Fiona

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Conversation Hacking in Spanish

7 Simple Tricks Anyone Can Master

The traditional way of learning a language is often not that useful when it comes to chatting with native Spanish speakers in real life. Although I learnt Spanish throughout school and university when it came to living in Spain and living with Spanish people, a lot of what I’d learnt went out the window as talking to people every day was a whole new ball game.

In this blog post we will look at how you can become an expert at conversation without years of studying with textbooks. Continue reading

Learn Spanish with Music – the Lirica App

Most people think that learning a language is too difficult and time consuming even to string together a few basic phrases. Some people think it is too difficult to master the pronunciation and to be understood when speaking the language. The reality is that nowadays there are so many different ways to learn foreign languages with technology and apps that anyone can do it!

One of the best ways to perfect your pronunciation is by listening to songs sung by natives in the language. How many times has a song’s lyrics got stuck in your head so that you are singing them without even thinking about it.

This is the aim of the new app for learning Spanish with songs – the Lirica App, (iOS and Android) one of “Google Play’s hidden gems of 2018”. Continue reading

How to Use ‘Tiempo’, ‘Hora’ and ‘Vez’ in Spanish – all meaning “Time”

In Spanish there are several words to use to say “time”; tiempo, hora and vez. They are not interchangeable, you use each one in a different context which makes learning them somewhat tricky. To further complicate matters, the word “tiempo” also can mean “weather”!

In this blog post you will learn how to know when to use each word for “time” whether it is talking about time in general, the time of the day or a time as in an occasion. Continue reading

20 Common Reflexive Verbs in Spanish

Reflexive verbs in Spanish often cause learners a real headache because they are so different to how we use the same verbs in English and because they can completely change the meaning of the verb when used with a reflexive pronoun. For example, ‘ir’ means ‘to go’ whereas ‘irse’ means ‘to leave / go away’.

The best way to get your head around Spanish reflexive verbs is to stick with the ones you will need to use most.

When are reflexive verbs used?

Reflexive verbs occur when the subject and the object are the same in a sentence. For example, when you wash yourself, when you look at yourself in the mirror, when you put clothing on yourself. Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of Language Learning Apps

Can you learn a language just from an app?

There are so many language learning apps available nowadays each claiming to help you learn a language easily in record time. Popular apps include Duolingo, Busuu and Rosetta Stone. Language learning apps use images, audio and activities such as matching up exercises, re-ordering words in a sentence to help you pick up the basic language. However, just how good are these apps when it comes to actually communicating in the language effectively in real life? This is what we will look at in this blog post. Continue reading

Teacher Language Training for Primary Schools

The ability to understand and communicate in foreign languages is becoming increasingly important nowadays. With the approach of Brexit the UK’s relationship with the countries whose languages are commonly taught in schools is going to make the supply of good foreign language teachers considerably more difficult.

A report by The British Council in March this year “Language Trends 2018: Language Teaching in Primary and Secondary Schools in England” found that ‘languages remain a marginal subject which primary schools find challenging to deliver alongside many other competing demands.’ Another problem which hinders pupils continuing to learn languages in secondary school is the lack of consistency amongst primary schools. Some children have been learning another language throughout primary school whereas others have not had any language learning. Continue reading

6 Benefits of Obtaining the Spanish DELE Certificate

There are over 437 million native Spanish speakers and a total of 572 million people who speak it as either a first or second language. It is estimated that there are around 21 million people studying Spanish worldwide.`If you can speak Spanish this will open up many opportunities for you both professionally and personally. For people learning Spanish, the DELE certificated is one of the best ways to make your ability to speak Spanish fluently officially recognised worldwide. I am currently helping to prepare several of my adult clients to pass the DELE exams.

Let’s look at what the DELE diploma involves and the benefits it offers you: Continue reading

When Do You Need to Use Subject Pronouns in Spanish

When should you use “yo”, “tú”, “él”, “ella” in front of verbs in Spanish?

What are Subject Pronouns?

The subject pronouns in Spanish are:

yo – I
– you
él / ella – he / she
usted – you (formal)
nosotros / nosotras – we
vosotros / vosotras – you (plural)
ellos / ellas – they
ustedesyou (formal, plural)

For people just starting to learn Spanish they often want to keep using these every time they say a verb, however this is often unnecessary as the ending of the verb tells you the subject of the verb. In this blog post, we will tell you when you should include the subject pronoun and when you shouldn’t. Continue reading

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