“One” of my star pupils!

Individual language tuition is so effective!

The best thing about my job is seeing how much progress people make. Most people start out learning Spanish as complete beginners, not knowing barely a word of the language except perhaps “hola” (hello) or “Dos cervezas, por favor” (Two beers, please). However, this soon changes! A lot of people who have private lessons choose to do so because they prefer a one-to-one or two-to-one lesson rather than learn in a classroom full of people which they find too intimidating. They would be reluctant to speak out in front of everyone, therefore get little opportunity to practise the language or to ask questions. Also, they find that in a larger group of people, everyone tends to be at different levels – some know more than others and want to progress faster than those at lower levels who can get left behind and lose interest.

These are the reasons why one of my clients came to me to learn lessons. She was very lacking in confidence and felt that she would “never master this language”, however, she has now moved to Spain permanently and here is a list of things she has been able to use the language for in addition to the general daily getting-by when living in a foreign country: Continue reading

5 Reasons why Skype is an effective way to learn a language

One of the greatest recent technological innovations has been the invention of video calling platforms such as Skype which has completely transformed the way in which we keep in touch with people across the globe. Communicating with people around the world has never been easier and international companies rely on such platforms every day to communicate with colleagues, clients and suppliers in other countries. This innovative method of connecting with people all over the world is particularly effective for people learning languages.

Why Skype is beneficial for language learners

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5 habits of successful language learners!

1. Short but regular study sessions

People who make the most progress when learning another language stick to a regular routine of spending part of each day learning a language. This could be listening to a podcast, reading an article, learning vocabulary, doing grammar exercises. If you get into the habit of setting aside half an hour first thing in the morning or half an hour after dinner you are more like to stick to this than if you do no studying Monday to Friday and then force yourself to do a full 3-hour session on a Sunday. Continue reading

GCSE Spanish tips!

How to avoid over-using “bueno” when describing

It is so easy to fall into the trap of using the same small set of adjectives to describe things in your speaking and writing. e.g. la pelcula fue buena, (The film was good). Here is a list of adjectives to learn and have at your fingertips to include in your speaking or writing tasks:

amablekind / friendly / nice
asombroso – astonishing / amazing
bonito pretty
emocionante exciting
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Languages will be more important than ever with Brexit

There is already a shortage of language skills in the UK which according to the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), “is costing the UK economy £48 billion a year”, however with Brexit looming we will no longer be able to rely on EU nationals to help fill this gap. According to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Modern Languages, “We will need more UK officials with foreign language skills.”

“Language skills are vital for our exports, education, public services and diplomacy.” Continue reading

Different ways to say “no” in Spanish

As well as just a simple, “No” there are several different ways you can say “no” in Spanish. Here are a few easy to remember phrases to say “no” in Spanish in a friendly way:

¡Ni hablar!No way! / Don’t even talk about it!

¡En absoluto!Absolutely not! [This looks like you are saying “Absolutely” but in fact it is negative, you are completely disagreeing!]

¡En la vida!Never in my life! Continue reading

2 Useful Spanish phrases

(1) Acabar de + infinitive (To have just …)
(2) Estar a punto de + infinitive (To be about to …)

(1) Acabar de + infinitive

This is the structure in Spanish to talk about the very recent past, to say what has just happened. You can use this in various tenses:

Present tense:
Acabo de comer. I have just eaten. (a few minutes ago) Continue reading

Chinese New Year!

The biggest Chinese Festival, Chinese New Year is upon us! This year is the year of the Rooster, the tenth animal in the zodiac. The celebrations begin the night of the 27th January which is called SAN SHI and they last until February 15th. The night of the 27th January is the time when Chinese people have a big meal with the whole family. At midnight Chinese families eat dumplings as well see off the last day of the year and welcome the first day (28th of January) of the new Chinese year. This the happiest time for all Chinese people all over the world.

Here are some key words in Mandarin relating to the festival: Continue reading

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