SIMON - SARAH:
We did 2 weeks of intensive Spanish lessons with Diego and Angela at ABC Spanish School in September 2016 and it was a fantastic experience. We chose to do 4 hours a day, 2 with Angela then 2 with Diego, as we were keen to learn as much Spanish as possible in a short period of time.
They discussed with us what we wanted to get out of the lessons and gave us a tailor made experience focusing on what we wanted to achieve. What we did was fairly intense, although they never let it get overwhelming. They were always happy to adjust the pace and make sure all our questions were answered whilst keeping it fun. We started with a fairly basic level of Spanish and left much more fluent than we could have imagined.
Diego and Angela are both very experienced and professional teachers, many students we met learning with them had been with them for years which is a testament to both their skills and friendly, welcoming natures.
We had a great time, we will definitely return.
Diego was recommended to me by a friend who was full of praise for his effective teaching style and encouraging enthusiasm.
Diego genuinely cared for my progression, and remained always with an infectious smile and buckets of energy
- which made the lessons memorable and fun!
I couldn't recommend Diego more highly, I will certainly be coming back for more!
- Katy Malseed (UK)
MARTIN - lYNN:
“Our experience at ABC Spanish School was wonderful. Angela made Spanish fun and was a wonderful, patient teacher. My husband and I were in Medellin for 2 weeks and wanted to learn enough Spanish for our day-to-day needs. Previously we had a beginning Spanish class and could not speak at all. Angela had us speaking Spanish from the beginning and mainly spoke Spanish to us, but would give us English explanations when we couldn’t understand the Spanish. She incorporated Spanish phrases for daily activities, like taking a taxi or ordering at a restaurant, into our lessons. In our Spanish conversations, Angela would tell us about Medellin and Columbia, which increased our knowledge of the area as well as our ability to understand someone speaking Spanish. We felt like we got a good start learning and speaking the language. We highly recommend using the ABC Spanish School.”
I have been studying with Diego since June 2016. I have had classes/ private lessons in Portuguese and Spanish from 6 instructors. In my experience, Diego is one of the best professors I have experienced. I consider myself a medium level (plus) Spanish student and hope to continue with Diego until I'm advanced, and maybe beyond. He will adopt his instruction to your level. He is very flexible, which is something not available with the large schools with many branches. He is also very helpful with the customs and history of Colombia. He is not just an instructor in Spanish, he is a language professor, fluent in English and grammar. And he will soon be your friend. I highly recommend him. I also agree that the location in Laureles is superior to El Poblado. So much so that I have bought a small apartment here. - Frank
After deciding Colombia would be my home for the next 6 months I arrived in Dec 2014. I told friends and family I would not return home until I was fluent. Previously I literally did not speak a word of Spanish and was terrible at languages in school. After my first month in Cartagena my progress was at the speed of a snail and my goal of fluency looked near impossible. So I moved to Medellin where the Spanish was the supposed to be the best and most clear in the country. Thanks to Google I stumbled across Diego and Angela.
I initially planned to stay in Medellin for 2 weeks but like many of the other students I ended up extending my stay just a little longer to.........5 months!! After 2 weeks of studying with Angela for 2 hours a day I was conversational which I could not believe. I loved listening to my audios after class and doing the tests every couple of days and learning the phrases. My classes were excellent and I couldn't believe that I could speak another language. The relaxed learning environment and the "banter" ( Scottish word for good chat/time) I had with Angela was brilliant and made picking up the language fairly easy. After two weeks I knew it would just take time and that with Angela I had could reach my goal of fluency.
By May 2015 I could speak, write and read Spanish and it is all thanks to Angela and Diego and their teaching methods; they really are the best. Their knowledge of Colombia and the helping hand they provided to me while I was in Colombia was first class, they really are not only wonderful teachers who will help you achieve your goals but two of the nicest people I have ever met. In 5 months I could speak Spanish and felt I knew the Colombian culture and way of life very well. I loved Medellin and my time spent there, it was a truly fabulous experience and made so much better by the fact I could speak!!!! - Jillie
My husband and I decided to learn Spanish on our trip to Colombia. We were almost at the process of enrolling in a school when we came across the website of Diego and Angela, and decided that we would prefer to have private lessons. After some communication we arranged to meet Angela in a coffee shop in El Poblado - We immediately felt relaxed when meeting her as she was very warm in her manner.
The style of teaching great - it was mainly conversational. This was a great way to learn (as I only knew a few Spanish words ) and we learnt so much more than we ever thought we would. Our vocabulary is much more than I would have anticipated after two weeks of lessons and I feel confident in having basic conversations but my understanding is much better. Angela also was so helpful in making calls for us, showing us the area and telling us how to get to places when we were not sure - she became our friend as well as our teacher - I am sure that leant so much more than we would have from any 'normal' school! Once I get settled back in the UK after my travels, my intention is to have Skype lessons with Angela to continue with my learning! - Allison
My partner and I came to Medellin to improve our Spanish. After reading the many wonderful testimonials for Diego and Angela we decided to arrange lessons with them and our expectations were more than met. They were quick to respond to our emails and were flexible with arranging classes to suit our preferences, as well as helping us find somewhere to stay in Laureles which was just a 5 minute walk from the school. The classes themselves were great, they were tiered to our abilities, needs and interests which meant that we learnt a lot about Colombia at the same time as improving our language skills. The classes flew by as they make them interesting and informal with really effective techniques that help the language make sense, best of all they really felt like we were spending a couple of hours with friends!
We had 2 weeks of language lessons at ABC Spanish and improved more and felt much more confident after that than after 5 weeks at another school. We’ll definitely be arranging more classes for next time we’re in Medellin and would highly recommend classes with Angela and Diego.
Over the years, I have taken lots of “classroom” Spanish classes in California, where I live, and also in Mexico and Costa Rica, but I had never gotten to the point where I could have conversations with ease. I was always hesitating and stumbling around and was never sure I was saying what I wanted to say. When I arrived in Medellin, I was about to sign up for yet another “classroom” experience when I met Angela. After our first class, I knew that private classes with her were the way to go.
We met every day for two hours—and she immediately got me talking. Studying with her was like meeting a good friend for coffee and conversation. I looked forward to seeing her every day. She is a highly trained and skilled teacher, but she is also a great conversationalist and an all-around wonderful person.
Our classes were always enjoyable, but they weren’t just about friendly conversation. Angela used lots of different strategies to help me improve my Spanish. It was an ideal way to learn. I made great improvements in the month I studied with her, and I’m looking forward to returning soon! - Dona
My first Spanish lesson at ABC Spanish School started on Monday, May 30th 2016. ABC is a small school with two great teachers: Diego and Angela. When I first contacted the couple they offered me to stay at the apartment of a very good friend of theirs, Natalia, for a very reasonable price and only a 3-minute walk away from ABC. The school is located in Laureles, in my opinion the best area to be staying at if you want to learn Spanish! El Poblado is really nice too but there are a lot more tourists there so you’re tempted more to speak English. And Laureles has a lot to offer when it comes to good restaurants, cafe's with great coffee, hip bars to drink a cold cerveza etc.
Now back to my first day.. Natalia walked me to the school that morning and there we were welcomed by Angela and Diego waving from the balcony of their school. We drank a cup of coffee together and then my first lesson started with Angela. I had 2 weeks of Spanish lessons for 3 hours a day with Angela and I can honestly say she is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. I felt that she really followed my pace in learning and adapted her lessons to my capabilities. She taught me the necessary grammar and vocabulary to be able to have simple conversations but to also get the base of the language. (Note: I didn’t speak Spanish at all before I arrived in Medellín). Besides teaching me the language, Angela also taught me a lot about Colombia, which was so interesting to hear because she tells it in such a smart, open en honest way. She has seen the big change that Medellín went through since Pablo Escobar was shot dead in 1993.
During the lessons we would sometimes walk around the neighborhood to practise spanish words and to check the best stores and cafe's around. Other lessons we would talk about music (Diego is a VERY talented guitar player and has an album!) or about politics and the problems that our countries are having. This would of course all be in Spanish, but Angela and Diego both speak fluently English so when I struggled and needed more explaining Angela would easily switch to English.
And about the struggle: YES, learning a new language always is. And what always seems to help me is a good sense of humour. To be able to laugh when you say something that doesn't make sense or if you can’t pronounce a word. Or just laughing about funny sayings ("solterita y a la orden!") or funny swear words. Well, let me tell you that you’ve got a great one with Angela. She is very funny and made me laugh a lot and the other way around :).
I would 100% recommend taking lessons with Angela and Diego. They're not only great teachers but also great people to know in Medellín because they seem to know all the best places to eat, shop, sleep, listen to music or dance. I would definitely want to come back one day to ABC Spanish School!
Angela y Diego: muchas gracias por todo y hasta la próxima vez! - Nora
I have never actually provided a testimonial before, but given my amazing experience with Diego and Angela, I felt this was the very least I could do.
A friend from Australia highly recommended them, and I arranged a Skype lesson with Diego before arriving in Colombia. Instantly I knew that his unique teaching method and personality was going to be exactly what I needed to develop and master the language.
Immediately I had a strong connection with them both. They are extremely warm, patient, talented and genuine people, and their positive personalities are infections.
I had struggled with previous Spanish teachers, and the reason why Diego and Angela are so effective is because:
Their teaching emphasizes on hearing, thinking and speaking in Spanish. This is the key to learning any language and the reason why their creative and engaging methods are so successful
They are extremely intelligent and funny. I came away with not only a far better grasp of the language, but with a deeper understanding of Colombia, Antioquia, politics, culture, music (Diego is seriously talented!), art (Angela is a gifted artist), and life in general. Because of this, our conversations were always interesting and engaging, and we never ran out of things to talk about. Therefore, it was far easier to stay motivated to learn more, and this is where I have noticed other teachers fail.
Diego, Angela and Tito (their beautiful dog) are a perfect team. Most importantly, they are really good people who genuinely care about their students, and will miss sitting on the balcony watching life go by, talking and laughing.
I was not only lucky enough to find amazing Spanish teachers, but truly great friends and will be continuing my lessons online via Skype.
I am an Australian health trainer and writer. I have been living the last 6 months in Medellin Colombia, from May - October 2016, learning to dance salsa and speak Spanish. I don't consider myself a natural at either. I've had an average 2-3 language sessions a week with Diego for six months, and can now speak conversational Spanish, after arriving with not a word (except hola). DIego is the ultimate professional and has helped me to speak conversational Spanish. I have written this as a thank you letter to him - it just seemed the natural way to express what I want to say.
I'm sure many others have thanked you for the beautiful gift of Spanish you have helped them to discover, with your wonderful teaching. As I write this, on my last weekend in Colombia, I realise how much I am going to miss you as a friend, cultural mentor and of course, a superb Spanish teacher. I have tried more than a dozen different methods and teachers here in Colombia, both online, privates, apps and in group classes, including UPB university. There are 3 main reasons why you are on a completely different level. Your passion, your method, and your belief in me.
From the moment you come down the stairs to greet me at your Laureles studio you are already in full swing, beaming with enthusiasm and positivity. Any doubts or anxieties I may have about my Spanish speaking ability in that moment are swept away the instant you open your door, your heart and in your smiling voice say: Patrick, Como estas?
We may have already begun chatting in a friendly, casual way, but you are already hard at work. Notice I said you are hard work, not me. It's precisely because you are so focused, and work so hard, the result is always a relaxed and productive session for me.
Other teachers I've had, have done the exact opposite. They don't work so hard, which means the student has to - for example by taking endless notes, which is extremely slow and difficult as a beginner. We all have to work of course, but you create an environment that makes it feel like I'm not working. Which makes it much easier and more fun to learn. No stress, no strain and no grammar tables. Just a lively, solid conversation every time, where you give your laser focus to every word and syllable I say, then you give positive corrections in grammar and pronunciation - all with a definite purpose: To get me speaking Spanish. All sessions are recorded, with notes and optional audio, that I can take away.
Which brings me to the next point. You have a method. Not only are you focused on conversation, learning grammar is woven into our conversations, so it doesn't feel like a grammatical torture chamber. Of course, we have the occasional visit to the whiteboard, for any sticking points, but then it's back to your serene balcony for more street life observations, Colombian cultural insights and natural flowing conversation.
So what is your method?
Well I don't want to describe all your top secret methods for other teachers to steal. But the technique that has been the biggest help to me is a very simple, effective one: We talk, and you write. Which means at the end of the session, I typically walk out with 8 pages of your exceptional hand written notes. This may seem overly simple, and not especially unique, but I have never seen another teacher produce, live "real time" notes - at least not in the thorough and clear way you do it. You are a master note creator! These notes are absolute GOLD, because they have MY stories and experiences of Colombia, written in grammatically correct Spanish (by you), with various grammar and vocabulary breakouts.
I have all these original notes still. Not only are they are excellent for memorising big slabs of relevant text (a proven, fast track method in itself) they are a jointly created personal travelogue of my experiences in Colombia - written in perfect Spanish. Who else does that!
Your Belief (in me)
As you know I came to Colombia with not a word of Spanish, and not a dance step to my name. One of my goals was to go on a date with a woman, totally in Spanish, and then to be able to dance any style - salsa, meringue, bachata in a crossover dance club, which most of them are. I remember the day I first did this, (well, the night actually ) and although I didn't find true love that night, I was very proud to be able to hold a 3 hour conversation with a woman in Spanish - with dancing, drinks and dinner.
As my first foreign language, the road has not been easy. There have been dark days, and total bewilderment on the road to español - and days I wanted to give up altogether. But none of that mattered a scrap to you. You might listen to my dark moments for a few minutes, but then you just get on with the job. And that's what I want to thank you most for. You kept believing in me, even when, especially when, I doubted myself. You got me over that hump and helped me create the gift of Spanish in my life. I've got a long way to go, but now, thanks to you, I believe I can do it.
I first selected Diego and Angela’s Spanish school because of its proximity to my apartment in Medellin. It turned out to offer so much more than that. I had never taken Spanish in school and my approach to the language was hit or miss to that point. Diego took this into account and designed a program to address my goals (and deficiencies) in a thoughtful but engaging way. Through a combination of conversation, grammar, and a variety of fun and interesting teaching aids such as news videos and current events topics, I came away with a solid foundation in Spanish and a great platform for furthering my skills. Although, the lessons were almost exclusively in Spanish and hard work at times, I always felt engaged and never bored because of Diego’s patient and creative teaching approach. His years as a university professor were a tremendous plus for me because he emphasized the “why” as well as the “what” in his instruction. I never felt that I was just parroting words and sentences. There was a framework and structure to the learning that I can use going forward. Finally, in the process of my month taking Spanish from Diego, I came away with a much deeper understanding of the culture, history, and political climate of Colombia and Antioquia. This was an added bonus but one that I found as valuable as improving my Spanish skills. Although I don’t have enough experience with other Spanish schools to offer a good comparative evaluation, I have no hesitation in recommending Diego and Angela as Spanish instructors. In my opinion, they are the best. Jeff
If you’re short on time the summary review is that I have been studying Spanish on and off for many years and Diego is BY FAR the best teacher I have ever had, therefore, if you have the opportunity to take lessons with him my recommendation is to DO IT.
A bit about me for background. I am from Scotland and my wife is from Medellin and we have been living together in London for the last 7 years. During that time I have had many attempts at learning Spanish in various formats - online, group classes, one-on-one, Skype, practising with my girlfriend etc… - and while I learned quite a bit of vocab along the way I never really got to the point where I could speak Spanish.
As I was due to marry a Colombiana this year - March 2017 - I was determined this would be the year where I would finally fully commit to learning the language and therefore decided to move to Medellin for 3 months in advance of the wedding. This is where I found Diego and the ABC School and we studied 2 hours almost every day for 3 months.
I can honestly say that within the first week Diego had me speaking in Spanish. Yes, I knew a fair bit of vocab already, but this was the first time I seemed to be able to get it from my head and out of my mouth and in actual sentences! Over the next few weeks we quickly worked through the basics of grammar and tenses - the emphasis always on getting me speaking - and after this it was then just learning more and more vocab and practise, practise, practise.
While I wouldn’t claim to be anywhere near fluent in Spanish (I think that’s going to take a while longer!) I’m now at the point where I can understand most of what’s being said around me, I can comfortable get by in my day-to-day life in Colombia speaking only in Spanish, and I even managed to do my 10 minute wedding speech fully in Spanish (and the guests actually understood everything).
Aside from all of the above, there is the added bonus that Diego is just a really good guy who is genuinely interested in people and who really cares about his students. During our 3 months I would look forward to sitting on the balcony with Diego, drinking a coffee, and really just having a bit of a ‘chinwag’ about life. I learned lots - about Medellin, about Colombia, about music, about politics, about Diego and Angela - and all the while learning Spanish at the same time.
(I never had lessons with Angela but from what I could see she is every bit as component - and nice - as Diego. Son ‘buena gente!”)
Good luck with your lessons and enjoy the experience. Steve
MARVIN - YASEMIN:
We, Marvin and Yasemin, did a two week Spanish course at Angela's and Diego's language school. We did an intensive course of 3 hours a day in a private setting with Angela. We know now that Spanish is a language with a lot of grammar and things you should know, but we can honestly say that we have learned so much and are really able now to have a decent conversation in Spanish! We didn't know any Spanish before the classes so it was absolutely worth it. We are still not there yet, because it takes a lot of practice to fully understand the grammar rules, but practice makes perfect. We have never regretted this course and really enjoyed the classes with Angela! She is really patient and is absolutely interested in what you would like to practice. Especially the conversation classes were really helpful and don't forget the history lessons about Colombia. We would truly recommend Spanish classes with this lovely couple.
Spanish classes Medellin Spanish lessons Medellin
ABC Spanish School
The Truth about Spanish with Diego: Spanish lessons with Diego are a pleasure. From his ideal office setting, classes are tailored to your story and he'd transcribe the lessons for easy reference later. El tiempo vuela con Diego!
2009 - 2017