English Activities in Madrid

Are you looking for ideas on how to improve your English in your own city? Even in Madrid, you will find a lot of interesting English activities in order to practice and improve your English.

How about taking part in an English trivia, watching English movies or going to language exchanges? Intercambios or language exchanges take place in several bars and restaurants. This way you get to know new people and at the same time, you can practice your English.

Some pubs and bars offer English trivia. If you like quizzes and trivia and if your level of English is already high, this is a fun way to still improve your vocabulary and your knowledge in general.
There are many cinemas that offer the option to watch movies in their original language. With the help of subtitles, you can already watch English movies even if your level is not that advanced yet.

In addition to this, there are many classes and activities offered in English. Why not join an English-taught yoga or dance class? Or maybe cooking classes or city tours? Madrid offers plenty of sight-seeing tours – many of them are even free!

3 EXCELLENT HORROR MOVIES TO PRACTISE YOUR ENGLISH THIS HALLOWEEN

Many places around the world celebrate Halloween on October 31st. There are many things you can do to have a great time, and if you’re in Madrid there are lots of events and activities to celebrate it and maybe even practise your English very cheaply.

It’s also a great excuse to rewatch (or perhaps watch for the first time!) some very good movies. Watching movies can be a great way to improve your mastery over a language. So we thought that this could be an especially convenient time to talk about three really fun (and sometimes scary) movies.

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Shaun of the Dead (2004)

A veritable classic in the zombie genre. Shaun of the Dead both pays tribute to and makes fun of some of the best movies that deal with the undead. It’s a hillarious comedy starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, directed by Edgar Wright.

Shaun (Pegg) is a thirty-year-old man whose life isn’t going anywhere. He wakes up one day and to realise that the world is now full of zombies. Along with his roommate Ed (Frost), he’ll embark on a path to put his life back together, get his girlfriend back, and not be eaten by his neighbours.

 

 

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The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

Five young adults decide to spend a weekend in a far-off cabin deep into the woods… and then find out that things are not what they seem. Even though the beats that make the story in the beginning are extremely well-trodden and tropey, The Cabin in the Woods masterfully uses those same beats and tropes to upend expectations.

Starring, among others, Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly, and Sigourney Weaver, and directed by Drew Goddard and co-written by Joss Whedon, The Cabin in the Woods is a thrilling experience that you won’t regret.

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The Blair Witch Project (1999)

And last but not least The Blair Witch Project. With less comedic elements than the previous movies though not because of this less entertaining, it marked a turning point in the genre upon its release.

Directed and written by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, The Blair Witch Project does not need any fancy CGI or terrifying monsters to make you want to jump out of your skin. It reminds the viewer how scary a noise in the dark can truly be.

And there we have it, three excellent movies to enjoy this Halloween. The best way to experience them would be of course in their original version, with or without subtitles. And if you really want to make the most of them, you could focus on the following to learn even more:

  • What accent or intonation do the characters employ?
  • What idioms, phrasal verbs, and vocabulary do they use?
  • Are there any memorable lines that you particularly liked?

And if you’re in Madrid, and you’d like to talk about more ways of practising your English (or German, French, or Italian!), just drop by any of our academies in La Elipa and Calle Gandhi for information. Our native teachers will be delighted to give you a hand.

Happy Halloween!

How to motivate yourself to learn English this Autumn

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WATCH A FILM

Watching a film (or TV series) that you already know you enjoy can keep you motivated as you’ll already have an idea of what they’re talking about and the kinds of things that are being said, which means you won’t need to concentrate as much on the storyline and you can pay more attention to the language being used. If necessary, try turning on the subtitles IN ENGLISH so that you can read and listen at the same time (but be aware that sometimes the text doesn’t always match the audio 100%)

SPEAK TO FOREIGNERS

Here in Spain, there are so many English-speaking foreigners that you won’t have to look hard to find native English speakers in Madrid to practise with. Something as simple as giving someone directions on the metro in English, or even having an in-depth conversation about local history, can be enough to show that you know more than you think you do, as is the case with many English students in Madrid, and can be enough to give you that much-needed confidence boost and keep you motivated to continue learning and improving your English in Madrid.

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TAKE CLASSES AT AN ACADEMY

Although it can sometimes be hard to find the motivation to get started, once you’ve had that first English class in an English academy, you’ll find that your level of motivation will also increase. Here at our language academies in La Elipa and García Noblejas, we often find that our English students are a bit unsure at the beginning but with time and more English classes both their motivation and their confidence increases.

SUBSCRIBE TO A YOUTUBE CHANNEL

With the same benefits of watching films on TV series in English, but in a much shorter length of time, watching YouTube videos in English can be a great way of staying motivated. Most of us in 2019 probably have a YouTube account and watch videos on the platform regularly, so why not give it a try?

PLAN A TRIP

What better way to motivate yourself (or scaring yourself!) into learning more English could there be than knowing than you will soon be in an English-speaking country, surrounded by people who only speak English and not being able to reply on your native language? Having a specific goal like this in mind can be the perfect way to motivate yourself to improve your English quickly.

SET GOALS AND REMINDERS FOR YOURSELF

As previously mentioned, whether it’s the FCE or CAE exam, or an upcoming trip to an English-speaking country, having a specific goal in mind can be an excellent way of maintaining your level of motivation. If you set reminders for yourself, such as leaving post-its around the house or having weekly meet-ups or English classes to prepare for, you’ll be less likely to forget about these your goals and you’ll be surprised by just how quickly you’re able to advance.

If you’d like to know more and are interested in our English classes in Madrid, feel free to contact us or drop by either of our English academies in La Elipa and La Almudena, where any one of our native English teachers will be able to give you more information on our highly economical English classes in Madrid this autumn.

We hope to see you soon!

 

INTENSIVE CAMBRIDGE FIRST CERTIFICATE (FCE B2) SUMMER COURSES

Here at The Language Corner, we are constantly adapting to the demands of our students. This year we have been asked a lot about the possibility of an intensive summer course to prepare for the First Certificate de Cambridge (FCE, or now known as the B2 First) in July. For this reason, we have decided to offer intensive FCE courses this summer to help you prepare for your FCE exam in Madrid.

The course focus on the 4 different parts of the FCE exam: Reading and Use of English, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. We also focus on exam technique and ways of improving your grade and increasing your chance of passing the FCE exam, as well as increasing your level of comprehension, writing production, listening skills, grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary. All this with our native English teachers with a high level of experience in preparation of Cambridge examinations.
A moderately intensive course of four hours per week costs just 144 € for the entire month, and if you’d prefer an even more intensive course of 8 hours per week, then the course costs just 266 €. In addition to this, if it is your first time studying at The Language Corner
then you will receive a 50% percent discount on the enrollment fee.
To reserve your place on our intensive FCE summer course, don’t hesitate to call us as soon as possible on 91 001 42 81 while places are still available, or write to us and we will get back to you as soon as possible. If you have any questions or doubts, we will be more than happy to provide any information necessary.
What are you waiting for?

12 phrasal verbs with ‘get’

What are phrasal verbs? What does get actually mean? These are two questions that our students very commonly ask us during our English classes.

The word ‘get’ on its own has several different meanings in English; here are just three of many different uses of the verb ‘get’:

  • I went to the shop to get some bread – buy.
  • I don’t get maths – understand.
  • She got a new job last week – obtain.

These are just a few examples of how we use the verb ‘to get’ on its own. Add a preposition and you completely change its meaning (get on, get up, get over, etc). This is called a phrasal verb. In English we certainly seem to love our phrasal verbs and they are quite characteristic of, although not limited to, the Germanic languages.

Here are 12 commonly used phrasal verbs with the verb ‘get’:

  1. Get to (arrive or have an opportunity) – I get to work at around 8:45.
  2. Get up (out of bed or to ascend) – I get up at 7:00.
  3. Get down (to descend) – The cat climbed up the tree and couldn’t get down!
  4. Get back (return) – First, I’ll go to the supermarket and when I get back, I’ll make lunch.
  5. Get out (to exit) – I went for a swim but had to get out of the pool because the sun was so strong!
  6. Get on with (have a good rapport or continue) – I get on with all of my work colleagues. I have to get on with my homework because it’s due tomorrow.
  7. Get along with (have a good rapport) – I get along with all of my work colleagues.
  8. Get about (travel to lots of places) – She’s been to four different countries already this year – she really does get about!
  9. Get over (recover) – I had quite a bad cold this week, but I’ve gotten over it now.
  10. Get through (pass through a difficult time) – Last year was very difficult for us, but we managed to get through it!
  11. Get on (embark) – Which bus do we need to get on?
  12. Get off (disembark) – We have to get off the bus at the next stop.

As we tend to use the word ‘get’ quite a lot in English conversations, you should have plenty of opportunities to use these phrasal verbs in many real-life situations.

If you’d like to know more and are interested in our English classes in Madrid, feel free to contact us or drop by either of our English academies in La Elipa and La Almudena, where any one of our native English teachers will be able to give you more information on our highly economical English classes in Madrid this summer.

We hope to see you soon!

German classes in Madrid

Are you interested in learning German in Madrid but not sure where to start?

Do you need to start from zero?

Are you completely new to German?

NO PROBLEM!

Here at The Language Corner, we will be starting our new German course for complete beginners and with native German teachers, which gives a complete introduction to the German language in the evenings during the week.

If you are interested in the beginners’ German course in Madrid, or any other of our courses, feel free to contact us or to drop in to either one of our language academies in Madrid for more information.

We hope to see you soon!

FREE introductory mini-course in English

Are you interested in learning English in Madrid but not sure where to start?

Do you need to start from zero?

Are you completely new to the English language?

NO PROBLEM!

Here at The Language Corner, we will be starting our new mini-course for complete beginners and with native English teachers, which gives a complete introduction to the English language in the mornings and evenings during weekdays.

Upon completion of this new mini-course, you will also be offered the chance to continue with our full ‘English for beginners’ course at a discounted rate in La Elipa or Ventas in Madrid.

If you are interested in the free mini-course in Madrid, or any other of our courses, feel free to contact us or to drop in to either one of our English academies in Madrid for more information.

We hope to see you soon!

Which is more difficult – English or Spanish?

Which is more difficult – English or Spanish?

Here at The Language Corner, particularly in our basic level groups, students often ask during their English classes which is more difficult: English or Spanish? Obviously, the answer to this question depends greatly on the person – if your native language is Italian, you will probably find it easier to learn Spanish than to learn English, and if your native language is German, you will probably find it easier to learn English than to learn Spanish. While opinions vary on this topic, there are some points which can be considered and compared:

VOCABULARY

English words, especially at the more basic levels, do in general tend to be shorter and often only contain one syllable, which can arguably make them easier to memorise, for example:

book –   libro

hot –   caliente

pen –   bolígrafo

chair –   silla

PRONUNCIATION

As English has a lot more sounds than Spanish does, especially vowel sounds and combinations of vowel sounds, pronunciation in English does seem to be significantly more difficult than in Spanish, or at least there are more new sounds to learn. There are also many sounds in English, such as θ and ð which have very subtle differences and to the unaccustomed ear can sound identical, but for native speakers, the difference in these two sounds can change the meaning of the word itself.

In addition to this, the pronunciation of words in English can vary greatly between regions and countries. A simple word like ‘bus’ in most regions is pronounced /bʌs/, but in the North of England and in the Midlands, it tends to be pronounced roughly as /bʊs/.

Though in Spanish this also happens to some extent.

GRAMMAR

Yo hablo, tu hablas, ella habla… In English, we rarely conjugate. In fact, most verbs will only have a maximum of 5 variations (e.g. speak, spoke, spoken, speaks, speaking). We also use auxiliaries to indicate tense (have spoken, will speak) and to indicate negativity (don’t speak, didn’t speak). Because of this use of auxiliaries, there is more simplicity in English grammar and much less to memorise. We do, however, have to use the personal pronouns (I, you, we, they, etc), which are often omitted in Spanish as the conjugation already indicates the subject of the sentence.

We also have no grammatical gender of nouns in English, with a few exceptions for job titles. To Spanish speakers, grammatical genders may not present much difficulty at all, but for an English-speaker, having to modify articles and adjectives based on grammatical gender can be quite a challenge at first.

READING AND WRITING

English is by no means written phonetically. In this sense, writing in Spanish is far easier than writing in English, and because of this if you know the rules on spelling and pronunciation you can look at any new word as it is written in Spanish and know exactly how it is pronounced, and vice-versa. In English, however, this is not the case; words such as rough, through, though and Slough highlight this point perfectly. Even as a native speaker of English myself, I will still occasionally come across a new word and not know how it is pronounced.

In conclusion, there are some points which are more difficult in English, and some which are more difficult in Spanish, There are also some points which are easier to learn in English, and others which are easier to learn in Spanish, and much of this also depends on the individual who is learning, and learning a new language is rarely ‘easy’ for anyone!

If you would like more information or help with learning English in Madrid, feel free to visit one of our academies in La Elipa and La Almudena, near Ventas, Madrid, where you can speak with our native English teachers, who are always happy to help.

We hope to see you soon!

3 WAYS TO LEARN A LANGUAGE FOR FREE ON THE INTERNET

30 years ago Tim Berners-Lee wrote his first proposal for what would be the World Wide Web. His idea was an open initiative that would give everybody access to a universe of information. For this reason, here at The Language Corner, we would like to celebrate the birth of the World Wide Web by listing 3 if the many ways you can learn a language for free using the internet.

As with any new skill, learning a language requires practice – lots and lots of practice! The best way to do this is to try to dedicate as much time as possible to this new activity, but also remember that consistency is more important than perfection.

Having someone who can help you learn a language is always a good idea, and our native teachers at The Language Corner in Gandhi and La Elipa in Madrid would be delighted to help guide you through this learning process and answer any questions that you may have. However, if you are looking to boost your learning, or even start learning a new language from scratch, there are so many resources readily available at your fingertips online which you don’t even have to look hard for!

Here are 3 tips to get you started:

1. Be organised:

Yes, organisation is very important. It is also very important to have clear and specific goals and targets to aim for, as well as setting reminders for yourself and having specific time-slots to dedicate to learning a new language. Services such as Google Calendar or Outlook can be extremely useful tools which can be used to schedule the time you want to use during the week to learn a new language and to set reminders for yourself. These reminders can be daily, weekly, or even monthly.

It is one thing to say ‘I am going to learn Italian‘ and another to actually follow it through. If you write down your objectives and have more specific goals in mind (e.g. ‘by the end of this year I will be reading Umberto Eco in Italian’, ‘I will have watched 20 Italian films’ or ‘I will have successfully given my presentation in English this time next year‘) you will be far more likely to conquer those goals and reach your targets.

2. Have fun while studying.

With so many resources readily available online, it should be no problem whatsoever finding the right material to learn a new language. Duolingo is an excellent example of this, as well as other sites such as this one which offers 48 different languages. The most important thing is to find a way that you like and would actually enjoy dedicating some of your time to.

3. Immersion, immersion, immersion.

It is extremely important to try to increase your exposure to the language that you are trying to learn as much as possible. On sites such as Youtube, you can find many different types of videos in different languages, as well as music to listen to in other languages, which is always an excellent way to help learn another language. On Internet Archive you can also find a large number of films to watch in other languages.

Podcasts are also a great way to learn languages, as they allow you to listen to your other language while you are carrying out different activities during your daily routine.  Here you can find some of the best podcasts to learn another language.
As well as podcasts,  twitter can also be a useful way to keep yourself up-to-date or simply to give you access to conversations in other languages. For example, on @TheLangCorner, you’ll see Phrasal Verbs and Idioms of the week, as well as all the news of our activities and events. You can also see all of this on our  Facebook page!

Business English in Madrid

Do you need to improve your English for work? Are you looking to improve your interviewing or presentation skills in English?

Here at The Language Corner we are currently offering the chance to enroll in our 24-session Business English course with our well-prepared native English teachers, covering topics such as presentation skills, business writing, telecommunication, holding negotiations and other general business English topics.

The Business English lessons will be held every Monday and Wednesday at our La Elipa branch of The Language Corner from 19:30 to 20:30 and will run from April to June (24 sessions), and will be open to a maximum of 10 students.

If you are interested in our Business English course, or need to improve you English for work in Madrid, feel free to contact us for more information.