About The School
You have reached the official U.S. and foreign site for PLFM of Antigua, Guatemala. Please see the menu on the left for a full description of everything about this excellent school. Language Link serves as the official and exclusive foreign office for PLFM, and you can register directly through this site.
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Antigua is a small, charming cobble stoned Spanish colonial city, once the capital of New Spain. Impressive ruins of churches, palaces and other buildings make it the only city of its kind in Latin America. In 1965 it was named a "Monument of the Americas". Situated at 5,000 feet and ringed by volcanoes, it has a perfect climate, never overly warm or unusually cold. The volcanoes are named Agua, Fuego, Acatenango and Pacaya, and it’s a special adventure to climb them with a secure group. In the town and the surrounding villages, you will find a variety of stimulating places to visit, both during classes and weekends. It is one of Guatemala’s top visitor destinations and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Known around the world as one of the most interesting places to experience Semana Santa (Holy Week), Antigua becomes filled to capacity during this week. There are many processions through the streets of large andenes bearing revered statues from the churches. Weighing up to a ton, these are carried by brotherhoods in a cooperative effort. A most interesting sight is that the streets are blocked off and filled with carpets made of flowers and colored sawdust. It is a stunning and memorable experience to observe the making of these fleeting objects of beauty.
TRAVEL Fly into Guatemala City. Airport pickup available for transport to Antigua (45 minutes)
About The School
Fundación PLFM is the oldest of the Spanish language schools in Antigua, Guatemala and one which teaches Spanish and, various Mayan languages. PLFM was founded in 1969 by linguists and indigenous Guatemalans to support and preserve Mayan languages. The Proyecto, a non-profit Guatemalan foundation with a 100% Mayan board of directors, serves two causes: the preservation of Mayan languages and culture, and the teaching of Spanish. In addition to Spanish courses, PLFM offers courses in a number of Mayan languages such as Kaqchikel, K'iche', and Mam. Profits from the Spanish program go toward the preservation of the Mayan languages, specifically the production of dictionaries and grammars, so your tuition serves a very good cause. PLFM is an accredited school with the Ministry of Education of Guatemala. It is a non-profit, non-political, lay association, legally constituted as a cultural development entity. It is the only language school in Antigua trained to administer a U.S. Foreign Service style language proficiency exam.
Language Link very proudly has a special relationship with PLFM, as we serve as their exclusive foreign office. We are the school’s principal contact outside of Guatemala. We have worked many years to develop a strong bond of trust and confidence, as we believe so strongly in the mission of this foundation.
Official statement from Fundación Proyecto Lingúístico Francisco Marroquín
Ha’ jun wajanil anima chi yiq PLFM ha’ yochwan tol chi ok yip ji’on ajwan kob’eyb’al ka chi kolwal yin stz’ib’chaj eltoq un yul koti’. (Q’anjob’al)
El Proyecto Lingúístico Francisco Marroquín es una Asociación no lucrativa, apolítica, laica, constituida para la divulgación de la cultura e idiomas mayas de Guatemala y especializada en la investigación lingúística, así como la creación de materiales educativos en y sobre estos idiomas. La Asociación fue fundada en el año 1,969 y su personería jurídica fue autorizada el 14 de diciembre de 1,972, bajo el Acuerdo Gubernativo respectivo publicado en el diario oficial el 11 de enero de 1,973.
The school is located very near the church of La Merced. Because all the classes are one on one, there are many open air cubicles where a teacher sits at a table across from his or her student. There is a main office building and reception area, as well as a large open air courtyard. Because Antigua is a small town, the school is within walking distance of all lodging.
Style of teaching - The Spanish program is all private classes, one teacher to one student. Classes are conducted completely in Spanish. Teachers are experienced with all levels, including beginners, and all students benefit from the complete immersion techniques. The aim of complete immersion is to enable you to speak Spanish from the first minute. The all private classes allow you to work at your individual level. Flexibility is vitally important. You can pick the area you wish to emphasize such as conversation, comprehension, writing, or specialized fields such as medical or business terminology. The courses are designed to begin with minidialogues as a total system for learning grammar, vocabulary and survival skills. Course work focuses on daily life, and your assignments might include reading the local paper, listening to the news, or discussing politics, local entertainment or current events. To ensure quality, all Spanish teachers are native Guatemalans who have taken courses in education. All teachers receive 100 hours of intensive training in teaching Spanish as a second language, and the training is updated every six months. In a one-on-one learning situation, the skill and ability of the teacher are of utmost importance, and PLFM's teachers are highly regarded.
If you need documentation of your study including contact hours, the school will be pleased to do this upon request. They can grant a letter grade if necessary and provide a written evaluation of your skills and areas of study. PLFM is an accredited school with the Ministry of Education of Guatemala.
Levels offered – All levels of Spanish ability are accommodated. After an orientation on Monday morning, you will be given a brief oral exam by your teacher to determine your strengths and weaknesses. At the end of the course, students interested in having their Spanish competency evaluated may choose to take a half-hour interview, a Foreign Service Institute (FSI) style exam to determine Spanish competency. You may also request a written exam.
Class size and hours – All classes are private. Classes are held for 7 hours daily Monday through Friday (a 4 hour daily program is available in the mornings), from 8:00 am to noon, and then again from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. There are two 30 minute breaks.
Materials – Textbooks used have been developed by PLFM and are available on loan with a deposit.
Academic Credit – Available for this program.
Students - Our participants are of all ages, ranging from college age to retirees. Younger children and high school students can also take classes if they are traveling accompanied by a parent or responsible adult. Participants come from all over the world, are at all levels of Spanish, and there are many purposes for study. The majority travel alone, although we also have couples, families and organized groups. If traveling alone, it is very easy to meet other students and have a full range of social activities.
Calendar – Classes start every Monday throughout the year for any number of weeks. If an official holiday falls on Monday, classes will start on Tuesday. These holidays are prorated only if two occur in a four week period of study. There is no makeup given if a day is missed due to an official holiday, nor reduction in tuition.
The length of the program is determined by you, from one to twenty four weeks. We suggest a minimum of six weeks for intermediates; beginners usually study a minimum of eight to twelve weeks. These are suggestions, however, and many students have schedules which require a shorter number of weeks. The minimum length of study is one week and classes must start on a Monday (if you study less than that you will still pay for the entire week of classes.) Classes are paid for by the week (no pro-rated days for missed classes).
Holidays falling on Saturday or Sunday are sometimes celebrated on the Friday or following Monday. Official Guatemalan holidays. Dec 31 afternoon, Jan 1, First Friday six weeks before start of Lent afternoon only, Thursday and Friday of the week before Easter, Jun 25, 30, Sep 15, Oct 20, Dec 24 afternoon, Dec 25
Activities – PLFM offers weekly activities for reasonable fees. These include visits to nearby villages, Guatemala City museums, San Antonio weaving cooperative, a coffee museum, a museum of indigenous musical instruments among others, and full day trips to Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlán. For overnight trips Language Link can arrange trips, including your flight, to the amazing ancient city of Tikal and 2 day trips to Lake Atitlán, Monterrico Beach, and Copán in nearby Honduras. Information on all these possibilities will be included with your confirmation information and can be reserved by request at that time.