I have been studying Spanish in an on off fashion for many years, in many countries with many teachers. Diego and Angela provided me with the best lessons that I have had, and if you feel like doing a few hours Spanish a day, and have a few hours a day to sightsee Medellin is a great city to do it in. As long as you get an AirBnB close to the Metro, everything is quick and easy to get to.
One of the things that I have found a bit frustrating about a few of the Spanish schools that I have been to, is that they insist on some type of levelling test to start things off. I can see the point of this if you are going to be a group, as it helps if all of the group is at a similar level, but it is totally pointless if you are having the idea of private lessons. The idea of private lessons is that the teacher can individualize the lesson as you go. Diego and Angela are great at this.
If you want a lesson based on a specific grammar topic, they will do this, and provide you with clear concise easy to understand explanations which make you wonder why some text books make things so complicated. If you want a more informal lesson where you watch a YouTube video and (try to) transcribe it, or just start talk about a topic in Spanish, and work on vocab and grammar issues that come up, then they will be great at this as well.
In my case I keep discovering things that I either had not realized, or (more commonly) had been taught is a far too complicated way. The only way to pick these things up is to get on and listen and talk, and have a teacher point out things that you are not understanding, or not expressing properly..
Both Diego and Angela took notes as you did the lesson, and did some revision at the end. This also worked well for me as I can’t read my own writing, but I could read theirs. I later transcribed the notes onto Google Docs and usually ended up with a few more questions that I needed to ask them the next day…
In my case I have been learning Spanish for years, and sometimes I seem to be able to give the impression of getting somewhere near to be fluent. Other times I can’t believe how bad I am. I got the sense that both Diego and Angela were passionate about the Spanish language and teaching so I am sure that whatever level you are at they will give you great lessons.
Off the topic: my recommendation for someone who was going to spend 6 months or a year travelling around Latin America. Spend 4-8 weeks in one city doing 4-5 hours a day Spanish 4-5 days a week then travel. Very easy to get stuck in travellers Spanish otherwise. Travellers Spanish means you get very good at asking where things are, how much the cost, and telling people a bit of basic information about yourself. I did this for 4 to 6 weeks a year for a few years.
I would strongly recommend staying in Medellin and having lessons with Diego and Angela.
I had the pleasure of taking daily classes with Diego for three weeks this year. The classes were thoroughly enjoyable. Going in, I knew some vocabulary and grammar but was not confident in speaking. But I was always at ease with Diego; I never wanted to resort to English, and in fact I found myself rigorously trying to avoid English completely. I should mention that I had one class with Ángela, which was also great. Both Diego and Ángela are fun, enthusiastic, and eminently talented. They quickly become your friends and peers.
Classes were conversational right from the beginning, and it was clear that the focus was to be on speaking and listening. Diego skillfully guided the conversations by asking questions, filling in the blanks, and correcting when I faltered, which was often, but doing so in an encouraging and constructive way. He explained how to express thoughts and ideas as they came up, usually with several alternatives. (I should mention that throughout all of this we did cover grammar topics, in some depth, when it was appropriate.) He took notes on all of this, so that I came away with a written summary of each class session and a lengthy list of expressions and vocabulary words to study. This allowed me to concentrate completely on listening, thinking, and speaking, without the distraction of having to scribble inadequate notes during a fast-moving discussion.
Homework each day was a drill on listening and comprehension — transcribing word for word (I should say trying to) a news clip video about two minutes long. These videos included clear, rapid Spanish spoken by the news anchors and reporters as well as more colloquial rapid speech by people interviewed “on the street.” Each day we went over my attempts in detail so that I wound up with an accurate written transcript and complete understanding of what was said in the videos.
Diego arranged activities beyond the classroom as well. Since we are both musicians, he arranged a field trip to the Débora Arango School of Arts music department, and also a fantastic evening at a bar in which musicians played traditional Colombian music of the region on a collection of regional folk instruments.
The discussions in class were freewheeling but centered on interesting topics — events, history, and social and environmental issues in Medellín and Colombia — and on my personal interests. It helped that I happened to be in Medellín during a news-rich period: the Pope’s momentous visit to Colombia, the hurricanes that devastated the Caribbean and U.S., and the huge Mexican earthquake. The topics were diverse. A partial list of what we discussed: family values in Colombia and the United States, what exactly is an earthquake, parts of the guitar, artistic graffiti in Medellín, possible implications of the FARC’s new name/same initials, etc. Again, Diego skillfully guided the discussions, and with my improved confidence I was sometimes amazed at what I could come up with!
To sum up, I would not hesitate to recommend Diego and Ángela for Spanish study during your visit to Medellín. (They also conduct lessons over Skype.) I was completely happy with my experience which, at three weeks, was all too short, and I hope to return and do it again soon.
My PhD adviser Richard, who had studied Spanish with Angela 5 years ago, recommended this private school to me. I spent one month with Angela from late August 2017 to late September 2017 taking individual classes.
Angela is patient, caring, and erudite. She has impressive literary sensibilities as a language instructor. I really enjoyed my classes with her.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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!
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)
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
Medellin was the first stop on my multi-month trip to South America. Needless to say, knowledge of Spanish language is extremely helpful while traveling there. Prior to the trip, I studied Spanish using Duolingo, but did not get too far. Even though I memorized some words, I was in trouble with putting together a simple question about directions or ordering a meal. I decided that I need a teacher. Medellin offers a wide variety of Spanish language studies: at language schools, in individual settings, via Skype. They all have positive reviews on their websites, which makes the selection process even harder. Ultimately, I just sent emails to all of them asking about availability of individual lessons. First reply came from ABC Spanish in less than 24 hours. I liked the prompt response and went ahead with having lessons with Angela.
During the first week, I had 2-hour class every business day, and for the next 6 weeks we switched to two 2-hour classes weekly. It was an absolute pleasure to study the language with Angela. She tailored classes for my needs and every lesson was not only about studying language, but learning about Colombian history, culture, and traditions. Instead of mindlessly learning to conjugate Spanish verbs or memorizing words, or any other usual language-learning activity, we were… having conversations. It worked amazingly well for my purpose of learning spoken Spanish. With every new subject, Angela injected information about grammar rules explaining why this verb was used in a particular way or how a phrase changes depending on who you are talking about. By the end of classes, I felt confident enough holding a conversation and read local news.
Aside from been professional educators, Angela is an accomplished and very talented artist, and Diego is an amazing musician. Their creative personalities combined with perfect English and deep knowledge of Colombia make every meeting with them special. - Elena
I had private lessons with Diego for a week and couldn’t have asked for a better experience. He is everything you want in teacher. He’s very charismatic and makes you feel comfortable from the first email to the final class. However, he’s also extremely knowledgeable, experienced and prepared so that your time with him is incredibly productive. I’ve studied with dozens of Spanish teachers over the years and he is definitely the best I’ve found. Our sessions were so engaging and interesting that the time flew by. And yet, somehow, I also learned a wealth of Spanish in the process. Studying with Diego is like studying with an old friend who happens to be an amazing educator and an incredible person.
AMANDA - DANIEL
We were initially intending to stay just a week in Medellin to study Spanish, but lessons with Angela were so useful and interesting, we decided to stay an extra week to continue our lessons with her. We arrived in Medellin with basically no Spanish and Angela focused our lessons towards our needs and was happy to cover anything we wanted in classes. Her teaching philosophy and the structure of the lessons were perfect for us to get the most out of our two weeks with her. The constant revision throughout lessons is the perfect way to remember the phrases that have been covered earlier. She managed to get the balance of practical phrases and basic grammar, sentence structure, verb conjugation etc just right for us. At the end of our fortnight, Angela had equipped us with useful basic conversational Spanish and the skills to build on what we had covered in our lessons. A real highlight for us was the relaxed and friendly atmosphere that Angela created in our lessons. This extended to us asking Angela questions about the history of Colombia and Medellin and also about contemporary issues facing the country. For us, this was a fascinating bonus on top of our lessons and helped us understand issues in Colombia a lot more and Angela's answers were always honest and refreshing which we always appreciated. We can not recommend studying Spanish with Angela and Diego highly enough and we only wished that we had longer than two weeks to continue our studies with them. - Amanda and Daniel
Diego is the best Spanish teacher I've had in various countries in Latinoamerica. He is lively, attentive, and always positive. He is very encouraging, and always looking for opportunities to keep you learning the structures and phrases you need to learn next. He took the time to get to know me, to be clear about where I was at with my Spanish, and what I wanted to work on next.
He is very thorough, constantly notating the classes for both of us to revise the material later. He gives real thought to his work, and does preparation overnight, so that the next day's classes will build on the day before.
All of our classes were built on real conversation. He's very experienced, and knows his grammar too, but lets the conversation carry the learning. Adult learning theory in action.
Our classes were a daily pleasure. - David
I studied with Diego for two weeks during the summer of 2014. When I arrived in Medellin it had been 3 years since my last formal Spanish lessons and I was nervous about spending 2 months in Colombia. I had studied Spanish for a number of years and had used it quite extensively in my personal life but never had immersed myself in a Spanish speaking country. My first couple of days were rough, but with the help of Diego I was up and on my feet again in no time. By the end of my two weeks with Diego I felt my Spanish was at the highest level it had ever been and I was communicating with very few problems. He was patient, respectful, and a great ambassador of the Paisas. He tailored lessons to my wants and interests. He not only taught me Spanish but he also taught me a lot about Colombian and Medellin culture and in turn I taught him about my cultural background. It was a pleasure working with Diego and the next time I travel through Colombia I will definitely be looking him up for a cafecito and leccion.Alex Ortiz, Medical Student, Chicago, Illinois
I came to Angela and Diego as a beginner student but having taken Spanish classes in a few other places around Colombia, I can confidently say, Angela is by far the best teacher I have come across. Her teaching method is unique and extremely effective. She is clear, thorough and one of the few true professionals in Medellin. She comes to class prepared with a lesson plan of topics catered to your level and desires and shows true investment in your development. She and her husband, Diego, run a very organized, professional business but treat you like family from day one. ethod is unique and extremely effective. She is clear, thorough and one of the few true professionals in Medellin. She comes to class prepared with a lesson plan of topics catered to your level and desires and shows true investment in your development. She and her husband, Diego, run a very organized, professional business but treat you like family from day one.
Medellin is full of Spanish speaking natives claiming to be able to teach Spanish. Don't let the countless imitators fool you, Angela has perfected her system and is one of the only options if you are serious about learning Spanish or even just serious about not wasting your money. - Erin
I spent about 6 weeks in Medellin and took classes with Angela for the entire time I was there. I have been slowly
studying Spanish over the past couple of years with several different language professors and Angela is by far the best! Her method of teaching is much more effective than any other language class I have ever taken. She uses real life examples and has you engaged in conversation during the entire class from day one. In the 6 weeks I took classes with Angela my Spanish improved dramatically. The classes were always extremely entertaining and flew by super fast. She teaches you in a way that is practical and unique to other language classes that I have had in the past. Her classes are very individualized and it is easy to see that she really cares about her students and loves being a teacher. I will continue taking lessons through Skype with Angela which is also a great option if you are unable to travel to Medellin.
My boyfriend also took guitar lessons from Diego which he really enjoyed. He was very impresed with Diegos abilities and teaching technique. Both Angela and Diego are wonderful people. They are both very outgoing and optimistic and just inspiring people to be around. Our experience in Medellin would not have been the same without them and we are both very thankful to have found them!
I highly recommend taking lessons with Angela and Diego! - Erin
I could not have possibly asked for a better Spanish teacher during my 2 months in the great city of Medellin. Before my trip, I considered taking classes at language schools, but ultimately decided that private classes would be the best use of my time and money. After e-mailing with a few different private teachers, I decided to take classes with Diego because of his prompt responses…and I’m so glad I did!
My favorite aspect of my classes with Diego was that they felt completely customized. He was able to accurately assess my level of proficiency and start from there. The fact that classes were based primarily on conversation was also very enjoyable to me because I knew a lot of basic vocabulary and grammar, but had never actually put those to use in real conversation. Diego does a great job in fostering engaging conversation that makes you actually want to talk rather than having to. While he maintains an appropriate level of professionalism, I always felt completely relaxed during our lessons and found myself laughing quite often.
Thanks for everything Diego! - Chris
GELAINE - JEROME:
We studied with Diego for 2 hours every weekday for 3 weeks and had an amazing experience! Not only was he very knowledgeable and attentive to both of us, but he and Angela went out of their way to make us feel welcome in Medellin. We loved the city so much that we decided to stay longer, and part of the reason was to continue taking classes with Diego! Not only has our Spanish improved a lot, but we learned a lot about Colombia as a country and made two amazing friends at the same time. Gracias por todo :)
Gelaine and Jerome
I have just spent the last three weeks taking lessons with Diego and am extremely pleased to report that my Spanish has improved dramatically. Diego is everything you want in a teacher: enthusiastic, patient and inspiring. He's also a great blokeand not a bad guitar player ! - David
Diego is a great Spanish teacher, he helped me advance so much in the short time I was able to study with him. He is very friendly and figures out the best way to teach each student on an individual basis. He knows a lot about many subjects so the conversational parts of the lessons are very interesting. He taught me a lot about Colombia's socioeconomics and history which was really great to get a perspective from a Colombian who has dissected these issues.
He also taught me guitar and he showed me some really great flamenco songs. If your lucky, you might get to meet his super awesome dog Tito!
After studying Spanish in Medellin for four months somewhere else, I came to hear about Diego and ABC and decided to go to him for my final two weeks in Colombia. Meeting the guy, he was a great ambassador for the Paisas (people from Medellin and surrounding areas) - super friendly and helpful, and this didn't change at all during my two weeks with ABC. (He's a good source of all kind of helpful information too!) He was the perfect teacher to fine tune my Spanish and he helped me correct many mistakes and expressions that I've been using incorrectly for the past 5 months! Of course he also teaches everyday expressions and slang, which is very useful if you're planning on staying in Colombia for a while. I found that he always listened intently as I was speaking in order to correct mistakes as I was going along, so every conversation wasn't only an opportunity to practice, but also to learn. My classes with Diego always started punctually and he made really good use of time - I never felt as if we were wasting time, regardless of what we did in class. All in all a great experience and definitely highly recommended!
I spent 3 weeks in Medellin, Colombia and it was by far my most memorable and enjoyable experience out of my total 8 weeks in Colombia. I had the opportunity to take classes with Diego during my time there. Diego is a great teacher, if you're trying to develop your conversational skills he is the man to take classes with. He will teach the sayings and words that are used in everyday life of a Paisa, the kind of things you can't learn from a text book. On top of that, he will open your eyes to the real city and people of Medellin as he has been born and raised there his entire life.
I had the opportunity to see and experience parts of Medellin I would have never even known about, or even heard of had I not taken classes with Diego. By the end of the 3 weeks I was sad to leave, not only is Medellin an incredible city, but I had developed a strong friendship with Diego over such a short period of time because he doesn't make it feel like he's just your teacher. He will go out of his way to help you, not only understand the language, but with any problems you might be having. I suggest if you intend to take any classes in Medellin and have a pretty good understanding of some of the tenses you take classes with Diego. It will be some of the best Spanish classes you ever have.
I was interested in finding a way to learn Spanish in a manner that made the most sense to my style of learning. I wanted a way to learn to become fluent in conversation, understand the culture, and to not only be fluent, but actually to talk in a manner that reflects the culture of that language. After every trip to ABC Spanish my level of
understanding increases. Now, when I hear others speaking Spanish, not only do I have an understand of its meaning, but I have an idea where and how they learned and at what level their Spanish is at! (Thank you
so much!) I really enjoy the private classes, they are the most engaging, informative, and perfectly entertaining I have ever participated in. I remember words, phrases, and grammar structure better than I ever would have by myself or in a university classroom.
Angela and Diego’s command of English is excellent, and so they will be able to help you no matter what level of Spanish you are currently learning. They are great friendly people! The class time is broken up seamlessly into what you need to know to speak the language, and what you want to know to personalize your language needs. If you want to learn Spanish, and not only learn it, but live it, ABC Spanish is for you! If you have any questions about the school or Medellin please ask Diego or Angela for my email. See you in Medellin!
Diego is a legend. I took private classes with Diego for about a month, and he took my Spanish from being the awkward and error-ridden stuff that I had picked up travelling, to being quite decent, and at times, even a little Paisa! Diego is a very attentive teacher, tailoring lessons to the individual. He works on all aspects of the language, including pronuciation, useful expressions, and colloquialisms, as well as grammar and vocabulary.
I also took some guitar lessons with Diego, having never previously played. Diego helped me pick out a guitar, taught me the basics, and to my surprise, I could play a few songs after only a couple of weeks! This was a fantastic bonus for me, partly because I love music, but also because I didn't expect to be able to do it!Not only is Diego a great teacher of language and music, he was also an indispensible cultural guide for me in Medellín, being my first time in Colombia. Our discussions on family life, culture, politics, and people during the course of my Spanish lessons were insightful, interesting, and above all invaluable for me! If you're looking for somewhere to study Spanish in Medellín, or Colombia in general, I can highly recommend ABC Spanish. I also refer you back to the first four words of this review...
When I first came to Colombia, I only knew how to order a beer in Spanish. Of course I had a phrase book, which helped me when necessary, but that doesn't work when you want to start a conversation.
Online I found a forum where someone advised to take lessons at ABC, so I sent them an email and ended up taking classes with Diego. What I most liked about his lessons, is that they were customized to my personal life and interests. I was able to learn Spanish in my personal pace during the morning or daytime, and still having time left to visit the city, dance salsa and party with friends. Because of this I ended up staying in Medellin for 4 weeks and getting more confident with the language and culture of Colombia, I loved it!
Diego is more than just a teacher; he speaks fluently English, is very social with a great sense of humor, knows everything about Medellin, loves to dance salsa, and is a talented guitar player. I couldn't wish for more!
I fully agree with all the comments on this page: I cannot think of a better school or a way to teach and learn Spanish. I went form only being able to say “Hola” and “Gracias” to 80% fluent, in less than 3 weeks…Over all I studied for roughly 7 weeks with Diego (an a few lessons with Angela) and since then I am able to have conversations with almost everyone and about various topics. Here you really learn how to SPEAK instead of just conjugating verbs, reading and writing.
Furthermore Medellin is a great place to spend some time and I believe that the Spanish which is spoken in this city is very neutral and clear.
Therefore my opinion is: If you are looking for a place to learn Spanish in South America, you don’t have to look further- You found the best place right here!
I studied with Diego for 1 month in the summer of 2009. Diego was one of 4 teachers I took classes with during my 2 months in Medellin and he was definitely the best - and that includes teachers at the universities There were three of us in our class and, athough we had quite different learning styles, Diego managed to pitch the classes to meet our different needs. In terms of learning styles, I found his approach a good mixture of grammar, conversation, listening and so on. As well as being a great teacher, Diego and his wife Angela are wonderful people and make a big effort to support and socialise with their students, and talk about the culture and politics of Colombia. There are not many options for language learning in Medellin, so instead of spending a lot of time searching on the internet or traipsing round trying to find a teacher, I\'d recommend you just go for Diego and Angela\'s school and use the time you save in exploring the city, making friends etc. And make sure you don\'t miss out on one of Diego´s performances on the guitar, or Angela´s paintings.
Diego Trujillo taught me Spanish for 2 - 4 hours a day for an entire year and I can say with all honesty that he is an amazing teacher, and I have the highest respect for him. Diego’s style is extremely flexible and he tailors each class to the needs of his students. He took me through a process from beginner to advanced Spanish speaker, by focusing upon and developing my personal weaknesses in the language. Using his experience and knowledge he prepared me for the DELE exam (Instituto Cervantes and Spanish Government official language exam for foreigners), upon which I was awarded the superior level. Diego is a teacher who really values and understands his student’s learning process. He has a comprehensive understanding of the Spanish language, including idioms, slang, grammar, structure and vocabulary, and more importantly possesses a patient and skilled manner with which he explains the information. On a personal level Diego is a great person who helped me both in and outside the classroom, and is a great reference point for understanding both Colombian and Latin culture! Something which really stood out for me was his ability to focus on the student’s interests, whatever I wanted to concentrate on we would spend the class studying. Any doubt you have he will be able to answer with his broad depth of knowledge, and if he can’t do so in the class he will arrive the very next day with a thoroughly researched answer Diego is a great guy, and a wonderful teacher, and I can assure you that if you want to learn Spanish in a versatile and fun environment, choosing him as your teacher is the best decision you could make
If you are in Colombia only for a short time or even looking to stay longer, taking classes with them will be one of the best decisions that you make and you will realise this yourself as soon as you begin, they are both dedicated professionals and they take a genuine pride in helping your progression. Firstly Diego will assess your level of Spanish and tailor the rest of your classes accordingly, he will teach you the rules of grammar and basic conversation and his style of teaching will ensure that you enjoy yourself while learning more than you ever thought possible. Once you've studied the rules of grammar with Diego, Angela will then take over and this is where all the things that you have learned until that point are put together to enhance your talking, reading, transcribing, listening and writing skills. And just like with Diego, Angela's style of teaching will also ensure that your classes are fun and will keep your learning curve on track. They are both excellent teachers and their methods complement each other perfectly, you receive regular tests along the way to assess your level and ability to retain the information that you have studied, and you are given homework and samples to help you review the subjects that you have covered in your classes each day, they both have an excellent level of English as well and never fail to find an answer when you have doubts or questions on any subject. On a personal level you will also find that Diego and Angela are two of the nicest people that you could possibly meet, they both have a fantastic sense of humour and I'm sure that after spending a short time with them, you will count them both as good friends as I do, if you are lucky you may even have the opportunity to attend one of Diego's concerts as well as he is an extremely talented guitar player, you will also notice the artistic talents of Angela whenever you attend the school as her paintings adorn the walls of the classrooms. Diego and Angela not only surpassed my expectations and taught me more than I thought possible within such a short time, but they also gave me some fantastic memories during my time in Colombia and I can't recommend their school highly enough.
Upon arriving in Medellin I already had a good (advanced) level of Spanish as I had spent several months studying in Argentina (and the difference in accent was a shocker). But, I was not fluent and this was my goal, which I feel I have now achieved thanks to the help of both Diego and Angela. I was very lucky to have had both of them as teachers over a 2 month period. When I first went to the school to speak to Diego about lessons, it was clear he had a real passion and a lot energy for teaching his own language. Lessons even started as we were just chatting, teaching comes so naturally to both Diego and Angela that it makes learning a real pleasure. The majority of my classes were with Angela and I never thought could be that much fun! Everyday there was something to laugh about and that makes the whole process more relaxing and enjoyable. What was really nice was that we identified areas where I knew I needed to improve and also areas that I was not aware of having problems or errors, so we tailored my classes exactly to meet my needs, none of this direct from a text book stuff that can be found at some other schools. Normally I don't write testimonials, however, I feel very strongly that the work Diego and Angela do at ABC Spanish warrants me to make an exception. My advice is if you want to learn or improve your Spanish, go visit the school, have a chat and see if it is for you. For me it was, and I look forward to returning for a few more classes to help perfect my Spanish.
I was studying my first 20 hours in another school, which didn't meet my expectations. Then I started to take classes with Diego, no doubt he is my best language teacher ever. During the first class, he was picking up my level and based on that he prepared the lessons. Diego was teaching me for about a month. I feel that I got a good base in grammar, daily conversations and "paisa" expressions, which will help me during my travels. Therefore, don't waste time to find a teacher, go direct to ABC Spanish and use your time to talk to the friendly "paisas".
When I started in ABC, I have takenalready some clases on different places in South America. Furthermore I was traveling a few month and picked up something (also mistakes). This means my level of Spanish was a bit chaotic and therefore very difficult for a teacher to give me the right education. But Diego figured out very quick my strenghten and weaknesses and adapted the topics exactly the way I needed. He conducted the lessons interesting and always to my advantage. So it was very efficient and I benefited a huge lot. Of course I had to do my homework and to learn as well. But without overstating I can say: ""it was far the best Spanish education I received."" Thank you very much. Regards Ivo (Switzerland)
I studied with Diego for two months in the summer of 2009. I have now attended five language schools in four countries to learn two different languages so I can tell good teachers from great teachers. Diego was the best teacher I had at any of these institutions! The classes are flexible and customized to focus on your needs. Diego takes notes during the class and provides you with a durable record of your mistakes along with corrections. There is regular testing focused on improving your particular weaknesses. He spends a lot of time outside of class preparing material designed with your needs in mind. Although the classes are conducted completely in Spanish, Diego speaks English and so can provide precise translations and correct common mistakes. Finally, Diego can help you get involved in cultural and social activities in Medellin. I can give ABC Spanish the highest recommendation! I have asked Diego to share my contact information if you would like more details.
My lessons with Diego and Angela were excellent. They tailored each class to suit my needs and were always working out new lesson plans that would help me improve my weaknesses. In addition to being excellent professors they were wonderful friends who made a real effort to help me meet new people in Medellin, and get to know the culture here. They were the BEST CLASSES EVER!
To know Diego an d his lovely wife, Angela, is to know some of the finest people in Medellin. A superbly gifted teacher, Diego uses his wit, curiosity and intelligence to make learning Spanish great fun. Both kind and patient, he genuinely cares about the progress of each of his students. If you’re reading this and looking at various Spanish schools in Medellin, here’s my recommendation… look at ABC and look no more!
I have been studying Spanish with Diego and Angela for over a month. They are the best teachers I have ever had, and I have learned so much with them! Classes are always very specific to my needs and Diego and Angela make a huge effort to make sure that I am always learning. Son profesores de un nivel muy alto!
Great teacher with a great class structure for teaching at any level and loads of patience. He has very good class material which keeps his classes fresh, exciting and interesting. Diego is a great guy and really cares that you learn and really wants you to learn, not only Spanish but also about his country and cultures. He also plays a wicked guitar.
I've had a dozen spanish teachers in Australia, Guatemala and Colombia and Diego was undoubtedly the best. His classes are great fun, he knows his stuff, he takes a real interest in your progress and he is always enthusiastic and never without a smile on his face. He is also a great guy who I know many of his students count as a friend. I couldn't recommend him more highly.
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