Testimonials

“I have observed hundreds of Spanish language classes in the U.S. and abroad. Elissa at Express Fluency is among the best language instructors I’ve seen– she is able to teach high-quality Spanish in a way that is joyful and with immediate and powerful results. Her methods reflect the best language teaching practices and is a great investment for any serious Spanish language learner to make. I have never seen students so engaged and making such speedy and expansive progress as in the five-day workshop I observed.” 

–Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor, professor of language and literacy education, University of Georgia

“I came to the class not really knowing what to expect and being pretty doubtful about my ability to learn another language…But I loved it! I loved that we had minimal grammar and that Elissa “used” us to create stories in which were embedded the vocabulary, the sounds, the intonations, the spirit of Spanish. She is so lively, so animated, so funny and accessible that it was impossible to NOT learn. I find that I have retained much much more than I even imagined, that I can pull things out of my memory with little effort and no agony. I am very pleased- it was very much worth the time and money, and I might even take it again.” – Becky Sakellariou, Author and Poet

After day one, we were able to read pages of basic Spanish with full comprehension—no joke. You pick up the language like a child does—hearing and discovering. There is nothing rote about it. If you’re planning a trip to a Spanish-speaking country, I strongly recommend this class. –James Cohen, screenwriter, Brooklyn, NY

The course was fantástico and way beyond my expectations. I thought I would learn a few words and get some sense of the language but feel I came away with a real feeling and grasp for how the language works and tons of vocabulary that is effortless to remember. I feel well-prepared for my upcoming trip to Spain. –Ken Manning, psychologist, Sudbury, MA

I can’t believe how much fun I had during this class! Elissa is fantastic. She creates a very safe, supportive environment, and you’ll never feel pressured to participate beyond your comfort level. Plus she knows how to keep things interesting. There’s no sitting through boring verb conjugation drills. You’ll be up and moving, and before you know it, able to carry on a conversation. I highly recommend this program — whether you’re completely new to Spanish and want to become familiar with the basics, or you already have some experience and want to become more confident speaking the language. I learned lots, I laughed lots, and even made new friends. Gracias!Alison Walsh

Fantastico! There was absolutely no pressure, and the weekend was so much fun that most of us started participating and trying our newfound skills within minutes. Those who preferred to stay quiet learned a lot, too, because Elissa uses pantomime, props, and laughter to reinforce the learning. I so enjoyed learning something new again, and even though I have no intention of going to a Spanish speaking country, I know I will be able to continue practicing in the US.Betsy Schmidt, professor, UMASS Amherst

I can’t say enough about the quality of Elissa’s classes! I’ve been taking the intermediate classes for awhile- in preparation for a month long trip to Costa Rica. My experience there was enhanced by the increase in my comfort level when conversing in Spanish! ¡Las clases son muy divertidas y mágicas! I highly recommended Express Fluency if you want to take your Spanish to a whole new level! D’Vorah Kelley, retired teacher and author

My daughter and I took this 10 week course together. It was wonderful! We looked forward to gathering with other aspiring spanish speakers, each week. The course provided a non-competitive, playful, yet very focused atmosphere, where everyone was able to put their developing language skills to use. Class time flew by, and as we left, each week, thoughts in Spanish came into mind. What more could we ask for! Jessy Diamondstone

I absolutely loved Elissa’s Spanish classes. They were highly engaging and I wish that all Spanish courses were taught this way. I went to Costa Rica two years ago and was taught using a traditional grammar focused approach. I feel that Elissa’s Express Fluency approach is far superior.–Tom Otis, teacher

I took the Spanish immersion weekend and it has been a lot of fun! Thank you Elissa for making a program that allows all of us access to these beautiful languages so quickly and easily.Sumita Sheth, writer

The weekend course I took with Express Fluency was great for reviving my Spanish prior to a vacation in the Canaries. By the time I went there I was able to communicate and understand quite sufficiently which was what I wanted and it made the vacation much more rewarding. A perfect course for what I was looking for; I’d recommend it (and great fun!). Amy Richards, business consultant

If you are inhibited about speaking Spanish, this teacher and class method will help you start to overcome that–and, besides, it is a totally fun class…take the whole series (three weekends, one a month) if you can. By your second class, it could feel like home to a little family of friends…–Barbara Kristaponis, teacher

The weekend class is a great way to gain confidence in speaking Spanish AND it is a great way to spend a weekend! The people are great fun and Elissa is both systematic and flexible in her methods. Highly recommended!Divya Bendre, investment banker

What a great experience! Especially having several weekends with many of the same people. By the end of the three days, we are speaking Spanish among ourselves. Each time it gets better. I can’t recommend it enough!Janet Bartlett, editor

I attended Saturday and Sunday of a weekend course. The course was very entertaining as well as helpful. I have a decent amount of Spanish vocabulary, however, I always freeze when it comes time to use it. This course has helped me become a little more comfortable with speaking Spanish even though things I say may not always be perfectly grammatically correct. The other students are also very friendly, non judgmental and supportive which helps create a non- threatening and productive learning environment. The best thing that I can say about the Express Fluency course is that afterwards you will notice that you are no longer translating basic Spanish conversations before understanding them. You have instant understanding of basic conversations without translating them into English. It’s like some sort of switch has been turned on in your brain. I highly recommend the Express fluency courses for anyone who is interested in learning Spanish. The immersion and instructional techniques that they utilize are highly effective. And let’s not forget about the fun, the classes are so engaging and entertaining that the days fly by and before you know it the course is over! Ursula Sanders, nurse

In one word my experience in this class was PERFECT! I was very apprehensive before the weekend started but from the minute I entered Elissa’s class, all my fears were instantly dispelled! She was warm, inviting, encouraging, patient and most importantly a whole lot of fun!

The language was taught using methods targeted at higher retention as opposed to just theoretical knowledge. Things one might think ‘silly’ at first started making sense as the hours went by, as we started hearing ourselves becoming more and more comfortable and conversant…even as I stumbled along!

I didn’t know more than maybe 5 words before last Saturday morning.. but I can confidently say I knew perhaps a hundred or more by the end of Monday! I cannot wait to go back for the next immersive weekend in October. Met a group of lovely, friendly and equally encouraging people over the 3 days and I hope to stay in touch with them and keep my Spanish going. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Arati Ghosh, interior designer

This class is extremely fun and extremely productive! I am shocked how much Spanish I have learned without the drudgery of rote memorization or boring exercises. This is the way language is meant is meant to be acquired! I have attended several weekend intensives and intend to sign up every time they come around. Terry Edelman, musician

I have attended several weekend intensives with my husband and we can’t wait to sign up for the next round of classes. This is definitely the most enjoyable way to study a new language. We have so much fun in class that it doesn’t feel like “learning” and yet at the end of the weekend I can tell that we have acquired a lot of Spanish! Elissa is so good at bringing all her students out of their shells and creating a great classroom environment. where we can all be silly together. I highly recommend the immersion classes!Carly Robinson, teacher

The four weekend sessions I have attended since November 2014 quickly refreshed the Spanish I learned in high school more than 20 years ago. My multilingual husband and Spanish speaking in-laws have commented on my improvement in understanding and conversing with them, which was my motivation for taking these classes. Not only have I learned more Spanish, but I have had fun doing so because of the method used. I look forward to signing up for the next session! –Mary Ann Hernandez, director of HR 

Elissa is a fantastic teacher and the Express Fluency “whole body” way of learning language is so natural and designed to promote memory. I was only able to attend for 2 days, unfortunately, but it was well worth it! An incredibly engaging way to learn language, and FUN! I really liked that it wasn’t total immersion, so that nobody was completely lost and missing most of what was being said. Just enough English definitions written on the board to allow us to move ahead and learn a lot. Great class – thank you Elissa! — Lynda Myles, writer

This is definitely the most fun language class I’ve ever taken. Elissa is endlessly inventive, so the class is never boring. Before you know it, you’re putting all these new words together into simple sentences and starting to speak Spanish! The students are of different ages and backgrounds, but the atmosphere is so relaxed they’re all friendly and supportive. Altogether, a delightful, rewarding experience.–Emily Merrick

I was so surprised by how much I learned in just a weekend. The class was lots of fun, very animated and with much laughter. I think the teaching method is great, and the instructor is a passionate and gifted teacher.— Anonymous

My wife, Katie, and I spent a delightful weekend with about eight others in this class, and came out speaking Spanish! The course revolves around learning some basic verbs and nouns, and moving around the group starting stories and adding to them as we moved along. Great method and good success. Hope to go back for Intermediate, where we’ll add past/future tenses to what we’ve learned. We recently visited Cuba and this class helped us a lot.— David Elsila

I am one of those people who gets flustered very quickly when learning languages, especially when learning languages in a classroom from a textbook. Usually things stop making sense and the whole process becomes nothing but a hotbed for anxiety and insecurity. I DID NOT have this experience when I went to the Express Fluency Beginner Spanish course. Elissa is basically pure positive energy in human form. Her approach of teaching us through what I think of as kindergarten-style learning takes away the sense of failure and fear. You are constantly listening and engaging in ways that make learning much more intuitive. You are never pressured to speak when you are not comfortable. The important thing is that you UNDERSTAND, something none of my other language classes actually focused on, which probably was why I would fall behind so quickly. These classes are long but you come out feeling confident in the work you’ve done. I would recommend this Spanish learning course above any other I’ve taken.

— Sierra, BBC

 My road to learning the Spanish language has been traditional, expensive, boring, and discouraging! I’ve spent a fortune on community college classes, a week-long immersion program and many books, computer courses and even CDs for long car rides. The results? A little vocabulary and a lot of frustration! Enter Escuelita Spanish School [renamed Express Fluency], where we brought the language to life with props, stories, skits and conversations. There were no pressures or expectations to buy and read textbooks, take notes or pass tests. Instead, this was simply about experiencing the language in a dynamic and fun way! Now I can truly say, ‘Yes, I speak Spanish!’ –Mary Ann Abney, nurse, Brattleboro, VT

 One of the best features for the adult learner is the structure of the class, in which you don’t merely use present tense verbs but use most of the tenses right from the beginning. Elissa’s approach to teaching is brilliantly executed, and is the closest method I’ve seen to actually being there and hearing the language on the street. –Douglas Whynott, Emerson College professor, Boston, MA

I loved this new approach to learning Spanish and I recommend it to people who have had a hard time making progress in ‘regular’ classes. ¡Muchas gracias! –Claire LaRosa, advertising, New York, NY

I didn’t know it was so easy to learn a language! –Bob Henry, teacher, Brattleboro, VT

I learned far more in two days than I learned over the course of two months in Panama. –Luke O’Neill, business consultant, Gloucester, MA

Definitely the best language class I’ve ever experienced. Fun, fluid, and very effective. –Justin Nichols, horticulturist, Portland, ME

I didn’t even feel like I was working that hard, but now I understand so much. It feels organic. –Colin Leech, artist and massage therapist, Westminster, VT

Not to be missed if you’ve ever had trouble learning a language the traditional way. You will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you learn! –Terri Ziter, caterer, Putney, VT

Class is fun and the time just flies by. I’ve learned and retained so much useful Spanish from these courses! –Katy Keenan, accountant, Brattleboro, VT

Numero Uno on my bucket list is to speak Spanish fluently. I have tried CDs, books, even took a continuing education class, but nothing seemed to “stick” in my senior brain. After just three sessions, I have gained confidence in my speaking skills. It just makes sense to learn a second language the way we learned our first language.-D’Vorah Kelley, retired teacher, Keene, NH

I took years of Spanish in school and travelled in several Spanish-speaking countries but I never even came close to using the past tense the way I have in just a few Express Fluency classes. –Meghan Avocet, marine mammal observer, Putney, VT

I highly recommend this course. I went from zero Spanish to reading and speaking in two days and had tons of fun while doing it. Not your typical Spanish class! –Celia Gerard, visual artist, New York, NY

If you’re looking for a great way to immerse your team in an engaging and valuable experience, this is one I personally recommend. We came away able to speak more Spanish than we would have ever imagined. Somehow, Elissa combines improv comedy, the Socratic method, and theater, turning the session into an experience that has everyone on the edge of their seats and even dancing in the aisles. –Luke O’Neill, business consultant, Gloucester, MA

I wish I could go to Spanish Camp every day of my life! –Jasmine Benavides, age 9

I am amazed at how much my child got out of Spanish camp and class. She is now singing and speaking in Spanish! What was also great is not only how much she learned, but the teachers and how they taught, they really got the children actively learning so they could absorb what they learned. –Sarah Manning, Walpole, NH

Costumes! Imaginary visitors! Imaginary animals! Games! Music! George Clooney and Johnny Depp visiting class! Learning Spanish with Express Fluency is FUN! Forget the textbooks, homework, and pop quizzes- living the language is so much more effective and fun! –Mary Ann Abney, nurse, Brattleboro, VT

Express Fluency is outstanding! My 13-year-old daughter had a blast! I highly recommend it. –Luz Elena Morey, Mahalo Art Center, Brattleboro, VT

Read testimonials from our Teacher Training Program

Other testimonials are available on each class page as well as on CourseHorse. If you have taken an Express Fluency class in NYC, you can leave a review here.