How to learn a language from scratch!

Are you planning a holiday, short break in a foreign country this year? Or maybe you are planning to move to a country for work or to spend your retirement. It can be daunting enough to do this anyway but even more so if you don’t know much or any of the language spoken there. The aim of this blog post is to give you a few handy tips of ways you can learn a language quickly for whatever purpose. Continue reading

Get more out of listening by NOT slowing it down!

“I Stopped Listening To Slow Audio … So Should You!” – (Here’s Why)

Listening is the most difficult skill

Listening is probably the most important skill to master when learning a foreign language. If you cannot understand what someone is saying then you won’t be able to answer them, have a conversation or know what’s going on. Continue reading

How to re-learn a language you have forgotten

A lot of the people that I teach are often not complete beginners in Spanish. Often they have learnt the language in school years ago or they did an evening college course or they followed a CD course in their own time but have had several years or months break. They normally think they will never be able to get the language back or re-learn it, however the truth is that it can be easily done and does not need to take long either. What you have learnt well previously will have stayed in your long-term memory. It just needs a little refreshing.

For example, one of my clients learnt Spanish O’level in school over 30 years ago, however, because he learnt it so well at the time, he still remembers many verbs and how to conjugate them in different tenses. It is amazing how much he is able to reactivate because it is still there unused in the brain!

How to recover the language previously learnt

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Top languages to learn in 2018!

With fun quiz “What Language Should I Learn?”

According to a poll carried out by the British Council in December 2017, one in five Britons (21%) intend to learn a foreign language in 2018 with Spanish the most popular. 64% say they have always wanted to learn how to speak another language. Over half say they regret not making the effort to learn another language. 58% say that they think it is more important than ever now to learn another language. So if you are thinking about learning a language this year here are the British Council’s recommendations of the top languages to learn: Continue reading

10 ways to make sure you reach your language learning goals in 2018!

Learning a new language can change your life and open up many doors for you. It can improve your career prospects, allow you to make friends in other countries and help you get more out of holidays and trips abroad. Every January many people decide that this is the year they are finally going to learn that language they always wished they learnt more of at school.
I believe that anyone can learn a language given the right attitude and by sticking to habits that make it a part of your daily life.
At the beginning of a new year is the best time to set fresh goals however, sticking to them throughout the year can be the real challenge. In this blog post we will give 10 tips to help you make sure you stick to your plan and meet your language learning goals. Continue reading

5 Lucky New Year Traditions in Spain

12 lucky grapes

Every New Year’s Eve (Noche Vieja) people gather in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid to hear the chimes of midnight ring out. Upon each chime it is traditional to put a grape in your mouth and if you manage to eat all 12 you will have good luck through the coming year. Shops sell packs of 12 grapes especially for this new year tradition. Often they are not seedless grapes, making it even more of a challenge! It is a really funny experience especially when you have a go for the first time and you are surrounded by people laughing – it is not easy to achieve! Continue reading

Turrón – Spain’s traditional Christmas sweet

This sweet nougat made of almonds, honey sugar and egg white, is one of the most traditional desserts eaten at Christmas in Spain. It is of Arabic origin and was introduced in Spain over 500 years ago by the Moors. It is produced in the town of Jijona, 30 miles to the north of Alicante. The area’s economy is based on the manufacture of turrón and there is even a museum of turrón.
Turrón is produced in this area because the wild flowers on the mountains surrounding Jijona allow mountain bees to produce rich honey, a key ingredient. Along with honey, almonds from local orchards allow the “turroneros” to make this delicious artisan sweet.

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5 Weird and Wonderful Spanish Christmas Traditions

Everyone knows Spain likes to party. They have a fiesta for almost any reason throughout the year, however, especially at Christmas time, when they stretch out the celebrations for longer than us here in the UK, (from 22nd December with the Christmas lottery until 6th January – Kings Day) they have some really funny fiestas and superstitions. Here are the top 5 weirdest Christmas traditions in Spain: Continue reading

Memories of Christmas in Québec

I spent my first Christmas in Canada on a farm in a remote village in Québec called Padoue.
I was guaranteed a white Christmas, as the snow had lain thick on the ground since November, and outdoor ice rinks were everywhere, made simply by packing snow, flooding the surface with water, and allowing it to freeze. The farmer’s wife had been busy making home-made chocolates and pies, and I couldn’t wait to see what a French-Canadian Christmas Dinner would be like! Continue reading