Monthly Archives: October 2015

From Burning to learning, in La Elipa!

burning rockThe other day one of the other English teachers at the Language Corner academy said to me, “did you know that the band Burning are from La Elipa?”

I have to confess that I did NOT know that, nor did I know much about the band at all, so I set out to read about them online. This year is their 40th anniversary and they are playing a series of concerts including one in Madrid in December. You probably know more about them than me, Burning are a classic rock band who formed in 1974 in La Elipa. Their most famous song is “Que hace una chica como tú en un sitio como éste” (“What’s a girl like you doing in a place like this?”) Singing in English originally (their first single was “I’m Burning”) they quickly switched to Spanish and from then on the only English they have used is in their band name.

So then, why am I writing about this Spanish language rock band on a blog for an English language academy in Ciudad Lineal? Well, while I was reading about them, I found it was fun reading all their song names and where I could, translating them. (Just as our students are learning English, French or German, I am still learning Spanish) I like the ones which sound the most ´”rock”. Their recent album contains“Pura sangre” (“Pure Blood!”), “Bestia azul” (“Blue beast!” ) and “Dolor” (“Pain!”)

Next, I listened to some of their songs. English learners often tell me that’s it´s difficult to hear lyrics to English songs and I know how they feel! Listening to songs in Spanish can be hard work for me, so I looked up the words online. I think songs are a really great way to learn languages, because the lyrics are often quite simple and once you’ve read them them, you can listen to the song and remember them. Soon enough I was reading and singing along to Burning’s hit song “Mueve tus caderas” (“Move your hips”) and, without even trying hard, doing some language learning.

So, my point is, learning languages doesn’t always have to be hard work, you can practice English in La Elipa, or Pueblo Nuevo or wherever, without even leaving your bedroom. The most important thing is finding a topic (songs, films, whatever) that is fun for YOU!

English idioms #4


Go barking up the wrong tree

meaning: to completely misunderstand something/get the wrong idea



a:Did you see Bob with that older woman? Maybe it´s his girlfiend?

b:Ha ha! You´re barking up the wrong tree, that´s his mother!!!

more idioms will be appearing over the next few weeks so stay tuned!

Halloween in Madrid


The 31st of October is Halloween. Although often thought of as an, “American Holiday”, this festival has taken over Madrid and many parts of the world. One need not be interested in learning English in Madrid, or in the Anglo-Saxon culture, to enjoy this fun-filled holiday.
Many Spaniards, and expats alike, take to the streets of Madrid and the clubs of Madrid dressed in costumes that frighten. Jessica, an American Teacher from The Language Corner Gandhi (a Language Academy near La Almudena, metro line 2) stated she is surprised at how many English students in San Blas dress for terror at Halloween. She said, “In the USA it is typical to see many different kinds of costumes. Halloween is really a time to get creative, when teaching English Lessons in Madrid. I talk to my students about different costume choices: movie themes, super heroes, sports stars, famous people, etc. Scary costumes are just another genre of the many costumes people wear”.

Dan, an English Teacher at The Language Corner La Elipa  spoke of the increase he sees in children dressed in costumes walking around the English Academy located in the Ciudad Lineal neighbourhood. It is true, each year Halloween becomes more and more common.
Though Spain has taken on the costume ritual, Trick-or-Treating is not so popular. If learning English, it is interesting to understand the meaning of “Trick-or-Treating”. Trick means doing something mischievous and Treat means receiving candy. As an English language learner, don’t get confused. The person in costume says “Trick-or-Treat” and the person answering the door chooses rather or not to give candy.


TLC Gandhi’s (near Metro Gracia Noblejas in Ciudad Lineal) Lyndsey, one of the English Language teachers from Scotland, shares an interesting fact. “In Scotland country we celebrate Halloween rather differently; children must earn their candy as opposed to merely receiving it without merit”. Children earn candy by singing songs or reciting poetry.

Are you living in Madrid and want to improve your English skills? Why not try the Scottish way of Trick-or-Treating. It is called “Guising” (from the English word disguising). Make sure the song or poem you memorize is in English! The Language Corner and all of the native teachers would love to welcome you into this English school located 20 minutes from Sol. The academy has English classes for children and adults. You will improve your English, but also learn all about Anglo cultures around the world with a diverse Native staff in Madrid.

English Idioms #3



Cry over spilt milk

meaning: Something bad has happened, but you cannot change it now



a:Oh no I hate my new haircut, it´s so short and horrible!

b:Well, there´s no use crying over spilt milk, you will just have to wait for it to grow back.

more idioms will be appearing over the next few weeks so stay tuned!

English Idioms #2



Put all your eggs in one basket

meaning – to put all your opportunities or resources into one place


a: I´m only applying for one job.

b:You should apply for more, don´t put all your eggs in one basket


more idioms will be appearing over the next few weeks so stay tuned!

English Idioms #1

Here is the first in our series of English idioms. We posted it on facebook and have had various suggestions, but the correct answer is…




Under the weather

meaning – to feel sick or very tired


example: “I don´t want to go out today, I feel a bit under the weather.”

more idioms will be appearing over the next few weeks so stay tuned!