Learning English in the Yucatan
As expats in the Yucatan, we spend a lot of time concerned with new languages, whether it's Spanish or Mayan. It's easy to overlook that, for locals, learning English is just as significant in terms of growth and challenge. We asked Na'atik Language & Culture Institute in Felipe Carillo Puerto what it's like to be on the other side of the language barrier, learning English. Here is a short introduction to Na'atik, followed by some of their young students' perspectives about their experience learning a foreign language.
Na’atik is a non-profit language school in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo. In addition to offering Spanish and Maya immersion programs we offer affordable and encouraging English language classes to over 200 students from our local community. English helps them not just to get better jobs in the Riviera Maya, but to further education, professional careers and international travel.
In this piece, we asked one of our classes to write short reflections on their experiences learning English at Na’atik.
My name is Grecia, I study English in Na’atik, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo. I remember how everything started 6 years ago. Searching around the city for English courses. There was a little house with four rooms where three American teachers teach kids the verbs “to be.” So I registered and there is where the journey began. Until now everything is improving. Every year my English gets better, writing, speaking and listening. In addition, the trips to Playa del Carmen and other beautiful places have made this experience even better. Just because Quintana Roo, Mexico is one of the most wonderful places in all the world, with all its natural places,
beaches, lagoons, tourism and biodiversity. Also the hospitality from the people makes you feel at home.
To conclude I have to say that coming to classes here makes me forget everything and I just enjoy learning this beautiful language.
My name is Luis and I think any person can learn English, like basketball any person can shoot and score for the scoreboard but the reality is that in a game you need tactics and techniques to win. A similar thing happens with English and in Na’atik for example the form of teaching and learning is excellent because they use native teachers and do activities to demonstrate everything we learn in one year. Na’atik brings you opportunities, new experiences, connections and a lot more also. The reality is you can use this for the future in university and in the moment to find a job is more easy because you have more opportunities with English. Finally you can make friends and have more experiences with the passing of time because Na’atik has an excellent atmosphere to learn English. Na’atik is in Carrillo Puerto and it’s quiet, green, calm, noisy with culture, traditions, food and more.
My name is Claudia. I have been studying English since 2013 and it has been a great experience. The teachers are really good and I can practice my pronunciation with other students who came to learn Spanish.
Last year I was helping in the school in the library and it was such a honor because I love to read books and be part of this project which helped me with my English because the most part of the day I have to speak English with the teachers and the Study Abroad students. My family also is a “homestay family” and it’s amazing to meet people that are interested in my culture, traditions and food.
Hello! My name is Seidy, I studied English at Na’atik this year and the experience was amazing.
Notably I’m better at speaking in English in comparison to when I arrived and this was thanks to Na’atik because there the teachers are natives. Likewise the part of coexistence with foreigners is great because you can learn about other places and you can see other contrasts of the cultures therefore I recommended Carrillo Puerto to study Spanish and learn a new culture as well.
For more information about Na'atik and opportunities to help them bring quality English education to the Zona Maya, visit their website!