The Spanish Language Blog

This blog is dedicated to anyone interested in Spanish language and culture.

Learn what it’s like to study abroad, get news information and find resources to practice Spanish, get information about our courses and programs, meet our students and teachers as well as get useful tips and advice for travelling in Spain or Latin America.

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One Easy Trick to Master Spanish Vowel Sounds

by suzanne.pope on Monday, March 27, 2017

As a native English speaker, I struggled with Spanish pronunciation, so when I finally learned to pronounce the vowels correctly my Spanish became much clearer and easier to understand. It was an "Aha" moment when I learned this one simple trick! Vowel sounds are common issues for non-native speakers, so I'm going to let you in on a little secret… Spanish pronunciation, especially vowel sounds, is so much easier than many other languages! Every vowel has one sound. Lucky for us there is an easy way to remember them.

I frequently mispronounced common words including simple Spanish names, which made conversation difficult at times – I was so frustrated with myself! One day a friend interrupted me, "Mira, look, I am going to show you something. Spanish vowels are incredibly easy, it’s English vowels that are difficult! Our vowels are always pronounced the same. Open your mouth wide and repeat A - E - I – O - U." Spanish vowels are incredibly important, each one pronounced consciously and intentionally.

The trick is this: learn the names of the vowels and that's their sound. Moreover, the shape of the mouth goes from a big open "A" to an almost closed oval "U" as you say "A – E – I – O – U" in order. From big to small. It's easy, take a look at the video to see for yourself, listen to the pronunciation and repeat!… read more »

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A Photo Journey through Tenerife | Un viaje fotográfico por Tenerife

by suzanne.pope on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Although Tenerife is quite a remote destination in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and geographically nearer to Africa than Europe, it’s no stranger to tourism. Tourist flock to the largest Canary Island year-round for its great weather, even naming it the “Island of Eternal Spring”. So why did I go there? Well, for starters, it was an easy flight (yes, I mean cheap and only three hours) from my home in Madrid. I prefer to avoid crowds, talk to locals, go hiking and see the island, so I booked a hotel in Puerto de la Cruz near don Quijote Spanish School and rented a car. My mission (I always have a mission when I travel): find the prettiest beach...or forest…or both (spoiler, I found both).    Aunque Tenerife nos puede parecer una isla remota por su situación en el centro del Atlántico, más cercana a África que Europa, es un destino turístico muy popular. Enormes grupos de turistas acuden durante todo el año a la mayor de las Islas Canarias por su excelente tiempo, de hecho Tenerife recibe el apodo de “Isla de la eterna primavera”. ¿Por qué fui hasta allí? Bien, para empezar porque es sencillo (sí, quiero decir también “barato” y solo tres horas) volar hasta allí desde mi casa, en Madrid. Mi intención era evitar las multitudes, hablar con la gente local, hacer senderismo y ver la isla, así que reservé mi habitación en un hotel del Puerto de la Cruz cerca de la escuela de español don Quijote  y alquilé un coche. Mi misión (siempre me impongo una misión cuando viajo): encontrar la playa más bonita… o el bosque… (os lo destriparé, encontré ambos). A journey through this unique Spanish island was a great start to spring 2017. Follow my journey through some favorite photos below and leave comments or any questions you might have about traveling Spain or learning Spanish in Tenerife! Un viaje por esta isla fue una estupenda manera de comenzar la primavera de 2017. Acompáñame en mi viaje fotográfico por Tenerife ¡y no dudes en dejar tus comentarios o preguntas sobre viajar por españa y cómo aprender español en Tenerife! … read more »

Rita and Her Truck

by suzanne.pope on Monday, March 06, 2017

We met Rita in Salamanca at don Quijote Spanish School and were instantly drawn to her charismatic charm . She is a playful, friendly woman full of love for life and travel. When she told us her story featuring her big yellow truck we just had to know more. Read below for our interview with Rita and discover why she left home for the road with her trusty yellow truck. Conocimos a Rita en la escuela de español don Quijote de Salamanca y, nos encantó su carisma . Es una persona alegre y amistosa, llena de amor por la vida y por viajar. Cuando nos contó su historia y la de su camión amarillo gigante quisimos saber más. Lee esta entrevista y descubre por qué Rita dejó su casa y empezó su viaje. So tell us your story. How did you get here? ¡Cuéntanos tu historia! ¿Cómo llegaste hasta aquí? … read more »

The Burial of the Sardine and the end of Carnival!

by suzanne.pope on Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Today Carnival ends, but the crazy costumes are not packed away yet! There is one more celebration to mark the end of Carnival’s indulgences – El Entierro de la Sardina ( Burial of the Sardines). If you are studying Spanish with us in Spain or just happen to be in one of our destinations tonight, we highly recommend you check out the festivities! Here are a few of the best celebrations and where to find them. El Carnaval termina, pero las costumbres curiosas no terminan todavía. Queda una celebración para el fin del Carnaval, el entierro de la Sardina. Si estás estudiando en España o estás en alguno de nuestros destinos te recomendamos que te unas a la fiesta en…: … read more »

Q&A with IEG Founder Antonio Anadón

by suzanne.pope on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Our president and founder had his first study abroad experience at age 13, at 17 started his own business and today he runs a multinational company (with 32 campuses and over 40,000 students per year!) from two cities he calls home, Madrid and London. We wanted to know how he does it all, so earlier this week we sat down with him for interview about his habits, routine and lifestyle. So, what’s it like to run one of the biggest Spanish language company in the world? Entonces, ¿Cómo es dirigir una de las empresas de español más grandes de del mundo? … read more »

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