Hay vs Está/Están (A1-B1)

Is there any …? Where is the …?

Do you get confused when asking trying to ask either of these questions? Differentiating is easy when you know why to use either Hay or Está/Están.

Spanish through Song - Me gustas tú (A1/A2)

Music touches us. It's a universal language that needs no translation. Language and music share stuff - rhythm, melody, pitch, volume, tone, pauses, stops.

Spanish through Song explores the artist, the lyrics and why you should incorporate it in your learning routine.

Let's look at Manu Chau's "Me gustas tú" - perhaps THE MOST USED SONG in Spanish language classes all over the world.

I Learn Spanish! … Jenny Lee

El Patio student Jenny Lee is currently in Upper Intermediate 5 (B1), and here she talks about her Spanish learning experiences. Get to know the thoughts and processes involved, first hand, one of our determined students.

Learn Imperfecto and Indefinido using Poetry (A2/B1)

To help her students intuitively differentiate the Preterito Indefinido and Preterito Imperfecto tenses, Raquel designed a poetry exercise. The idea here was to use rhythm and rhyme to facilitate memorisation. Poetic form helped expand vocabulary while the task cemented the irregular conjugations of the two most confusing tenses.

What was the result?

Poems that are hilarious, abstract, entertaining yet still very grammatically useful!

Saber Vs Conocer and other Spanglish dilemmas ... (A1-B1)

The temptation to translate English directly into Spanish, or vice versa, is a strong one! But this can lead many Spanish students into nasty traps!

Learn about just some of the words you can't use interchangeably or translate exactly from English: Saber and Conocer, Ir and Venir, Traer and Llevar, Preguntar and Pedir. Use them correctly and get into a Spanish mind!

Spanish Idioms - they "Crack us Up"! (A2-B2)

Idioms are often strange and unusual - yet sometimes the perfect way to express ourselves. Have you ever actually seen it "rain cats and dogs"? … in Spanish we'd say "llueve a cántaros" (it's raining buckets). Idioms are a great way to enter into a culture's unique way of thinking, a way to "get to the point". It really pays to learn one or two - you are so going to impress your Hispanic friends if you throw one in at the right moment. Read Ben Wright-Smith's amusing article with his illustrations - which "hit the nail on the head"!

Direct Object Pronouns - Told through Banksy's Street Art! (A1-C1)

This is a tricky one, but don't lose heart! Direct Object Pronouns are short little words used to help make phrases easier to say and more interesting to hear! It, her, him, them (to name a few) all make our lives easier. But learning when and where to use them in Spanish can be frustrating! To ease you into it, we've matched photos of some of Banksy's best artwork with the examples, think of them as a memory aid!

False Friends - False Cognates (A1-B2)

Spanish and English words can be very similar and following familiar patterns often helps us to learn Spanish. However, we need to be careful because within these patterns lurk false friends ...

Ser or Estar … Dying to Know the Answer? (A1-C1)

When students first learn that there are two very different forms of 'to be' in Spanish they are often confused and perhaps even a little annoyed! "But why!?" is a very common reaction! Yet grasping the difference between 'ser' and 'estar' is often a watershed moment in the Spanish acquisition journey!

I Learn Spanish! … Jennifer Boyce

Read about our student, Jennifer Boyce, and her journey to learn Spanish, (along with adorable daughter Eleanor!) With levels A1 and A2 under her belt, she's now set her eyes on a B1 DELE certificate. She has learned that studying Spanish is largely about persistence!

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