Category Archives: Activities in English in Madrid

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!

 

Cambridge Exams

The Cambridge exams like The First Certificate (FCE) and The Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) are world renowned and accepted by universities and employers alike. These exams measure your linguistic ability over four exams; Reading and Use of English, in which you are expected to be knowledgeable about varying grammar and lexical structures as well as reading comprehension. Writing, where you have to write two compositions, Listening, a four part testing your ability to pick out relevant information from a variety of conversations and monologues, and Speaking, a fifteen minute exam done with a partner.

Image result for cambridge

At The Language Corner, our experienced native teachers can help you succeed in passing either The First Certificate or The Certificate in Advanced English. With specific classes dedicated to the preparation of The Cambridge Exams, our native teachers will help you improve not only your exam technique, but also your Use of English, Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Listening. Using Cambridge certified material and exam style exercises, the Cambridge Exam preparation classes at The Language Corner in La Elipa and Garcia Noblejas will assist you in reaching your English language goals be they personal, to improve your job prospects or to further your academic studies.

Whether you need a Cambridge Certificate in English or not, the FCE and CAE preparation classes are ideal for any student wishing to improve all aspects of their English, including the dreaded Writing! So why not come to our English academies located in La Elipa and García Noblejas to try a free class with our native teachers and see how much you enjoy it?

It’s Summer!!!

treebeachsea

 

It’s summer and we know what you’re thinking…beach, sea, a nice spot under a tree…but remember

WE

are still open in July and August. Don’t miss the opportunity to keep practising your English. We will be open Monday to Thursday, mornings and evenings in both the academy in La Elipa and en San Blas/Pueblo Nuevo.

We are offering our usual general English, Cambridge exam preperation and conversation classes as well as French and German, all with native speaker teachers.

We are also running intensive First and Advanced Cambridge exam preperation classes. See details of our SPECIAL OFFER here.

And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and on our blog. Sea, tree, we…did you see the connection???

Wishing everyone a great summer!!!!

 

Phonics: the long and short e

Welcome to the next part of our phonics series. Today we are going to look at the long and short “e” sounds. (part one is here)

The short “e” sound has the same phonemic symbol e. It is a short sound used in many words. Some examples are below. The important lesson, if an e is between 2 consonants, it usually has the same sound.

academiadeinglesmadridphonicse

The sound sound we are looking at is the long “e” sound, iː. It can be written using a variety of letter combinations.

ee,

academiadeinglesmadridphonicsee

ea,

academiadeinglesmadridphonicsea

or ie

academiadeinglesmadridphonicsie

but all of these letter combination often create the same sound.

One more important point, there is a shorter “long e” that is NOT included in the phonemic chart! It is a similar to but only appears at the end of words with more than one syllable. The phonemic symbol is i. Usually it is spelled with either y or ey. Here are some examples.

academiadeinglesmadridphonicsey

English can be inconsistent with its spelling so although you can never be 100% sure, these letter blends will help you guess how to pronounce and new word when you see it. And remember, you can always use a dictionary and the phonemic chart to check pronunciation of any word.

Phonemic-Chart

Keep reading our blog or follow us on facebook, twitter to receive more English tips and advice 🙂

English idioms #17

sitonthefence

To Sit on the Fence

 

meaning: to be neutral in an argument or discussion, or to not know which side to choose.

 

example:

Tom: I think we should have the party in a restaurant.

Dave: I disagree, we should have the party at my house. What do you think Bob?

Bob: I don’t know, I’m going to sit on the fence.

Stereotypes

 

stereotypes

mapping-out-stereotypes-alphadesigner-gselect-gessato-gblog-16

 

Is this really how Spaniards see Europe ? And do British really believe believe these things? At the Language Corner we are happy to teach many languages to people of all different nationalities (we have teachers from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, America and students from Spain, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova…) but it is interesting to see what kind of stereotypes exist. But in an international city like Madrid, do people really believe these things??
Stereotypes or bigotry ?

Stereotype
ˈstɛrɪə(ʊ)tʌɪp,ˈstɪərɪə(ʊ)

a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
“the stereotype of the woman as the carer”
synonyms: standard/conventional image, received idea, cliché, hackneyed idea, formula

Bigotry
ˈbɪɡətri/
In English the word “bigot” refers to a prejudiced, closed-minded person who is intolerant or hateful toward people of a different group, especially racial or religious.