The Job Market in Buenos Aires: How is training yourself to speak English for a job interview different from speaking English in everyday life ?

This article is part of our section “inglés in company” which provides help for Argentine professionals working in English. Click here to know more abour our offers or workshops (Next workshops : Tuesdays 13 y 24 of April, “inglés en el entorno laboral” y “inglés para la busqueda de trabajo”!)

Do you feel comfortable speaking English in a relaxed atmosphere, or casual work conversation? That’s great! But don’t get confused… That doesn’t mean you are ready for a job interview in ENGLISH! Today we will talk precisely about these differences to help you land your next English-speaking job!

In the third quarter of 2017, Argentina had a 15,4% rate of employed looking for work (u.e. the percentage between the employeed population looking for a job and the economically active population), of which 12,1% are located in the Greater Buenos Area. Looking for a job in Buenos Aires is not something so uncommon. Let’s assume you are looking for a job yourself : you might have to train for a job interview in English as the number of jobs for English speaking professionals is growing in Buenos Aires.

We can assume it was an easy job to do your resume or CV in English (if you need some tips, here are good links of Infoempleo or The Entrepreneur – links in Spanish). You now know the vocabulary you used in your resume. You may feel ready to do the interview in English.

Why is it a mistaken thought many people have?
Why is English for interviews different?

There is a big difference between speaking English in a relaxed atmosphere, or casual work conversation – and speaking English while being at a job interview. Avoid making the mistake of thinking you are ready for a job interview because you are good at speaking English in informal settings.


  • Because the skills you will have to demonstrate, and thus the vocabulary, are not the same
  • Because the way to introduce things, concepts, ideas, are different in English than in Spanish.
  • Because you will need the confidence and attitude you would have in Spanish in English

Let’s break down these three ideas to see which area you should dig into to prepare yourself successfully:

1.The skills you will have to demonstrate – and thus the vocabulary- are not the same.

The HR and person conducting the interview will generally start by asking questions about yourself. The question “Tell me about yourself” can be a bit tricky because it’s easy to get lost into details “I went to school here, and I worked here for 2 years and there for 3 years”. Skip what’s not essential and try to talk in terms of skills learned. An example would be:

I went to school there – where I developed a strong capacity to teamwork. I further enhanced that skill while working at (name of the company). I was regularly working on projects involving international teams. However, in my second job, I developed other skills such as (name the skills). Today, I believe my profile is a mix of (name 3 essential skills/knowledge you have).

You might also be asked to conduct reflexion upon yourself with questions such as “What weakness can you convert into a strength?”. Think thoroughly of your weaknesses and strengths and how one can be turned into the other. For example, you might be inflexible sometimes -weakness- but that makes you an organized person capable of leading a group -strenght-. A very good reference on this topic of weakness-strenght conversion is this infographic.

Another question might be a reflection on your future : “Where do you see yourself in five years”. To answer that question, take the time to reflect on what you want to improve and for what work purpose. Don’t think it in terms of position but in terms of skills. It might be developing your management skills to be able to manage a team in the next years. Show your interlocutor that you want to learn and improve! The sky is the limit!

Finally, another type of question you might deal with is reflecting about you vs others. You might face questions such as “ What can you do better in this position that others can’t” or “How did you deal with past conflict situations with your bosses/colleagues”. Always think over it in term of positive outcomes and without criticizing others.

2. Because the way to introduce things, concepts, ideas, are different in English than in Spanish

In this paragraph, we wanted to emphasize what you have to do, absolutely have to do, in an interview in English. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do it in Spanish, but you might have to do it MORE in English 😉

First, stating that you’ve developed a skill without giving a supporting example will not make your point. For example; if you’ve learnt team management, you can give an example of a situation in which you had to take the lead. How did you do it and how did it result? A good way to make sure that you explain your thought through and in a relevant manner is to use the STAR method. The idea is to support your idea (“I learnt team management”) with an example structured in the way “Situation, Task, Action, Result”. An article that explains it thoroughly is this one (link in Spanish).

Secondly, try to use connectors and introduction words. Linking phrases together is nicer to hear and follow. For example, you could say : “I have 2 years of experience working in your sector. Furthermore/ On top of that, I believe I have the skills and attitude necessary to fit into the role and contribute to the thrive of the activity”. It give strength to your speech!

Finally, the salary topic. It might be sensitive and you might not want to talk about it during your first (or second interview). You can read on Glassdoor what people comment about the average salary. It will give you an idea of what to answer if the question comes up.

3. Because you will need the confidence and attitude you would have in Spanish in English

Well, for this one, it all comes down to one thing : practice, practice, practice.
We want to emphasize on this one, especially because group interviews get more and more common nowadays. What does it mean? That you’ll need the confidence to know you’ll be able to speak English in front of people – and maybe not just a HR.

What can you do at home to train ?
Wy is it worth it for you to train ?

No need to panic. It just takes practice.
How can we advise you to train beyond preparing your answers (following the advices we suggested above 😉 ) ?

Practice, practice, practice

In front of the mirror. With an English-speaking friend. If you want to practice with a native and you don’t have an English-speaking native friend, Conversation Exchange platforms are for you. This article lists some good ones!
However, to be honest, it will always be better to train face-to-face with a native. In lvstudio, that’s what we do in many different formats! Come for conversation class, take an individual class focusing on interview training or join one of our workshops!

Listen to podcasts

Below, we suggest some podcasts related to job interviews or the workplace in general:

> ESLPOD : Getting an interview (podcast)
> ESLPOD : Hiring for a Job (podcast)
> ESLPOD : Nervous at interview (podcast)

Any other suggestions? Let us know!

Record yourself

Record yourself with a camera while doing the interview. Watch it and notice your weak spots, where you have difficulties and why. Watch out your body language, which is as important as the spoken language. Here is a good article about it (link in Spanish). Try to correct your vocabulary/sentences when they seem too complicated and confusing. Make them shorter, clearer – and don’t forget to smile!

4. Do personality tests

Do some personality tests to know more about your work behavior. These tests will give you hints about your weaknesses and strengths at work, your way to deal with pressure and workload, how you communicate with others or your relationship to hierarchy. Of course, a free test on internet is never 100% accurate but it might give you some ideas, which you can develop with examples. By personalizing the analysis of your answers, you will get useful ideas to answer interviewers’ questions about yourself. Here are links to some well-known tests: DISC test or the MBTI test.

5. Do a worskhop

At lvstudio incompany, we propose some workshops for people looking for a job or employees looking for training in English. The ideas we proposed above will never be better than a face-to-face and personalized guidance! Our workshops leaders are native teachers with teaching and working experience, who will help you to be comfortable during the interview and to show the most out of your strenghts in English.
Want more info on our workshops? Click here!


Workshop 1: Inglés para la búsqueda de trabajo
Workshop de 2 días : martes 17/04 (18.00hs-19.30hs) y martes 24/04 (18.00hs-19.30hs)
Dirección: Palermo
Precio: $600 (hasta el 01/04)

Workshop 2: Inglés en el entorno laboral
Workshop de 2 días : martes 17/04 (19.30hs-21.00hs) y martes 24/04 (19.30hs-21.00hs)
Dirección: Palermo
Precio: $600 (hasta el 01/04)

MORE INFO HERE! or send us an email at


Thanks a lot for taking the time to read! Do you have any other suggestions on how to train for an English-speaking interview? Let us know!

lvstudio in-company


What is the difference between expatriates and immigrants?

libertyIn most people’s mind the word “expat” recalls images of luxury, shiny desks in multinational corporates and privileged lifestyles. On the other hand, when it comes about the term “immigrant”, we tend to think about dreams, hopes and cardboard suitcases. Two words, two deeply different concepts.

As someone who has been living in Asia for several years, I’ve always taken for granted that I was an expat. In Asia just looking Western immediately qualifies me as such from local people’s perspective.

In China most locals assume that all Westerners are beautiful, rich, smart and powerful. While in Hong Kong people are more used to foreign presence, you can still feel some respect and admiration towards the Western community. In Taiwan foreigners’ reputation is generally not that positive, as Taiwanese know that expats enjoy much better salaries and privileges than locals with fewer obligations.

In all these places though, Westerner equals expat.

Indeed in Asia the difference between expat and immigrant is purely based on race: Westerners are expats while dark-skinned people are immigrants. This mindset is very strong throughout East Asia because in countries such as China, Japan and Korea the local population is genetically very homogenous. For this reason, the concept of cultural identity corresponds to the concept of racial identity. For instance, in order to be considered Japanese you have to be born and raised in Japan in a Japanese family.Naturalization does not really exist.

The distinction between expat and immigrant gets more blurred in the West. In countries like US, UK and Australia the local population is genetically very heterogeneous, therefore the national identity is based on shared culture rather than race. If you were born a raised in the US you are American, whether you look Caucasian, Asian or Black. For this reason living in a Western country as a foreigner is very different from moving to Asia from Europe or the US.

The elements that determine a foreigner’s social status in the West are education, money, career and social network. For instance a French banker who is employed by a big corporate and moves to London for work is an expat. On the other hand, a Spanish construction worker who moves to the US willing to take any job in order to pursue a better future is an immigrant.

Are expat and immigrant two words that simply define a rich foreigner and poor foreigner? The issue is not that easy.

Some people think that the real distinction between expat and immigrant relies on where salaries and taxes are paid. The true expat would be hired by a company in his home country and then sent to a foreign branch of the company for a limited amount of time. In this case salaries and taxes would be paid in the expat’s home country. Differently, if a person was hired directly in a foreign country with a local contract, then we could call him an immigrant.

But what about those people with high-profile jobs who decide to move to a new country autonomously and get very high paying jobs at local companies? Are they to be considered immigrants as well?

Another school of thought defines the difference between expat and immigrant according to the length of stay. For instance, if the foreigner planned to stay in the host country only for a limited amount of time, then he would be an expat. Differently, if the foreigner had in mind to stay long-term, integrate with the local community and settle down in the new country, the he would be an immigrant.

In conclusion, it looks like the difference between expat and immigrant is actually very ambiguous and everyone has his own idea about it. While in some areas of the world the distinction is purely based on racial factors, in other regions the elements that determine which category you belong to are less precise. Everyone picks for himself the definition he feels comfortable with.

Source: Margherita Orsini at

The Shocking Report About Clickbait The Government Doesn’t Want You to See!

click_here1   Sometimes you just can’t help clicking, no matter how reasonable of a person you think you are. At least, I can’t.  Clickbait is anything that creates the desire to press a button or click the link based upon its outrageous or fantastic claims. The imperative to “get more clicks” is the mantra for many web developers and content providers these days. The misleading and often sensational manner of getting them is not important.

   It can be a headline, often with a tagline that includes “Shocking”, “Sexy”, “You won’t believe” or an overabundance of exclamation points. Sometimes it is the siren call of an enticing photo…think wardrobe malfunction or dog driving car.     List-baiting is another way they get you to click, because who wouldn’t click on “27 Suspicious Nipples and the Cats Who Love Them“.  Sometimes it is asking a simple, ridiculous question, “Did Miley Cyrus use her pet iguana to smuggle missile parts?

   So instead of calling your article “English Language Tips”, how about sexing it up a little with  “29 Sexy English Language Tips that will Save You Thousands of Dollars!  

La importancia de saber un idioma como el inglés

Hoy en día el manejo de más de un idioma es vital para tener una carrera profesional más fructífera, acceder a contenidos gráficos y audiovisuales, y para los niños aprovechar su curiosidad para desde pequeños aprender sin sentirse obligados. Hoy en Rincón es posible estudiar con propuestas de excelente nivel académico.

En el mundo que estamos viviendo la importancia del idioma inglés es cada día más destacable y su conocimiento debe ser tenido en cuenta para niños, adolescentes y adultos.El tiempo perdido es difícil de recuperar, y es cierto que cuanto más grandes somos más nos costará capacitarnos en otra lengua. Por ello los expertos recomiendan que los niños desde los 4 años de edad comiencen a formarse en otra lengua como el inglés.Saber hablar, escribir y comprender este idioma, permitirá que en el futuro se nos abran decenas de puertas y oportunidades, desde intercambio estudiantil, viajes de trabajo y estudio, y hasta el acceso a la inmensa cantidad de información que hoy nos provee Internet.

Por ello, hoy en día el manejo de más de un idioma es vital para tener una carrera profesional más fructífera, y así lo aseguran encuestas donde aseguran que muchas compañías lo piden como requisito, con lo cual las probabilidades de conseguir un empleo aumentará un 44%.

Por ejemplo cabe destacar el ejemplo de España, donde a pesar de ser un país muy proteccionista de su idioma, en una encuesta realizada por el portal de búsqueda de empleo, el 54% de los encuestados reconoce que el manejo de un segundo idioma es necesario.

Lo cierto que en nuestra ciudad existe una amplia propuesta para estudiar el idioma inglés para todas las edades, desde institutos registrados en el Concejo Provincial de Educación, con exámenes con títulos avalados internacionalmente y hasta propuestas para viajar a Inglaterra compartiendo los estudios con alumnos de todo el mundo. Solo hay que decidirse, pensar en nuestro futuro y en el de nuestros niños.

FUENTE: el periodico de rincon | 25-03-2013 | 10:01

Capital Punishment – 10 Tips on Capitalisation

This is a great article by Lorraine Mattacola from #IntrepidEnglish:

I hope that you enjoy it, it is very informative.

– Kevin, teacher at L.V. Studio.

Here is the link to the article:

Capital Punishment – 10 Tips on Capitalisation

It’s great to be back, albeit a little later than I would prefer. It has been a fabulously busy few weeks at Intrepid English with several new students, lots of new translating work and some proof-reading, too.
I have also been lucky enough to attend several events recently, including a fantastic seminar at Aston University in Birmingham and the LUXEXPO in Luxembourg. I am a big fan of Luxembourg and I really enjoyed being part of the UK Trade and Investment’s delegation of business owners who travelled there for three days in June. If you haven’t been to the city before, I would heartily recommend that you put it on your list of European cities to visit. On top of all that, I have been finalising the plans for our wedding in Portugal in August. It’s all very exciting!
Now, this month’s blog is about a topic that I have been asked about a lot recently: capitalisation. It seems that the rules regarding this area of grammar are a little unclear for many people. It is especially difficult for learners whose native language has a capital letter at the beginning of every noun. I was recently told by one student that he had spent many years learning to capitalise every noun in his native language of German, only to find out that he had to start from the beginning again when learning the rules in English. Sorry!
It seems that capital letters have been going ‘out of fashion’ in recent years. This opinion is influenced greatly by the Internet and the laziness of its multitude of users who have decided that spelling, punctuation and recognisable words should be a thing of the past. I can’t imagine how this attitude would benefit those who subscribe to it when applying for a job or conversing with anyone above the age of 20. As I have said on many occasions, English grammar can be a difficult and complex subject and many will never master it completely, but as long as your writing is understandable and easy to read, that’s all you need to be concerned with. 
So, when should we use a capital letter in English? Well, it’s not as difficult as you might think. There are several things to keep in mind, but when you have mastered these few rules, it’s just a case of practice makes perfect. 
In the printing industry, the term ‘sentence case’ (or ‘sentence-style capitalization’ in American English) refers to sentences starting with an upper-case letter followed by lower-case letters with the exception of proper nouns. This is in contrast to ‘UPPER CASE’, where all the letters are capitalised or ‘Title Case’, in which the first letter of each word is capitalised (with a few exceptions; see Tip 3).
This is not an exhaustive list, but it will go some way to helping you understand when to use the upper case and when to lose it.
As a quick reference, here is a list of words which should be capitalised:
Place names: London, Northern Ireland, New York, Africa 
Personal names: Mike, Barack Obama, Roger Rabbit
National and regional adjectives: a Canadian housewife, a Dutch boy
Languages: Russian, Swedish
Churches and religions: Buddhism, St Mary’s church, a Jewish family
Days and months: Monday, November
Brand or company names: Intrepid English, Fair Trade
Royal titles: Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry
Jobs: President François Hollande (but not job descriptions eg. the president of France)
Acronyms: S.O.S, NATO
Honorifics and styles of nobility: Her Majesty, His Holiness
Planets: Jupiter, Saturn
Deities and personifications: Allah, God (only when referring to the Judeo-Christian deity)
Tip 1 In British English we follow the colon with a capital letter if the clause following the colon is a new sentence or if the colon introduces two or more complete sentences. In American usage, they do not. After non-final punctuation such as a semicolon or dash, we do not capitalise the first letter, even if it is a separate sentence. See my blog on colons and semicolons for more information.
Tip 2 You should always have a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence. This includes the first sentence in a letter or email, following the salutation. That might seem obvious to some, but in many eastern-European countries, letters and emails are started with a lower-case letter.
Your emails should not begin like this:
Dear Mr Johnson, 
regarding your email of 24th June…
They should begin more like this:
Dear Mary, 
Thank you for your email regarding…
This does not apply if the first word in your sentence begins with a letter which is always left uncapitalised (such as ‘iPhone’ or ‘eBay’). I would recommend that you rephrase the sentence so that the word is in a different position.
Tip 3 Titles of books, films, songs and games, etc. have the following rules when adhering to British English guidelines: Capitalise the first word of the title, and all words within the title except articles (a/an/the), prepositions (to/on/for etc) andconjunctions (but/and/or etc).
This is an area that many grammarians can’t seem to agree on. If you are planning to write professionally, I would recommend checking the prescribed writing style of the publication for which you are writing. 
As a British English speaker, I tend to refer to the University of Oxford Style Guide which states the following general rule: Do not use a capital letter unless it is absolutely required. Another, more informal, style guide is the Guardian and Observer Style Guide. For users of American English, the Associated Press has a style guide, available in app form for $24.99 at the time of writing.
Tip 4 Don’t use capitalisation for emphasis. That includes capitalising the first letter of any word within the phrase you wish to emphasise. If the wording alone cannot emphasise the point sufficiently, use italics. 
Incorrect: The HUGE snake slithered past her feet.
Incorrect: He grabbed her hand and said “Don’t Move Until I Get Back.”
Tip 5 For section and table headings, use sentence case (capitalise the first word only, unless a word is a proper noun or would normally be capitalised).
Tip 6 It is not necessary to capitalise the word ‘the’ unless it is at the beginning of a sentence or it is part of a name which is usually capitalised. This applies to names of corporations and other entities, and some idiomatic expressions. For example, the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister, but The Hague.
Tip 7 If an adjective originates from a proper noun, it should be capitalised, e.g the Spanish people. However, when a term is no longer connected to its namesake or no longer refers to any specific individual; these are not proper names and should be lower cased: jack in the pulpit, round-robin, teddy bear, cheddar cheese etc. For more information, see my blog post on compound adjectives.
Tip 8 Points of the compass (east, southwest, etc.), and their derived forms (southern etc.) should only be capitalised when they are part of a proper name, such as the North Pole or West Ham. The North, The East, The South and The West are considered proper nouns, so these words can be capitalised.
Capital letters are used if the place has attained proper-name status, such as Western Europe or North Korea. Otherwise it is not. If unsure, and you are unable to look it up, assume that it hasn’t attained proper-name status and write the word in lower case.
Tip 9 Seasons are not capitalised: “I love to go swimming in summer.”
Tip 10 The names of family members should be capitalised when they replace a name: 
“Last year Grandma sent me a lovely birthday present”
But not when the word follows a possessive:
“Her grandma walks a mile a day to the bus stop.”
That concludes this basic list of tips for capitalisation. This covers ten of the basic rules which cause confusion for many learners of English and native speakers alike. If you are interested in finding out more, please follow the ‘credits’ links at the bottom of this blog post. 
Before I go, I must mention one more thing to watch out for regarding capitalisation in English: Capitonyms are words which change in meaning if they are capitalised. An example of this is the word ‘china’. The lower-case word refers to crockery such as plates, cups and saucers. Its upper-cased counterpart refers to the country. 
Some common noun capitonyms include:
comet = is a celestial object made of icy and dust 
Comet = a chain of electrical shops in Britain and a washing powder in America
march = a piece of music composed to accompany marching or the act of marching itself
March = the third month of the year
burgundy = a deep red colour or a type of red wine
Burgundy = the French region that produces the wine
cancer = a deadly disease
Cancer = a constellation of starts or the astrological sign
polish = a product used to create a shiny surface
Polish = someone or something originating from Poland
turkey = the poultry or the meat derived from it
Turkey = a country
liberal = a person if liberal views
Liberal = a member of the Liberal political party
As always, if you have any questions regarding this or any of my blog posts, or you would like to request a topic for next month’s Real English blog, please feel free to send me an email at or leave a comment below.
If you haven’t already, why not join the Intrepid English Facebook page and join me on Twitter
I wish you all a wonderful July. Until next month, goodbye! 
Intrepid English and the UKTI delegation in Luxembourg

The advantages of being bilingual

the results are in…bilingual is better!

The most significant advantage which has been reported recently must be the fact that “bilingual patients developed dementia 4.5 years later than the monolingual ones.” This was the outcome of a research lead by Dr Thomas Bak. It also concluded that “bilingual switching between different sounds, words, concepts, grammatical structures and social norms constituted a form of natural brain training, which was likely to be more effective than any artificial brain training programme”. For further details, read BBC’s article Speaking a second language may delay dementia. The full research paper can be bought here.Bilingualism has also been found to enhance a child’s working memory as shown by a research conducted at the University of Granada under the supervision of Ellen Bialystok.  The “working memory includes the structures and processes associated with the storage and processing of information over short periods of time.” You can read more about this in the article Bilingual children have a better “working memory” than monolingual childrenIn their article Being Bilingual Makes You Smarter The social network Verbalisti  write that “the bilingual experience improves the brain’s so-called executive function — a command system that directs the attention processes that we use for planning, solving problems and performing various other mentally demanding tasks.”Bilinguals are better at multi-tasking. “Children who grow up learning to speak two languages are better at switching between tasks than are children who learn to speak only one language” as explained in Bilingual Children Switch Tasks Faster than Speakers of a Single Language

Bilingualism makes you more open-minded and sensitive to others:  “bilinguals have an enhanced awareness of other people’s points of view, born from their deeper understanding, from an early age, that some people have a different perspective.” This probably makes bilinguals better managers as well as stated in the Financial Times article The Multilingual Dividend

Another study found that bilingualism enhances your listening ability. It showed that in a noisy environment bilinguals are “better at detecting the different sounds, therefore enhancing attention.” Read more in the article Study Indicates Bilinguals are Better Listeners (Literally).

Bilingual children are less easily distractedJudy Willis MD, a neurologist, teacher and author states that “compared to monolinguals, the bilingual children develop greater attention focus, distraction resistance, decision-making judgment and responsiveness to feedback”  and that “research supports encouraging parents to retain use of their native language in the home” in her article Neuroscience and the Bilingual Brain.

If you grow up as a bilingual you are often also bicultural. In his article Advantages of Being Bicultural  Prof François Grosjean lists the benefits as “having a greater number of social networks, being aware of cultural differences, taking part in the life of two or more cultures, being an intermediary between cultures” as well as having “greater creativity and professional success”.




ARTICLE AUTHOR: © Rita Rosenback 2014


Conversation Nights with LV Studio

The very first week that I arrived here in Buenos Aires, about 7 months ago, I attended a conversation night at LV Studio. I was a little nervous and hesitant about going, but I figured that I needed to take a chance and try some new things in order to meet more people and P1000839really practice my Spanish.

    When I arrived there were two other people there, one young woman from Germany and another young man from Australia. The three of us had a great class with a very helpful teacher who had been born and raised in Buenos Aires and after we all went to dinner and to have some drinks. The three of us hit it off right away. Months later the guy from Australia returned to his home country and the woman from Germany and I continue to grab coffee occasionally or meet each other for a Saturday night drink. She has become one of my closest friends.

After a couple of months working for LV Studio as an English teacher, I was asked to teach the conversation nights. Now, I try to alternate. Some Friday nights I am the teacher for the English students and other nights, I participate as a student practicing her Spanish. However, I have found that no matter what role I find myself playing, I always enjoy myself. I find myself meeting some pretty awesome people from all over the world, enjoying a beer and learning a million new things (whether they be in English or Spanish).

There is always a friendly face to welcome any and all newcomers to Buenos Aires and always a good time waiting to be had.

If you haven’t ever tried a conversation night with LV Studio or if you’ve gone maybe once, but haven’t returned, I highly suggest that you try it. You never know who you’ll end up meeting.

See you there!