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

Monday, June 30, 2014

Activities 30/06 - 06/07

This week we have lots of great things going on with the language school, why not join us for the cookery class on Tuesday and learn how to make the perfect Spanish omelette (it's harder than just egg and potatoes!) or to see the views from the Cathedral on Wednesday. Try your hand at basketball on Thursday at one of the many outdoor courts here in Salamanca, Friday come along to visit some of the best tapas bars in town and with two excursions to Segovia and the beach this weekend you aren't spoilt for choice!

Monday 30th: Tour of the Cathedral gardens. Come to visit the beautiful gardens of Calixto and Melibea and see the views they have to offer. Meeting place: Tía Tula 18:00. Duration 30 min.

Tuesday 1st July: Cookery class. Come and learn how to make the famous Spanish omelette together with another tapas dish. After we've made our dishes naturally we get to eat them as well! Meeting place: Tía Tula 19:30, duration 1h.

Wednesday 2nd: Cathedral Visit. We are going on a tour of the medieval towers of the cathedral that offers a look at the Old Cathedral with its impressive altarpiece and the New Cathedral from within. Meeting place: Tía Tula 18:30, duration 1h.

Thursday 3rd: Sports. Come with us for a friendly game of basketball at one of the cities many great outdoor courts. Don't worry if you don't think you are very good, it's only a bit of fun! Meeting place: Tía Tula 19:30, Duration 1h30.

Friday 4th: Tapas Tour. Today we will be taking you on a little tour of some of the best tapas bars around the city. Come and sample some of the local delicacies whilst practising your Spanish and having a drink or two! Meeting place: Tía Tula 19:30, duration 1h30.

Saturday 5th: Excursion. Today we will be taking people to Segovia Avila. Come to see a different city and a different side to Spanish culture for the day in Segovia. It is essential that you sign up before Wednesday 2nd July. For more information contact reception.

Sunday 6th: Excursion. Spend your Sunday lazing on the beach in Portual soaking up some sun! If you want a chance to get out of the city and feel some sea air on your face then this trip is for you! It is essential that you sign up before Wednesday 2nd July. For more information contact reception.

*NOTE: It is helpful if you make a reservation with the secretary first for any of the activities. Minimum 3 people per activity (unless otherwise stated).

¡Buenos Días!

Hi there! My name is Joe and I have just started the intern programme at Tía Tula in Salamanca, and have had a great time in my first few days! I am undertaking the intern programme here as part of my year abroad for my 3rd year of university studies. As well as gaining experience working in a different culture and in an office environment, I am here to improve my communication, marketing and of course my Spanish language skills!

I arrived on Sunday evening and was met at my student flat by the landlord and introduced to my other flatmates. All were really friendly and welcoming and I instantly felt at home. The flat is perfectly situated behind the church of 'San Juan de Sahagun,'  just off the 'Calle de Toro' (the street of bulls) which is the main shopping street in the city centre and less than a ten minute walk to the language school!

Tía Tula is a fairly small language school with small class sizes, and for that it reason it has a close 'family' feel to it. With lots of young teachers and students of all ages it's easy to meet new like-minded people! Everyone is very friendly and helpful and always willing to stop what they are doing to give you a hand if you have any problems. I haven't once felt bed for asking a question, even if it's something as simple as 'where's a good place to get breakfast?' (there is a great little pastry shop just across the road from the school that sells all kinds of amazing croissants!)

Though I have been here less than a week I already feel settled in Salamanca. It is a small city, thus easy to get everywhere on foot, with lots of impressive architecture, a rich history and a great nightlife there are all kinds of things to explore and discover here! The people here are very friendly and easy to talk to, and will always try and help if they see you struggling with a word or phrase. Further to this Salamanca has the purist form of spoken Spanish in Spain with no regional accent to confuse you!

I will be here for the next three months and will do my best to give you an insight into some of the fun things to do Salamanca that has on offer, as well as a bit of Spanish culture and history. Until then, ¡hasta pronto!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Activities 16/06-22/06

Do you want to cool a little in the swimming pool and then lie in the sun? You have such opportunity and there is no need to go far from city. Are you interested to know more about Salamanca, let’s go on Tuesday and you’ll discover something new! And don’t forget to try a wide variety of tapas on Thursday. On Friday we are going to mini theater and I promise it will be incredible. In the weekends you have two excursions (with the Maria Angeles company) for any taste. All the best!

Monday 16, 16.00: Pool - spend the afternoon in the one of the city swimming pools. Swimming and playing cards. Approximate duration: 3 hours. (Price: € 3.35).

Tuesday 17, 19.00: Guided tour - Someone from the school will accompany us to visit the most important monuments of the city while telling its story. Aproxiamda Duration: 1h.

Wednesday 18, 17.00: Boat Ride - We will take a boat ride on the River Tormes (pedal boats or rowing). Approximate duration: 1h. (Price: 3,50 €).

Thursday 19, 19.00: Taste Tapas - Paella, Spanish (potato) omelet, Galician pasty… different taste typical tapas in Spain. Minimum 10 people for the activity. Approximate duration: 1h (price: 5 €).

Friday 20, 19:30: Mini-theater - We will approach the area of  La Malhablada for watching mini theater scenes in Spanish. Approximate length: 30min. (Price: 3 €).

Saturday 21: Excursion - visit the cities of the border with Maria Angeles company. You must sign up before the 19th Thursday of June (For more information ask secretary).

Sunday 22: Excursion - We go to the beach in Aveiro (Portugal) with the company María Angeles. You must sign  up before the 19th Thursday of June. (For more information ask secretary).

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.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

In search of the best quote about foreign language learning

We love quotes about foreign language learning. What can we do about it? It’s a weakness of ours. So we have thought: “Why don’t we put up a list of the best ones?”. No sooner said than done, here you are. Please, read them all. You will see why we love foreign language learning quotes.

We ended up with 14 quotes. A bad number, a number we don’t like. Your typical list post has 10, 12, 15… points: “The 10 best quotes about foreign language learning”, “12 inspiring quotes about languages”… But we came up with 14, so we have decided to get rid of two of them. Now, which two? We also need to figure out how to arrange them… Here’s our solution: the ‘ask the audience’ card. We are going to ask everybody in the school –teachers, students and staff- to vote for the three favourites: the most voted one will be the first, followed by the next two. This way we will be able to use this title for our next post, which will feature the results of our survey: “The best quote about foreign language learning”. Who can resist such a title?

Are you game? The more people join, the merrier. You can submit your vote (your three favourites) via Facebook, Twitter, or the comments sections below.

The results will be published in a few days.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart” - Nelson Mandela, South African politician and Nobel Peace Prize laureate

“A different language is a different vision of life” – Federico Fellini, film director and scriptwriter

“To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world” – Chinese proverb

 “You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once” – Czech proverb

“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going” – Rita Mae Brown, American writer

“To have another language is to possess a second soul” – Charlemagne, medieval emperor

“Our language is the reflection of ourselves. A language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers” – Cesar Chavez, American civil rights activist

“Learning a foreign language not only reveals how other societies think and feel, what they have experienced and value, and how they express themselves, it also provides a cultural mirror in which we can more clearly see our own society” – Edward Lee Gorsuch, former chancellor of the University of Alaska

“Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and statesman

“You can never understand one language until you understand at least two” – Geoffrey Willans, English author and journalist

“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way” – Frank Smith, American psycholinguist

“If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world” - Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian-British philosopher

“Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom” – Roger Bacon, English philosopher

“One who speaks only one language is one person, but one who speaks two languages is two people” - Turkish proverb

“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things” - Flora Lewis, American journalist

“Language is not a genetic gift, it is a social gift. Learning a new language is becoming a member of the club –the community of speakers of that language” – Frank Smith, American psycholinguist

“Learning a new language is like starting a new life” – Michel Bouthot, teacher and multidisciplinary artist

 “Speak a new language so that the world will be a new world” – Rumi, Persian poet

“Langague shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about” – Benjamin Lee Whorf, American linguist

“We should learn languages because language is the only thing worth knowing even poorly” – Kató Lomb, Hungarian interpreter and translator

 “It is literally the case that learning languages makes you smarter. The neural networks in the brain strengthen as a result of language learning” – Michael Gove, British politician

“The most intimate temper of a people, its deepest soul, is above all in its language” – Jules Michelet, French historian

Check out the Spanish version of this article

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Activities 09/06-14/06

This week full of shows, fun and many other unusual things to do. Besides of the 12th of June, 
it´s a great holiday of San Juan, the  patron of the city, there will be street shows, cinema, tapas route and excursion to Oporto. Wish you a good week!

Monday  09, 17.45 – STREET SHOW.
Traut 'The McKensy's Clan Band' 
A group of eccentric Scottish passing through the streets with bagpipes timbales and drums. Their passage presume is  a spectacle which has an humor, surprise and magic of music. Thus, their march through the city becomes a work of street theater and comedy improvisation.

Tuesday 10, 19. 50 – STREET SHOW.
Brincadeira 'Street Dance'. 
The Catalans company walk through the main streets with their dynamic percussion show, in which the choreography and rhythms evolve constantly into a real party where the audience participates in bulk, dancing, cheering and applauding the percussionists. 
Meeting point: Tia Tula - Approximate Length: 30 min.

Wednesday  11, 20.00 – TAPAS ROUTE.
With the theme of gastronomic event, we will go to one of the participating café to sample and vote on their culinary proposals: "el pincho fácil" we should have any ingredient in yellow, the color that defines this year's Festival poster image. 
Price: Your Eating (+ - 6 €) 
Meeting point: Tia Tula - Approximate duration: 1:30

Thursday  12, HOLIDAY.
There will be fireworks the night of 11 June at 22h45 by the Roman bridge. I recommend them.
It is the feast of San Juan of Sahagún, patron of the city. There are no classes in the morning.

Friday  13, 12.00-16.30 –CINEMA.
Pan's Labyrinth by  Guillermo del Toro (2006) 
In 1944 fascist Spain, a 13 years old 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 tell her she's a princess, but must prove her royalty. If she fails, she will never see her real father, the king, again. 
Location: Tia Tula - Film Duration: 112 min.

Saturday 14 -EXCURSION
Oporto (with Viamar company) 
You need join before the 11th June on Wensday. 
For more information ask at secretariat.

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, June 5, 2014

10 tips for effective language learning

Learning a new language opens the door to other cultures, knowledge and places; however, the study process sometimes becomes boring and complicated, which may result so demoralizing that one loses all interest. A non-optimal learning method is often to blame: timewise inefficient, focused on topics uninteresting to the student, or centered on theoretical aspects.

At Tía Tula we want you to be successful in your learning and to enjoy in the process, too. Here is a list with 10 useful tips on how to accomplish these goals:

1. Take it calmly and be tenacious. Miracles don’t exist and neither do miraculous methods. Learning a language well demands time and effort. This may sound hard, but it is actually the best part of the process. Remember, big efforts lead to big rewards. 

2. Make mistakes. Don’t be afraid of getting some things wrong when talking to native speakers or your language teacher. You will be learning something new every time they correct you. This is, without a doubt, the best way to make a new word, expression or gramatical structure stick. Repetition is key. 

3. Take advantage of new technologies. A great load of materials can be found on the Internet for you to deepen your learning. For instance, online media, forums, documentaries, podcasts… Smartphones also make a great study tool; there is a good number of useful apps ready for you to download. 

4. Don’t despair. If you can’t remember something, don’t get demoralized, you will have more chances. Language is learnt by means of repetitive and contextualized usage, resulting in a much more fluent and natural ability to communicate.  

5. Converse with native speakers. Sound is the most primitive form of language; babies transmit their first words through their voice. Consequently, speaking is the most natural way to learn a language. Also, conversing with natives helps expression and comprehension and improves your accent and rhythm in the language. 

6. Organize your time wisely. If you study a little bit everyday, rather than studying for long periods with a lot of inactivity time, you will assimilate more. This is firstly because the human brain has a concentration span of about a couple of hours; therefore, after that time, your study becomes less fruitful. And secondly, the less time between sessions, the less you will forget what you have previously learnt; in other words, this way you will get a deeper immersion in the language.

7. Know the culture. According to Rita Mae Brown: “Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going” (Starting from Scratch, 1988). We are convinced that it also works in the opposite direction: knowing a culture, its customes, and way of thinking is great for learning a language in depth. 

8. Don’t worry about your accent. Your goal doesn’t need to be sounding like a native, but managing to be easily understood. This has to do with the rhythm and intonation of the language. Pay attention to the ‘melody’ of native speech and try to mimic it.  

9. Stay away from literal translation. Don’t look for an absolute equivalence between two languages, not even when it looks like a ‘literal translation’; for instance, ‘breakfast’ doesn’t have the same meaning as desayuno in Spanish since the concept draws differently in the minds of native Spanish speakers and native English speakers (it has different cultural implications: time, what it consists of…).  That’s why, as we mentioned on tip number 7, we advise you to learn a language from its roots.

10. Have fun! We encourage you to read, write, converse and listen to the language you are learning; but most of all, have a good time and enjoy the process. 

So what are you waiting for to put these ten golden rules into practice?

In case you haven’t noticed, one can easily draw the conclusion that the best way to learn a language, or to work towards its mastery,  is a linguistic immersion, of shorter or longer duration, in a country where your target language is the only or main one. It’s not us saying it: experts agree. And deep down everybody knows…

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Let´s see what we can watch during this week. Here we have some films that could be interesting for you:

The first in my list is “Divergent”.  I watched it in Spanish to practice and I think it’s a good idea because you don’t need a perfect language in movies with all that action. The movie is based on the book by Veronica Roth. The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic Chicago where people divide themselves into five groups based on their talents: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, Erudite. The main character is Beatrice sixteen-year-old girl. After the Choosing Day she became the one of the Dauntless. So she has to live without her family. But a good point that she meets her instructor and falls in love with him. Beatrice needs to practice more to stay in, otherwise she’ll be homeless.  And more she has to survive and save people. Guess what happens in the end and why the film is so famous by going to the cinema.
And the second one is a world-wide famous, dramatic and historical. It won an Oscar. It’s titled "12 Years a Slave". The film is based on an incredible true story of a man’s fight to win his freedom. Three prizes were taken merited because of its talented cast, director and soulful, heart-rending story.  No doubt, it’s very hard to watch especially some of scenes of cruel behavior of humanity. Its striking deep history will force you to reflect. No words, just… bravo!


Monday, June 2, 2014

Activities 02/06-07/06

Oh! At last, we have a nice weather! This week is full of fun and entertaining activities to do! You can combine two things in one time like eating ice-cream and buying something in the open market. If you addicted to the cars you should visit the exhibition which dedicated to vehicles. For an art-loving you can also see the streets of graphic art in Salamanca. To try a lot of seafood in the Paco´s grocery you may in Thursday. And as a great ending of the week you can choose between Santiago or Arribes del Duero Natural Park. Disfrutad)

Monday  02, 17.30 – ICE-CREAM+FLEA MARKET 
Will buy an ice-cream at the famous ice-cream parlour “Novelty” and there we will see the market in the square of Bandos. 
Location: Tía Tula. Price: 2-3 €.
Approximate Time: 45 min

Tuesday 03, 17.00 – AUTOMOTIVE  MUSEUM 

A permanent exhibition with more than 90 vehicles on display, allowing us to follow the evolution of automotive design since the first attempts of mechanization in the first century B.C. to the present.
Meeting point: Tia Tula - Approximate duration: 1h

Wednesday 04, 17.30 – URBAN EXPOSURE
Let's take a walk through the streets of the west area to see the different urban projects. Young people decorated garages and roller blinds and some elements of street furniture. Make a montage with photos you will do to place it on the Tia Tula Facebook.
Meeting point: Tia Tula - Approximate duration: 1h

Thursday 05, 20.00 – PULPERIA
Octopus, mussels, prawns ... a variety of seafood that can be taken in the grocery Paco. 
Price: ≈6€  Meeting point: Tia Tula - Approximate duration: 1h

Friday 06, 21.00 - TALES FOR ADULTS
Maria Fraile: stories of Eve and other moons. In the place Al_Margen. 
Price: € 4 (anticipatory) or 6 € (box office) 
Meeting point: Tia Tula.  Approximate duration: 1.30

Saturday 07- EXCURSION
SANTIAGO / Lisbon, Sintra and Cascais (to choose with the company Viamar) 
Arribes del Duero Natural Park (with SmartAdvices agency) 
You need join before the 5th June on THURSDAY. 
For more information ask at secretariat.

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.