New Year New Things

So, when I studied abroad in Argentina (I can’t believe that was 6 years ago now!), I decided to take a Portuguese class.  No, I wasn’t thinking clearly.  And after one semester of a class that met once a week for three hours at a time, I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.  Not that I didn’t like the language, as a matter of fact, I loved it.  But taking a third language in your second language isn’t such a bright idea.  

I don’t ever remember being so tired.  After those classes my brain would be fried.  If I didn’t know a word in Spanish, then I couldn’t learn what it was in Portuguese….what I needed was a English/Spanish/Portuguese dictionary.  I remember taking the oral exam at the end of the semester.  My best friend was my partner and near the end of the exam, we didn’t know if the professor was speaking Portuguese or Spanish….but we made it through and did well.

Now, six years later I’ve decided to give Portuguese another chance.  And I’ve learned that I can really understand it pretty well, but the pronunciation is very different from Spanish and has a very nasal sound at times.  I’ve really enjoyed it so far and hope to practice it a lot this year!

What new things have you started in 2014?



What are you doing?

To tell what we ‘are doing’ right now in Spanish we use the Present Progressive.

It’s formed by using ESTAR in the Present Tense + (the gerund) AR-ando and IR/ER- iendo (or yendo)

Estar- to be

yo estoy
tú estás
él está

nosotros estamos
ellos están


El rana está leyendo el libro.
(The frog is reading the book).


What are you doing?

la frase de la semana (Phrase of the Week)

La gata está adentro de la caja.
(The cat is inside the box)

cat in boxbox-cat-kitten-double
La gata está afuera de la caja.
(The cat is outside the box)

Practice using these phrases with the verb ESTAR- to be

Por ejemplo:
(For example)

ESTAR- to be

yo estoy (I am)
tú estás (You are)
él está (He is)
ella está (She is)
Usted está (You formal are)

Nosotros/as estamos (We are)
Ellos están (They masculine are)
Ellas están (They feminine are)

We are inside the house.
Estamos adentro de la casa.

She is inside the store.
Ella está adentro de la tienda.

I am outside (of) the city.
Estoy afuera de la cuidad.

I saw the sign

While studying abroad in Córdoba, Argentina, we had the opportunity to travel around the country during our free time.  As we traveled, I began to notice the signage; bus stops, cross walks, graffiti, and translated signs.  In highly trafficked tourist areas there were many signs in various languages.  In these places I noticed that the signs translated from Spanish to English, were not always translated correctly, which made me wonder, how often do we also make those mistakes?  However, although some words were missing, one could understand the message!

Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4

That ‘new-fangled’ internet

exam-preparation I guess in all reality I should admit that I am getting older. And yes, yes before I hear the backlash, I know that I am not old, but I’ve noticed that learning methods and things I used to do in school are not done (or are done minimally) anymore. Now, I know that I was spoiled because we could and did use the internet for research, but I do remember the card catalogue days! But I know that my students today rarely use a textbook and do most (if not all) their work on a computer and submit assignments over the internet.

I am glad that I didn’t have to do this when I was in school. I know I would have struggled with doing everything on the computer. Given the opportunity, I would choose to write something down before I type it. And I am one of those ‘old-fashioned’ people who still has a daily agenda and doesn’t program my schedule into my phone. But the great thing about all the computers and the internet is we are so easily connected! Especially during this time of year, when everyone is cramming for exams, the computer makes even tutoring convenient!

So, we’re offering Skype tutoring sessions for all subjects for $35.00 p/hr. Now until May 20 you can book 3 sessions at a 10% discount!

It will save you a lot of time and some green and we all can use a little of that!

The Elf and the Doctor


There once was a little Elf. He was so silly, always running around from place to place. When people asked him, where he lived he always replied, “Everywhere!” To which they would inquire, “Now, where is that located??” One moment he’d be happy, the next he’d be sad–he was an emotional little fellow. He scared easily, laughed easily, cried easily, and was never afraid to express his feelings. He always made sure if he made changes they were temporary.

One day he met the Doctor. The Doctor wasn’t like him at all. He was always described as “tall, dark, and handsome”–great characteristics in a man! He had a great occupation (you know, being a doctor), rarely left his place of origin, which of course was somewhere in New England. Unlike the Elf, the Doctor was always on time and attended church regularly, his religion was very important to him. And if he did change something in his routine he changed it permanently.

A little story to help remember the difference between SER and ESTAR

SER- to be
yo soy
tú eres
él es
nosotros somos
vosotros soís
ellos son
Used for (Permanent):


ESTAR- to be
yo estoy
tú estás
él está
nosotros estamos
vosotros estaís
ellos están

Used for (Temporary):


el amor

Iced Strawberry Hearts

¡Feliz Día de los Enamorados! o (Día de San Valentín) o (Día de los Novios)!

With love on the brain today I thought I would share some new vocabulary!

el amor- love

los chocolates- chocolates

los dulces- sweets

el corazón- heart

el novio- boyfriend

la novia- girlfriend

las rosas- roses

las flores- flowers

las joyas- jewels

el anillo- ring

el collar- necklace

¡Qué tengas un buen día!