Thom Harris is a student of the Manchester Grammar School that visited TANDEM Madrid in March, 2017. Here he tells us a little about his experience with us.
Even in the short time we spent at Tandem, it’s fair to say that our Spanish improved dramatically. Being surrounded by the language and hearing tips and tricks from native speakers in such a friendly, welcoming environment, we felt confident to take our language-speaking to the streets of Madrid – the ultimate compliment to the school.
During our 5 day programme with the school, we had morning and afternoon lessons in the classrooms of Tandem with the brilliant Francisco and Cristina, both of whom were interesting and funny to listen to, with their own distinct methods of teaching the language. As a result, we came out of the lessons with an array of colloquial phrases, as well as, most helpfully, a better understanding of the dreaded “por y para” and “ser y estar”.
Outside the classroom, the school looked to educate us culturally with various enjoyable activities designed to help us make the most from our trip to Madrid. There were guided tours around the city with Sonia, who told us all about the historical roots of Madrid with her incredibly clear Spanish accent, as well as a highly interesting day trip to the amazing city of Toledo – a beautiful place steeped in history, with its stunning religious buildings packed into every street corner and its charming multi-faith culture with its renowned Marzipan. There was also a trip to the world famous Museo Del Prado, during which we saw the amazing works of Goya, and Velazquez , as well as Bosch’s incredible “Garden of Earthly Delights”, all of which came alive thanks to the wonderful Sonia.
Another activity that the school organised for us was a trip to a local cookery school, where we prepared traditional Spanish Paella, along with Tortilla and the delicious “Tarta de Santiago” with the help of the assistants. It was a fantastic experience, especially for a lot of our boys, who have never had chance to experience authentic Spanish Gastronomy in this way.
Overall, Escuela Tandem organised a fun, engaging and extremely beneficial week for us in Madrid, with activities and experiences we won’t forget in a hurry. On behalf of the Manchester Grammar School and all the boys who came on the trip, we’d like to say a huge thank you for such an enjoyable, worthwhile stay.
~ Thom Harris