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Language Exchange Event

Fancy improving your Spanish in the comfort of a proper English pub?

Some of the Instituto Cervantes London teachers are setting up a language exchange group so that they and other Spanish expats can improve their English while helping students to use their Spanish outside the classroom.

The first meeting is being held upstairs at The Antelope, 22 Eaton Terrace, London SW1W 8EZ – a two-minute walk from the Instituto Cervantes towards Sloane Square – on Thursday November 18, from 7pm onwards.

The idea is that the meeting is informal, friendly and fun – and there’ll be no membership fees or anything like that, just a chat over a drink or two. If the first one is a success, the teachers hope to make it a regular monthly event in the New Year. The Antelope is a traditional, welcoming British boozer, with a reputation for serving a selection of well-kept ales.

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¿Te apetece practicar tu inglés en un tradicional pub británico?

Los profesores del  Instituto Cervantes de Londres quieren crear un grupo de intercambio de idiomas entre españoles e ingleses para ayudar a sus alumnos a practicar el español fuera de sus clases.

El primer encuentro tendrá lugar en el pub The Antelope, 22 Eaton Terrace, London SW1W 8EZ – a dos minutos andando desde el Instituto Cervantes hacia Sloane Square- el jueves 18 de Noviembre, a partir de las 19.00.

La idea es tener un encuentro informal, agradable y divertido, sin inscripciones ni cuotas, simplemente pasar el rato y tomar unas copas. Si este primer encuentro tiene éxito, los profesores esperan hacerlo mensualmente.The Antelope es una tradicional tasca británica, con una reputación de servir una amplia selección de cervezas.¡Nos vemos allí!

A homage to Britain’s flamenco pioneers

Spanish Steps

PASSION and flamenco go together like pan con tomate, so it’s no surprise to hear producer-director Anna Holmes describe her film Spanish Steps: Flamenco in a Foreign Land as “a passion project”.

The making of this documentary has been a labour of love for the past 18 months or so after Anna was unable to secure funding from production companies. But thanks to a lifelong love of dance, plus the support of friends and family and her assistant producer Victor, Anna has succeeded in making her first film.

Her other reason for wanting to make this documentary was to capture a slice of social history before it’s too late – many of these flamenco pioneers are now in their 80s and sadly may not be with us for much longer.

London in the 1950s, what with post-war austerity and the notorious smog, must have been a pretty bleak place at times. But this was also an era of great social change, with many exciting, exotic new trends and tastes arriving from overseas.

Read more… LondonSpanish

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A fiesta to remember

AFTER weeks of preparation, the big day finally arrived and students, friends and other guests descended on the Instituto Cervantes London for El Día del Español last Saturday, June 19. And what a party it turned out to be, as we enjoyed sensational sounds from Latin America, fantastic food from Ibérica restaurant and essential refreshments courtesy of Wines from Spain.

With the kind permission of Grosvenor Estate, we turned a section of the beautiful Eaton Square Gardens into the Plaza del Español, with a marquee hosting the music, food and wine, while the giant board was set out on the lawn for the final of the Juego del Español.

Thousands of people worldwide have been playing the online version of this word game, inspired by Scrabble and crosswords and developed by the Instituto Cervantes. Here in London, classmates Shamalee Vanderpoorten and Michael Cummins reached the final of the liga for Instituto Cervantes students.

(Read more… LondonSpanish)

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Young people should know about history

CHILDREN’s eyes record images that adults can’t see, enriching our understanding of history. Herminio Martínez was one of the young Basque children who in 1937 arrived in England after fleeing from the Spanish civil war. Their eyes saw everything. Now Herminio has recalled the story of his childhood, a story shared by many others who left Spain and came to Britain in search of a home.

“I live near Highgate cemetery. Do you know where it is? And do you know who is buried there?” This was how Herminio gave me directions when we arranged our interview, and his cosy flat is indeed just a stone’s throw from where Karl Marx lies.

Herminio was one of the 4,000 children who on May 21 1937 boarded a ship to set sail for Southampton. “It was a terrible crossing. We were 4,000 children in a ship for 400 passengers. I was seven and my brother 11. We slept on the floor. We ran into a storm in the Bay of Biscay and that was a horrifying situation, rolling on the floor, throwing up, and many kids crying out to go back to Bilbao with their parents…”

Read more… (LondonSpanish)

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A Starring role for Instituto Cervantes Students

El 21 de mayo de 2010 en Media, Spain in London por | Sin comentarios

TV crews are like buses, it would seem. After ages without a visit from any of the major broadcasters, we’ve had no fewer than three groups filming at the Instituto Cervantes London in the space of 48 hours.

First up was a news team from La Sexta Noticias in Spain as some of our students made headlines on Thursday discussing the British elections in Spanish.

 At about the same time our head of culture Olvido Salazar was with a crew from the BBC, helping them make a forthcoming programme that is due to be broadcast as part of the coverage of the London 2012 Olympics.

Read more… (LondonSpanish)

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