Write like Cervantes! Thou hast seen nothing yet ... (B2-C1)

Miguel de Cervantes was known to capture the human condition like no other - perhaps personified most poignantly through his famous creation, Don Quijote. Cervantes died 400 years ago, on April 23, 1616, leaving behind a most influential literary legacy.

Well here we have tried something in class. To commemorate this day (which is UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day), some of our advanced students have written an autorretrato (self-portrait) in the style of Cervantes for a class exercise.

To get an idea - Imagine describing yourself in the language of William Shakespeare (Cervante's English counterpart), who happened to died in the same year. (Some say even the same day. But that depends which calendar you're looking at!) This task is aimed at the higher levels - those studying either B2 or C1.

La acompañante del tren (C1)

Not everything is as it appears with a lost little girl on a train! This cuento by Ana Ruiz is designed not only to thrill... but to help C1 (Advanced) students with their tenses: pretérito indefinido, pretérito imperfecto, pretérito pluscuamperfecto, condicional y pretérito imperfecto de subjuntivo. This tale also comes with some helpful exercises and a translation at the end!

Cenicienta - una versión feminista (Cinderella - a feminist version) (B1-C1)

What if Cinderella never needed Prince Charming after all?

Lynne Ellis, a long-term, advanced student of El Patio entered her twist on a traditional fairytale for our Short Story Competition. Cinderella is re-imagined as a strong, independent, educated woman who escapes the clutches of slavery!

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!

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!

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