Tía Tula Spanish School Blog Tía Tula Spanish Language School - Salamanca 蒂亚图拉 博客 (blog de Tía Tula en chino) ティアトゥラ スペイン語学校のブログ (blog de Tía Tula en japonés) Blog van de Spaanse talenschool Tía Tula Blog da Tía Tula, Colégio de Espanhol Blog di Tía Tula, Scuola di Spagnolo Blog de l'école d'espagnol Tía Tula Tía Tula Spanish School Blog Blog de Tía Tula, Colegio de Español

Friday, August 30, 2013

A student's experience in Tia Tula and Salamanca.

Today I decided to interview fellow student at Tia Tula Japanese national Miyuki, with whom I am sharing this experience of learning Spanish at Tía Tula. I asked about her experience in Tia Tula and her general experience in Salamanca. This is what she had to say.

Me: Why do you want to learn Spanish?
Miyuki: At the University I attended in Japan, one of the courses I took was Spanish. I wanted to learn to speak fluently and so I decided to further my studies, also I enjoy practicing the language with foreigners!
Me: How long have you been studying in Spain?
Miyuki: I have been here for one year.
Me: Why did you choose Salamanca?
Miyuki:  Salamanca is known as a place where persons speak fluent, clear Castilian and it is also a city where many foreigners study. For me it is ideal, I can focus on studying among other persons pursing the same goal. Also the price of living in the city is very affordable, which provides for a good quality of life.
Me: What is your objective during your time learning Spanish in Salamanca?
Miyuki: I want to pass the DELE B2 exams, as well I want to achieve fluency and to communicate in Spanish without any problems. In Spain I have many Spanish friends, which has helped me greatly in improving my communication skills.
Me: Do you want to leave a comment for prospective students who are thinking of coming to Salamanca and enrolling in Tia Tula?

Miyuki:  The atmosphere in Tía Tula is very intimate, I always feel like I am at home! The staff makes you feel very welcome and you will make friends with other international students throughout the school.  The teachers are very kind and patient and the school also offers a variety of activities each week. Personally I definitely recommend coming to study Spanish at Tía Tula!

Thanks Miyuki!!

Interview by Noriko, student internship in Tía Tula.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Presentation of the VI Congress of the Spanish Language.

On October 20 Panama will host the VI International Congress of the Spanish Language (CILE), dedicated to "The Spanish in the book: the South Atlantic Ocean”
This is an important event to be attended by President of Panama and the King of Spain Juan Carlos, as well as, famous Writers and Scholars like Mario Vargas Llosa, Sergio Ramírez y Jorge Eduardo Ritter, Héctor Abad Faciolince, Juan Villoro, Alonso Cueto, Abel Posse y Rosa María Britton and others. The conference can also be accessed virtually on the internet by attendees and by interested persons.
This sixth edition is part of the International Conference sponsored by the Cervantes Institute, the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), the Association of Spanish Language Academies (ASALE), and the Government of Panama. The aim of this event is to reflect the current situation of Spanish language problems and strengthen the promotion and unity of language between citizens, institutions and governments. In addition there will be over two hundred Linguists and Academics from various countries including the Philippines, different states in the USA, Brazil, Japan, France, Italy and Portugal. Meetings are being organized between Ministers of Education and various Spanish speaking countries.
The conference is open to all persons who want to participate (with prior registration), so it will be a good opportunity for students and faculty of the University of Panama to join the event. This will be organized in two days, during which the public will be proposed various activities such as:
• Teacher training, to be held at the Escuela Normal Superior Juan Demóstenes Arosemena
• In addition, RAE y ASALE  will present the project Corpus of Spanish XXI Century 
(CORPES XXI), funded by the Bank of Santander and other academic portals providing new content and increased resources for those who speak Spanish as their first language.
• General Assembly of the International System of Certification of Spanish as a Foreign Language (SICELE), proposed by the Instituto Cervantes.
• Meeting to discuss future projects and outline future lines of work.
• Finally, it will discuss the theme that gives the name to the Congress: The book, i.e. everything that relates to communication, translation, the language checker, intellectual properties and copyrights among other.
It’s a perfect event for anyone who has a passion for Spanish!

Valeria, Intern in Tia Tula

Monday, August 26, 2013

Extra-curricular activities 26th - 30 August, 2013

Monday 26 August 18.00: Ice Cream and Garden visit. First we will go for ice cream in Plaza Mayor and then after we will visit and learn the history of the garden Huerto Calixto y Melibea.  Price: between 2-3€ (depending on your consumption). Meeting place: Tia Tula – Duration approximately: 1h
Tuesday 27 August 17.30: Movie – The Perfect Crime - Alex de la Iglesia (2004) Rafael is the best salesman in the biggest department store of Madrid. He is a fascinating man; all his colleagues fell in love with him. He tries to live a high-standard life. He is definitely ambitious and aspires to be the new head of sales on his floor. But he has to beat Don Antonio: the best salesman in the man wearing sector. Competition gets harder and harder, until Rafael kills Don Antonio but there is one witness to his crime.. Lourdes…Place: Tia Tula – Duration 106min.
Wednesday 28 August 18.00: Picnic. We will enjoy a picnic on the banks of Rio Tormos or in Park Jesuitas. Do not forget to bring your snacks and your desire to have fun during the games that will be proposed! Meeting point: Tia Tula – Duration approximately 1h30.
Thursday 29 August 16.30: Pool. Wear sunscreen, bring your towel and your swimsuit and let’s go chill by the pool San Jose. We will also enjoy a breathtaking view of Salamanca. Price: 3,29€. Meeting point: Tia Tula – Duration approximately 1h30
Friday 30 August 19.00: Spanish Tortilla. Come learn how to make Tortilla with potatoes and after you can eat it. Price: 6€. Meeting place: Tia Tula- Duration approximately 1h
Remember to sign up for the activity at the reception beforehand (the minimum number of people needed for each activity is 3). If the cost is not stated then the activity is free. We recommend that our students participate in the activities so they can get to know other students in the school, so they can broaden their knowledge of Spanish culture and to practice and improve their Spanish in a fun way.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Summer time and concerts in Salamanca

Last week Saturday I was out and about Salamanca enjoying various cultural events which the city has ongoing as part of its Cultural programs for the year.  This month Salamanca will be hosting two concerts every Saturday which gives me the opportunity to go out with my friends and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city.

The first concert we attended was held at The Cave of Salamanca and the group Tarantella Quartet played a mixture of Jazz, Classical and Modern renditions. The concert which started at eight lasted about an hour and we spent it taking in the sounds of Mozart and Beethoven. The venue though small had an intimate feeling and we had an enjoyable time.

After the first concert we decided to have dinner close to the Plaza Mayor while we waited on some other friends to join us for the second concert. After enjoying a delicious dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant (Salamanca has a bit of everything) we were on our way to the second concert.

The second concert was held in the Garden of Santo Domingo and started promptly at 10.30pm. The band played a mixture of Spanish music with reggae beats! They were so good that at the end of the one hour and a half performance the audience called for an encore and the band obliged!

We had an enjoyable evening attending these concerts and we are already looking forward to attending another, as well, I am looking forward to sampling some of the other events that Salamanca will be having for the summer!

Debra, student in Tia Tula

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Salamanca and surroundings. Discovering Bilbao!

Since quite some time has passed since I'm in Salamanca, last weekend I decided to visit one of the many beautiful cities that are nearby: Bilbao. Many of the people I spoke with recommended Bilbao, as well Salamanca has good transportation links with other surrounding cities so it was very easy to get there. I decided to go by train because it was very fast and very affordable.
Although it is different than Salamanca, Bilbao is a very interesting and there are plenty of things to do! When I arrived on a Saturday I walked around the old town, where there are shops of all types. The streets have that style that is typically Spain: very narrow houses, closely built next to each other with small balconies where tenants had hung flowers of different colors.
There are many old stone churches and museums. I visited the most famous, the Guggenheim Museum. Despite the long time it took to get in as it was quite crowded, it was worth the wait! The exhibition is contained on three floors, and where there is displayed modern works and movements by Pop Art Andy Warhol (with the famous image of Marilyn Monroe) with Breton and Surrealism, Picasso and many others ... On leaving I also saw the famous sculpture that looks like a spider, with many tourists waiting around to get a chance to take a photo with it.
Another museum that I visited and which I recommend is the museum of local traditions, showing dances suits, dresses old fishermen, found objects belonging to the Paleolithic period.
On Sunday at midday I decided to eat in the main square, under the arcades where you will find there are many places that offer snacks and tapas of all types. What I loved most was the city at night, many places open late and the streets are all lit, creating a special atmosphere, a mixture of an ancient and modern city.

Before returning to Salamanca on Sunday via train, I took some final moments in the city to take a walk near the river and cross the famous bridge build by architect Santiago Calatrava. On the platform that runs along the river there are many tourists and locals who take advantage of the views to either take a walk or bike

Bilbao is a city suitable for anyone who is interested in going somewhere that is easy to get around on foot, has a festive nightlife, it’s cultural and I’m certain you will have fun! I did!

Valeria, student internship in Tía Tula.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Student Activities Monday 19th - Friday 23rd August.

Monday 19th, 18.00:  El Cielo de  Salamanca. In the University Collection in one of the classrooms in the courtyard is "Cielo de Salamanca", an extraordinary mural. It is now one of the icons of Salamanca and we will go to view it. Price: € 2 Meeting point: Tia Tula - Approximate duration: 45 min.
Tuesday 20th, 17.30: Yincana. Come play this game with us to discover more about Salamanca! The winning team will be featured in an article in Tia Tula’s blog. Minimum of 2 teams of 2 persons. Meeting place: Tia Tula – Approximate duration: 1h30
Wednesday 21st, 18.00: Cave of Salamanca. Come to know the history of the ancient mystical cave of Salamanca. Meeting point: Tia Tula. Approximate duration: 45 min.
Thursday 22nd, 17:00: Movie. El Laberinto del Fauno de Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) (2006). In 1944 fascist Spain, a girl, fascinated with fairy-tales, is sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. During the night, she meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun in the center of the labyrinth… Location: Tia Tula - Movie length: 112 min
Friday 23rd, 19.00: Tapas route.  Lets go  the area of  Van Dyck for tapas (Typically an area where Salmantinos go to eat tapas) Price: + - 6 €. Meeting point: Tia Tula - Approximate duration: 1H30

Remember to sign up for the activity at the reception beforehand (the minimum number of people needed for each activity is 3). If the cost is not stated then the activity is free. We recommend that our students participate in the activities so they can get to know other students in the school, so they can broaden their knowledge of Spanish culture and to practice and improve their Spanish in a fun way.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day trip to Segovia!!

I planned to take a daytrip to Segovia with four of my companions from class.  I was unable to go purchase my ticket but my friends from school visited the bus station and they were able to purchase all the tickets for our trip to Segovia. We set off on the 8.30am bus last Saturday for our adventure in Segovia!
The bus stopped off to pick up passengers in Avila and we had a moment to view the historic Walls of Ávila. It was a beautiful sight and we are planning another day trip in the future, this time to Avila to visit this beautiful city! The bus ride to Segovia was uneventful and I was so relaxed I slept most of the way.
The bus delivered us to the terminal at around 11.30am and we headed directly to the Tourist office in the terminal to chat with the Tourist Adviser there who gave us good advice on the best route to take to visit all the monuments. If you are worried that as a student it will be difficult to correspond with the Adviser, don’t be, she also spoke flawless English.
Our first stop was the famous Roman Aqueduct which is stunning! The view of the city after climbing the steps was also gorgeous and the city is full of a well preserved historic charm. There were many tourists walking through the streets and you can hear their excited chatter in many different tongues.  We wandered through the streets after that taking in the beautiful architecture, various statues, museums and the Cathedral. Our final stop before lunch was the beautiful Alcázar of Segovia. It was originally built as a fortress but has since served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy. The castle is also one of the inspirations for Walt Disney's Cinderella Castle.  
After walking around visiting the various monuments and shops, we stopped off to buy some postcards and then decided it was time for lunch; and what better dish to try than Segovia’s famous Cochinillo Asado (Roast Suckling Pig)! My friends ordered it and said it was delicious! I don’t eat a lot of meat but the restaurant had a wide range to offer if you prefer something else. 
After a delicious lengthy lunch it was time to head back to the bus station for our return trip to Salamanca. All of us had a nap on the return journey as we were quite tired by then. We got back to Salamanca at around 10.00pm tired but happy. We had a great time!
Debra, student in Tia Tula

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Discovering Tía Tula by Yip Chan

Today we had the great privilege of receiving a beautiful gift to from a former student at Tía Tula Spanish, who studied with us for six months, and who has left his mark on each of us in the school; teachers, office staff, fellow students ... Yip we miss you!

This gift is a video that showcases Tía Tula Spanish College. A wonderful portrayal that shows the experience of taking a Spanish course at Tía Tula and studying Spanish in Salamanca as seen through his eyes and told from his own personal experience. 

Here you will see and discover who we are at Tía Tula:

Thanks Yip! We hope to see you in the future! If you do stop by Salamanca, please come visit us at Tia Tula, we have a big hug waiting for you!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Extra-curricular activities 12th - 16 August, 2013

Monday 12 August, 18:00:  Visit to the Convento de Las Dueñas.  Come with us to visit the courtyard of the Salamanca Nunnery, an Order of Dominica. You can also buy sweets manufactured and sold directly by the nuns of the convent Price: € 2. Meeting point: Tia Tula - Approximate duration: 45 min

Tuesday 13 August, 19:30: Cooking Class. Arroz Negro(with squid). You will learn how to make this Spanish dish and then you can eat it. Price: € 7 Location: Tia Tula - Approximate duration: 1H
Wednesday 14 August, 19:30: Tapas route. Come with us for Tapas in the city center. Price: + - 6 €. Meeting point: Tia Tula. Approximate duration: 1:30
Thursday 15 August: Festival: Dίa de la Asunciόn. (Ese dίa hay clase pero no hay actividad).  It is the belief, according to tradition and theology of the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church that the body and soul of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ were taken to heaven after finishing her days on earth (known as Assumption Day).
Friday 16 August, 11.00: Movie Alatriste (2006) by Agustίn Dίaz Yanes. In Imperial Spain in the seventeenth century, Diego Alatriste, a fierce soldier fighting for the Spanish cause in Flanders returns to a drastically different Spain to fulfill the dying wish of a fallen friend  Location: Tia Tula - Movie length: 140 min.

Remember to sign up for the activity at the reception beforehand (the minimum number of people needed for each activity is 3). If the cost is not stated then the activity is free. We recommend that our students participate in the activities so they can get to know other students in the school, so they can broaden their knowledge of Spanish culture and to practice and improve their Spanish in a fun way.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Learning to make Spanish paella!

One of the most famous dishes of Spanish cuisine is undoubtedly Paella. This dish is not only appreciated by the excellent combination of ingredients, but also because it is a unique dish very nutritious and healthy. I've always wanted to learn to cook Paella, but unfortunately never had the opportunity until I reached Tia Tula!
In the daily list of extracurricular activities organized by the school was a Spanish cooking class to learn how to make paella and I did not hesitate for a moment to sign up. I was so excited! What better time to learn the art of Spanish cooking! The class is held in a place that is not far from the Main Center, where the owner: Mayte very kindly entertained us during the class.

I was very happy when I heard during class that we were going to prepare Paella with fish because from the wide varieties of Paella, this is my favorite! We started by gathering and chopping, cleaning, slicing etc. all the ingredients needed to prepare the dish and once we finished this stage, Mayte began to explain, step by step, how we had to do everything, giving suggestions and practical advice.

I learned some tricks and methods that I didn’t know before. The class was very exciting and I’m happy I participated. I can’t wait to attend another so that I can learn to prepare Spanish cuisine!  Attending this class also gave me the opportunity to meet and bond with the students in Tia Tula. We had a great time attending this cooking class together and we were so happy with the results! As you can see from the photo it was delicious!  Enjoy!

Valeria, Intern at Tia Tula.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Getting familiar with Spanish Food terms!

As a newbie in Spain and with a long way to go in terms of speaking the language, one of the most intimidating things for me was trying to figure out the menus when ordering food.I would initially get pretty confused, as did some of my classmates, but my confusion has cleared up. What helped me to understand were the explanations given to me by Aline, who works at Tia Tula. Thanks Aline! 
In many of the bars and restaurants are menus written mostly on blackboards and they would have above the food offering the terms - Tapas, Pinchos, Raciones etc.  Apart from understanding that they were priced differently I had no clue as to what makes them different. Here´s what I found...
 A 'Pincho' (also known as Pintxos) comes from the verb 'pinchar', which is 'to pierce'. Pinchos for example Jamon, are traditionally pierced with a cocktail stick to attach it to a piece of bread. However, as Basque cuisine has evolved, the food is now less likely to be pierced to a piece of bread than before.

Tapa which comes from the Spanish verb ´Tapar´ which means to cover and a tapa, sometimes just a piece of bread, was used in olden days to ´cover´ one´s drink and prevent flies etc. from getting into it.

In many cities in Spain, a large plate sized portion of, for example fried potatoes (Patatas) will be called a 'ración', with a half-size portion called a 'media ración' and a quarter-size portion a 'tapa'.

If you are in Salamanca you will also see the terms Sandwiches and Bocadillos/Bocatas. There is a difference: A sandwich is made with modern-day white bread, called pan de molde whereas a Bocadillo or Bocata is made with a rustic barra de pan or baguette-style bread loaf.

If you are in Salamanca and you come across food names that had you initially puzzled but you´ve since figured it out please feel free to spread the knowledge! In the meantime enjoy the food in Spain!
Debra, Student in Tia Tula

Friday, August 2, 2013

Getting around as a Newbie in Salamanca!

Salamanca is a small city and it’s relatively easy to navigate by foot. If you are a new student arriving in Salamanca and at Tia Tula don’t worry too much because Tia Tula will give you all the information you need to start you off on a hassle free stay.
Carrying a map of the city is essential! These are easy to access and usually one is provided for you during your first day at class. I always carry my map with me. It’s falling apart right now from being so well used! A map is especially handy when you’re learning Spanish like me and you have to ask persons in the street or store for help or advice in finding a certain place or store. Thanks to this I verified that the people of Salamanca are a friendly bunch and usually a few simple words and pointing at the map will encourage some helpful advice and you will soon be on your way.

My map is also marked with the places I NEED to remember such as a newly discovered shoe store, the new hairdresser that I just found, the Art Studio that I started taking classes at and the tiny Chinese store that I go to get my wantons and oyster sauce etc. I am delighted to see that my list of preferred sites is increasing every day! Some people don’t mind wandering around without one and I do that as well. That’s when I find the most unexpected beautiful sights as I turn a unknown corner or discover the most delicious tortilla stopping off for a refreshing drink at a newly-found outdoor restaurant.

But when it’s time to head back, I whip out my trusty map and find the best route to take me to my home in Salamanca!
Debra, Student in Tia Tula