dry, windy, and dusty. There are bugs but not a problem at this time of year. The beach town is a tourist area famous for surfing and yoga.
Living Arrangements. The house where the student teachers have stayed is near the center of town and very near the Library and several restaurants. The accommodations are very basic, there are two rooms filled with beds and one bathroom and a tiny kitchen. The group divides up the sleeping quarters as they wish.
Trip from U.S. to Nosara. We recommend flying to Liberia rather than San José. Liberia is a 2.5 hour drive to Nosara. If you fly to San José, we can recommend several hotels, however, in the past people have preferred to do it on their own. The last leg of the trip is a six-hour bus trip in a second class bus. The bus leaves San Jose at 5:30 a.m. and arrives in Nosara at 11:30 a.m. Nature Air has two daily flights from San José to Nosara. Or you can all rent a cab or van and drive out which is much more expensive and takes about the same amount of time. (Some years they had to change buses at the “bomba” (gas station on the main road).
From Liberia you can take a taxi or even a short flight to Nosara airport. Taxi is about $150 but can be split by others if you arrive around the same time. We encourage you to make your travel plans together so you land in Liberia in proximity to one another and can share the cost of a van taxi.
Note that there is an exit fee at the airport of approximately $40. Save some money!
Clothes and items to take. Summer clothes that are not too revealing as you have to maintain status as the teacher. Take insect repellent, sun block, and a month’s worth of any medications or personal products you will need–many common consumer products are available but they can be quite expensive and there is no guarantee you will find the right brand of products you are used to. Pack at least one nice summer outfit in case of a party or special event. Take a blanket or beach towel to sit on at the beach and a bag or backpack to carry items to the beach. You should take a notebook and perhaps some art supplies or interactive materials for your lesson plans. You will need to keep a journal in order to receive a credit.
Description of ESL or ESOL. The Library has been using the Laubach Way to Speaking English for some years supplemented by other books. The best book that we have on how to teach ESL is Teaching Adults: an ESL Resource Book. We have two professional educators with graduate degrees and years of experience in their fields that will help students in how to teach in a weekend seminar before classes begin and then give them guidance and help as they go along based on regular observations of the teachers in their classes.
Each person will have 2 classes a day for 4-5 days a week; one class of elementary or high school students in the morning and in the evening high school age and adults. You will also be asked to help in the library for an hour a week, reshelving or helping in other ways.
The local students are organized by ability and classes are relatively small, normally less than 15. Students are very eager and in general well behaved. It is important to stick to the book and not invent your own methodology for teaching English.
You will need to arrive in Nosara on Sunday, January 2nd, 2022. Orientation will begin Monday morning and classes will start on Wednesday the 5th. Last day of classes will be Thursday, January 27th, so don’t book a return flight before the 28th.
All interns must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.