Filed Under (General) by admin on febrero-10-2010

IMG_2562I thought my days of learning languages were over until I met my husband. Although he speaks fluent English and we met in England, it soon became apparent that if I was to share my life with him I would need to learn to speak Spanish to be able to communicate with his friends and family. For a couple of years I made half-hearted attempts to learn Spanish at night school thinking I had plenty of time to improve but then one year we made the decision to move to Spain.
My Spanish may have been adequate for the occasional holiday but it was nowhere near good enough to live and work in Spain. A couple of weeks after arriving I enrolled on an intensive general Spanish course at IH Valladolid. It was exactly what I needed, lots of opportunities to practice my spoken Spanish, consolidate what I had already picked up and start learning some new material. In just a month I made huge progress, particularly in my spoken Spanish which gave me the confidence to start living a more independent life in the country I now called home. Through the school I also made new contacts and some really good friends which is so important when you know absolutely no-one!
I´ve been here almost a year now and I know I have a lot more to learn. I still take private Spanish classes at IH which I fit around my job as although I have the benefit of living in Spain, I feel you need the help of a trained teacher to make rapid progress. IH Valladolid is like a second home to me now, the staff make you feel so welcome and have helped guide me through a year full of challenges and new discoveries!

Want to learn to speak Spanish too? Then contact us at www.espaname.es and we´ll give you all the help you need.



Filed Under (General) by admin on noviembre-18-2009

DSCN1188Normally most students on our intensive Spanish courses take their classes in the morning. After lunch, many will then want the opportunity to practice the Spanish they learnt in class.

The school encourages students to get out and about and explore both the city and the region, using their Spanish to buy bus and train tickets, go shopping, visit museums and even meet local people in bars and clubs.

The school has a notice board full of ideas for excursions and information about forthcoming events and regular local activities. We provide full information including when things are open, on which days, how much you´ll have to pay to get there, the timetables of trains and buses and even what the local specialties are to eat for lunch! We have information on where to eat the best tapas or which are the most lively bars and clubs for dancing, having fun and meeting people.

Whether you prefer a night at the theatre or a night on the town –we can help you to make the most of your time in Valladolid.

For more information on Spanish courses at International House Valladolid & Santander contact us at www.espaname.es



Filed Under (General) by admin on noviembre-12-2009

DSCN1472Us: So, after an intensive week of classes do you think you will have enough Spanish for your next film project?

Masha: I feel far more confident now. Every day I have seen an improvement. The classes have been great and because I´m studying in Spain, I go straight out into the city and make an effort to practice the new things I´ve learnt. I´m really starting to understand the films in Spanish too, that was a real achievement.

Us: So what have you enjoyed about the classes here?

Masha: I have really benefitted from the way the teachers encourage you to speak in Spanish. I enjoy the small class size, you can´t hide the way you can in a class of 20 students! I just love being completely immersed in Spanish: hearing it, speaking it, reading it.

For more information about our Spanish courses, contact us at www.espaname.es

IN PART 3 FIND OUT WHAT MASHA THOUGHT ABOUT VALLADOLID



Filed Under (General) by admin on noviembre-10-2009

Semincity_pequeUs: Masha, how have you found this year´s Film Festival?

Masha: Things have been different this year because I have been combining Spanish classes at International House with the film screenings. I always aim to see at least 2 -3 films every day. It has been a challenge to attend my classes, see films, go back to the hotel to do my homework for the next day then shoot off to see to another film. I watch films until about midnight then I´m up the next day for a 9.30 Spanish class!

Us: How have you managed all that?

Masha: Lots of coffee!

Us: So why are you learning Spanish this year?

Masha: Well, my next film will be set in Spain, in a village, and I need to undertake some research for it because it focuses on the period around 1936. For my film to work, I need to be able to communicate with the people I meet in the area where I´m filming. I need to explain what I´m doing, build up trust and form relationships with people. I can´t do that effectively if I can´t speak any Spanish. I expect I´ll also have to write a few simple emails in Spanish too.

For more information about our Spanish courses, contact us at www.espaname.es

IN PART 2 READ HOW MASHA GOT ON IN HER SPANISH LESSONS.



Filed Under (General) by admin on octubre-28-2009

j0289914Unfortunately the teachers on the Spanish courses at International House Valladolid don´t make a cooked breakfast for their students. However, what they do try to do is help students learn Spanish in creative and innovative ways.

I´ve always struggled with the different past tenses in Spanish and several patient teachers and course books have unfortunately not managed to sort me out. During one memorable lesson in International House, the teacher encouraged us to visualize a fried egg and then proceeded to explain how this image would help us to remember how to distinguish between two past tense forms. This simple memory aid has proved invaluable ever since.
This kind of approach reflects the teaching methodology here: visual, interactive and dynamic. If, like me, you cannot learn by staring at lists of words and grammar tables then a course here is for you. It would be great if there were other food types to help me with my other difficulties!

For more information about Spanish classes at International House Valladolid and Santander see www.espaname.es



Filed Under (General) by admin on octubre-20-2009

Semincity_pequeThis week sees the start of the 54th Valladolid International Film Festival (Seminci). Some of our students are combining Spanish lessons with an intensive week of cinema-going. Eight of the city´s cinemas are showing a packed programme of international feature films and “shorts” throughout the week. We even have a filmmaker from Holland in our classes this week!
The festival is famous for being the testing ground for innovative, controversial and even banned films. In 1975, for example, the Valladolid film festival saw the premiere in Spain of Kubrick´s “A Clockwork Orange”. The festival has also been the Spanish launch pad for filmmakers such as Fellini, Rossellini, Ken Loach and Aardman Animations among others. For more information visit the website at www.seminci.es
For more information about Spanish classes at International House Valladolid & Santander contact us at www.espaname.es



Filed Under (General) by admin on septiembre-15-2009

45ck3Another beautiful sunny day in early September, just perfect for sitting in one of the many lovely terrace cafes surrounding the historic Plaza Mayor where the IH Valladolid Plaza Mayor school is based. I joined one of the students, a girl from Birmingham, England who had been studying Spanish and asked her for her impressions of the IH Spanish course.

“This is my second time here” she said. “I came last year for an intensive four week Spanish course and loved it so have returned this year for a course of private lessons. The first time I came I was a bit apprehensive about lessons conducted entirely in Spanish, but actually it helps to improve your fluency as you only have to think in one language. We get lots of time to speak in the classes which is really what I was after and why I came to Spain. Being part of a multi-lingual class ensures you don’t slip back into your native tongue as Spanish is the only common language you have to talk to each other in”.

“This year I decided to come back to get some one-to-one help with particular grammar problems, verb tenses mainly, and all the classes have been tailored to helping me overcome my individual issues and improving my fluency. I decided to come now as the fiestas are about to start here. There is a great atmosphere with processions, fireworks, stalls of regional foods and wines, concerts and other entertainments. You can see the preparations from the classroom window as the Plaza Mayor is the focal point for the celebrations.”

For more information about private classes or intensive courses in Spanish contact www.espaname.es