Posts Tagged ‘spanish language’

Free Social Activities at Expanish

Monday, March 7, 2016 9:02

Categories - Expanish News - 0 Comments

Here at Expanish, we like to make your learning experience a complete one and we also believe that you should have fun whilst learning. We have many free actitivies on offer every week which are great for practising your Spanish outside of the classroom and for learning about Argentinian culture. On your first day, you will be given a full list of the activities for the month and you can check the noticeboard in reception for more information about the different activities each week.

 
If you like to dance, why not take advantage of the free tango lessons that we offer, every other week. The group classes are a fun way to practice the Spanish you have learnt in class with a local professor, and other students from all over the world including some Argentinians too. The professors are all highly trained and experienced. You will learn the key steps through formal instructions and dance floor practice. As with the Spanish classes, we also have tango classes for different levels from beginner to advanced. The classes are usually given in Spanish but the professor will be happy to help in English if you need some clarification.

The tango classes take place in a dance studio nearby but we also offer salsa lessons here in the school which you can take part in right after your Spanish classes.
 
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As well as the dance classes, we also like to teach you something about the Argentinian culture and history. We have a history workshop where we explain to you some of the recent history in Argentina and after the explanation, we take you on a short walk to Plaza de Mayo near to the school to continue the story. We also offer neighbourhood tours where one of our teachers will give you a walking tour of a neighbourhood such as La Boca. It’s a chance to visit with a local who can explain things to you, give you tips and you can enjoy it as a group with your classmates rather than going alone.
 
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We also have trips from the school to different museums in the city such as the MALBA or the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Again, one of the teachers will accompany the group by Subte or bus so it’s easy for you to find your way there and you can get to know some of the other students too.
 
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Something that Argentina is famous for is its food and drink. You can’t come to Argentina without trying mate and so we offer a “discovering mate” workshop where we explain the history of the mate, how it is prepared, the ritual of sharing the mate and of course you get to try it! You can even prepare your own. You could spend the afternoon in the cafeteria preparing chocotorta, a famous Argentinian desert, as a group and of course you get to taste what you have made.
 
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Perhaps even more famous is Argentinian wine – we offer wine tasting here (for a small fee for materials!). This is a really popular activity with the students and it is nice to learn something about the wines that you might only normally enjoy with a meal or on a night out!
 
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If food and drink is really your thing, we often have trips out for lunch to famous bars or cafes in the city and the teacher can give you all the information you need on other famous places worth visiting whilst you are here in Buenos Aires.

 

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If you are interested in even more classes (and lets face it, who isnt?) we sometimes have extra classes for pronunciation or classes where we explain the history of certain words and phrases typical to Argentina or to Spanish which will help you sound more like a native.
 
So as you can see, your Spanish school doesn’t have to be a place where you only come for Spanish classes – at Expanish we like to offer you a lot more so that you can really get to know the other students and immerse yourself into local culture.

 

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5 ways to practice Spanish at home

Monday, February 29, 2016 11:03

Categories - Spanish - 0 Comments

When learning another language it is really important to practice as much as you can outside of the classroom and there are many ways to practice what you have learnt by yourself.

 
1. Try watching Spanish films and television

This is a great way to get used to hearing Spanish used in normal conversations and day to day life. Watching films is a good way to start because you can gradually ease your way in by starting with subtitles in your own language if your Spanish is not so advanced or try with subtitles in Spanish so you can follow the dialogue and see the words written down for a better understanding. You can stop the film to look up words that you don’t know and this is a more interesting way to learn. Even if you only have a few minutes to spare, you could put the news on in for a while or watch some TV shows in Spanish to get used to hearing how it is spoken.
 
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2. Read Spanish newspapers and books
Reading the news in Spanish is a good way to get used to the formal language spoken as opposed to every day conversation like on tv and in films. You can pick up a newspaper each day fairly cheaply and read about current affairs which might interest you. Or you could do the same with magazines if you find it more interesting. Reading books can help you practice your understanding because you can take your time, look up any vocabulary that you don¬īt know and see many examples of all that grammar you have been learning! Start with something simple and work your way up as your Spanish improves.
 
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3. Practice your conversation skills with natives
If you are staying with a native or have made some friends that are native speakers, then you are lucky because you have people that you can practice your conversation with and you are not just stuck reading or watching Spanish TV and films alone. Having someone close to you to practice with is really useful because they will be patient with you, you will feel more comfortable with them, less embarrassed if you make mistakes and they can correct you and tell you the correct way to say things.
If you don’t yet know any native speakers, here at Expanish we can arrange a homestay with a local family and many students find this really useful for immersing themselves in the language and the culture of Argentina. You can practice with your host family over dinner every evening.
Another way is to attend a language exchange event of which there are many all over the world. It is a social place where everybody has a common goal – to practice other languages – and so you can feel comfortable trying to chat with strangers in another language. It’s all just for fun and you can help others with your native language at the same time.
 
Nightlife 5 ways to practice Spanish at home
 
4. Online or on your phone
There are hundreds of web pages that are dedicated to teaching Spanish and so you can use them to double-check explanations of grammar or find exercises to practice your grammar. There are also YouTube videos with Spanish lessons or educational videos that are sometimes used in classes – again just other ways to hear people talking naturally for you to get some practice.
As mentioned above, a language exchange event can be a fun way to practice your conversation but if you don’t have any events in your area, you could search for an online language exchange to practice speaking with people from all over the world.
There are a few apps that you can download for your phone such as Duolingo, Rossetta Stone and even an app based around pictures of cats if this is more your thing! So if you have a few minutes to spare each day it can be a useful way to practice and learn new vocabulary.
 
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5. Music
Listening to Spanish songs is one way to practice without doing anything too strenuous. You can listen to music any time whilst you are doing something else, travelling in the train or bus, cleaning the house, or relaxing in the park for the afternoon with a book (in Spanish of course!).
 
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Spanish Speaking Countries

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 10:11

Categories - Argentina Travel Info - 0 Comments

Did you know that out of the 22 spanish-speaking countries in the world, 9 of them are in South America? Thats almost half! These countries include, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Firstly, Argentina is the largest Spanish speaking country in South America and also home to some of the most famous natural wonders in the world such as Las Salinas Grandes, the beautiful mountains of Patagonia and Iguazu Falls. On the hand Argentina is also home to the famous city of Buenos Aires, which is full of history, culture and many action! When you go to Argentina you can’t help but incorporate their castellano accent into your Spanish, which is just one more thing that makes the Pote√Īo culture so great.

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Bolivia, located just above Argentina, is home to the Andes Mountains, the Eastern Lowlands and the Amazon Basin. Having more of an indigenous culture in comparison to Argentina, Bolivia’s main language is Spanish but is closely trailed by 38 other official indigenous languages. If you are in search for ancient ruins and cultures, Bolivia is the place for you! One of its main touristic attractions is the Salt Flats, where you can get amazing pictures like this one:

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The next country that borders Argentina is Chile. Chile shares the Patagonian mountain range with Argentina but also has many attractions to call its own. The capital city of Santiago, the Atacama Desert, and even the port town of Valparaiso are all great stops when exploring Chile.

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Colombia is home to a different type of landscape than the southern countries of South America. Being situated on the coast and also having mountain ranges, Columbia has many beautiful beaches and rainforests to explore. Also being the country known for coffee plantations, it is always a good idea to taste as many cups of coffee as you can.

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Ecuador is known as an indigenous influenced country due to the massive amount of Incan ruins that lay in its territory as well as the amount of official indigenous languages that follow the main language of Spanish. Some of the most sites in Ecuador include; the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cuenca, the capital city of Quito and, of course, the beautiful Galapagos Islands. Whether you are checking out ancient Incan ruins or exploring the vastly different types of wildlife, Ecuador is great destination.

Ecuador scenery Spanish Speaking Countries

Also bordering Argentina and being situated landlocked in the middle of South America, Paraguay is known as the heart of America. Although it is a landlocked country, the Paraguay river runs directly through the country and provides beautiful views to all who come to see. The interesting part about Paraguay is its strong connections to its indigenous language and culture of Guarani. Although Guarani is named an official language of Paraguay, Spanish is also widely spoken, so dont worry,  you wont have to learn a new language to communicate.

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As everyone knows, Peru has a strong indigenous influence on its culture. Home to the capital city of Lima, the city of Cusco and of course the famous Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru has numerous amounts of history and culture to show. If you like climbing mountains, mountain biking or even rafting and want to explore the indigenous culture, then Peru is a destination for you.

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Uruguay is the spanish speaking  country in South America that has the most influence from Portugal and also the second smallest country in South America. The most famous cities in Uruguay include, Montevideo, Colonia and Punta Del Este where you can enjoy Uruguayan Spanish influenced culture or relax on the beautiful beaches.

punta del este Peninsula Spanish Speaking Countries

Venezuela is the country in South America that is known for its impressive range of biodiversity. Having the Andes Mountains, the Great Amazon Basin and being situated on the Caribbean coast, there are all types of landscapes that you could see. Caracas is the capital city where a good portion of the Venezuelan people live, but out of this city is where all of the beauty of Venezuela lies.

venezuela beach Spanish Speaking Countries

As you can see, although these countries all share the same main language, there are all completely different in appearance, location and culture. It¬īs always better to learn a little Spanish before you start your travel through South America and Argentina is an excellent start point! Get in touch with our Spanish School in Buenos Aires leaving a comment below. Good luck!

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