Monthly Archives: March 2016

Semana Santa…?? Easter!!!


So Semana Santa is nearly upon us! All around Ciudad Lineal kids are celebrating the beginning of the school holidays. But what is it called in English? Well, although it translates directly as ¨Holy week,” this particular festival is better known to all our native English teachers  at the academy as “Easter.” Even though it is celebrated in many different countries the traditions still vary a lot. Today I’m writing about a traditional English Easter.

The Christian story of Easter is of course the same but while some English people go to church there are also many non religious traditions. One is to paint eggs and display them in baskets. We have decorations with images of chicks, flowers and little baby rabbits (bunnies.) But the most popular thing now… is chocolate Easter eggs! Many kids will have easter egg hunts, where they have to collect eggs that have been hidden around the school, or the house or garden. Or sometimes they are lucky enough to wake up and find them in their living room. And just who is it that brings the eggs to the children? The Easter bunny of course!

But where do all these traditions come from?? It all seems quite different from the Easter processions that we see here in Madrid.

Well, although Easter is known as a Christian festival, the origins of these images actually come from before that, in Paganism. The ancient tradition was to celebrate the spring. So images of eggs, chicks, flowers, little baby bunnies all represent new life, new beginings, springtime. And after the late winter we’ve had here in Madrid, celebrating the new season seems like a great idea to me!

Even though it is not a custom in Spain, I’ve noticed Easter eggs appearing the the shops of Madrid. Maybe someone could organise an Easter egg hunt here in Ciudad Lineal? If you’re lucky, you might even see the Easter bunny…

However you want to celebrate it, we at the Language Corner would like to wish a very happy Easter to all our students and the academies in La Elipa and San Blas. Enjoy the holidays!!


The short “a” and long “a” (æ and eɪ ) sounds

Welcome to our new series looking at pronciation and phonics.

English pronunciation can be tricky sometimes as the way we write words can vary. The same sound can be made with different combinations of letters. Something helpful we can use is the phonemic chart, which shows us all the sounds we have in English. The chart is below


The chart has every sound we use in English but there are different ways to write the sounds using standard letters. Today we are going to look at the short “a” sound – æ and the long “a” sound – eɪ


This is the short ‘a’ vowel sound we use with the following words


This is the long ‘a’ vowel sound we use. It sounds the same as the name for the letter, A but watchout! – there are lots of ways to write this sound.

For example, words spelt with a_e

inglesenmadridphonics ae

We also use it for words spelt with ai



and with words ending with ay



occasionally we also use it with words spelt with eigh



and as always there are some exceptions

grey, great cafe

so to recap

æ = a – a short “a” sound

=a_e, ai, ay, eigh, a long “a” sound, like the letter a

If you learn these letter combinations and remember that they all have the same sound, it will be easier to pronounce new words when you see them.

More phonics coming soon!!!

Win a free private English class!


Here at the Language Corner academy in Ciudad Lineal we are always looking for new ways to encourage you to learn English. This month we are relaunching our forum. It is an excellent resource, where you can ask any questions about English and one of our native speaker teachers will respond to you. Really, it’s that simple. It’s free, easy to use and a great way to practice English in a safe environment.

And to make it even more tempting, each month we will select a winning question or comment. A winning adult user will win a free one hour private English class with a native English teachers in Madrid, and for anyone under 16 they will win an English book.

The English forum is really easy to use. All the have to do is enter your name and email address and then you can ask questions, start conversations in English, share any advice you have, really anything.The most important thing is that you are involved and engaged . You will also be practicing your reading and writing skills – it makes it a great way to learn English.

So don’t wait, take a look at the forum now!