The CLS – Cuernavaca Language School was founded by Dr. Ivan Illich+ as the “Centro Intercultural de Documentación”, better known as CIDOC in 1960. The School is one of Mexico’s oldest and most respected language institutes. The School’s professional instructors have extensive experience in teaching Spanish as a second language. Our teaching methods facilitate rapid improvement in Spanish language skills regardless of the student’s current ability. We employ a total immersion approach.
This is the school for those students considering the Spanish language as a tool for their trips, studies and professional activities. Anyone with a desire to develop fluency in Spanish can do so in a surprisingly short period of time.
The CLS is affiliated to the Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP) -Public Education Ministry– under the corporation key 17PET0120X. This official registry certifies the quality of the Spanish courses offered in the CLS to foreign people.
The CLS belongs to AIPEC (Asociación de Institutos para la Enseñanza del Español en Cuernavaca), and to México Sí (Asociación Mexicana de Institutos de Español). These local and national associations establish quality standards in the teaching of Spanish to foreigners and all activities related to it.
Cuernavaca is located about 85 km. (50 miles) south of Mexico City on the M-95 freeway. It is the capital of the State of Morelos. The metropolitan population is around 1 million. In spite of its size, the city retains the unique character and flavor of a smaller town. Cuernavaca is rich in history and offers a charming blend of pre-hispanic, colonial and modern Mexico.
Cuernavaca is a favorite spot of people the world over for its historical interest, its striking scenery, its colorful life, and its delightful climate. The terrain is hilly and the streets are narrow and quaint. A wide variety of activities is available with all of the normal services of a modern city. The city bus system is economical and easy to use.
The city is situated at an altitude of 5,000 feet with temperatures between 70º F. and 85º F. (21° C. and 29° C.) the year around. The climate is semi-tropical and gives Cuernavaca its fame as the “City of Eternal Spring.” It is always warm and pleasant in the daily sun and cool in the shade. Light informal clothing is comfortable most of the year. On occasion we wear sweaters. From June to September, especially in the afternoon and evening, quick drenching rains are common.
Cuernavaca is truly in the heart of Mexico, and is surrounded by some of the most beautiful and culturally rich regions of the country. Everything from populous Mexico City to 18,000 feet volcanoes is a short distance from the heart of the city.
Our time-tested program takes an eclectic approach which combines both traditional and current language teaching principles. It successfully develops the four language skills, grammatical reflection and the knowledge and comprehension of the Mexican culture. It makes an approach through different perspectives: the linguistic, the thematic and the cultural.
The language class size never exceeds five students and may be smaller. All instruction is provided by a native speaker and Spanish is the exclusive language of instruction.
The CLS offers a variety of activities to help bring students into direct contact with the culture surrounding them. Once a week, a short field trip in Cuernavaca takes place visiting interesting sites such as the traditional market, the ravines, the cathedral, the botanical garden and much more. For those students who would like to meet more Mexican people and practice their Spanish, a weekly “language intercambio” is scheduled, as well as a movie afternoon. Also, dancing, painting, and Mexican cooking classes are offered upon request at an extra fee.
On weekends, the school organizes independent field-trips to explore some of the cultural and historic points of interest around Cuernavaca. The student may visit the silver-mining town of Taxco, the outstanding museums and sophistications of Mexico City, the famous Pyramids of Teotihuacan and Xochicalco, the magic town of Tepoztlan, Las Estacas natural springs, and the beautiful beaches of Acapulco, as some examples.
Daily life with a host family offers students many opportunities to practice their language skills and meet the culture first hand. Mexican food, customs, and warm hospitality will be part of everyday’s life while in Cuernavaca. The student will have private accommodations with a middle-class Mexican family, and three meals or breakfast depending on what he/she chooses.