The Maryknoll Language Institute

The Maryknoll Language Institute is an integral part of the Maryknoll Mission Center.

The Institute was founded by the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers in 1965, to prepare Catholic missionary personnel for contemporary mission in Latin America or for service to Spanish-speaking peoples in other parts of the world. In the spirit of Ecumenism, we also accept candidates from other churches as well as those who have a serious commitment of service. The Maryknoll Language Institute is not a commercial Institute.

The programs offered by the Maryknoll Language Institute are totally individualized corresponding to the needs and level of each student.

Purpose of the maryknoll language institute
The specific goal of the Institute is two-fold; the first and most important goal is to enable the students to understand, speak, read and write Spanish, Aymará or Quechua, providing them with the basic language structures and learning tools which will assure their continued growth in language learning. Secondly, within the context of learning a language, the goal is to integrate cultural/pastoral orientation through group reflection, basic readings, conferences, liturgical life, and cultural/pastoral experiences. Through a series of weekly lectures on topics of socio-cultural interest and current trends and developments in Bolivia and Latin America the student receives a comprehensive introduction to the Latin American reality.

The Linguistic Office is responsible for coordinating the Spanish, Aymará and Quechua language programs. The three programs utilize our own textbooks authored by Institute professors. The two most recent texts are : Ahora a vivir el español....desde Bolivia for Spanish and Runa Siminchik for Quechua.

Each student begins his/her program by taking an Oral Proficiency Exam to establish their level of Spanish/Aymara or Quechua. A totally individualized program is then created for each student. The language learning program is revised every two weeks by the team of professors working with each student. The Linguistic Office supervises the Oral Proficiency Exam which enables the placement of the students in the appropriate level of study and the pairing of students for class and conversation. The Office is also responsible for the assignment of teachers and the ongoing linguistic evaluation of the programs and professors.

Students can choose to take a Basic Course which is 22 weeks long with two or three students in each class, or they can take one or more six week modules with one student in the class. All programs are four classes daily, five days a week, with four different teachers who work as a team with the student to continually monitor the student’s progress and make appropriate changes in each student’s program. Classes are organized into three sessions of four classes each day:
08:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.
08:50 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.
11:40 a.m. - 15:30 p.m.


There is a registration fee of $ 100.00 for all language courses and modules which is not refundable or deductable. Please send the registration along with the application form. Download Application Form

All costs are subject to change. Any Checks sent to the Institute in Bolivia should be by CERTIFIED MAIL. It is also possible to make payments directly to Maryknoll N.Y. If you prefer to make payments to Maryknoll N.Y., email us and we will inform you of that procedure.

Basic course

The Mission Center is structured to provide basic courses in Spanish, Aymará and Quechua as well as advanced levels of these three languages. Strong emphasis is placed on listening and speaking skills without neglecting reading and writing.

Our Language Program uses the Communicative Method which emphasizes interaction between teachers and students within and outside of the classroom. Language instruction includes small groups or individual instruction combined with conversation classes. Students are encouraged to use the language they are studying as much as possible. One hour of class preparation is recommended for each hour of class. There are also interactive CDs available for use.

The Basic Spanish Course is offered twice a year in January and July and covers a period of twenty two weeks which include an orientation and a mid-course vacation week. Students are organized into groups of two or three according to their language ability. There are four classes daily, each with a different professor, five days a week. Students with little or no previous Spanish study are encouraged to register for one of these courses. The cost for the Basic Spanish Course is: $2,500.00 for the entire 22 week course.

Six week modules: Basic, Intermediate and Advanced classes in Spanish are offered seven times a year. Each module is six weeks long and consists of four classes daily with one teacher to one student, except for conversation classes. The module is tailored to the individual's level and needs. A student who is already at an intermediate level should be able to improve both comprehension and speaking ability in one module. According to each student's goals (level of proficiency desired) it might be necessary to take more than one module. The cost for each modul is $1,300.00

Native languages

Indigenous Languages: Basic courses and six-week modules in both Aymará and Quechua are scheduled to begin on the same dates as the Spanish courses and modules, and are the same length of time.
The cost for the Basic twenty-two week Aymara or Quechua course is: $3,600.00.
The cost for one six week module Basic, Intermediate or Advanced Quechua or Aymara,is $1300.00.

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