First Certificate: Why it should be your FIRST official certification in English

fce-logoWhile there are many certifications available for Spanish speakers who would like to certify their English level, Cambridge ESOL examinations offers three exams: First, CAE and CPE which seem to be the gold standard on this peninsula and for travel around Europe. Here’s why:

1. The Spanish Ministry of Education accepts them

Teaching in bilingual schools is all the rage in Spain and you can’t even be considered for over half the schools in Madrid if you don’t have English certification. Also, it avoids having to submit oneself to the arbitrary whims of a selection committee and is valid for more than just teaching in public schools: it is recognized in charter (concertados) and private schools as well.

2. Your boss or future boss has heard of them

As an English teacher, every once in a while someone will ask about an exam I’ve never heard of because such and such a program ONLY accepts it, or they’ve heard that it’s easier than the Cambridge exams. EVERYONE in Spain has heard of Cambridge and having the First Certificate, or the Advanced Certificate (never sign up for English classes that refer to this certificate as ADVANCE) can be the key to a face-to-face interview.

3. The format for the First Certificate is manageable (abordable)

Many exams are full of different sections and just learning how to prepare for an English level exam can be dizzying. First Certificate is realistic in what it expects you to know about its exam. Also, the format for First Certificate differs very little from the Advanced Certificate or the Proficiency Certificate, so once you feel familiar with the First Certificate, you’ll know the format for the higher level exams.

4. Cambridge has improved upon its grading scale and gives you a universal number as a reference to your level

Employers can now look at your number and compare it to other tests, giving them a better idea of how your English level compares to others who took different exams. Also, employers can recognize progress in an employee beyond a “pass/fail” evaluation.

5. Spain has “titulitis”

We all know it and it’s unfortunate, but it’s true. To avoid being “descartado” or written off even before you get to the first interview, cross your “t’s” and dot your “i’s” on your résumé, which includes having some type of English certification. You won’t regret it.

For more information regarding our courses please visit our website atthewarehousemadrid.com or call us at 917550978. We’d love to hear from you.

How to improve your child’s level in English – Como mejorar el nivel de tu hijo en inglés

How to improve your child’s level in English – Como mejorar el nivel de tu hijo en inglés

Here at The Warehouse, we don’t use textbooks to improve our young adults’ levels of English. That’s because they can comprehend grammar and vocabulary at a near-native level thanks to their young age.

Adults tend to need more grammar instruction and more rules. Young people can learn and adapt better, which is why we teach them in a different way. We use native-level reading material, games, contests and an immersion classroom to create these results. We encourage our students to tell stories, make up plays, create game shows and read novels using the vocabulary that they already know in order to build on it.

Here are some hints to help your child improve in English at home: 

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Read to them every day, or have them read to you. 

Reading is a wonderful skill, whether it be in English or in Spanish. Encourage your child to read to you, with little picture books. If they can’t yet read in English, have them make up the story through the pictures that they see on the page.

article-1349784749832-156be629000005dc-808331_466x351Let them watch a special TV show, in English

Lots of parents complain that their child watches too much TV, so don’t fight it, let them, but have them watch it in its original version.

girl gaming

If your child is a gamer, let them talk to other native speakers, supervised, of course

Nowadays children are more technologically advanced than us, and we don’t really understand the gaming world like they do. Let them talk on their headset, but make sure you’re supervising who they are talking to.

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Quiz them

Show interest in their studies and don’t wait until the night before their test to quiz them over what they have to know for their exams. A bad grade in English won’t motivate them to practice outside of class.

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Have a game night, in English. 

There are plenty of board games in English that can be used to promote English use as a family and create a special night once a week for spend with your children. Here are our favorites:

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For more information on our classes visit us at www.thewarehousemadrid.com or call us at 917550978.