Category Archives: British Council

HOW TO MOTIVATE YOURSELF TO LEARN ENGLISH THIS AUTUMN

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.

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!

Learning English through Social Media

There are various advantages to using social media to improve your English. Perhaps the simplest is that you can access the same information you would receive in your native language but instead in English. This way you can still keep up-to-date with the news, current events or your favourite celebrity but learn English at the same time! This is a great way to expand your vocabulary, on both the topics that you talk about regularly and others that may only be in the news a short time. Following specific topics or hashtags on Twitter will help you focus your reading on particular areas.

Another advantage is if you are overwhelmed by reading full newspaper articles in English then social media is a great place to start. You can use social media such as Facebook or Twitter to receive small bits of information daily. This way you can continually improve your English, not just your reading skills, little by little.

A further benefit is being able to learn in your spare time. If you are on the bus or train, standing in a queue or waiting to meet a friend then spending 5 minutes reading Facebook posts or Twitter feeds in English will mean you are using your time productively.

Facebook specifically is excellent for following discussions, and learning the associated vocabulary and relevant grammar structures that go with them. Posts on Facebook and the comments left are not restricted by the number of characters and so people will generally write grammatically correct sentences or spell correctly! On the other hand you need to watch out for grammar errors (native English speakers don’t always have the best English grammar!) or informal language, although this can also be a benefit as you can get used to up-to-date native English in its natural form.

You can also follow certain channels on Youtube, both for entertainment and for learning English.

You can find a variety of specific pages for learning English, whether that is grammar, vocabulary or for Cambridge Exam preparation. And of course you should follow The Language Corner for daily posts on learning English!

https://www.instagram.com/thelanguagecornermadrid/

https://www.facebook.com/thelanguagecornermadrid

Welcome Back!!

Summer is sadly over, but with the changing of the seasons (not yet though – phew, it’s hot here in Madrid!), here in our language schools in La Elipa and La Almudena, the new academic year is already getting going. We’ve already nearly finished our first full week of English, French and German classes.

But fear not, there are still slots available for you to take advantage of our team of native teachers, and vastly improve your language skills.

We have classes available for all levels and age groups in our schools in La Elipa (Ricardo Ortiz 60 posterior) and La Almudena (Gandhi, 19), from 10 in the morning to 10 at night, Monday to Friday, and on Saturday mornings.

Whether you’re looking for a chance to practise your conversation skills, brush up on your grammar, or prepare for one of those important official exams, such as CAE or First Certificate, we have a native teacher and a class for you!

Please come and see us in La Elipa or Gandhi any time from 4.30 to 9.30 in the evening, and 10.30 to 13.30 on Tuesday and Thursday, and we’ll find your ideal class.

Don’t forget we also have French and German classes available.

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

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!