Self-Learning – Coping With A New Language At College

Self-learning a languageLearning a new language is as easy as human nature for a newly born child. As we grow older, we become much less experimental and less accustomed to picking up new language skills. That doesn’t mean that we cannot become motivated towards learning a new language if we wanted.

College students need to start becoming a little more experimental in learning a new language. Making mistakes is the only way to learn a new language. The first time we make a mistake, somebody will be there to correct us, and it becomes a part of the learning process. Continue reading

How to use the Spanish verb “Tardar” to talk about time

The Spanish verb “tardar” is one of the most used verbs in everyday conversation, therefore it is really worthwhile spending the time to study the different ways you can use this verb.

Firstly it is a regular –ar verb in Spanish so the good thing is, there are no irregular verb forms to learn in any tense.

There are 3 main uses of tardar:

1) To talk about the time it takes to do something.
2) To talk about delay.
3) To say “at the latest”.

In this blog post we will explain how to use tardar in these 3 contexts with example sentences. Continue reading

Hanyu : How to Learn Chinese From a 3rd Year Student

So you want to learn Chinese. Good Luck!

Four years ago I had the most wonderful opportunity to go to China and work in a digital marketing company in Beijing. It was a brief five month stint, but I grew a strong liking for Chinese food, culture and the intricacies of their language. When I got back to the states, I hastily sought out Chinese classes far and wide, finally settling for one on the lower west side of Manhattan. Classes are about twice a week, 2 hour lessons.

Three years later…..

I sit here in a dark room, sobbing over my review books and dictionaries. But don’t fret. These are tears of joy. After three frustrating and mind-numbing years of study…no breaks or vacations except for the obvious Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Oktoberfest…I think I’ve finally got a hold on this whole Mandarin thing.

As a testament to this (sort of) accomplishment, I want to recount some of the trials and tribulations I’ve gone through in leaning this language. In the end, I hope this helps someone avoid pitfalls and time-wasters that I have come across in my own journey. Continue reading

El Día de los Muertos – The Day of the Dead

Dia de los MuertosThis celebration is held in Mexico and South American countries and Spain starts on October 31st at midnight and finishes on November 2nd. It dates back to pre-Columbian times when people honoured their ancestors. The meaning behind it is to honour the dead and to celebrate life. It is also sometimes known as the “Día de Todos los Santos”.

What happens during the celebration?

People remember the dead by telling stories about them and they also clean the graves of their loved ones that have passed on and lay flowers.

1st November is a day to remember children and is known as the “Día de los Angelitos” (Day of the Little Angels).

2nd November is for remembering adults who have died. This is the official “Día de los Muertos”. People believe that the dead come to life again on this day. There is even a belief that if the dead see that they are not being honoured on this day they will haunt the living. Continue reading

12 Powerful Strategies to Improve Reading in Spanish

Reading Strategies in SpanishOne of the best ways to progress in Spanish (or any foreign language) is to do more reading. By reading a variety of different materials in the target language you will not only learn more words and phrases but you will see how the language is used in different contexts.
As well as simply reading, there are certain methods you can use to maximise your reading time to make even more progress in Spanish.
The aim of this blog post is to give you a few tips as to how you can read in Spanish to help you improve the fastest.

1) Decide what to read carefully

* Read about something that you enjoy, something that interests you and that you care about. If you start reading something you aren’t really interested in, you will be much less likely to check what the words mean and learn anything from it. Reading something that interests you is the key to staying motivated.

* Think about your end goal. Why are you learning Spanish? If it is to do business you need to read more formal language. If it is to fully immerse yourself in the language you would try tackling a novel or a magazine. Continue reading

How to talk about what you “usually do” in Spanish

Spanish verb SolerHow to use the Spanish verb “Soler”

When chatting to people in Spanish you often like to talk about what you usually do and your habits.

There are several easy ways to do this. You can just use words like, “Normalmente” (Normally), “Generalmente” (Generally) or other frequency terms such as:

A veces (sometimes)
Muchas veces (many times)
A menudo (often)
Siempre (always)
De vez en cuando (from time to time)

… followed by a present tense verb: Continue reading

Why an Intensive Spanish Course Can Boost your Spanish Fast

Crash Spanish CoursePlus How to Get the Most Out of it

Sometimes people need to learn Spanish fast. This could be due to various reasons;

  • they have just got a new job in Spain.
  • they have a 6 month placement at an office in Spain.
  • They have a relative marrying a Spanish person and they need to communicate with their family.
  • They are planning to move to Spain in the close future.
  • Maybe you have learnt Spanish for years and now want to get serious and master it fast!

Whatever your reason, taking an intensive Spanish course over a shorter time is an excellent idea that will give your Spanish a real boost. In this post we will look at the benefits of intensive, crash Spanish courses and also how to prepare to take one and tips to get maximum results. Continue reading

Why Businesses Need to Invest in Foreign Language Training

Learning languages for business“Monoligualism is the Illiteracy of the 21st Century” British Academy.

According to the British Council, “Deficient language skills and the presumption that international business partners will speak English costs the UK economy about 3.5% of GDP”.

Businesses are expanding rapidly and one of the most common ways to do this is to tap into foreign markets. To do this successfully it is important to be able to communicate effectively with colleagues, suppliers and customers abroad to avoid embarrassing mistakes and problems. Employing foreign staff and learning a second language will open up many opportunities for your business. In this blog post we will discuss why now is the best time to invest in employee language training. Continue reading

Why is Twitter Perfect for Learning Spanish?

Twitter to learn SpanishSocial media is one of the most valuable language learning tools to use today. It is free to use and let’s face it we all spend a good while on various social media platforms every single day! Why not combine this with language learning and use some of that time to work on improving the language you are learning?

Why Use Twitter to Learn Spanish?

  • It is easy to use whenever you have a few spare minutes during the day.
  • You can use Twitter on any device including your smart phone, tablet or laptop.
  • It is perhaps the best social media app for learning Spanish.
  • You don’t have to be friends with someone to access their comments or posts. It is open to the world.
  • You can read tweets from Spanish celebrities, politicians, sports stars, actors, companies as well as anybody you know – friends and family.
  • You can tweet someone directly or mention them in a tweet.
  • It’s constantly updated so you get the latest information and up-to-date language.
  • Topics are organised by hashtags so you can easily find what you want to read about or find out about.
  • Tweets are short, up to 280 characters so you get the key information quickly and you don’t need to spend ages translating words.
  • You don’t need lots of followers to use Twitter effectively. You can still follow whoever you want to.

Continue reading

6 Reasons Why Private Language Tuition is So Popular

Last academic year 2018-2019 we were so pleased to have a record year of results for the students that we tutored in foreign languages. All students achieved levels 8 or 9 at GCSE with one achieving nearly 100% on her papers and another receiving the award at the presentation for best attainment in Spanish.

September is a busy time when students go back to school and especially those in GCSE and A-level year groups start to panic about the exams in the summer. Often parents want to help their children by booking private tutoring sessions to help them prepare in time and to reduce the stress nearer exam time.

Private language tuition is a particularly good idea due to the reasons we will go through in today’s blog post: Continue reading

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