¿Quieres ser EMBAJADOR de La Isla?

En La Isla estamos haciendo algunos cambios importantes. Todavía no te podemos contar mucho, pero podemos decir que estamos trabajando en una hoja de ruta para ayudar a los alumnos a aprender las variaciones del Español en el mundo.

Hay una frase de George Siemens que dice así: I store my knowledge in my friends. Al contrario de lo que se creía antes, el conocimiento ya no existe sólo dentro de cada persona, sino que se genera a partir de la interacción de la comunidad, que no es más que un conjunto de redes de colaboración creadas por personas.

¿Nos ayudas?

¡Envíanos un correo electrónico a esta dirección si eres nativo de algún país de habla hispana y te apetece colaborar con La Isla! Tenemos ya embajadores en Colombia, Venezuela y Chile… Tenemos muchas ganas de contaros de qué va esto,

¡Hasta pronto!

“Si comparto el conocimiento, no pierdo nada…”

El Museo: learn Spanish through ART!

As many of you know already, this website is a work in progress, that means it wants to grow up slowly slowly and taking care of every section carefully (if you’ll forgive the repetition…).

So continuing with blog categories introduction, today is the time for el Museo. As you can see in the picture above, el Museo is on the East side of the island. It has the peculiar shape of an overturned column and its entrance is guarded by two big statues. The concept of the building as a column represents the power of art to change the world and the conscience. The fact that is actually knocked down is talking about the fragility that actually defines art nowadays. Although the most ephemeral art can also be the most powerful.

Anyway and apart of this philosophy concepts behind the museum, now we have this space open to all the visitors in the island: our doors are open to anyone who wants to learn Spanish through Art. We consider Art as one of the foundations of the living. Yes, we are on the way to build a strong learning spirit having a common goal: learn Spanish. And we have a multiple choice path to walk together: through books, travel, art, and a few more ways to learn that are about to come up. Be on the alert!

So we have the opportunity here to get closer to some artists, works of art, museums, alternative expressions of art, graphic artists and all of these made by Spanish speaking artists, because we are not in a Arts classroom, we are learning Spanish through art, and trying to bring Spanish and South American culture to the visitors, that’s the point.

Welcome!

 

Museo Vostell Malpartida - Cáceres (España) (1976, Wolf Vostell)
Museo Vostell Malpartida – Cáceres (España) (1976, Wolf Vostell)

 

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Como muchos de vosotros ya sabéis esta página web se está haciendo así misma poco a poco, creciendo y aprendiendo de cada paso que damos, por eso queremos cuidar cada una de las secciones con mucha atención.

Entonces, continuando con la presentación de las secciones, hoy le toca el turno al MUSEO. El Museo, como puedes ver en la imagen de arriba, está en el lado este de la isla, al lado del pueblo. El edificio tiene la forma peculiar de una columna volcada cuya entrada está escoltada por dos grandes estatuas. El concepto de columna representa el gran poder del arte para cambiar el mundo. Por otro lado, el hecho de que la columna aparezca volcada representa otra cualidad del arte tal y como aparece representado hoy en día: la fragilidad. Lo efímero, sin embargo, puede tener un efecto devastador. 🙂

Pero filosofías a parte, estamos en una sección donde lo que vamos a hacer es aproximarnos al Arte como camino para aprender español. Abrimos pues las puertas a todos aquellos que lleguen a esta isla y quieran recorrer el arte como herramienta para aprender español. El objetivo es acercar la cultura, tanto española como sudamericana, a todos los visitantes. Es este un espacio para aproximarnos a artistas, obras de arte, museos, expresiones alternativas de arte y artes gráficas en general y para conocer de cerca algunas de los grandes exponentes del arte español y sudamericano.

¡Bienvenidos!

Spanish speaking TRAVEL destinations!

Let us briefly introduce the Viajes section of our blog La Isla del Español. From our traveling experiences and some other external sources experienced in travel journalism writing, I will be posting about Spanish speaking travel destinations: trying to go deep in some culture tips, new vocabulary and common expressions for travelers.

We will talk about real world destinations, where you can travel by train, by car, by bus, by boat or by plane. But we cannot say we will stay at this three dimensional world forever. 🙂  We have our mind widely open, enough to speak about time travel, travel to another planet, moon trip or even trip by senses.

So now we have two sections open in the blog: travel and books. If Jules Verne had been spanish, we would have had a dilemma to sort his “La vuelta al mundo en 80 días” into the blog. Anyway it won’t be a problem since categories love sharing posts, even more if it is about novels as big as that one. 🙂

David Hockney (Pear Blossom Highway, 1986)
David Hockney (Pear Blossom Highway, 1986)

If you want to join the journey of learning Spanish while traveling this will be a great opportunity to meet some places and destinations for all kind of travels, learning everyday something new and useful.

Since a lot of students ask me about advices when they travel around Spain or South America, I’m working in some pocket guides to use them when you travel, collecting all the expressions and vocabulary you might be requiring.

We begin this week with a medium-sized Spanish city located in the hinterland. You know which one it is? Place your bets! Simply click on this link: City in Spain and place your answer! 🙂 Soon you will find out in the first post of this #viajes section.

Other sources for this site category:

Guías Viajar: importante referente en blogs de viajes escritos en español.
Tus Guías de Viaje: blog de viajes para organizar tu próxima aventura de la forma más sencilla, óptima y divertida.

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

La sección de Viajes de La Isla del Español estará centrada en ofrecer contenidos sobre viajes a países donde se habla español. Desde experiencias propias a relatos de viajes tomados de otras fuentes especializadas, habrá contenido interesante para el viajero que quiera practicar español mientras viaja.

Vamos a centrarnos sobre todo en aspectos de la realidad: viajes por tierra, mar y aire. Lo que no quiere decir que haya sitio también para algunos viajes diferentes, como viajes en el tiempo o a la luna. 🙂

Pronto empezaremos con un post sobre una de las principales ciudades de España localizada en el interior del país. ¿Te apetece adivinar de qué ciudad se trata? ¡Envíanos tu respuesta haciendo click aquí!

Otras fuentes que visitaremos para recomendar sitios para viajar serán:

Guías Viajar: importante referente en blogs de viajes escritos en español.
Tus Guías de Viaje: blog de viajes para organizar tu próxima aventura de la forma más sencilla, óptima y divertida.

¡Hasta pronto!

BOOKS in Spanish: La Biblioteca

Today I want to introduce the section Biblioteca in the blog, where you will find Literature recommendations sorted by levels. Starting from the beginning the name of the site: La Isla del Español is inspired by one famous book, my favorite one: La invención de Morel by Bioy Casares. It is a fictional book and the story is set in a island. Also Island novel by Aldous Huxley contributed to this inspiration and to love the concept of islands. So I can say books are always with me. I know a lot of students will appreciate this BOOKS in Spanish category in the blog of La Isla. I will provide you with links to original texts, we will work with authors’ biographies, audiobooks, poems, short stories, books reviews, tales, quotes, always trying to sort the posts by levels.

“Siempre imaginé el paraíso como una especie de biblioteca”. (Jorge Luis Borges)*

Books Flying Through the Sky

Borges in his short story “La biblioteca de Babel” understands the Universe as an infinite library, where almost all the combinations of the 23 letters will be stored. Some of us still dream with Borges stories like the first time we read “Historia de la Eternidad” or all his collected fictions. If you haven’t read Borges before, you are lucky because you have a whole galaxy in the vast universe of literature to discover. Is Borges the 20th Century’s most important writer? Absolutely. If you missed it, let your doors of perception be open at last. 🙂

You can also send me suggestions by email with some books or short stories you might be interested in working with. I will upload some audio files so you can listen to different Spanish speakers accents reading literature. Even the authors themselves!

I hope you enjoy this section. Pay attention this week because the first post will be about a very beautiful short story in Spanish by Gabriel García Márquez. Can’t wait!

*I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. (J.L. Borges)

Continue reading “BOOKS in Spanish: La Biblioteca”

Using verbs like GUSTAR in Spanish

Today post is about how we express what things we like and do not like and other verbs like gustar in Spanish. From the very first lessons in your Spanish learning you study the verb GUSTAR, but why is so special that we dedicate a whole post? Well, Spanish verb GUSTAR is conjugated differently than other regular -ar verbs. It is not conjugated in relation with the direct object, that works as a subject in the sentence. (Don’t panic!) 🙂 That means in Spanish the verb GUSTAR depends on “what you like” and not on the person who likes.

So there is only two possible conjugations for gustar when we talk about things we like: singular o plural. Examples:

– Me gusta el verano.

– Me gustan las playas.

playas-sorolla
This is a painting of Sorolla, one of the best Impressionist painters in Spain.

Instead of thinking in GUSTAR as “I like this or that…” we have to get it more like “something is pleasing to me”. So “el verano” and “las playas” which are apparently direct objects in the sentence, are in fact the subjects. To here everything is easy, right?

Lets go for the next step. What is “ME” in those sentences? Well, me is an indirect object pronoun referred to myself (in this case “me” is first person in Spanish). In sentences with Gustar and other verbs that works like it, people who apparently are the subjects are in fact the Indirect object. Again understanding verb GUSTAR as “something is pleasing to someone”. Lets see a box that help us to understand this point:

indirect-object-pronouns

Please do not mix up these Indirect Object Pronouns with the Reflexive Pronouns like “ella se levanta” (she wakes up).

An example of short dialogues:

– A mí me gustan las playas del norte de España. ¿Y a ti?
– A mí también, ¡me encanta el verano!

– A nosotros nos gusta la montaña. ¿Y a vosotros?
Nos gustan los Pirineos y las playas del sur. 

As we see in these dialogues, first column of the box it is only used when we want to emphasise the Indirect Objects. But with the pronouns is enough. 🙂

When the thing liked is not a thing but an action we use always singular:

Me gusta comer en España.

Nos gusta estudiar idiomas.

Other verbs that works like “gustar”

As you can see in the box, there are many verbs that works like verb GUSTAR:

Encantar: To love something
¡Me encanta el verano!
Interesar:  To be interested in something
Me interesan los deportes.
Parecer interesante: To find something interesting
Me parece interesante la acupuntura. 

We like July and summer is for languages! If you like this post subscribe to our mailing list scrolling down the HOME page where you can find a simple subscribe box. Are you reading this lying in a hammock of your bungalow? 🙂 Don’t miss the opportunity to learn Spanish everywhere… even during your holidays! 🙂

Happy summer to everyone.

¡Feliz verano!

Spanish verb TENER: an introduction

Today’s lesson is about learning some basic uses of the Spanish verb TENER. Always from a useful way to learn, we try to give you some tips to start using this verb today… Practice is the best teacher! 🙂

This is one of the most common irregular verbs in Spanish. We saw one of its uses a few weeks before when we studied How To Introduce Ourselves in Spanish. We used it to say how old we are. But this is only one of the very first and basic uses.

Lets see first how we conjugate the present of verb TENER:

verbo-tener-presente

 

Basic uses of Spanish verb TENER:
Usos básicos del verbo TENER

1.  TELL THE AGE:
DECIR LA EDAD

– ¿Cuántos años tienes?
How old are you?
– Tengo 27 años, ¿y tú?
I’m 27 years old, and you?

2.  POSSESSIONS OR RELATIVES
HABLAR DE POSESIONES O PARENTESCOS

¿Tienes algún hermano?
Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Tengo una casa bastante grande.
I have a very big house.

Tengo una cita con el médico el miércoles.
I have a medical appointment on Wednesday.

3. TO EXPRESS PHYSICAL SENSATIONS AND FEELINGS*
EXPRESAR ESTADOS FÍSICOS O SENSACIONES

En esta casa siempre tengo frío. (yo)
I’m always cold in this house.

Por la noche siempre tiene sed. (él o ella)
He is always thirsty at night.

¿No tienes hambre todavía? (tú)
Aren’t you hungry yet?

4. DESCRIBING PLACES, THINGS OR PEOPLE
DESCRIBIR LUGARES, COSAS O PERSONAS

El Museo del Prado tiene cuadros muy famosos.
Prado Museum has very famous paintings.

Madrid tiene barrios muy bonitos.
Madrid has really nice boroughs.

Este edificio tiene por lo menos 20 pisos.
This building has 20 floors at least.

Las islas Canarias tienen buen tiempo todo el año.
Canary Island have a good weather the whole year.

¿Tu ciudad tiene carril bici?
Does your city have bicycle path?

El piso tiene tres habitaciones y dos baños. Tiene mucha luz por el día.
It is a three bedroom flat with two toilets. It is very luminous during the day.

*BONUS TRACK FOR YOUNG WILD BOARS!!!
Más información, ¡sólo para jabatos! 

If you read till here that means you are now an expert with the Spanish verb TENER basic uses! So now get ready to learn more expressions about useful Spanish. As we see in the third point, there are a lot of idiomatic expressions with verb TENER. An idiomatic expression is something that cannot be literally translated into other language. For example in English to be “on the go” if we translate it literally into Spanish doesn’t have the same meaning. Same in Spanish! Lets see an example:

Idiomatic expression: Tengo frío.
Literally: I have cold.
True Meaning: I’m cold.

Many other idiomatic expressions in Spanish to express physical sensations:

Tener sed   To be thirsty
Tener calor o frío   To be hot or cold
Tener hambre   To be hungry
Tener sueño  To be sleepy
Tener dolor   To hurt

Also many other to express psychological sensations:

Tener miedo   To be afraid
Tener cuidado   To be careful
Tener confianza   To be confident
Tener prisa   To be in a hurry
Tener vergüenza   To be ashamed
Tener razón   To be right
Tener éxito   To be successful
Tener la culpa   To be guilty
Tener suerte   To be lucky
Tener ganas de… To feel like

Do you think you were a beginner? Not at all! Start using these expressions today and your Spanish will sound natural!

We will see more uses of the verb TENER in future posts!

Asking for permission in Spanish

pedir permiso en español - asking for permission in spanish

The verb PODER in Spanish is an irregular modal verb. It is one of the most used, you can use it for everyday situations and you can start practicing now! Mostly when you travel… keep reading! 
verbo-poder-pedir-permiso

verbo PODER + infinitivo

Poder is a modal verb in Spanish. Its English version is “can” or “could”. Poder works as an auxiliary verb and in Spanish it is always followed by an infinitive.

We use this construction poder+ infinitivo to ask for permission in Spanish. Keep it in mind because it is a very common expression when you travel. You ask for permission almost for everything! Lets see some of these situations in real contexts:

• Particular situations in which you ask for permission to do something specific (PERSONAL):

¿Puedo pasar?
Can I go in?

¿Puedo fumar?
Can I smoke?

¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta de crédito?
Can I pay with credit card?

¿Puede traer la cuenta por favor?
Can I have the bill?

¿Puedo entrar con el perro?
Can I enter with the dog?

¿Me puede dejar un bolígrafo y un papel?
Can I have a pen and a paper?

• When you ask if something is allowed or not (IMPERSONAL): In general situations we use the pronoun “se” when we don’t want the questions sound personal. It still has the same meaning though, it is just another way to ask for permission:

¿Se puede fumar? (IMPERSONAL)

¿Se puede pagar con tarjeta? (IMPERSONAL)

Other forms of courtesy when asking for permission in Spanish:

• Don’t you mind if…

¿Te/Le importa/molesta si + presente de indicativo?
Ejemplo:
¿Le importa si fumo?
Don’t you mind if I smoke?

• May I…

¿Me permite/permites + infinitivo?
Ejemplo:
¿Me permites fumar?
May I smoke?

 

Other uses of the verb PODER are:

• Abilities:

¿Puedes tocar la guitarra?
Can you play the guitar?

• Petitions:

¿Podrías tocar la guitarra, por favor?
Could you please play the guitar?

• To be able to:

No puedo ir al cine, estoy ocupado.
I cannot go to the cinema, I’m very busy.

• To suggest something:

¡Podemos ir a la fiesta juntos!
We can go to the party together!

Keep learning Spanish any time any where!

¡En esta web se puede aprender español!

Looking for Spanish native teacher in Malta?

For those who don’t know me yet, my name is Julia Morer and I teach Spanish as a foreign language to adults. I hold a Certificate in Teaching Languages – CLTA: Spanish (ELE: Español como Lengua Extranjera in Spanish). Teaching Spanish is a satisfying experience because we can share our knowledge and talents with others, especially in other countries. Now I’m located in Malta and I give Spanish lessons in Malta. Malta is normally a destination where people come to study English, but you will be surprised at how many people are interested in learning Spanish too. My particular interest is to expand the Spanish and SouthAmerican culture in Malta, motivating the students to a practical usage of Spanish language. Malta and Spain were very connected in the past. Hey, don’t take this the wrong way, I don’t say anything related to football! 😉  I mean, long time ago, when Malta and Spain used to belong to the same territory.

{If you keep reading my article after this bad joke that says a lot about you. 🙂 }

Do you need a Spanish native teacher in Malta?

I was born in Zaragoza (Spain) and I received my degree at the International House Madrid an Accredited Centre of the Instituto Cervantes, which is the world’s largest institution dedicated to the teaching of the Spanish Language. The centre meets certain quality standards in teaching languages and has legal requirements for carrying out teaching activities and has got adequate teaching resources. This degree enables me to teach Spanish as a second language to adults. It certifies that I have the skills, knowledge and hands-on teaching practice, requirements to be a successful Spanish language teacher.

Even if you live in Malta you still can choose the Spanish Skype lessons option if is more convenient for you. But living here you can also have spanish lessons face-to-face either at my place or at yours. I offer creative materials and very dynamic lessons. I promise you won’t get bored. 🙂 I tailor the lessons focusing on your goals and all the courses are customised depending on your needs. All the courses are detailed here.

If you want to know the teacher better either click here to see the whole biography or book a free trial lesson in order to have the first contact.

Thank you and don’t let the idea of studying Spanish fly away! It is never too late! 🙂

Contact me on my social media profiles:
Twitter
Google+
Facebook
Linkedin

How this website works? Spanish Grammar

Hello to all my friends and students:

Today I want to explain how this website works. As you can see in the Home Menu there a few labels where you can start your Spanish learning. Apart from the option of booking Spanish classes either via Skype or private lessons, I offer free access to Grammar resources to every visitors’ profile:

– Students who are already attending my lessons and want to complete some theory or review some grammar topics.

– People that already have a good level in Spanish and they want to follow my Spanish learning blog and keep learning without schedule, from the computer, tablet or smartphone.

– Teachers like me who are looking for some material on Internet to complete their lessons.

To all of you, I will be posting very often in order to keep you updated with all the new subjects and topics that are coming up. Languages keep on changing everyday, so we must be on alert. 🙂
Also if you have an idea of any topic you want to go deep in to, you can mail me and tell me about your proposal. All the contributions are welcome!

All the posts in label “Grammar Basics” are sorted by levels. From A1 to C2, I follow the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages to classify all these contents.

"Sin Título" - Chema Madoz
“Sin Título” – Chema Madoz

Since I don’t know if the visitor is a beginner or an intermediate student, I decided to write all posts in both languages: Spanish and English. Spanish for those who either have a good level of Spanish already or want to immerse totally in the foreign language since the very beginning. Also all the contents are available in English too, making Spanish Grammar easier to understand for everyone.

If you are not sure about your Spanish level contact me and I will text your level for free.

See you in future posts… 🙂

10 tips to Introduce yourself in Spanish!

Imagine your first day in a Spanish class or the first time you meet a Spanish speaker… You will be asking each other about names, professions, age (not always!) and a few basic questions about yourselves. Also it is useful when you face situations in a foreign country. Remember… trying to speak with the locals is the best way to learn a new language!

Here there are some tips to introduce yourself in Spanish:

1. BEST BEGINNINGS: TIME OF THE DAY?
Start your chat with a proper greeting: buenos días, buenas tardes, buenas noches. In Spain we say Buenos días till 13:00pm more or less, then we say Buenas tardes from 14:00pm and from 20:00 or 21:00 pm we say Buenas noches (not only for going to sleep).
saludos en español2. WHAT’S YOUR NAME? Introduce yourselves with verb LLAMARSE or verb SER.
In Spanish we use either “llamarse” or “ser” to introduce ourselves.

  • ¿Cómo te llamas?
       What’s your name?
  • Me llamo Julia. ¿Y tú? // Yo soy Julia, ¿y tú?
       My name is Julia, and yours? // I am Julia, and you?
  • Yo me llamo Claudia. // Yo soy Claudia.
       My name is Claudia. // I am Claudia.


3. PLACE OF BIRTH:
In Spanish we use also the verb SER (To be) to ask about the birthplace.

  • ¿De dónde eres?
    Where are you from?
  • Yo soy española, ¿y tú? // Soy de España.
    I am Spanish, and you? // I am from Spain.


4. ASKING ABOUT PROFESSION with verb TRABAJAR: 

  • ¿En qué trabajas?
    What is your job?
  • Soy profesora de español, ¿y tú?
    I am Spanish teacher, and you?


5. HOW OLD ARE YOU? With verb TENER:
Be careful because sometimes is rude to ask this question, but you will see in which situations you can do it naturally. Anyway I give you this information because it is a basic question when you meet someone and it might be useful for your learning. We use verb TENER to speak about age:

  • ¿Cuántos años tienes?
    How old are you?
  • Tengo 32 años, ¿y tú?
    I am 32 years old, and you?


6. WHEN YOU MISUNDERSTAND SOMETHING with verb ENTENDER.
When we don’t understand something there is an easy way to say it:

  • Perdona, no entiendo.
    Excuse me, I don’t understand.


7. ASKING ABOUT THE MEANING OF A WORD with the verb SIGNIFICAR.
You see a heard a word and you don’t know the meaning? Don’t be shy and ask for it! It is easy and you will show interest and motivation.

  • ¿Qué significa “vale”?
    What does “vale” mean?


8. TO EXPRESS AN OPINION ABOUT SOMETHING: 

  • Yo creo que “vale” significa “OK”.
    I think “vale” means “OK”.


9. ASKING FOR DIRECTIONS OR LOCATION

  • ¿Dónde está el baño, por favor?
    Where is the toilet please?


10. GRAMMAR BITES! … FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO KNOW MORE 🙂

  • “Presentarse” and “llamarse” are pronominal verbs because we are introducing ourselves and without the pronoun “SE” at the end of the word these verbs will have different meanings.

Here in the drawing you have some sentences for the first day of class. To speak with me or with your colleagues in the classroom you can use the examples below:


presentaciones-espanol

Do you want to learn more about presentations? Check verbo SER post!