Toani

Speak naturally. Become fluent in Spanish.

TOANI is a conversation membership program dedicated to help intermediate and advanced students get better at speaking in Spanish. Beginners can join too as listeners, as long as they are enrolled in our Foundation Course.  The fee is $550 pesos a month and it includes the following:

  • Weekly 45-minute conversation sessions.
  • Podcasts with short stories and real news in Spanish but simplified. 
  • Vocabulary and phrases used and heard in the local area.
  • Special prices for private lessons.

Who exactly can join?
Well, to give you an idea, some determined students have had many classes in the past but are at a point where the only way to move ahead is to start using the words and all the knowledge acquired from previous courses. If that´s your case, then the weekly conversation sessions can be a good option for you to practice with other students who are also interested in getting better at the speaking part. 

Other students prefer to simply focus on listening to the podcasts periodically to keep their brain thinking in Spanish. If you´re a beginner or advanced student, our podcasts are ideal to learn new words and phrases that people will actually understand in the local area. Some play our podcasts in the morning while drinking coffee, while at the beach or whenever they are not in Mexico where they would normally be exposed to the language.

If you have questions or are not too sure about your level of the language, don´t worry! We will first interview you and evaluate your vocabulary and give you some tips to get the most out of your membership. If necessary, we will suggest some one-on-one training before you join a class.  

If you´re ready click here to subscribe, or check out below a quick list of benefits you get with Toani. The first payment is charged for the equivalent of three months in advance ($1,650MXN) after that your card is charged $550.00 Mexican pesos a month starting on the fourth month.

What you get with TOANI

Access to our weekly conversation classes

45 minute conversation sessions are organized each week. It's optional to join these classes but they are very helpful for students ready to try spontanous conversational phrases and put the words into action!

Access to our Podcast

Improve your comprehension skills with our short stories and real news in Spanish but simplified. We produce every aspect of our podcasts including recording with authentic voices and professional microphones. The words and vocabulary presented in the stories are commonly used in the local area.

Special member prices for private lesson packages

Save about 14% discount on private lesson packages in case you need some extra help.

Toani monthly

$ 550 MXN pesos Monthly
  • Access to our weekly conversation sessions held at school or online
  • Podcasts with short stories and real news in Spanish but simplified
  • Vocabulary and phrases used and heard in the local area
  • Special discount for private lessons
  • Cancel anytime

Toani montly plus Private lessons

First paymet is 7,000 pesos then 550 pesos a month
$ 7, 000 MXN pesos
  • Credit for 12 hours of private instruction to use over time within 3 months after subscribing
  • Access to our weekly conversation sessions held at school or online
  • Podcasts with short stories and real news in Spanish but simplified
  • Vocabulary and phrases used and heard in the local area
  • Special discount for private lessons
  • Cancel anytime

Our philosophy

Conversation is an entire world of possibilities to access a culture through language. Said world presents challenges that are hard to achieve with just books. You simply have to dive into the water and practice, practice, practice! Fortunately, we are here to help you before and after you jump. As linguists and language teachers, we like to work with our students on improving their conversational skills and pronunciation. That is the reason we created TOANI. 

We have a strong opinion regarding certain aspects of learning Spanish:  

We believe in the power of pronunciation. Learning how to produce the sounds for the words you learn is the best way to retain vocabulary since you' re putting the words into action rather than just learning how to spell them out.

Pronunciation goes both ways- speaking and also listening. Yes, when you' re listening to a conversation or a podcast in Spanish, you're practicing pronunciation, as you review the words mentally and associate what you hear with what's on paper. You improve your comprehension skills.

You gain confidence when you improve your pronunciation. You feel safe when you know for sure that what you're saying is clear. People understand you and they react accordingly. The natural consequence of this is that you start using the words spontaneously without thinking about grammar or structure.

Fluency is the opposite of making unnecessary pauses and hesitating between words. Most students think Spanish speakers talk too fast, which is true at some extent. But, also native Spanish speakers don´t pause or stop between words. When you understand this logic and start connecting the sounds of the words, just like they do, your speaking skills improve significantly. For us, this is the key to become fluent in Spanish- you must learn how not to make pauses and connect the sounds of the words to naturally form sentences.

All the learning tools within TOANI, including the podcasts and the pronunciation exercises, are designed with these basic principles in mind.

One last aspect to mention has to do with vocabulary. It has been an issue for new students we interview since some words presented in some popular language apps are usually from other Spanish speaking countries and locals don’t entirely recognize them. Therefore, words and phrases in our classes are taught as used and heard in Mexico and Baja.

Toani is short for Tlatoani, which means ¨the one who speaks¨ in the beautiful language of Náhuatl. This language was once spoken by the Aztecs and is nowadays the second most spoken language in Mexico with nearly three million speakers. Spanish takes the first place. Toani is also the official name of our parent language school.

How the conversation classes work

Classes are 45 minutes long (maximum) and are held online and at school in Cabo & San José. Our goal is to help you create the habit of using the same or similar phrases and questions every week and gain confidence. You will have the opportunity to use words, verbs, past tense conjugations and other aspects of the language along with pronunciation. At discretion, we will suggest words or phrases, but no corrections, no grammar, just relax and experiment with small talk and basic sentences or join as a listener.

We change the theme and vocabulary of the conversations every three months. You first go to your Toani member dashboard and watch the video lesson to learn what topic or questions are being used in the current month and prepare before you join a class. Of course, in class we start chating about one thing and usually the conversation goes a different direction each time and new vocabulary comes up. This is the magic of this class…there is a guided portion of the session but then we are just there to help fill in the gaps of new words students need to get the conversation going.  

The classes do get full sometimes, so plan ahead and schedule one or multiple sessions in advance. It’s a “first comes first served” type of system. The maximun number of students in each videoconference call is 10, but we split the call into rooms-two groups of 5 participants maximum, plus a teacher in each “room”. 

Who is this class for…
The class was designed with oral practice and pronunciation in mind, which means students are expected to manage a certain level of vocabulary. But, as we said pronunciation goes both ways- speaking and understanding the words as you hear them. When you schedule a class you can opt to indicate that you’re going to participate as a listener only. We won’t force you to speak in front of the group until you feel comfortable and confident. Also, please book a free 30-minute interview first if you have questions or if you´re a new student at our school.  So, who else can join this class?

  • Intermediate and advanced students. 
  • External students who want to practice and get better at speaking with guided instruction.
  • Students currently taking a break from their group class but want to occasionally join a conversation class during their break.
  • Students who want to continue to practice online in the summer or when they are not in Mexico. 

If you are unsure about your level of Spanish, you can also take a few private lessons with us first so we can help you and guide you through before you jump in the conversations. 

Location and schedule  

Classes are permanently held online with videoconference call on Zoom. Additional conversation classes at our schools in Cabo and San Jose are available every year from November to the end of March. As a Toani member you can attend the classes at school during these months or just online or both. 

Mid April, 2021 Update: Due to the COVID19 pandemic and local Government guidelines, school classes must be held online only. So, all of our lessons and conversation classes are held online only, until further notice.

Current schedule is every Friday at 12pm Cabo time (Mountain time), via Zoom. Schedule is subject to change. You should be able to view the full calendar with upcoming events on your student dashborad. 

About our Podcasts 

As mentioned before, pronunciation goes both ways: speaking and listening. We´ve confirmed over time with students that one big challenge to overcome is associate what you hear with what´s on paper. Our podcasts section is a very important part of Toani to help our students improve their comprehension skills. 

Each story comes with a video lesson in which we break down common words and phrases found in the story as well as examples of how to pronounce and use them in a different context. You can also follow the interactive text and see the words as you listen or print the PDF version of each podcastEvery three months we add new short stories and real news in Spanish but slow and simplified. You have three months to practice the current podcasts (or previous ones) before we add new content. 

We work hard to make sure we select words, verbs, sentence structure and phrases as used and heard in Mexico, and Baja. We produce every aspect of our podcasts including recording with authentic voices and professional microphones.

Podcasts quick tour

Podcasts quick tour

Toani monthly

$ 550 MXN pesos Monthly
  • Access to our weekly conversation sessions held at school or online
  • Podcasts with short stories and real news in Spanish but simplified
  • Vocabulary and phrases used and heard in the local area
  • Special discount for private lessons
  • Cancel anytime

Toani montly plus Private lessons

First paymet is 7,000 pesos then 550 pesos a month
$ 7,000 MXN pesos
  • Credit for 12 hours of private instruction to use over time within 3 months after subscribing
  • Access to our weekly conversation sessions held at school or online
  • Podcasts with short stories and real news in Spanish but simplified
  • Vocabulary and phrases used and heard in the local area
  • Special discount for private lessons
  • Cancel anytime

FAQ´s

The subscription fee is $550 Mexican pesos a month. The first payment is charged for the equivalent of three months in advance ($1,650MXN) after that your card is charged $550.00 Mexican pesos a month starting on the fourth month. You get access to our weekly conversation classes, access to our podcasts in Spanish and special discounts (about 14%) for private lesson packages. All prices are presented and charged in Mexican pesos.

To cancel a recurring subscription follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to your dashboard
  2. Click the “Orders History” on your profile drop-down menu
  3. From the list of orders, click “View Order”.
  4. Then click the “Cancel” button.
  5. A confirmation message will appear. Confirm to cancel the subscription.
  6. The subscription will now move from “Active” to “Pending Cancellation.” This will allow access to your scheduled classes until your next payment is due. When the next payment is due the subscription will be moved to “Cancelled” and you will be unenrolled from the course or membership and no further payments will be attempted.

From your dashboard you have access to a calendar showing all classes available in the month. You must add your name to the list and reserve a seat. You may schedule one or multiple classes in advance. For classes held on Zoom, you should get the meeting link and passcode by email right after you schedule a class.

We’ve had classes with 2, 4 and 6 students. When 6 students or more join a videoconference call, then we split the call into two “rooms” and create two small groups. We limit the number of seats to preserve the quality of the class. If a class gets full, the calendar will automatically block the availability and you will have to find a different time to join. We try to add extra sessions before the end of the month if all spots are booked. 

Go ahead and subscribe and your first class will be an interview with one of our teachers. We want to meet you first and help you with some suggestions before you join the conversation classes.

We believe listening to a conversation in Spanish a great way to practice as your brain is actively trying to associate what you hear with words or phrases. So, yes you can participate as a listener as long as you´re enrolled in the Foundation Course. When you reserve your spot for a class you have the option to indicate you will participate as a listener. Please, talk to one of us in class should you have any further questions.

The answer is no. You are never asked to speak in front of the group. At discretion we will let students talk to each other or ask simple questions. We mediate the session so we will help you participate as we go. Also, when you reserve your spot for a class you have the option to indicate you will participate as a listener only.

Yes, but it has to be related to the conversation we´re having at the moment. That way all students get something out of it. If we don’t have a short answer we may suggest to take notes and save the question for a later opportunity when we get more time. For most questions, we have a practical answer to get the conversation going so feel free to ask.

We can’t say no even though the idea is to keep the environment in Spanish as much as possible. At discretion English can be used to clarify complex phrases, idioms or questions. Again, we mediate the session, so we might switch to English every now and then just to make a few clarifications and to make sure everyone feels comfortable.

Nothing happens. The classes are independent from each other and you decide the number of classes you wish or are able to attend. There is no homework between classes. This is especially helpful for those of you who are interested in using features of the Toani membership other than the conversation classes.

From your dashboard you have access to an only-member area to buy a package of 12 hours at a discounted price. There is also a calendar with available spots to book from.  

We suggest only something to write with and something to write on to discreetly take notes. We often move the chairs around, and the board is not always in front of the group. But, if you retain more by taking notes, yes bring a notebook and pen.

Yes, when you join our membership you have the right to take our conversation classes at school, or just online or both. We organize classes so that there´s always available spots to join online.

Yes! We need them. We all, teachers and students want to feel comfortable during class activities and when approaching others. This is crucial for creating a friendly environment and getting the most out of the class. 

Enjoy the class
That’s the number one rule. Participate, ask questions, tell us a story, and even laugh with other class members´jokes. We retain more things better when we are relaxed and enjoy people’s company. We suggest this to all our students and we are all here on the same page with the same goal to practice Spanish. If there is a misinterpretation of a given instruction, or a question by a class member or teacher, please give yourself or others some time to ask for clarification. You may interrupt if that’s the case, or wait for the next quiet moment to ask. Doing this encourages other class members when they’re speaking as they get our full attention. So, feel free to express yourself and enjoy it. 

(Don’t)Be late! 
If you´re late for class, don´t panic. Just enter the room and quietly find a seat if the session is already in progress. The same applies for Zoom meetings. We are more receptive when we are not over stressed about simple things and with a smile on our face. 

No political debates in class.
It’s hard to have control of the conversation when it comes to politics, regardless of one’s point of view. We would normally talk to our students about political vocabulary and the political system in Mexico during private lessons, but not in this class. Sorry!

Mid April, 2021 Update: Due to the COVID19 pandemic and local Government guidelines, school classes must be held online only. So, all of our classes are currently held online via Zoom until further notice.

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