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Cambridge Exams!!

Take your Cambridge Exam with The Language Corner!

There are many advantages to achieving the First Certificate or Advanced Exams, such as improving your English, gaining an internationally recognised qualification and boosting your CV.

The FCE exam is changing in 2022, with the Use of English and Reading sections now together on the same exam, meaning that there will be 4 parts to the exam instead of the current 5 parts. There will be a different focus on the Speaking and Writing sections to bring them up-to-date. Overall the exam will be 30 minutes shorter than the 2021 version.

There are many test centres around Madrid and we can help you find a test centre and a date that are convenient to you. Tests run throughout 2022 so you are not too late to start working towards achieving your qualification this year!

We have classes at both the La Elipa and La Almudena schools, with various classes in the morning and the evening. All classes are with native English teachers.

Ask us about FCE or CAE classes and opportunities to take the exams with The Language Corner.

TLC

Stereotypes

        

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.

TLC

Summer Activities in English around Ciudad Lineal!!

Now that Summer is with us, there’s no better time to enjoy lots of fun activities… in English!

As well as the Summer Intensive Courses in our Ciudad Lineal English academies there are also various activities a short journey away around Marqués de Corbera, Las Ventas and Calle de Alcalá. You can find cinema in English at Cine Renoir by Retiro Park: www.cinesrenoir.com/

There are also outdoor concerts by Rosalía, Dua Lipa and Muse in August.

There are various organised walking tours in English either by the River, in Casa de Campo or in Retiro Park. Closer to Ciudad Lineal there are the nearby Quinta de Los Molinos in Fuente del Berro on the border between Salamanca, Goya and Las Ventas, near to the M-30.

If you enjoy reading there are many organised Book Clubs in Madrid, including one with The Language Corner. This will be running from September so come along to talk with fellow book lovers!

 

Why Conversation Classes?

In our 2 academies in La Elipa and La Almudena the majority of our classes are conversation classes. This is because this is the one area where most of our students tell us they have a weakness.

By and large Spanish children learn English grammar very well at school, but have very little chance to use this in a conversation. By focusing on this area we allow students to gain confidence in spoken English and through this improve their fluency and pronunciation. All our teachers are native English speakers with experience of teaching English in the UK and Spain, and are fully qualified with TEFL Certificates.

We have a flexible timetable with classes from 10am to 10pm Monday to Friday, and Saturday mornings too. Our system means that if you are not able to attend your class then you are able to catch up that class later in the week.

Classes for Adults

We follow a magazine that provides articles on current events and recent topics, which gives the necessary vocabulary to be able to have a conversation on that subject. This is then used for a discussion, either directly with the teacher or between other students in the group. Typical homework is to write about the topic discussed or to practise a particular grammar topic.

There is a maximum of 8 students in the group.

Classes for Children

With the children we follow stimulating course books with a strong focus on the natural world. Children learn a range of useful and practical vocabulary and reinforce their knowledge of grammar with spoken English. The conversational English classes compliment their work at school, enabling them to progress with confidence.

There is a maximum of 6 students in the group.

SLP3 Exam Preparation

The Language Corner is excited to announce the launch of a brand new course dedicated to SLP 3 exam preparation. Exclusively offered to members of the military, the course focuses on the necessary SPEAKING, WRITING, READING, and LISTENING skills needed for SLP 3.
Taught by native speakers intimately familiar with the SLP exam and designed by past EMID examiners, the course focuses on:

– The BORE (formerly FORTE), role plays, picture description and abstract speaking styles needed to pass the oral exam.

– The writing of 300 word compositions using past exam questions for both the military and non-military topics.

– Common exam topics including current events, legal matters, education, crime and global politics.

– Practice reading exams in the SLP 3 format.

– Practice listening exams in the SLP3 format.

Ours languages schools in Ciudad Lineal (Calle Gandhi 19) near Metro Garcia Noblejas or La Almudena and La Elipa (Calle Ricardo Ortiz 60 posterior) near Metro La Elipa.

Offers comfortable learning conditions and easy parking to ensure the most pleasant and rewarding experience possible.

British Christmas Foods

Have you ever wondered what British people eat at Christmas? These are some of the most traditional festive foods.

Turkey

 Turkey is usually eaten as the main course on Christmas day. Other options include goose or roast beef, but turkey is by far the most popular. Turkey is a very dry meat without much flavour. The turkey is usually bought frozen then defrosted and roast in the oven for a couple of hours, it is now popular to eat turkey with cranberry sauce, but this comes from the US, so be careful!

Taste rating: 4/10

Roast Potatoes

Roast potatoes are served with the turkey, the potatoes are cut into small pieces then boiled and put into the oven covered with olive oil, and eaten with salt and pepper. In my family we serve a mixture of boiled and roast potatoes, but no one touches the boiled potatoes.

Taste rating: 9/10

Stuffing

 Stuffing is another food that can vary from region to region, in the US chestnut stuffing is a popular choice while in Britain sage and onion, with rosemary or thyme is the more traditional option. The stuffing is usually placed inside the turkey, hence the word ‘stuffing’, the ing form of the verb to stuff (llenar).

Taste rating: 7/10

Pigs in Blankets

 Pigs in blankets are sausages that are wrapped in bacon, and placed around the turkey when it is served. The most traditional sausage to use is the Cumberland sausage, which is named after the region of North Western England where it originated. In Scotland pigs in blankets are called kilted sausages, the kilt being the traditional tartan skirt worn by Scottish men.

Taste rating: 9/10

Brussel Sprouts

 This divisive member of the cabbage family is an essential part of a traditional British Christmas. Many people dislike brussel sprouts (they have a slightly bitter taste) but they can always be found on the table at Christmas. I used to feed my brussel sprouts to my dog, Poppy. I am not sure if Poppy liked them either.

Taste rating: 0/10

Christmas Pudding

 Christmas pudding is a dessert made from dried fruit and is usually served with brandy butter. It is also tradition to soak the pudding with brandy and set it on fire before serving. Be careful not to set the table cloth on fire! Although many different desserts are served at Christmas, Christmas pudding is the most traditional.

Taste rating: 8/10

Mince Pies

 Mince pies are not made from mince meat, they are small pies filled with fruit such as raisins, cranberries, and sultanas, as well as chopped nuts and spices. Mince pies go very well with a glass of mulled wine (red wine heated with spices), and are a nice finish to a delicious Christmas dinner.

Taste Rating: 9/10

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts {BEST EVER Recipe!}

Do you find phonetics useful?

Pros and cons of using phonetics:

PROs:

It helps to differentiate sounds

Some words are pronounced in a very similar way in English, and to some students, it is not always clear exactly which sound is being used, especially in regular and fast speech. Seeing the correct phoneme written as a phonetic transcription may help students to distinguish these similar sounds.

It can be applied to other languages

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) was created in 1886 as a way of ‘romanising’ spoken language and can, supposedly, be applied to any language. Therefore, if you know how to pronounce the letters from this alphabet well enough then you should, in theory, be able to learn the pronunciation of any spoken language if it is accompanied by this system of phonetics.

It can tell us how a new word is pronounced without the need to hear it

Many students will, hopefully, continue to learn and study outside the classroom and may come across a word while reading which they do not know, and since written English is not phonetic, it can be useful to see the word written phonetically. If you look up any word in any good dictionary, you’ll see the word written in this script. (Note: this can be equally useful for native speakers of English looking up new words).

CONs

It can lead to confusion if not understood well enough

As not all of the phonemes resemble any specific letter of the alphabet that we normally use, e.g. /ʌ/, they can easily be confused, causing words to be learned and pronounced incorrectly by learners.

Potentially overwhelming, especially to new students

When students begin learning a new language, especially if it is their first time learning a new language, they can often feel overwhelmed just by the new vocabulary and basic grammar structures. Add a completely new alphabet to this and many students may even begin to feel that this approach is actually slowing down their progress. Some teachers would also say that it is ok for lower-level students to pronounce some words incorrectly in English, as long as the meaning and overall communication is clear.

Not universal – pronunciation varies greatly from one region to another

Look up the word ‘cut’ in the dictionary and you’re most likely to see it written phonetically as /kʌt/ (rhyming with ‘nut’). However, if you go to certain regions of the UK, e.g. the north of England, you’ll hear it pronounced by many people there as /kʊt/ (rhyming with ‘put’). Because spoken English varies so greatly from one region to another, this way of writing English in a standardised phonetic way could be thought of as near impossible to be correct 100 per cent of the time.
If you’d like some tips on how you can improve your English and pronunciation in Madrid, feel free to come and speak with us and our native English teachers at either one of our English academies in La Elipa and La Almudena (Metro line 2) in Madrid. We also offer Cambridge examination preparation classes, as well as other languages, such as French, German, Portuguese and Italian.

We hope to see you soon!

Improve your English with pub quiz in Madrid

A question we often asked in our English classes is “How can I improve my English while living in Madrid?

While there are many activities you can do to improve your English in Madrid (group classes, private classes, penpals, etc), pub quizzes can be an excellent way to improve your listening skills, broaden your range of vocabulary and practice question structures. It can also be a fantastic opportunity to meet new English-speakers in Madrid (both native and non-native English speakers), and get to discover new places, food and drinks.

If you are interested in participating in one of our FREE pub quizzes – a very popular social activity in the UK and Ireland – click here. You’ll be able to find all the necessary information and confirm your attendance.

Also, for information on our English courses, feel free to come to either of our English language academies in La Elipa and García Noblejas where any one of our native teachers will be happy to inform you.

We hope to see you soon!

Reasons to learn English in 2020

Happy New Year, everyone! As always at this time of year, many people will have already made their New Year’s resolutions, and a popular one here in Madrid is to learn English at an academy, or another foreign language. Here are some of the main reasons why someone in Madrid may wish to learn English:

English has the largest number of speakers globally:

One thing that makes English quite unique is the fact that non-native English speakers greatly outnumber native English speakers. The reason for this is due to many factors, such as international trade, Hollywood success and social media. Never before has English been so easily accessible and frequently used, and the number of English speakers around the globe is currently estimated at roughly 2 billion!

300 million native speakers:

Although there is a much greater number of non-native English speakers on Earth, the number of native English speakers is currently estimated at 300 million and is constantly growing. With the number of native English speakers increasing, the number of job opportunities and convenience of English in everyday life also increases.

English at work:

As the world becomes more globalised and international, so do companies and organisations, and many are choosing to use English as their official language to facilitate communication between branches in different countries. Companies such as Microsoft, Nokia and Airbus have already opted to use English as their official language and we can expect many more to follow in the 2020s.

TV and cinema:

While almost all countries in the modern age have their own TV and/or film industry, there is no denying that some of the most popular and successful films in the 21st century have come from Hollywood. They can be watched in other languages if they have been dubbed, but much of the humour and cultural aspects are lost in translation and can never compare to the original version. The good news is that even if you don’t have a sufficiently high level of English to understand everything, English subtitles can usually be added and, if you are watching at home, scenes can be paused and re-watched in order to try to understand more.

Job opportunities:

Whether working abroad or in your own country, having the English language under your belt will undoubtedly give you a competitive advantage and open a world of opportunities in a whole host of industries such as travel, science, communications and technology.

If you’re interested in learning English in Madrid with native English teachers in small groups, come to one of our language academies in Madrid and ask any one of our native English teachers (or native French, Italian, and German teachers) for more information.

We hope to see you soon!