Linguist Sam Larsson arrived to the Yucatan Peninsula in the seventies. He brought an innovative method to teach English and the latest in teaching technology which, at the time, comprised tapes, cassettes, and earphones. With this he was able to open language labs and launch the “audio lingue” language learning method in Yucatán. Later, he met Franz Fortuny and together they founded what today is known as the Centro de Idiomas del Sureste, or CIS.

Broadly speaking, this is how CIS was founded in 1974, making this school a pioneer of language instruction in southeastern México. On March 6, they celebrated their 45th anniversary and continue to work with passion and determination every single day, making them synonymous with language teaching in Yucatán.

Currently, their language offerings include French, Italian, Portuguese, Maya, English, and Spanish; this last program has been especially designed for foreigners visiting or living in Mérida. The other languages offered can vary from time to time depending on the demand and availability of qualified instructors.

Every student at CIS has a common goal: learning a new language. Whether this be to communicate with locals (as is the case with the Spanish program), in order to start a new job, or simply for the love of learning, this purpose motivates both teachers and students. Because each work session means progress and coming one step closer to this goal, CIS is the school that so many students have chosen to trust. Trained instructors and a functional learning method have been the key to students’ success.

Classes follow a functional approach which allows students to learn language for real-life situations, for example: greetings, showing gratitude, introductions, etc.; throughout different stages of learning they are taught to apply grammar properly. From the very first day, students are able to express themselves in their chosen language and put their knowledge to practice in the language they’re learning and as they progress, they add new knowledge and uses.

Students can also take part in different activities to expand their knowledge of Yucatecan culture. Visits to museums, the hacienda Sotuta de Peón, and city tours are only some of the excursions options. Students from out of town are also able to participate in a homestay with a Yucatecan family, allowing for even more exposure to local customs and traditions. This is a particularly good option if students are only here for a short time.

Cuarenta y cinco años de trabajo se dicen fácil, pero el éxito se logra esforzándose día con día y con una inmensa pasión por la enseñanza. A través de su formación y disciplina, el CIS se ha

45 years of work is easier said than done, but the success CIS enjoys can be attributed to their constant effort and a passion for what they do. Through training and hard work, CIS has positioned itself as one of the best language schools in Mérida. Their instructors receive preparation in applied linguistics as well as teacher training which aids them in incentivizing student productivity in the classroom. At CIS, students learn by speaking and practicing in every class and reach new goals each session. CIS is a wonderful place where you will receive the support you need to learn the language of your choice.

Other keys to mastering a foreign language are consistency and a can-do attitude when putting your language to practice. These are the same values that steer CIS when maintaining their high standards which set it apart from other language centers in Mérida and its teaching staff and student loyalty are proof of this. Dedication, hard work, kindness, and love are what you feel when you walk into the classrooms of CIS, and they pride themselves on the warmth and personalized care they offer each student.

Whether you come from abroad and wish to learn Spanish, or are a local and want to learn another language, you can be sure of one thing: you’ll find the perfect learning environment at CIS to meet your needs.

After 45 years, CIS continues their mission of helping every student that walks through their doors to achieve the common purpose of learning a new language. Don’t miss the chance to join this community and come one step closer to reaching your goals!

Calle 52 #455 x 49 y 51, Centro
Tel. (999) 923 0954


Editorial by Claudia Améndola
Photography by Claudia Améndola for use in Yucatán Today

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