Category Archives: Idiomas Madrid

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!

 

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.

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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?

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 (Gerardo Cordón, 51) 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.

It’s Summer!!!

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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!!!!

 

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.

New French classes this June!

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This June in the language academy in San Blas/Ascao we are starting a new French class for beginners. As usual, this will be with one of our native teachers.

The class will start Wednedsay 15th june at 6.30pm.

Please call us now on 673340106 or 910014281, or visit us in the langauge academies on Calle Gandhi or in La Elipa.

We look forward to seeing you!

Learn Mandarin Chinese in Madrid

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Here at the Language Corner academy in Ciudad Lineal, we are proud to teach a variety of languages. Between the academies in La Elipa and San Blas/Ascao we have had classes in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and now we are adding one more – Mandarin Chinese.

Mandarin Chinese is completely different from any our our European languages. First of all, the alphabet – there isn’t one! Instead there are characters. One single character can mean a whole word. However, there is also a system called pinyin that allows us to write a word using the roman alphabet, which is very helpful for learning the language.

For example

is written in pinyin as “hong.” it means “red”.

is written as “lu” It means “green”.

is written as “deng”. It means “light”

An interesting thing about Mandarin is that it is full of compund nouns, meaning, two or more words can go together to create a new one.

For example 紅綠燈 all together makes a new piece of vocabulary – traffic light!

Another example

(“fei”) is fly.

(“ji”) is machine

Together they mean aeroplane!

It means that, although it may seem difficult to learn reading the characters, building voculary is surprisingly easy.

Another interesting element of Mandarin is the sound. It is a tonal language, meaning if you say a word with a slightly different tone of voice, the word has a different meaning.

A classic example; (“ma”) with a high pitch tone means “mother”. But (also “ma”) with dipthong sound means “horse”. So you really don’t want to get the two words confused!

On the other hand, the grammar in Mandarin is relatively simple – there are no verb conjugations!!

Altogether, it is a fascinating language to learn and very satisfying. If you are looking for a new challenge, we will be starting Mandarin Chinese classes at our academies in La Elipa and San Blas/Ascao this summer. As always we have native speaker teachers to help you learn the language with fun and dynamic classes. Just contact us to reserve your place in the academies or call on 910014281 or 673340106

Juegos de Trivia – Martes 17 Mayo 20.30

juegosdetriviainglesenciudadlinealgratis

 

We’ve nearly at the end of our free activites in Ciudad Lineal season and we’re finishing with Juegos de Trivia. Lauren, one of our native English teachers in Madrid is hosting a trivia quiz covering a wide range of subjects. The quiz should be suitable for all levels, the challenge is – do have the general knowledge needed to win???

Come along to the academy in la Elipa on Tuesday for a relaxed hour practising your English in a natural way. It’s completely free and there are prizes!!!

You can reserve your space at the Language Corner academies in La Elipa or San Blas/Ascao or call us on 673340106 or 910014281

We ‘re looking forward to seeing you there!

Actividades de inglés gratis – Conversación – Football – 6 mayo 19.30

conversacioninglesciudadlinealgratis

 

This week we continue our season of free English activites in Ciudad Lineal season. Max, one of our native English teachers in Madrid, will be hosting a conversation hour on many people´s favourite topic –football!

Which team do you support?

Who scored the best goal this season?

Who was your player of the year?

And why is it that British football fans sing “Ole Ole Ole????”

All of these questions and many more will be discussed – it’s a great chance to learn terms to talk about the beautiful game in a relaxed environment. To reserve your place, just contact us on 673340106 or visit us at the academies in La Elipa or San Blas/Ascao.

And remember, it’s free!

See you there 🙂