Posts Tagged ‘learning spanish’

Learning Spanish over Christmas in Buenos Aires

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 8:08

Categories - Argentine Customs and Culture, Buenos Aires City Attractions, Concerts, Events, Festivals and Holidays, Food in Buenos Aires, Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Clubs, Uncategorized - 0 Comments

If you came in Buenos Aires learning Spanish and that this is your first time spending Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere, the first thing that will stands out is the heat. It’s summertime in Argentina and the days are getting hotter and hotter, so say goodbye to your christmas sweaters, blankets and hot cocoa by the fire. You will definitely want to opt for your swimsuit and pool time after having walked throughout the city.

 Photo blog Learning Spanish over Christmas in Buenos Aires

The guide to spend a traditional Christmas in Argentina while learning Spanish :

Before Christmas :

You will start hearing some Christmas vocabulary as people in the street, stores or even in spanish class start talking about all the preparation and plans. Being around Buenos Aires at this time of the year when learning spanish really allows you to immerge in the culture and tradition of the country as well as improving a specific vocabulary about Christmas season and celebrations. Before the D-Day people usually celebrate Christmas with friends and coworkers. For example, here at Expanish we organize a Christmas party and as there are a lot of different nationalities, it is a good way to learn about other Christmas traditions while practicing your spanish.  

24th of December :

On the 24th people gather with their family. At Expanish, a lot of our students take the opportunity to practice their Spanish by choosing a homestay. This allow our students to spend Christmas with a local family and get a traditional experience of a typical Argentine Christmas. Usually everyone brings something to eat. As it is summer, it is more common to eat an asado and cold dishes, rather than the hot dishes and Christmas hams you may be used to. When midnight rolls around everyone will have toast, drink cider, eat pan dulce and commence opening gifts! Christmas celebrations usually end around 2AM but it wouldn’t be a proper Buenos Aires party without the younger generations heading to the “boliches (clubs) to dance until the sunrise. Argentines truly like to party!

25th of December :

On the 25th most Argentines gather again in the afternoon (everyone needs a good sleep especially the ones that went clubbing) and eat either the leftovers from the night before or have an asado. Be aware that most public transports will not run on Christmas day, so my advice would be to plan in advance. If you choose to live in a homestay, this will allow you to meet even more people and practice your presentation skills in Spanish, by the end of the Christmas celebration you should be an expert and feel more confident talking in Spanish.

New Year’s Eve :

While in other countries it may typically be a night out on the town with friends to ring in the new year, New Year’s Eve in Argentina is a very family centered holiday. Argentines gather with their family once again to have an asado and drink Malbec. It’s always best to have a friend or family member that has a rooftop host the New Year’s Eve party so that you can enjoy the fireworks at midnight, so don’t hesitate to ask around to your local friend if they have a “terraza”. Again, it wouldn’t be a true party without the younger generation heading off to the boliches with their friends after midnight while the older crowd heads out to parties with their friends and family.

Activities and places to go to during Christmas in Buenos Aires as a foreigner learning Spanish :

  • Play the lottery and maybe treat yourself to a big money prize. Every year, Argentina organizes a Christmas Lottery called “Gordo de Navidad” where you could win this year 15.000.000 pesos!!!
  • For Christmas dinner : La Dorita in Palermo (Humboldt 1892) is a “parilla” restaurant with one of the most complete menu and famous for it’s high quality. It offers a great variety of meat such as a 400g piece of “Bife de lomo” (Beef tenderloin).
  • Christmas party : Kika Club in Palermo (Honduras 5339) is one of the most famous boliches in the city, there is no doubt you will have a good time there and maybe meet some new Porteño friends as this is a very popular social spot! This could be a good opportunity to learn slang called “lunfardo” which is used a lot by the young generation.
  • New Year’s dinner : If you want celebrate the New Year in style, Casa Cruz in Palermo Viejo (Uriarte 1658) is the place for you. For more than 10 years, Casa Cruz has offered a wide variety of meat cuts and sides dishes as well as a very wide choice of wines, in an upscale yet cozy atmosphere. Another option could be to catch Tango Shows, many of which offer special dinner and show packages.
  • New Year’ Eve party: Club Shampoo, located in the heart of Recoleta and one of Buenos Aires’ most exclusive nightclubs is a great place to ring in the New Year. If nightclubs are not your thing, you can head to Palermo Hollywood where the streets are filled with local block parties with djs and bands playing music, Porteños hosting asados and people enjoying the warm summer night to dance all night long until sunrise.

Expanish wishes you a “Feliz Navidad y Año Nuevo” !

 

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Tips for practicing Spanish outside of the classroom

Monday, March 16, 2015 9:44

Categories - Spanish - 0 Comments

EXPLORE THE NIGHTLIFE  

If there is ever a time to take advantage of the nightlife scene, it´s when you’re trying to learn a new language. Speaking Spanish can be intimidating when you’re outside the classroom, but the social scene in Buenos Aires will help ease the transition. People are so welcoming and friendly here that almost everyone you meet will be willing to help coach you through a simple Spanish conversation.

A few glasses of Malbec doesn´t hurt either…

Try Mundo Lingo, an event that caters to people looking to practice a different language, in order to guarantee a night filled with Spanish. Check out their Facebook page for the bar of the night.

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SHOP

One of the best ways to learn vocabulary is to go to a supermarket, an outdoor market, a fair, or any other type of shopping expedition. I guarantee that you’ll learn new vocabulary with each outing. Buenos Aires has a ton of open air markets where you can buy everything from fresh produce, to house products, to clothing. These places usually aren’t serve yourself, which means that you’ll have to practice your newfound vocabulary right then and there.

Restaurants are also a great opportunity to continue practicing Spanish outside of the classroom. Usually menus come filled with new vocabulary. If you’re lucky you’ll have a menu in English as well to help out, but I recommend looking at the Spanish menu and attempting to order in Spanish in order to practice both vocabulary and pronunciation.

Suggestions:

San Telmo outdoor produce market on Saturdays and San Telmo Fair on Sundays (bonus if you try bargaining in Spanish).

Verduleria Tips for practicing Spanish outside of the classroom

JOIN A CLUB

Buenos Aires has many different options for clubs and sports teams around the city. Some are free and some you just have to pay a small monthly, weekly, or one time fee to join. There are a range of activities and you can get involved in anything from a club soccer team, a saturday morning aerobics class, or a photography club. These clubs are great opportunities to meet porteños as well as practice your Spanish. There are also conversation clubs and meet ups where people get together to practice Spanish.

Suggestions:

BA Ciudad (http://www.buenosaires.gob.ar/) is a great resource. They offer a range of free classes throughout the city for all age groups.

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VOLUNTEER

One of the most authentic ways to practice Spanish outside the classroom is to volunteer. There are many options around the city that all cater to many different interests. At Expanish we offer eight different volunteer options, but if we don’t have what you’re looking for there is sure to be some other organization that does. Usually volunteering in Buenos Aires revolves around children, and there´s no better way to practice Spanish in a comfortable and relaxed environment than while working with kids.

1. Tips for practicing Spanish outside of the classroom

READ

It may sound like obvious advice, but reading little articles can really help boost your Spanish. I find that if I wake up and read a bit in Spanish it puts my mind in Spanish mode. It´s easy to wake up immediately check your phone, scroll through facebook, or respond to a quick text in English. I challenge you to pick up a book for 10-15 minutes in the morning a see what a difference it makes.

Bonus Challenge: Read out loud to yourself in order to practice both vocabulary and pronunciation without the pressure of class.

Here are a few options:

Kindle: Your Kindle has the unique option to highlight a word and it will give you the definition of said word. It does it all for you.

Newspaper: Take a quick peek at some events happening in Buenos Aires and also learn a few keys words to throw around in your next political discussion.

Magazines: There´s nothing like reading a little Cosmo in Spanish to really help take you to the next level…No but seriously, reading a simple article about a topic that you’re already familiar with (i.e. celebrities, movies reviews, fashion advice etc.) can teach new vocabulary in a familiar setting.

Children´s Books: This is probably the easiest way to learn new vocabulary, especially if you choose a book that you’re already familiar with.

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WATCH TV

Netflix: Make sure to take advantage of the fact that Netflix offers both subtitles and dubbing for many of their shows. Even just adding subtitles can help you associate Spanish words with their English definitions.

Movies: Watching movies in Spanish can drastically help expand vocabulary. Try going to the movie theater after you’ve watched a few movies in the comfort of your own home and have gotten a grasp of the speed of a typical movie. Often, subtitles can help a lot with basic understanding. Don´t miss the Expanish Film Club: watching movies after class with a teacher to help is a great start!

Classes 22 Tips for practicing Spanish outside of the classroom

Any extra effort made outside of the classroom is bound to help you continue to improve. It´s all about those baby steps!

Suerte a todos! (Good luck everyone!)

 

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Watch our New Virtual Tour and get to know our Spanish School in Buenos Aires

Friday, July 4, 2008 6:47

Categories - Expanish News - 0 Comments

video Watch our New Virtual Tour and get to know our Spanish School in Buenos Aires

Alter months of improving and sprucing up our Expanish school, we are proud to present the newest virtual tour of our Expanish Spanish Language School and Study Abroad Center!

 

Always wondered what the inside of our gorgeous French-style building looks like? Now you can check out some of our classrooms with classes in session, our generally lively common room, the weekly activities board, and our coffee break area and patio. You can even meet some of our school staff, like our activities coordinator, director, and some of our teachers.

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Looking for more pictures and videos of student activities, excursions, etc.? Check out our YouTube site and our Photo Gallery, or our Facebook Fan Page.


Check out the Expanish School Virtual Tour and come learn Spanish in Buenos Aires or study abroad in Argentina with us! See you here in South America!

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