Category Archives: Academia de inglés en Madrid

The Sights and Sounds of Avenida del Marqués de Corbera

At The Language Corner we feel very lucky to have our English school so close to such a vibrant and fascinating road as Avenida del Marqués de Corbera. It plays a very important role in the life of the La Elipa community and our native English teachers always comment on how much activity there is up and down the length of the road.La Elipa Metro

As well as being the main road through La Elipa the Avenida del Marqués de Corbera hosts some of the most popular social events. If you are from the Ciudad Lineal area you surely must have attended at least one of the Fiesta de Septiembre, Mercadillo Popular de la Artesanía, Carrera Popular, Fiesta de la Bicicleta and Cabalgatas de los Reyes!

Avenida del Marqués de Corbera was recently featured prominently on the RTVE program. It starred amongst other people the famous local band Burning, who themselves reference La Elipa and Avenida del Marqués de Corbera in many of their tunes. Also featured were the Asociación de Vecinos La Nueva Elipa, who we support in their important work in the local area.Dragon La Elipa

Other highlights of Avenida del Marqués de Corbera include the incredibly well-known Dragón of La Elipa and the fantastically friendly bar La Fornia, where you can often find The Language Corner teachers enjoying the great food and ambience. The road is a short distance from other important local sites such as the Cementerio de La Almudena, Fuente del Berro park, the TV tower El Pirulí and the adjoining padel courts.

So as you can see Avenida del Marqués de Corbera is much more than just a road, it’s an authentic piece of Madrid history!

LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS!!

Are you a businessman or businesswoman living in Madrid?
Do you work or would you like to work for an international company?
Would you like to study business, human resources or another professional degree?
Do you hope to get a job in the business field?
Have you always dreamed of working overseas?

The Business English Certificate (BEC) is what you need. The BEC is a Cambridge exam that can qualify your level of proficiency in business English. You will learn things such as how to write formal letters, how to take notes, how to give presentations, how to communicate ideas and you will develop business vocabulary.

This September, why not invest in your future by studying for the Business English Certificate (BEC) at our Language Academy located in Madrid. The Language Corner has a BEC English Class this September. Conveniently located near many business districts in Madrid in postcode 28017. The Language Corner is located at C/ Gandhi, 19.

The Native teachers at our English Academy are happy to help you prepare for the BEC exam, or any other English objectives that you might have.

TLC

Laughter and English Learning

The Language Corner is an English Academy located in Cuidad Lineal, Madrid. Our two language schools are staffed with native English teachers. The teachers have experience in the field of education, but they also have other skills such as: business, theatre, art, dance, maths, science, and more.

Today’s article is about Laughter and Language Learning. Jessica, who is on staff at The Language corner, is a certified Laughter Yoga Instructor and a Laughter Therapist. She has been teaching English in Madrid for the last five years and has found it very common that Spanish students learning English talk about “vergüenza”. Jessica gives Laugher English workshops where she says, “Students are given the opportunity to practice English in a more relaxed and natural manner”.

There are many benefits to learning English with laughter as a tool. Some of these benefits are:

You will find yourself more attentive, more motivated, and more excited to go to class.
The level of interaction between students is higher.
The level of interaction with the teacher is higher.
Laugher is infectious and will have everyone participating.
Your levels of stress and anxiety are much lower while you are laughing.
Classes that include laughter are a lot of fun!

TLC

POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY

Today is “POEM IN YOUR POCKET” Day!

Poetry is an excellent way to improve your English. Poetry is diverse and allows you to choose from many different topics of interest. There are also endless styles and formats of poetry. Poetry vocabulary varies from simple to complex.
Many poems us repetition, rhyming, and rhythm to help increase your English pronunciation.

Go ahead, choose your favorite poem, in English, and get to reciting!!

The British Council has a great poetry and stories section to practice English, check it out here: Stories and Poems.

If you would like to use poetry in the English learning classroom, our native teachers can help you with that!

Visit or call us
The Language Corner
C/Gandhi, 19 <M> La Almudena <M> Garcia Noblejas
C/Ricardo Ortiz 60 Posterior <M> La Elipa
673 340 106.

TLC

Keep Improving Your English This Summer… Don’t Sleep On It!

Keep Improving Your English This Summer… Don’t Sleep On It!
This summer in-between your travel plans you should make time to keep improving your English. Taking an English audio book to listen to while you’re on the beach or something to read on the plane are great ideas to continue learning.

Don’t Sleep On It Inglés Madrid Verano!

At The Language Corner we don’t close during summer so for Intensive English Summer Courses in Madrid look no further! In addition to some regular classes continuing throughout the summer, we have special one week courses of 2 or 3 hours every day. It’s the perfect way to boost your English!

We have adults’ and children’s classes, from Beginner to Advanced, and Cambridge exam preparation (PET, First Certificate, CAE.) Ask us to find out our timetable.
Come and join our native English teachers in La Elipa to make rapid improvements while the rest of Madrid sleeps!

TLC

Our Favourite Irish Bars In Madrid!

Whether you are looking for a quiet bar to relax or somewhere with a bit more life, you can find many excellent Irish bars in Madrid. Most offer interesting English, Irish and World beers. Most have live music, performances or quiz nights in English, and show the best English football. Often the bar staff are native English speakers so you can also use the opportunity to have a conversation with them and practise your speaking skills!

irish flag

Irish Corner – This is the perfect local bar for us in Pueblo Nuevo, as it is a short distance from both the La Elipa and La Almudena schools. The bar is at the corner of Calle Hermanos García Noblejas and Calle Alcalá right next to Ciudad Lineal metro station. They show all the English Premier League football as well as La Liga games and have regular live music in English.

James Joyce – Further along Calle Alcalá is the James Joyce bar, which is always packed for the big sporting events that are shown on the big screens. In particular we recommend going to watch 6 Nations rugby here which includes the English, French and Italian national rugby teams.

Jarritas Irish Pub – This is unlike the other bars we recommend, in that it is very small! This gives it a fantastic authentic Irish atmosphere, with an authentic English speaking landlord!

Triskel Tavern – A favourite of Brits and Americans this is a city centre bar where you are sure to hear English conversations from the customers. Another reason it is one of our favourite Irish bars in Madrid is their open mic music night on Thursdays, where you can often see The Language Corner teachers having a drink, and in particular one of our English teachers singing and playing guitar!

Dubliners – We recommend Dubliners because of their great selection of live music that they tuck into the corner of their city centre bar. The music is a mixture of Spanish and English from the 60s to the present day. It gets busy at the weekend which makes for a great atmosphere with various nationalities mixing together.

TLC

Idioms Explained

Idioms in English can be hard to figure out. Translating them into to your own language is not going to help. But, native speakers throw them into to conversations whenever they feel like it! How can you get your head around them? It’s a tough one we know. Here in our English academies in Madrid we’re always trying to think of ways to help our students remember these useful phrases, be it for exam preparation like Aptis or FCE or just to sound more fluent in everyday conversation.

A good way to learn new idioms is to use images which illustrate their meaning. This post is trying to do just that. We hope it helps!

Back to square one

Having to go back to square one means you have to start whatever process you were doing over again. It’s usually negative since it implies you didn’t make much progress the first time.

The big cheese

Someone who is a big cheese is an important or knowledgeable person in their field. It’s quite an informal expression and means they hold some influence.

A birdseye view

This one is perhaps more literal. It means you have a view of something from a high point…just like a bird would.

To bite your tongue

 

 

To bite your tongue means to keep yourself from critizising or insulting someone even if you want to. Someone says something stupid and instead of highlighting it, you say nothing and maybe even smile at them.

To be on cloud nine

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, if you are on cloud nine, you are really happy about something. We hope you are too having learnt some new English idioms!

 

Aptis Exam Explained

 

Here at The Language Corner in La ELipa and García Noblejas we have been getting many requests for information about Aptis, the latest exam by The British Council. In both our English academies we offer preparation classes for both Aptis General and Aptis Advanced. But before you sign up to English classes in our academy, let’s explain exactly what the Aptis entails.

Firstly, it’s worth noting that the entire Aptis exam is done on a computer. It takes a total of 2hours and 32 minutes with all the skills being tested. It’s a scaled exam so there is no pass or fail mark but your results are given as a CEFR level for A0-C for the Aptis General and B1-C2 for the Aptis Advanced.

The Aptis, as well as being a cheaper and quicker alternative to the Cambridge exams such as The First Certificate and Advanced it is also becoming more widely recognised here in Spain. The Aptis General is valid if you are a student and need to demonstrate you have a B1 or B2 level and the Aptis Advanced is accepted by the Comunidad de Madrid as proof of linguistic competence for teachers.

As with most English language exams, Aptis is split into sections covering Reading, Writing, Speaking Listening and Grammar & Vocabulary. Let’s have a look at each section and how to best approach it.

Speaking

Part 1

The first part of the Speaking consists of 3 simple questions which you have 30 seconds to respond to.  They are usually related to your life, your hobbies, family or holidays. Each question will usually require you to use a certain tense so be mindful of that when you are answering.

As the test is done on a computer, a good way to practise this particular part is to record yourself answering some basic questions on your phone while using a timer. This will not only help you with time management but also with your pronunciation and intonation.

Being the first part of the test means the questions are simple but it doesn’t mean your answers have to be. I don’t mean that you should try to over-complicate things but it is a good idea to use these short questions to show off some vocabulary you know related to the topic. An example could be to learn an idiom that describes a person such as “He/she is a blast!” (the person is a lot of fun) This way you can use it to describe a friend, family member or someone you work with.

Here are some typical questions from Aptis:

  1. Please tell me about your family.
  2. Where did you go on your last holiday?
  3. What’s the weather like today?

Each answer should be between 4 and 6 sentences long. Speak clearly and at a pace you’re comfortable with and you should have no problem answering the questions from part 1.

Part 2

In the second part of the Speaking Test, you will be asked to describe a picture and then answer two further questions about it. This time you have 45 seconds to respond.

A typical example of this could be the picture on the left.

  1. Describe the picture.
  2. Do you often have to work in a team in work or university?
  3. Why is teamwork important?

 

 

 

To see example answers to these questions and tips on how to describe pictures, check out our previous entry on Aptis Speaking.

 

Part 3

In this part of the exam, you will be shown two pictures and asked to compare them. This is quite similar to the FCE or CAE and finding examples from those exams will help immensely. Again, there are 3 questions which each have a 45 second limit for answering.

  1. Compare the two pictures.
  2. Why might people choose each type of holiday?
  3. Which of these types of holidays are better for you?

Part 4

The last part of the Speaking test for Aptis, you are once again given a photo with three questions. This time, however, you’ll have one minute to prepare your ideas and two minutes to cover all three questions.

  1. Describe an old person you admire and why.
  2. How do you know them?
  3. What characteristics do they have that you like?

Check out our previous post for ideas and tips on how to answer these parts of the Aptis

Don’t forget you can prepare for the Aptis exam in Madrid in our English academies in Madrid in both La Elipa and Garcia Noblejas. All of our native teachers at our language academies are familiar with not only the Aptis but also all of the Cambridge exams. So if you are looking to prepare for the FCE in Madrid or the CAE in Madrid, make sure you stop by our English academies in Madrid in La Elipa and La Almudena. Looking forward to meeting you!

Aptis Speaking Parts 3 & 4

Today at The language corner we’re going to look at the second part of the Aptis Speaking test, with tips and sample answers to give you an idea of what is needed in this relatively new exam by The British Council.  Of course, here in our English academies, you can prepare for the Aptis as well as The Cambridge exams with our native teachers.

Part 3

In this part of the exam, you will be shown two pictures and asked to compare them. This is quite similar to the FCE or CAE and finding examples from those exams will help immensely. Again, there are 3 questions which each have a 45 second limit for answering.

 

  1. Compare the two pictures. (45sec)
  2. Why might people choose each type of holiday?  (45sec)
  3. Which of these types of holidays are better for you?  (45sec)

As we saw in our previous post when describing photos we usually use modals of deduction to say what we suppose is happening in the pictures. Let’s have a go at answering these ones 🙂

  1. In the first picture on the left, a couple can be seen relaxing in deck chairs at the beach. I imagine they are a couple as they are holding hands and the woman seems to be gazing at her partner. There is a bag hanging off one deckchair and a hat hanging off the other. It looks idyllic if I’m honest.  In the second picture, we can see a group, with backpacks on hiking through the mountains. They appear to be following a trail and are properly prepared for the terrain. It reminds me of going trekking with my friends in the mountains outside my city.
  2. I reckon people choose beach holidays to get away from the hustle bustle of the city and to completely switch off. Not only do they get to relax on what seems like a paradise island but they also don’t have to worry about the stresses of their daily life. On the other hand, this type of trip can seem utterly boring to some people which is why they might prefer to do something more active. They also want to escape the fast-paced way of things in the city by getting fresh air in a pristine landscape but obviously lying on the beach for days would just bore them to tears.
  3. Both types of holiday have their benefits. Relaxing on a beautiful beach for a week might do somebody who has a high-stress job or day to day life the world of good as they can just switch off and forget about everything for the time being. However, the hiking holiday is obviously more active and in that way, it’s physically better for you. I suppose it all depends on whether you want to do something active or would benefit just as much from simply taking a break from your daily routine.

Part 4

The last part of the Speaking test for Aptis, you are once again given a photo with three questions. This time, however, you’ll have one minute to prepare your ideas and two minutes to cover all three questions.

 

  1. Tell me about the first thing you bought online.
  2. How did you feel about the purchasing?
  3. Would you recommend online shopping?

For this question, since you have a minute to prepare it’s a good idea to jot down the points you want to mention without writing full sentences. Be careful not to describe the photo given as this is not the task in this question. The questions are more abstract (e.g a feeling). Make sure you answer all three questions and stay on topic. Doing otherwise will lose you valuable points. You are free to glance at your notes while you speak so it’s really important to practise brainstorming and making the most of this.

Here is an example of how you can brainstorm some ideas in one minute. Notice that as well as answering the questions I’ve also included short structures to include in my answer. This final part of the Aptis speaking exam is aimed at the higher levels so it’s important to incorporate advanced structures into your answer. Think about inversions (not only but also, only if/when), passives, conditionals etc. It’s also good to use any related vocabulary you can think of. Having said that, we also recommend you stick to what you know in the exam. Practise these structures before the exam so you are confident using them. Don’t try to wing it in the exam by throwing in structures you half know and are likely to get wrong. Accuracy is of vital importance in any speaking exam and the Aptis is no different.

Let’s have a go at answering this one:

If I recall correctly, the first thing I bought online was a necklace from eBay. It was being auctioned on the site and I thought it was really beautiful. I remember feeling excited by the bidding process. I would place a bid and wait to see if someone outbid me for the item. In the end, mine was the highest bid and I won the auction. I also remember feeling quite nervous however because of the payment method. Only by giving the website my credit card details could I proceed. I was also worried it wouldn’t arrive even after paying for it. I decided I’d have to take the chance and thankfully my necklace arrived shortly after.

I would definitely recommend shopping online nowadays. There are so many shops and you can buy virtually anything delivered to your doorstep. It’s really handy for people who work a lot or simply don’t enjoy going shopping on the high street, especially around the holidays or sales when bricks and mortar shops are packed. Not only is shopping online faster and more efficient but it’s also cheaper than the high street stores a lot of the time.

As you can see, I used the notes from the spider diagram to shape my answer but also added more information as I thought of it. I hope this helps. Don’t forget you can prepare for the Aptis exam in Madrid in our English academies in Madrid in both La Elipa and Garcia Noblejas. All of our native teachers at our language academies are familiar with not only the Aptis but also all of the Cambridge exams. So if you are looking to prepare for the FCE in Madrid or the CAE in Madrid, make sure you stop by our English academies in Madrid in La Elipa and La Almudena. Looking forward to meeting you!

 

ENGLISH TENSES – 12 TENSE REVIEW

Sometimes learning a language can be overwhelming. A visual overview of the language can be very helpful at understanding the context of the different tenses you have learnt in class or at the academy. Take a look at our guide below or speak to one of our native english teachers who would be delighted to provide further guidance.

Here at The Language Corner academy, both in La Elipa and in Pueblo Nuevo (La Almudena metro) we love to use a variety of resources to bring languages to life, but sometimes a simple table can help! We have collected our three favourite online tables to explain the tricky grammar!

An Overview – Table 1
This table unfortunately uses the verb ´to eat´ and some of the conjugations are irregular so take care when trying to follow a pattern, another table below might be better. This table does however present the SVO form.

An Overview – Table 2
This table is a bit clearer to read, but note that done is also irregular and the endings are not in line with the usual form but I love the colours! It reminds me of our colourful language academy, as the walls are painted a very similar colour at La Elipa!

An Overview – Table 3
This table is great for knowing how to form these tenses as it gives us a useful how to guide on how to create the tenses yourself.

If you are not sure WHEN to use which tense, take a look at this guide below;

PRESENT SIMPLE

  • Daily routine
  • Behaviour that happens again and again or is repeated
  • Facts

PRESENT CONTINUOUS

·         To describe something happening RIGHT NOW. 

PAST SIMPLE

·         Something which has finished and terminated

PAST CONTINUOUS

·         Something which was occuring in the past and still happening at the moment in the story

FUTURE SIMPLE

·         Something which will happen in future

FUTURE CONTINUOUS

·         For something which will be happening in the future and will be occuring at the time in the story

PRESENT PERFECT

·         Something which you were doing in the past and have finished right now in this present moment.

·         Something which has consequences on the present situation

PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS

·         Something which you were doing in the past and are still doing it today

PAST PERFECT

·         When you have two past situations and you want to refer to the situation which happened earlier

PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS

·         Something you had been doing continuously in the past, but has finished

FUTURE PERFECT

·         Something which you would have done in future

FUTURE PERFECT CONTINUOUS

·         Something which you would be doing in the future

If you have some more questions on this quick guide, leave us a comment below and one of our native english teachers will be able to help. Do you have a visual aid you use for grammar? Share it with us!

ingles en Ciudad Lineal has never been so easy 😉