AIL Madrid complements its Spanish language courses with a Fun Afternoon Activities Program; 10 classes a week dedicated to learning more about the culture and customs of Spain and getting to know the city of Madrid a little bit better. And the best feature of the program is it is included at no extra cost for the intesive courses students!
10 classes of fun afternoon activities a week are made up by two classes every afternoon or evening from Monday to Friday.
At the beginning of the week your Spanish teacher will let you know about the fun afternoon activities program for the week so that you can decide what activities you would like to participate in and write your name down on the signup sheet. If you then change your mind, you can easily erase your name from the sheet.
At AIL Madrid you will not lose any classes due to public holidays. We are the only Spanish School in Madrid which makes up all classes and activities, independent of the course type, the length of booking, the number of public holidays in the week and time of the year.
|All the linguistic, cultural and historical activities are run by AIL Madrid’s native Spanish speaking teachers.It is an additional opportunity to practice understanding and expressing yourself in Spanish. Beginner level students also benefit from the activities as the interactive and visual nature allows students with different levels of Spanish to participate and gain an understanding of the topic. Activities are a relaxed complement to the information learned in the mornings' intensive Spanish course.|
The activities are a good way to get to know students from other groups.
The dynamic and interactive way in which the activities are held contributes to the school’s pleasant and relaxed atmosphere.
An AIL Madrid teacher or representative always accompanies students on the social activities making sure everyone is involved and taking part.
Free for all students taking intensive courses
AIL Madrid does not charge intensive course students for the guided activities, however fees for museum entrance tickets, transportation, food and drink are not included.
The program includes over 60 activities which are rotated to avoid repetition and ensure variety. The activities are divided into 4 categories:
|Our students practicing
Spanish in Retiro
Pronunciation and Orthography: This workshop is an opportunity to refresh basic pronunciation rules using fun activities to practice.
Accentuation: Should an accent be used in a word or not? If you have ever asked yourself this question, our accentuation workshop will resolve all your doubts.
Spanish Songs Workshop: You will get to listen to some of the newest trends in Spanish music and famous Spanish songs as well as learn new vocabulary and expressions.
Colloquial Expressions Using Body Language: This workshop is recommended for beginner and intermediate level students and covers colloquial expressions that are commonly used in Spain. You will learn a number of expressions and sayings and practice their application in speech.
Culture and Expressions with Colours: Colours are always related to the culture and the language. For example, envy in the English speaking countries is green, and in Spanish? In this workshop you will learn the colours, analyse the cultural differences that are related to them and practice some of the most colourful Spanish phrases.
Animals in the Spanish Language: Learn vocabulary and expressions that are related to animals as well as the sounds that animals make in each country so that your Spanish sounds more natural.
Federico García Lorca: A good opportunity to discover this poet, a genius of the 20th century who was shot at an early age during the civil war because of his political beliefs. Lorca is renowned as Spain’s great modern love poet.
Poem Writing Workshop: Everyone can write poetry and this workshop will teach you how to in Spanish. With a little bit of help and imagination you will be able to create poetry. Playing with the language is fun and also helps learning!
Practical Spanish CV/Resumé and cover letter: Submitting a good CV and cover letter is fundamental if you want to find a job in Spain. In this class we will acquaint you with various possible types of CVs and show you the best way to display your skills and impress the Spanish job market through your CV.
Colloquial Spanish and Nonverbal Language: If you want to communicate well in Spanish, learning how to use your body while you speak is a necessary complementary tool. In this workshop you will learn to express yourself in a more natural colloquial way and to understand “street Spanish”.
Phonetics Workshop: Improve your Spanish accent and learn to speak like one of the locals!Reading Workshop: Reading is a fascinating world and one of the best ways to practice your Spanish and learn in a pleasant and relaxing way. Take part in this workshop and you will find out what Spanish and Latin American books are best suited to your level and interests.
Proverbs Workshop: Sayings have been used to express thoughts and reflect wisdom since the Don Quijote period. If you want to get to know Spain and its people better this workshop is for you.
|Our students on a guided walking tour of Madrid|
Camino de Santiago: This was one of the most important pilgrimage routes in medieval Europe and continues to be completed by thousands of people every year. Get to know some of the Camino’s anecdotes, legends and tales.
Visit to the National Archaeological Museum: Discover ruins, famous wall paintings and archaeological artefacts dating back from the prehistoric period up until modern times.
Visit to the San Isidro Museum: This museum is devoted to Madrid’s history and is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the capital’s touristic centre.
Visit to Alcalá de Henares: Get to know one of the most representative cities of the Madrid province and Spain. Alcalá de Henares is the birth town of Miguel De Cervantes, is home to the famous Alcalá University and boasts a beautiful Calle Mayor.
The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939): This was probably the most important historical event in 20th Century Spain and had a profound affect on the country’s modern political and social landscape. In this activity you will get an overview of the key events and their consequences on Spanish culture today.
ETA-Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? A review of Spain’s most recent history will help you understand the roots of the current problems. We will take a look at the views of native Spaniards and solutions and prospects for the future.
Madrid of the Bourbons: We'll walk down the streets of Madrid where the Bourbons left their cultural mark. We will discover beautiful buildings, wide, luxurious avenues and impressive fountains.
Guided walking tours of Madrid: As we take you to the city’s most famous sites such as Plaza Mayor, Retiro Park, Puerta del Sol, el Palacio Real (the Spanish Royal Palace) we will tell you about the history and culture of the city.
Haunted Madrid: The capital’s palaces, streets and massive buildings hide haunted stories that will really surprise you. Discover some of the sites of Madrid from a different perspective: their ghosts, spirits, goblins and legends.
| AIL Madrid´s students on the way
to the Prado Museum
The Don Quijote Route: The journeys of the most popular Cervantes character are a good reason to get to know Castilla La Mancha, the Spanish community that is full of art, traditions and nature. We will take a virtual tour to the most symbolic places Don Quijote visited.
Don Quijote: El Quijote is a fictional character created by Miguel de Cervantes in his renowned 17th century literary work Don Quijote. As one of the most admired creations of the human spirit, it introduced many unspoken serious issues of its time through comical delivery. Its two main characters, Don Quijote and Sancho Panza, embody two types of the Spanish soul; the idealist, a positive and practical man, that is however quite a fatalist and the dreamer, who forgets the necessities of the material life to follow the unachievable illusions. This Spanish literary gem can be enjoyed by all!
Visit to the Prado Museum: This site is one of the most popular in Madrid and for good reason! The Prado is the most important art gallery in Spain and contains collections of some of the greatest paintings, sculptures, prints, and medals in the world. The Prado is immense and impossible to see in its entirety in only a couple of hours. For this reason we will see selected pieces of art of Velazquez, Goya and el Greco.
Madrid From Above: Have you ever asked yourself what Madrid looks like from above? It is quite the view! Come with us to visit the Parque del Oeste and take Madrid’s cable railway to enjoy the sights of the city, Casa de Campo and the Argüelles district.
Introduction to Belly Dance: A theoretical introduction and practice to the oriental dances. You will get the chance to enjoy the music while getting to know the different rhythms and the history of the dance. You will also learn some basic dance steps that are very popular nowadays.
Flamenco: This workshop will help you to get acquainted with the origin of Flamenco, its history and its evolution. You will learn about both dance and music, starting with the most traditional flamenco up to the newest tendencies like flamenco-pop and flamenco-chill-out.
The Spanish Gastronomy: In this workshop you will get to know typical Spanish food, its characteristic ingredients and seasonal recipes for example: gazpacho, tortillas, jamón and many other delightful Spanish culinary creations.
Visit to the Reina Sofia Museum: This Museum reflects modern and contemporary Spanish art with its diverse manifestations and collections. It was created to promote social understanding of sculptures and paintings and facilitate public knowledge in an international context. During this visit we will discover its impressive modern galleries!
Visit to the Royal Palace of Madrid: This is one of the most emblematic buildings of the city! It’s an expression of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty’s sumptuousness and way of life. Inside this immense structure lies room after room (3,418 in total), lavishly decorated with rich porcelain sculptures, beautiful tapestries and plush furniture.
Visit to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: This museum is home to several collections of art including Italian Renaissance artwork, English, Dutch and German paintings, as well as famous works of European and American impressionists. Some famous artists featured at this museum are Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Jan Van Eyck, Rembrandt and Picasso.
The Spanish Fashion: Shoes, shirts, pants, dresses, hairstyles and jewellery speak loudly about a culture. In this workshop we will talk about the evolution of fashion trends over time, the appearance of new designers and chains that can now be found in different parts of the world like “ZARA” and the reasons for their success. We’ll also discuss the best places to shop on a budget!
Bullfighting: This Spanish tradition has provoked a lot of discussion in and outside of Spain. It is criticized by the animal rights protectors but enjoyed by many of Spain’s older generations. Would you like to understand the history, symbolism and concept of this long lasting Spanish tradition? Art, tradition, entertainment: bullfighting has it all.
Costume Museum: This museum aims to promote the knowledge of the historical evolution of Spanish attire and culture. It’s a walk through the decades of changing fashion trends to help us understand why we dress as we do today.
Three Cultures - Jews, Muslims and Christians: The objective of this workshop is to discuss the coexistence of Muslims, Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages on the Iberian Peninsula and its cultural and historical consequences.
Christmas in Spain: Every country celebrates the most important religious festival in the Christian calendar in a particular way. Discover Spanish customs and traditions during the festive period including typical food and drink, and the family gathering of Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and Reyes. Every year when Christmas, the most important Christian holiday, comes, every Christian country in the world celebrates for the same reason: the birth of Jesus. However, not all countries celebrate in the same way. Would you like to know how Spaniards celebrate it? What do they eat, what do they drink, how do they say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new one?
Christmas Carols: From the classical carol Silent Night to the most recent ones sung by Luis Miguel and Roxana, we will listen to and sing carols in Spanish. Don’t miss this pleasant musical activity to finish the course with joy, joy, joy!
Mexican Culture and Traditions: Do you know Mexican customs, music, folklore, gastronomy? Would you dare to try nachos with chilli? Or are you curious to know how the Day of the Dead is celebrated? Would you like to hear “ranchera”? What do you know about the “lucha libre” - a Mexican wrestling style? Have you seen the work of Frida Kahlo? What do you know about the Indians? The Mexicans are a lot more than just a big sombrero and a bottle of tequila.
Cuba: Customs, music, movies, gastronomy, politics and a lot more. Discover the marvellous island, its inhabitants, the most magnificent and surprising places and find out a little bit more about the mysterious figure Fidel Castro. Also, we will learn more about Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution.
| One of our Spanish Gastronomy Workshops
Eating and Drinking in Madrid: Have you ever tried jamón, tortilla Española or wondered what that cold tomato soup is that you see all the locals eating? Then this activity is perfect for you! Discover typical Spanish dishes over a glass of sangria as you relax in a local madrileño hot spot.
Spanish Customs - Stereotypes or Cultural Behaviors: The Spaniards go to bars, sleep the siesta, kiss each other all the time, dance flamenco, work little and go out a lot. Are these stereotypes or cultural behaviour? In this workshop you will learn the truth!
The Arabic Culture in Spain: Through their conquests in Andalucía, the Arabic culture has been very influential in Spain since the Middle Ages. In this workshop we will look at the impact of culture, art, politics and religion on contemporary Spain.
Spanish Literature Discussions: In this workshop we will discuss several literary works. Discovering more about the time period helps us to understand more about the inspiration of famous authors such as Miguel de Cervantes and García Lorca and their intended purposes of their literature.
The Day of the Dead in Mexico: Mexico is a country full of traditions, ancient civilizations, rights, etc. We will get to know how the 31st of October, the Day of the Dead, is celebrated as well as the origin of this celebration. You will be surprised: altars to remember the dead, sweets in the form of skulls and many more frightful treats!
Modern Spanish Film Tutorials: This activity covers the work of prolific Spanish movie directors such as Pedro Almodóvar, Vicente Aranda and Alejandro Amenábar. Uncover the wonders of Spanish cinematography!
Talks and Discussions About the Cultural Aspects and Topics Relevant to Spanish Society: Learn about the events that currently affect Spain.
The Spanish Press: A workshop with interactive activities about the current politics, social issues, sports, economics, cultural aspects, as well as fun facts and odd news, etc. that will help you to get to know and interpret what is going on around us using humour.
The Phenomenon of Street Drinking - “Botellón”: A debate about the current topic that the young Spaniards, their parents and the institutions are concerned about, drinking alcohol in the street as a means of fun.
Issues of the Current Week: Starting from the 20th century we will review the most recent history of Spain to get to the major current issues and the key factors defining the future. A chat about Spain and the Spaniards and all that worries us.
|Typical Spanish food and drink
Cañas y Tapas (Beers and Snacks) Evenings with Other Students: Meet other students and practice your Spanish while enjoying typical Spanish food and drinks!
Noches de Intercambio: Spend time conversing with native Spanish speakers in both Spanish and your native language so as to have a mutual learning experience. Sometimes the best way to learn is to teach!
The Spanish Comic: If you want to know more about Spanish society and its problems there is no one who can describe it better than comic book artists and comedians. Discover fun facts like how dogs bark in Spanish and how a door sounds when it is being closed.
A Walk through Retiro Park: Open to the public since 1868 it is Madrid’s favourite place to relax and equally enjoyed by natives and visitors. We will walk through its garden and see the palaces and one of the few statues in the world that is devoted to the devil.
*A full listing of the current week’s activities is displayed on the school bulletin boards.