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Frequently asked questions


Do the Spanish teachers speak English?

The Spanish teahcers understand a lot of English, however, they try very hard to encourage you to speak Spanish.   We call this "online immersion" and it works incredibly well.  We know that when you travel you won't be able to use English so we want you to start figuring out ways to communicate.  The Spanish teachers do a great job of using pictures and gestures to help you learn.  We also know that sometimes you'll learn faster if you use a little English  so our teachers have grammar lessons written in English and Spanish.  The will also help translate some words but the idea is to help you learn to think in Spanish not think in English and then translate to Spanish.


How do I cancel my membership?

Thank you very much for studying Spanish at Speak Shop.  We completely understand if you need to take a break.  The nice thing about Speak Shop is that you can return at any time and continue with the same Spanish tutor start right where you left off.

To cancel your membership:

  1. Log into your account
  2. Select the "My Info" tab
  3. Select the "Account" sub-tab 
  4. Select "Terminate" at the top of the right-hand column under Auto-pays.  This is a payment scheduled to occur in the future.  Cancelling the future payment will cancel the recurring membership billing.

Thank you very much for using our service!  If you decide to start studying Spanish with us again, please log into your account and select the "Membership" tab to start your membership!


How do I change my Skype username?

Please send an email to to change your Skype username registered to your account.


How do I enable cookies?

To enable cookies for the Safari Browser:

  1. Click on Safari in the upper left-hand corner
  2. Select Preferences... from the drop down menu
  3. Select the Privacy tab
  4. Under "Cookies and website data:" select Allow from current website only
  5. Close the Privacy pop-up box by clicking on the red button in the upper left hand corner.
  6. Click on FREE SPANISH LESSON to see the reservation page.


To enable cookies for the Google Chrome browser:

  1. Click the Chrome menu (image of 3 horizontal bars) on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click Show advanced settings.
  4. In the "Privacy" section, click the Content settings... button.
  5. In the "Cookies" section, click Manage exceptions
  6. Under "Hostname pattern" type [*.] and click Done


To enable cookies for the Internet Explorer:

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button in the lower left corner, and then clicking Internet Explorer.
  2. Click the Tools button, and then click Internet Options.
  3. Click the Privacy tab, and then move the slider to a position between the top and bottom so you are not blocking or allowing all cookies.
  4. Click Sites.
  5. In the Address of website box, type "", and then click Allow.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Move the slider back to the position it was originally in, and then click OK.


To enable cookies for the Firefox browser:

  1. Go to the Firefox drop-down menu.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Click Privacy.
  4. Set "Firefox will:" to Use custom settings for history.
  5. Check the box next to "Accept cookies from sites" to enable cookies.
  6. Click OK.



How much does it cost to study Spanish at Speak Shop?

Speak Shop is a non-profit but we still need to charge a monthly Membership Fee to help cover the costs associated with website maintenance, management, marketing, and customer service. We have three different membership options:

  • Mini-Membership for $9.99 - Take up to 5 lessons per month
  • Standard-Membership for $19.99 - Take up to 20 lessons per month
  • Unlimited Membership for $39.99 - Take unlimited lessons per month

Tutors also charge a Lesson Fee of $10-12 per hour depending on the day, time and tutor. Speak Shop does not take any portion of the Lesson Fees. We believe customers prefer to pay a transparent membership fee rather than take a percentage away from the tutors’ lesson fees.

NOTE: The monthly membership fee is automatically charged each month until you cancel your paid membership. In other words, if you don’t take any lessons you will still be charged the membership fee until you cancel your paid membership.


I just bought a 'new' Membership, why can't I reserve a lesson?

It might be that you set your membership to start in the future.  The Speak Shop online reservation system allows new students to select the start date and then it won't allow you to reserve a lesson until your membership begins... sorry, we realize this isn't the best experience for new students.  Please send an email to and we'll reset your start date to today.


I thought I made a reservation?

Our reservation system allows students to purchase a lesson but not actually reserve a time.  Here is how that might happen:

  1. From the Home page in you could select the Schedule a Lesson tab.
  2. From the Schedule a Lesson Tab you could select one of the Spanish lessons on the left. In this example, I selected Evening/Weekend - $12/hour.

  3. You would then select Search in the bottom right corner.

  4. And, then select a time/date and selected Book.

  5. Select Schedule a Lesson.

  6. In the Shopping Cart is where things can get a little messed up.  You could adjust the Quantity which means you are buying an additional lesson but not reserving a time.

I hope this helps explain how an additional lesson can be purchased but not reserved.


Is Speak Shop "Fair Trade"?

Yes, Speak Shop is "Fair Trade" as defined on Wikipedia, "Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries to make better trading conditions and promote sustainability."

Speak Shop's unique fair wage and microenterprise model was profiled in the Stanford Social Innovation Review: "Fair Trade Spanish: How Speak Shop uses the Web to help teachers earn more and students pay less"


What are lesson credits?

Your new account may offer you the ability to pay for a Spanish Lesson with "Lesson Credits". In our previous system, when you cancelled a lesson the amount of that lesson was credited to your account as Bonus Points.  Those Bonus Points were transferred to our new system as Lesson Credits. If you do not use the Lesson Credits to pay for a lesson they will be applied to your Monthly Membership fee. 


What if I need to cancel/change a lesson?

If you need to cancel or change a lesson, log into your account then click on the "My Schedule" tab: 
  • If it is 12-hours or MORE before the lesson you can  change< your lesson by selecting "Reschedule" or you can select "Cancel" and your account will be credited with value of that lesson. 
  • If it is LESS than 12-hours before the lesson and you select "Late Cancel" YOUR CREDIT CARD WILL BE CHARGED AS IF YOU ATTENDED. We feel that canceling a lesson on short notice is unfair to the tutor and other students who may have reserved that time. If you feel the cancelation is an extraordinary situation, please contact your tutor or Speak Shop.

What is a Free Trial?

A Free Trial is simply a 1-hour videoconference with a Speak Shop Spanish teacher via Skype.  We know that 1-on-1 Spanish lessons with Spanish teachers in Guatemala is completely new to people so we want everyone to give it a try.  We're confident that you'll like it but we also want you to make sure that your computer won't have any issues using Skype to videoconference. 

Here's a short video that shows how easy it is to pick a teacher, reserve a Free Trial and start speaking Spanish!!


What is Skype?

Skype is a free software application that allows the Speak Shop Spanish teachers to videoconference over the Internet with Speak Shop students.  Skype is available at


What will I be taught?

During your free trial lesson, your Spanish teacher will determine your ability to understand and speak Spanish by asking you a series of questions that grow increasing more difficult to answer in Spanish.  They will also ask what you would like to learn and how much time you have to commit to learning.  If you want to study specific vocabulary or phrases for your job please let your teacher know. 

Your teacher will then start a conversation with you around a subject matter that you are interested in.  For example, if you are a doctor they will ask you what type of medicine your practice, where you work and how can you practice Spanish.  They will also incorporate grammar topics into the lesson and assign homework (if you want homework:)

Many students ask about our curriculum or structure becuase they are used to Spanish courses like Beginning 1, Beginning 2, etc. We think it is much more productive and fun if your teacher builds course just for you.  The Speak Shop Spanish teachers are great at creating a customized course just for you.  After your Free Trial the tutor will send you a suggested list of topics that you can cover and you can decide to follow her suggestions or to change things.