Posts Tagged ‘tips’

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┬┤t 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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Summer Holidays in Buenos Aires

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 12:22

Categories - Buenos Aires City Attractions - 0 Comments

Riding a Bike in Buenos Aires Summer Holidays in Buenos Aires

The summer months of December to March in Buenos Aires are a perfect time to come and study Spanish with us at Expanish. Because the weather is hot and humid, many Porteños choose to leave the city to spend some time at the coast but this is also a peak time for tourists visiting the city. 

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the summer here as Buenos Aires is a city full of green areas and open spaces. The parks of Palermo are great for relaxing on a sunny afternoon with friends. If the heat gets too much, the botanic gardens on Avenida Santa Fe are beautiful and feel really fresh as there are plenty of trees to provide that much needed shade. The “Jard├şn Japon├ęs” (Japanese Garden) is another green oasis in the middle of the city, also located in Palermo. Nearer to microcentro, we have the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve situated in Puerto Madero which is also a beautiful place to visit, perhaps you can hire a bike outside the main entrance and go and explore.
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There are many craft markets such as the ones in San Telmo and Plaza Francia where you can buy hand made artisan goods or just have a look around. At the weekend, Plaza Serrano is also full of craft stalls in the centre and the bars that surround the plaza turn into marketplaces selling clothes, shoes and accesories for the afternoon.
1532921 Summer Holidays in Buenos Aires
By night, the bars return to normal and the long warm summer nights are really great for enjoying a drink outside anywhere in the city.Buenos Aires is famous for its nightlife so there are plenty of bars all over the city to keep you entertained.┬á Fernet is a very popular drink here in Argentina, mainly mixed with coke and ice – perfect for the warm evenings but not to everyone’s taste!
catedral 400 2 Summer Holidays in Buenos Aires
Other options to help survive the heat are swimming pools and beaches. There are a few options for finding a pool but the biggest pool complex by far is located in Parque Norte (next to Aeroparque Jorge Newbery) . Of course Buenos Aires does not have a beach as such but it does have Buenos Aires Playas, artificial beaches located in Plaza de Los Niños (Norte) and Parque Roca (Sur). You can find more information on the BA Government website http://www.buenosaires.gob.ar/noticias/se-viene-buenos-aires-playa.
A day trip to Tigre or Colonia (Uruguay) gives you the option to escape the city and spend a few tranquil hours away from the hustle and bustle. We also offer many excursions here from the school so come and talk to us if you need any help planning your summer activities.
Tigre Summer Holidays in Buenos Aires
Learning Spanish in Buenos Aires in the summer is definitely an unforgettable experience. Do not hesitate in contacting us if you are interested in studying at Expanish!

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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 eitherÔÇŽ

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 porte├▒os 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!

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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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English to Spanish Vocab Cheat-Sheet

Monday, December 29, 2014 6:35

Categories - Spanish - 0 Comments

ItÔÇÖs no secret that Spanish has a lot of endings, way more to memorize than in English. Thankfully there are some tricks to make learning some words a little easier. Note that this is different than learning verb endings which your teacher will help you grasp, memorize, and practice. Here, we can simply follow some patterns of similarity between English and Spanish.

-ly  ::  -mente

With common adverbs, if it ends in -ly in English, replace it for -mente.

e.g.: Rapidly/rapidamente, profusely/profusamente, horribly/horriblemente, terribly/terriblemente

-tion  ::  -ción

With words ending in –tion, replace the ending for –ci├│n

e.g.: Relation/relaci├│n, imagination/imaginaci├│n, accommodation/accomadaci├│n, foundation/fundaci├│n, information/informaci├│n

-ity  ::  -dad

In words ending in –ity, replace it for -dad

e.g.: Quality/calidad, quantity/cantidad, city/ciudad, inferiority/inferioridad, spirituality/espiritualidad, negativity/negatividad

This is a general trick to help when you are stuck but it does not apply to all words in these forms. Nothing replaces actually studying to memorize words and learning hard and fast rules but I have definitely used these tricks to help out when I am speaking and just canÔÇÖt think of the word!

Esto funciona de Espa├▒ol a Ingl├ęs tambi├ęn! Cuando tengas dudas, simplemente reemplaza palabras que terminan con -mente a -ly, -ci├│n a -tion, y -dad a -ity.

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Spring in Buenos Aires: Best time to visit the city!

Monday, October 6, 2014 12:22

Categories - Argentina Travel Info - 0 Comments

50 1024x768 Spring in Buenos Aires: Best time to visit the city!

Buenos Aires is beautiful in any season but in spring it seems to blossom, just┬álike the jacarand├í flowers in the streets. Between September and November the temperature can vary from 14C (57F) to 22C (72F) and it is undoubtedly the perfect time to enjoy this beautiful city. Porte├▒os are always complaining about the weather, but in spring they all seem to agree it is neither hot nor cold – and there are more sunny days than rainy days. The first day of spring in Argentina coincides with the national Student┬┤s Day, so every year all the youth are out in the streets, eating outdoors and partying at night. So, if you are planning to visit Buenos Aires in the Spring, here are some tips!

  • Make some Argentine friends and go drink mate in the park. Mate is not only an infusion, but also an experience for the Argentine culture: People tend to sit in a circle on the grass and one of them is in charge of preparing the mate for the rest (in Argentina that’s called┬ácebar el mate). If you were to tell any Argentine that you would like to try some mate, they will most definetely be happy to let you try!
  • Take a tour round the city by bike! The best places to ride are the Bosques de Palermo (where you can use the bike ways to see the lakes and the amazing Planetario), Puerto Madero (no cars allowed and many places to stop and have a snack) and Plaza Francia, one of the most beautiful places to go on sunny days. If you don┬┤t have a bike, there are many places to rent one in the city, at accesible costs. Remember that porte├▒os love the spring as well, so on the weekends these places may get a little bit crowded.
  • Eat an┬áasado┬áoutdoors. Porte├▒os love organising┬áasados, and spring is the perfect time to eat a good┬áchoripan┬áin the sun. If you don┬┤t know anyone who is hosting an asado, there are ┬áexcellent parrillas in the city to try the best Argentine meat. You can also have a┬ádulce de leche┬áice cream for dessert!
  • Enjoy spring nights. In winter, nights can get really cold, so when spring comes everyone feels like going out and having fun. Buenos Aires has amazing nightlife, restaurants and bars start to get busy around 10pm. Remember that in Buenos Aires night clubs open at about 1am till 6am, so get ready to experience a city that never sleeps!

Have you been in Buenos Aires in spring? Tell us about your experience!

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