How to build momentum and accelerate your Spanish

learning strategies Sep 15, 2021

Do you feel overwhelmed with your Spanish at times? 

Maybe you had to pause your learning because life got busy or you haven’t been in contact with Spanish for a while and it seems like you’ve forgotten so much that you start feeling lost, discouraged and unsure on how to get back on track.

You sometimes even wonder whether in fact you may have forgotten everything!!!

If you have ever felt this way, I promise you’re not alone! This is one of the most common difficulties that I hear all the time, particularly after the summer holidays when many people take a break from learning.

And in case you’re still wondering… yes, everything is still there!

All that is needed to deal with this kind of overwhelm is to stop the loop of negative thoughts, take a step back and design a plan. This way we can build momentum, strengthen the neural connexions in our brains again and accelerate the recovery to keep moving forwards.

Today, I want to share with...

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Top wine regions to discover Spain

spanish culture Aug 11, 2021

 

From North to South, East to West Spain is full of fantastic wine regions producing excellent varieties to cater for all tastes. 

Touring these hotspots and sampling some of the best wines Europe has to offer as well as discovering the least known areas of Spain gives you an amazing opportunity to get to know the country at a much deeper level away from the costas. 

And getting away from the beaten track would certainly help you develop your Spanish in an authentic way

If you enjoy exploring Spain and are a wine lover… I’m sure you’ll love this!

Most people know about Rioja wines, but not so many people are aware of other less known ones (here in the UK) which are truly outstanding as well. 

In fact, the best voted vino tinto (not rojo!)  in Spain in 2020 was a Ribera de Duero... But what is Ribera de Duero?

 

Ribera de Duero

River "Duero" goes across Northern Spain and its “Ribera” (the land next to the river) produces...

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5 Cool Expressions in Spanish when it's super hot!

learn spanish online Jul 22, 2021

¡Qué calor! - It's so hot!

Here in the UK we are going through a few days of very hot weather and we are delighted! It certainly makes us feel closer to Spain, enjoying the long warm evenings outdoors… Bliss!

 In Spanish, we have many expressions related to the heat. Here are 5 cool ones that you can practice straight away: 


1. Sudar como un pollo 

Literally, “to sweat like a chicken”! This expression comes from chickens being slowly roasted and releasing all the juices... So, if you’re feeling really hot and sweaty you can say “estoy sudando como un pollo”!

 

2. ¡Se puede freir un huevo en la calle!

Literally, you can fry an egg in the street!

 

3. Estar aplatanado 

To be “like a banana”, meaning to have no energy, to feel lethargic. So, if you were walking along in the middle of a very hot afternoon all hunched over with the sun beating down on your neck, you’ll likely feel...

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Ser... o Estar??? 🤔 No more confusion!

learn spanish online Jul 15, 2021

Knowing when to use “ser” and “estar” in Spanish can be confusing for most learners at different stages.

And traditional learning doesn’t help with the long lists of cases and examples for using one or the other.

However, there is a very simple way to know which to use… And it’s definitely NOT the permanent vs. temporary “rule” which is not reliable and causes serious confusion further down the line as I explain in today’s video. 

So, no more memorising long lists of complex and confusing categories for when to use one or the other, but rather understanding what each of them really describes.

When we understand this, we can feel confident that we are going to choose the right one! 

Watch the video and finally get to know when to use “ser” and “estar with ease.

Enjoy!

Cristina

P.S. Are there still examples where you’re not sure why one is used and not the other? Let us know and we’ll...

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How to find time to learn Spanish

learning strategies Jul 07, 2021

Finding the time to learn Spanish is one of the big “problems” that I hear all the time. 

And it is a source of frustration for many of the people I work with because learning the language is important in their personal life. At least once a day, it’s not uncommon for me to hear... 

“I’m so busy right now”, “work is crazy at the moment”, “I just don’t have enough time”... 

Can you relate?

I mean, I totally get it. For most of us, life is extremely busy and we need to juggle so many things it’s not surprising that 24 hours a day doesn't seem like enough!

However, I can guarantee you that you can definitely fit learning Spanish within your busy schedule with a bit of creative thinking and planning.

Here are some ideas:

1. Connect with your motivation

What is your reason for learning Spanish? Take a couple of minutes to think about this and how important this is for you. Because when our reasons are...

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How to deal with irregular verbs in Spanish

learn spanish online Jul 01, 2021

Learning to conjugate verbs in Spanish, in particular the irregular ones, is a common difficulty amongst learners of Spanish. And, to be perfectly honest, I can understand it because it’s very different from English and can seem daunting at first.

However, there are ways in which we can make it easier…

In this video, I reveal 3 top tips on how to approach verbs and conjugations, especially irregular ones so you can learn them quicker

We explore this topic in much more depth in our beginners programme Connect, our 12 week coaching programme that takes you from zero (or very little Spanish) to having your first converstations with Spanish speakers.

We help you build the language (and your confidence!) step-by-step as we break it all down into

The course is not always open, but you can contact us to register your interest and you’ll be the first one to know when we start a new edition. Places are limited!

 

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How to roll your Rs in Spanish!

learn spanish online Jun 23, 2021

Do you know how to roll your tongue to make the strong “rr” in Spanish? This is one of the most difficult sounds to produce initially for many learners.

Watch this video where Cristina shows you 3 easy steps and a simple technique (which you may already know without realising!) on how to roll your tongue and apply to Spanish words. 

There are also great examples to practice which are going to help you master this sound muy rrrápido!

Let us know how you get on with your practice

¡Hasta pronto!

Pete & Cristina

 

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Great Spanish films to improve your Spanish and how to make the most of them!

learning strategies Jun 02, 2021

Watching films in their original version or with subtitles is a great way to improve your level of Spanish whilst doing something you enjoy. 

Movies are an excellent way to expose you to a more natural form of the language with authentic vocabulary and slang, expressions and how to connect words with associated body language, but they can also seem extremely fast paced and overwhelming when trying to learn.

So, how do you combine the two and make the most of your learning whilst watching a film? 

Here are some simple steps to help you maximise the experience:

Step 1.

Choose a film, watch it and if you really liked it, then it's a great candidate for your learning!

Step 2.

Watch it a few times breaking it in chunks watching one segment at a time.

Step 3. 

Write down new words and phrases in your “cuaderno” .

Step 4.

Check what you can remember. Go back to the previous segment and try to watch it without subtitles. Can you understand...

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7 Common (and hilarious) mistakes in Spanish... and how to avoid them!

learn spanish online May 14, 2021

Mistakes are absolutely essential in the learning process, most of them are harmless and people will generally know what we mean, but some can put us in a bit of an awkward situation…

Let’s take a look at 7 of the most common and very funny mistakes that English speakers make in Spanish and what to say instead to avoid them: 

 1. Estoy embarazado/a

 Looking at the word “embarazado/a” clearly looks like “embarrassed”, right? So, intending to say “I’m embarrassed”, many people say “estoy embarazado/a” and what they’re really saying is “I’m pregnant”... Particularly funny in a male’s case!

What you should say instead is “Estoy avergonzado/a”

 

 2. Quiero introducirte a mi amigo

 In this phrase it can be easily deduced that a person is trying to say “I want to introduce you to my friend”. However, “introducir”...

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Best resources to improve Spanish

learn spanish online May 06, 2021

We live in a wonderful age when there’s never been easier to learn Spanish.

The variety of sites, podcasts, videos, materials and countless resources give us the opportunity to develop our language skills like never before… I remember back in the 80s sitting by my cassette player listening to English songs rewinding endless times with a pencil trying to catch what they were saying… Only to learn years later that I had it completely wrong!

However, as amazing as it is to so easily find a variety of materials and ways to learn the language, there are that many resources that sometimes it can feel overwhelming to choose which ones can help us more! 

The real challenge these days is to filter and select good quality materials relevant to where you are in your journey and where you are planning to use the language (ie. choosing Spanish from Spain resources rather than Latin American based ones if you are planning to use it in Spain)

Today I am bringing you...

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