How to speak Spanish in a month: Learn like a five year …

What’s the easiest way to learn Spanish? What’s the fastest way to learn a foreign language in general? Learn like a five year old. We arrived in Santiago de Chile about a year ago. My five year old son, Sebastian now speaks almost fluently and understands about 90% of Spanish (unless we’re talking about cartoons or cake, then it’s 100%).…
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Expaters this will make you laugh (and me scream)

I’m really getting into Chilean life. My Spanish is improving, my kids are settled in their nursery and I feel at home. In fact, my kid has his nursery graduation show tonight – a Ghostbusters themed extravaganza. We’ve been making his costume for a couple of weeks now. Yesterday I even headed to the busiest market in town to get…
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How to learn a foreign language – it’s simpler than you thought

Languages are like diets. Just like that pill which promises to give you a Victoria’s Secret model’s body in a week, anyone telling you they can make you fluent in Russian overnight is lying. I studied French and German at university, I dabbled in Arabic while living in Damascus and I’m now trying my hand at Spanish here in Chile.…
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How to build a career as an expat woman

I’m lucky to be making lots of girl friends here in Chile. They come from all over the world and all different walks of life, but they share one common factor. They all complain about how tough it is to work. This got me thinking. Is it intrinsically harder to work as an expat? Or as an expat woman? Is…
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How to learn Spanish (and other foreign languages) fast

We’ve been in Chile nearly two months now. My Spanish has gone from terrible to borderline average. I studied French and German at university. I’m in an unrequited love affair with Arabic (I love the language, but it doesn’t seem to love my brain). I picked up some Dutch in Antwerp. I tried to learn basic Hindi prior to my…
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My most embarrassing, bizarre and surreal expat moments

Expat life is a funny thing. Funny as in odd, and funny as in hilarious. We’re thrown into situations we wouldn’t normally experience back ‘home’, where we don’t speak the local language, where we don’t understand the local culture and we’re perhaps a bit more brazen because we have to get on and get things organised. Here’s a collection of…
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My semester at a Syrian mosque: Islamic dress, spies and Britney Spears

I lived in Syria, pre civil war, before it became known to many as hell on earth, for about six months. A chance chat with a lovely beautician┬áled me to rent a room in her home. To say that Syria was nothing like today is an understatement. After a few months studying Arabic at the University of Damascus, I still…
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How To Teach Your Expat Child English

The one question my friends across the globe ask the most is ‘how can I get my kids to improve their English?’ As a native English speaker, a mum of two (almost) bilingual kids and language pedant, here are some tips to get you started: Foster the fun. Don’t enforce the language on a child. Let them love it their…
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