If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would have something to do with a shortage of flowers.”
Doug Larson

A polyglot is someone who knows or uses several languages. I consider myself a polyglot because I can communicate reasonably well in Spanish, French, Italian, and Russian.  

¿Quieres Saber Más Sobre Nuestras Clases de Inglés en Español?

The Main Street in Cambria, California, where your instructor, Paul Heller, lived for seven years before traveling worldwide.(photo from Wikipedia)


Tried Lots of Ways to Learn English Without Success? Looking for a 1-on-1 Personalized Class with a Native Speaker Who Can Also Explain Things in Spanish or French? Can’t Afford to Go to an English-Speaking Country to Learn English?

If so, Fifty Plus Nomad offers two classes online or at the beautiful Casa Los Dos Gallos in Merida, Mexico, to ensure you reach your English goals: Our 1-on-1 Intensive Classes and Our Teach Yourself English Class (for more advanced students). We guarantee you’ll reach your goals through our exclusive Polyglot Method and personalized coaching.

Want to Discuss or Ready to Schedule English Classes?

Contact us via Phone (from outside Mexico: 011-52) + (Merida) (999) 611-0154 or via WhatsApp or phone at (Merida) (999) 388-8821 or through our Contact Form

Learn English 1-On-1 Using the Proven Polyglot Method with a Native Speaker in Merida or Online

Are you a native French or Spanish speaker who wants to learn English with a native speaker who can explain English in Spanish or French?

Have you had problems learning English in group classes or through language programs like Duolingo?

Is it too expensive or difficult for you to go to the US or Canada to learn a foreign language?

If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Take one-on-one classes with Fifty Plus Nomad and be ready to spend enough time to achieve your goal. We will work together to find the best ways for you to learn English.

After taking group classes or Duolingo, you may be able to be understood when you try to buy a ticket at the window in a bus station, for example. But, you most likely won’t understand the clerk’s response. You’ll probably think, ¨boy, they speak so fast.” However, the clerk is probably instinctively speaking slower to help you understand than they would talk to an English speaker.

Unfortunately, you won’t understand them because the clerk’s response is likely not what Duolingo or our group class taught you. Why?

  • The English spoken in different countries varies depending on the region.
  • Duolingo, etc., can’t prepare you for what will happen at the bus station. Imagine that clerk is trying to tell you that all the buses to your destination are canceled because a strike or a storm has shut down the entire city.” As good as Duolingo is, it is impossible to teach you enough English to help you understand the situation.

I Believe Almost Anyone Can Learn English   

Often Fifty Plus Nomads seem amazed that I can converse reasonably intelligently in four languages in addition to my native English. (Spanish and French- advanced level; Russian and Italian- intermediate level).

While I have put a fair amount of time into learning these languages, I enjoyed most of the process and look forward to learning other languages in the future.

Most people tell me they have no skill in learning foreign languages. I don’t believe them. While I am lucky to be better than most language learners, almost anyone can learn with patience and desire.

About three years ago, I asked myself why some people are polyglots (like me) and others have so much frustration learning another foreign language. I began to understand that the difference between polyglots and everyone else is passion and discipline, not natural ability.

I also realized that adults often learn English differently than younger people. We are often frustrated by many younger teachers who don’t understand that it has been years since we were in school, and many of us carry emotional scars from previous fruitless efforts to learn English.

In addition, many adult students have difficulties learning when classes are in English from the very beginning. While this technique often works for young students, it is not effective in my experience for teaching grammar (don’t worry. I teach grammar sparingly) and can be intimidating to older students, especially at first.

I teach English using a mixture of both Spanish or French and English. I gradually use more and more English in class as your English improves. I will also find native English-speaking partners for you to practice your English outside of class.

I am 57 years old. I have learned Spanish, French, Italian, and Russian using almost every method. I know which strategies work for me and which ones may work for you.

My 1-on-1 English classes in my home, Casa Los Dos Gallos, in Merida, Mexico (or online), come from my studies about how polyglots successfully learn multiple foreign languages and my observations about the needs of learners over 50.

What did my studies reveal? Namely, while some people have more language learning talent than others, almost anyone can learn English if they accept the following precepts: 

  • It takes time to learn English. My experience is that most students become sufficiently conversational to meet their needs in Spanish after about 200-300 hours of practice, in and out of the classroom.  
  • There is no one surefire way to learn a language. Each person needs to find a method that works for them. Finding this method is a matter of trial and error and will cause you some frustration at times. In addition, you need to change your techniques periodically as you become more fluent.  
  • No one way of learning works for anybody. It is best to suspend your beliefs about how you learn a language and learn to “go with the flow.” You can express the same idea in a hundred ways, which get your point across and are at least 90% correct.
  • Languages are an art, not a science. Like cooking, you need to find different mixtures of ingredients (methods, techniques, etc.) until you find the right recipe to express your idea easily. Have patience. Aim to use Spanish to communicate an idea, not pass a grammar test.
  • Perfection is often the enemy of “good enough.” Many students become so obsessed with being correct that they concentrate on correctness more than actual communication. Aim to be clear enough so that most people understand you about 85% of the time. In addition, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You want to work on communication, not perfection.
  • Learning a language nearly perfectly is only necessary if you are going to college or are a professional (doctor, lawyer, etc.) with a primarily English-speaking clientele. The difference between speaking English “good enough” for most situations and nearly perfectly is an additional 500 hours of study and frustration.
  • It takes at least ten hours of practice to see if a new technique works. Sometimes a method will seem uncomfortable at first but will become useful later. Occasionally, a method will be ineffective at that moment but may work perfectly later.
  • Many advertise that you can learn a language in a few hours; however, this is just a marketing ploy. 
  • The more passionate you are about learning a language, the better. You will progress quickly if you have a passion or pressing need for learning English. 
  • Effective communication involves more than just words. You can say something perfectly correctly in Spanish, and the listener can interpret it differently than you intended because Latin American and European cultures are quite different than those in most English-speaking countries.  
  • You will never be as fluent in English as Spanish or French. If fluency were easy, a computer could translate Spanish or French to English without difficulty, but computers, at least until recently, were worse at translating than most professional translators
  • You will learn more if you can study every (or every other) day than if you take classes less frequently. If you study less regularly, you will spend part of your time recapping what you learned before and may lose the rhythm necessary to make much progress.
  • Learning enough English to be comfortable in most situations requires much more study than most people think. Learning English well enough to talk it comfortably involves learning pronunciation, vocabulary, and listening skills in addition to a little grammar and some basic reading and writing skills.

Based on my desire to help students, I encourage students (particularly beginners) to devote, if possible, at least a couple of months (or at least 100 hours) to taking courses in my home in Merida.

What is the Most Effective Way to Learn English?

I don’t enjoy teaching just for a paycheck. If I did, I would work for an online teaching company with prepackaged lesson plans.

If you come to my house in Merida, you will avoid the distraction of everyday life at home, and we can concentrate on helping you achieve your English-language goals and dreams. In addition, I believe studying in a homey environment helps students feel more relaxed than studying online.

I also highly encourage students to live with a local family. Living with a local family (especially if you eat meals with them) has been key to my language learning success.  

I will gear the class toward your needs and passions. I will also try to use materials in the dialect used wherever you plan to live or travel.

How Much Do the Classes Cost?

To encourage students to take classes intensively, the class cost per hour will be substantially less as the number of hours of classes increases. (My in-home classes last between 10-20 hours a week, 2-4 hours per day).

Here is the breakdown of the cost of the classes:

  • The first two hours are free to allow us to explore if my methods and teaching style work for you.
  • After the first two hours, the cost of classes is US$5 per hour (100 pesos).
  • Class cost per hour will be $4 per hour (80 pesos) if you agree to commit to at least 100 hours of online or in-person classes.
  • 300 hours of online or in-person English instruction is available for $1,000.
  • These prices are only available until January 2023.

Want to Discuss or Ready to Schedule English Classes?

Contact us via Phone (from outside Mexico: 011-52) + (Merida) (999) 611-0154 or via WhatsApp or phone at (Merida) (999) 388-8821 or through our Contact Form

You can take several months of classes for a quarter of what you’d spend taking classes with up to 20 young students per class in the US or Canada.

As an incentive to study at Casa Los Dos Gallos (my home), you will receive free or low-cost activities to help you practice English with other native speakers.

Learn English 1-On-1 Using the Proven Polyglot Method with a Native Speaker in Merida or Online. Many Spanish and French speakers fail to learn it well enough to serve their needs. If that's you, let my classes help.This map shows countries in which the English Language is a Mandatory or an Optional Subject or the dominant language (photo by No.cilepogača - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=119855065)
Learn English 1-On-1 Using the Proven Polyglot Method with a Native Speaker in Merida or Online. Many Spanish and French speakers fail to learn it well enough to serve their needs. If that’s you, let my classes help. This map shows countries in which the English Language is a Mandatory or an Optional Subject or the dominant language (photo by No.cilepogača – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=119855065)

Study at Casa Los Dos Gallos

Casa Los Dos Gallos (built around 1900) is a comfortable, recently renovated, 2-bedroom, 2-bath house (around 1400 square feet, 150 square meters) complete with modern appliances, tile floors, mamposteria (stone) walls, tiled floors, and antique, wooden carved doors. The house is in Merida’s trendy Parque Mejorada area within a five to fifteen WALK of Centro’s major attractions, restaurants, and shops.

The Main House

Classes take place in the main house. Students have access to the kitchen and high-speed WiFi. All the areas used by students have air conditioning and fans and seldom get very hot.

Outdoors

Bright, ventilated areas. Classes and workshops are also held outdoors, weather permitting.

What if You Can’t (or Don’t Want to) Learn English In-Person?

I realize that many people can’t devote so much time to learning English in my home in Merida, so I offer classes online. (The same price as taking classes at my house).

However, keep in mind that you will probably learn slower online than if you take classes in person because you won’t be able to:

  • Concentrate just on learning English. Your “real life” will likely interfere with your progress.
  • Practice what you’ve learned with native English speakers in and out of class.

Want to Know More About Your Teacher? 

Paul Heller 

Paul Heller is in the Casa Los Dos Gallos garden, where Fifty Plus Nomad’s language classes are held.

I have devised the unusual and effective polyglot method to tutor students in one-on-one English classes based on:  

  • See my post: The Top 10 Ways to Study a Foreign Language for a synopsis of how I learned Spanish, French, Italian, and Russian and why the eclectic method, which is the base of my exclusive Polyglot teaching method, works best for me.  
  • Three years of experience teaching classes and tutoring in English and Spanish to a wide range of students from diverse age groups, nationalities, and financial backgrounds. 
  • Completing twenty language teacher preparation classes through the University of California at Riverside and various online programs. 
  • Receiving a minor in Spanish from Macalester College.

Accommodations

Staying in the casita and/or with a host family is highly recommended. That way, you can practice English with a host family or me. Staying with a host family will also help you better understand North American culture and may even help you forge friendships.

A casita (Casita Lobita) at the back of my house is available for rent at a reduced cost for students (and at full price through Airbnb). I would encourage long-term students (especially students with a beginning level of English) to spend the first month at Casita Lobita and the rest of their stay with a local expat. Living with an expat is often frustrating until you have at least 100 hours of English. However, it is extremely valuable after 100 hours of study.

Stay at Our Onsite Casita Lobita at a Discounted Rate During Your Classes

You can also spend the week at the Casita Lobita, which is at the back of my house, 33% less than offered on Airbnb. The cost of staying with a host family and casita are the same: $100 per week for four weeks and $80 per week for each additional week.

Casita Lobita is a beautifully decorated, quiet haven away from the hustle and bustle of downtown (Centro) Mérida, Mexico.

A ten-minute walk from the City’s historic Plaza Principal (Main Plaza), Casita Lobita is equipped with everything you could need for a comfortable stay, including:

  • A kitchenette with a coffee maker, plates, utensils, cups, and glasses
  • A new air conditioning and fans
  • High-speed internet access, a new TV (with Netflix), and a telephone
  • A private bathroom (with a shower).

Though guests have to enter through the main house to get to the Casita, guests also have easy access to a large, fully equipped kitchen, an enclosed patio, a terrace, a laundry area, and a garden. In addition, the areas of the house that get the most traffic are separate from the areas guests need to pass through to get to the Casita.

Paul Heller and his Yucatecan friend and house manager, Juan Carlos Cab, enjoy getting to know their guests (if desired) and helping them get the most out of their stay in Merida. Breakfasts are also available upon request.

Guests will also be greeted by and get to know the world’s sweetest and most mellow dog, Lobita, which means little wolf in English. (The Casita is named Casita Lobita in her honor).

Note: Smoking is permitted on the patio.

Homestay

I recommend that you wait until you have some Spanish under your belt before studying with a family. I want you to be able to have some basic conversations with your host family in Spanish or English as soon as possible. (English students will be placed in the home of local expat English-speaking families, subject to availability).

Homestay accommodation may be quite modest. You are guaranteed to have your own bedroom but may not have your own bathroom. Most likely, you will not have air conditioning either.

One meal per day is included with the homestay. Laundry is not included in the cost of the homestay. You are encouraged to make arrangements with the home family to provide laundry, additional meals, and services for an extra fee.

The cost of staying with a host family and casita are the same: $100 per week for four weeks and $80 per week for each additional week.

You will be provided with information about your homestay

Want More Information on How You Can Learn a Foreign Language?

Here are some additional language tips from The Linguist (Steve Kaufman) and Jumpspeak.

Additional Posts About Fifty Plus Nomad’s Courses and Workshops, Biographies, Definitions, and News

Additional Posts About Learning Foreign Languages; Spanish, English, Cooking, Art, and Other Classes; and Volunteering for Expats and Long-Term Travelers

Paul Heller has been a lifelong avid traveler and language learner and teacher, Even as a child, he told Santa Claus that he wanted to visit all the children worldwide. At seven years old, Paul wanted to retire to Mexico. At eight, he memorized the name, capital, location, and some facts about every country worldwide. At twelve, he found a book "Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a Shoestring" and started developing his own itinerary for a future round-the-world trip. He remained obsessed with travel; after getting a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and working as an administrator, He spent his vacations going to different countries around the globe studying language, touring, and volunteering. In 1994, he quit his job and lived in Russia as a volunteer English instructor. He discovered that he loved teaching languages. In 2004, he decided to make a living out of his travels and founded a community of people who love to travel just like him. He developed 5 three-hour classes about living and traveling long-term worldwide which he taught in over 50 adult education programs throughout the US. After his parents passed, he realized his dream of traveling around the world; cruising and touring some of the most remote places like the North Atlantic, Patagonia, and Oceania; and learning new languages (he knows Spanish, Italian, French, and Russian). Paul encourages everyone to learn foreign languages. He knows that it can be frustrating and slow but that anyone can learn a language if they put in the work and, most importantly, learning a language is well worth the time and effort because it opens up a whole new set of people, ideas, and cultures. He is currently spending the next chapter of his life in Mérida, México. He is excited about using this blog and his classes and workshops to inspire and equip fellow Fifty Plus Nomads with the language, cultural, and psychological skills necessary to be successful and happy long-term travelers and expats over 50.

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