Viernes de Vocabulario: Cantinfleando


Cantinflas: Personaje popular de los suburbios del Distrito Federal inventado por Mario Moreno Reyes. Utilizando dos palabras “cantina” e “inflar” que significa tomar o beber, se invento el nombre del personaje “Cantinflas”

Cantinflear: Hablar sin expresar nada al tratar de dialogar con alguien. A los discursos políticos se les atribuye este verbo por enredosos y demagógicos. 

Otras palabras para esta semana son:

Bailongo: Baile poco formal

Bodorrio: Boda

Colgar los tenis: Morir.  Si te mueres “Cuelgas los tenis”

Chido: El efectivo, chingón, lo bueno, lo bien hecho, lo mejor.

Fifti Fifti: Mitad y mitad.

Fusca: Pistola

Merequetengue: Lio, Fiesta.

Para más información acerca del Instituto Cultural Oaxaca y sus cursos de español visite


iPad, Apps & Spanish Lessons…

At the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca last summer we introduced the revolutionary iPad to our Spanish language classes and since then, our teachers have been working very hard to implement this new technology to our programs.


Here are 5 things we have done to incorporate the iPad to our Spanish Classes



#1 Trainning – An Apple Distinguished Educator trainned our teachers on how to incoporate technology to the Spanish Language Classroom. During this trainning, our teachers were provided with the necessary tools so that they can use all of the resources available online to incorporate digital materials to our classes. 


#2 We Remodeled our Program. 

In order to include technology in our Spanish Language Courses we changed the whole program to make it more functional and adaptable to exercices which included technology. For example, now with our new program, we can use Social Applications like Facebook or Linkedin so that our students can build their own profiles in Spanish which can be used for personal and profesional purposes.

#3 We Created a Wiki

Wikis are great to share and collaborate online with collegues and students. For so, we stared using a wiki in which all of our teachers work together on our new program or developing new materials that can be accesible by other teachers at different times. 


#4 Discover new tools & Share information 

Since technology can be overwhealming and very distractive, we continue trainning our teachers every week. Since we started to use  technology in the Spanish language classroom, our teachers get together on a weekly basis to share new tools and ideas. 

During these weekly meetings our teacher Angeles Castellanos show us how she uses TripAdvisor as a tool that can be a great help for an excersice in which the student needs to learn how to obtain information about a product of a service related to tourism – The app of TripAdvisor. It is excellent for beginner students to explore what are the local attractions. For advance students, it can be usefull to teach them to write a review in Spanish using past tense and new adjectives.



#5 Create New Materials 

Apart from using resources available on the internet with the iPad, now we can use our own digital materials. With iMovie we can incorporate pieces of movies or songs into excersices for our Spanish Classes. Two great applications that can be used to create new materials are iBooks (Developed by apple) and Moglue


Other apps used by our teachers in their Spanish Language Classes are

– Pages, Keynote, MicPro, Superama, Brain Pop, iCal, Maps, Evernote etc. 


For more information about the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca or Spanish Classes in Oaxaca please visit


Viernes de Vocabulario: Aprendiendo el Gerundio


The gerund (gerundio) is a grammatical form that refers to actions in progress.  In English, we form gerunds with -ing: joking, laughing, dancing, playing.  In Spanish, however, we form them differently.
Starting from the infinitive, we remove the last two letters.  If these letters are -ar, we add -ando.  If these letters are -er or -ir, we add -iendo.  Hablando (hablar), comiendo (comer), viviendo (vivir).
In English, we use the gerund as a noun: Running is good for your health.  In Spanish, we can’t do this, and if we want to make a noun from a verb, we have to use an infinitive: Correr es bueno para la salud.

Since gerunds refer to actions in progress, they can’t be used alone.  Instead, they need to occur with another verb.  Most often, this verb is estar, but they can also be used with seguir, continuar, ir,venir, and andar.

The differences between these helping verbs are subtle, so a few examples will (hopefully) help explain.

Estoy buscando trabajo        I am looking for work
This is the most ordinary usage.

Sigo buscando trabajo        I am still looking for work, I keep on looking for work
Seguir and continuar have the same exact meaning when followed by a gerund: something is still happening, continues to happen, or keeps on happening.
Ando buscando trabajo        I go around looking for work; I am always looking for work
While andar means to walk, before a gerund it often implies a pointless or disorganized way of doing something rather than a more literal meaning.  It can also imply that something is habitual


The Gerund can be also used as an adverb for example

Voy haciendo mi tarea        I am doing my homework as I go (e.g. in the car)
Ir with a gerund tends to have a more literal meaning of doing something on the go.  You can ir comiendo, which suggests eating a sandwich on the highway, for example.  In a figurative sense, ir, unlike andar, implies a much more positive attitude on the part of the speaker.  Indeed, it generally implies progress.  If you were to say, ando aprendiendo a cocinar, I might get the impression that every few weeks you learn something, but if you tell me, voy aprendiendo a cocinar, I would assume that you were already making substantial progress.  (I might even accept your invitation to dinner.)

Viene diciendo tonterías        He arrives saying stupid nonsense;
                    He’s (still) saying (the same) stupid nonsense.
Venir, like ir, often implies physical movement, although towards the speaker.  When venir is used with a gerund in a figurative sense, it typically implies that something has been going on a long time, and perhaps even frustration that it has not changed.

Given all of this new information, I have a question for you: ¿estás aprendiendo español?  y ¿vas progresando?

Viernes de Vocabulario: Onda

Here at ICO, we hope that you’ll learn just how much fun Spanish can be.  Like any language, Spanish is full of colorful slang expressions.  On Fridays, we’ll be teaching you a combination of useful everyday words and fun common colloquialisms.


If you know the word onda, you probably know it means ‘wave.’  But it’s used in tons and tons of colloquial expressions.  If you think about onda meaning something more like ‘vibe’, these expressions will be more intuitive.

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8 best Spanish study abroad programs in Latin America | Matador Network

Matadorian Camden Luxford gives her picks for where to study Spanish in Latin America. 

When I first started looking for Spanish schools to attend in Latin America, I was blown away by the difficulty of the decision.

I weighed a million factors from the school’s reputability and accreditation to local cost of living and even the number of gringos whom might distract me from the language at hand.

Now that I’ve lived over a year in the region, the decision doesn’t seem so overwhelming any more – I just wish I was starting from scratch again to enjoy the amazing programs on offer!


Full Story at



For more information about our Spanish Language Immersion Programs visit