Ivan

About Ivan Sanchís

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So far Ivan Sanchís has created 43 entries.

How to speak Spanish without much effort?

BEHIND THE THUNDER

I keep looking for one more teacher

Only to find that fish learn from water

And birds learn from the sky.

If you want to learn from the sea

It helps to be at the sea.

If you want to learn about compassion,

It helps to be in love.

If you want to learn abour healing,

It helps to know of suffering.

The strong live in the storm

without worshipping the storm.

 

Mark Nepo

 

I saw this beautiful and true poem and it made me think about my job. As a bird learns from the sky and a fish learns from the water, a language cannot be learned if we don’t like the contents we are using. In the era of communications, we have the possibility of learning from anything we like. Gates are open to us for our enjoyment if we want to and if we know where to look for.

Changing the contents of our Spanish lessons is the key for success in our learning process. If we work in business administration, this is the Spanish we have to learn; if we work in sales, this is the Spanish we have to learn; and so on so forth.

Besides, if we like literature, there wouldn’t be a better way of learning our Spanish than reading; if we like sports, do so; if we like cooking, do so too; travelling, car races, painting, music… You name it! Everything can be done in Spanish. A language is not a content, is just a tool to talk about them. Easy and simple as that.

Everyone has his/her niche of interest and all of them can be applied in language learning as language is the main vehicle of communication  and is good to be in the pond we like […]

Por |diciembre 4th, 2013|Language learning|0 comentarios

El significado de las palabras

En el proceso de aprendizaje de lengua, este tipo de simpáticos malentendidos son bastante frecuentes. Es aquí donde el aprendiente se da cuenta de que las palabras (e incluso algunas frases) aisladas carecen de significado único. Este fenómeno es conocido como choque cultural y genera divertidos resultados cuando no se tiene una visión global de la lengua que se está aprendiendo. Es cierto que “turn” significa “giro, girar o vuelta” pero combinado con “off” significa apagar. Lo mismo ocurre con “showers”.

Aunque los traductores automáticos, como Google translator, han evolucionado mucho, todavía podemos encontrar este tipo de resultados en sus traducciones. Al fin y al cabo, se trata de máquinas que funciona mediante algoritmos y no atiende a factores humanos y culturales a menos que se introduzca el algoritmo adecuado para cada combinación, lo cual resultaría bastante tedioso y casi imposible. Como dice Salvador Tió, las lenguas pertenecen a sus hablantes y son ellos los que las van modificando sin atender a razonamientos científicos. La gramática solo sirve para describir como hablamos y escribimos. A veces hay que dejarse llevar por los hablantes para terminar de conocer una lengua.

Esto es una muestra más de que un aprendiente de lenguas debe tener acceso simultaneo a su cultura para que no ocurran cosas como estas o como el famoso “I book on Mondays”. De todas formas no hay que ver este tipo de errores como algo nefasto, vergonzoso y denigrante sino todo lo contrario. Es como cuando un niño está aprendiendo a hablar y dice cosas como “he abrido”, “se ha rompido” o “he visto un pampasma”. Forma parte del aprendizaje y no debe tomarse demasiado en serio. De hecho, cuando un aprendiente se expone a este […]

Por |noviembre 24th, 2013|Language learning|1 comentario

What is the best place to learn Spanish?

It can be said that the two most important languages in occidental world are English and Spanish. Both are important in literature, artistic expressions (mostly in music) and economy. Both are spoken in the United States (Spanish is the second most spoken language there) and both are spoken in many countries including a wide range of varieties and cultural output which, from an external point of view, can appear very different, but both have their roots: Spain and United Kingdom. This fact may arise as a problem when deciding what place or country is more appropriate to get a good result from our learning.

This shouldn’t represent a problem if we have something clear: What is our purpose of using it. This is the most important thing when we learn a language or anything else.

Maybe we need the language for work, or studies, maybe we just love the language and its culture. This is the most common feeling among those who really become successful in their learning and end up acquiring the language in an almost native way.

If you don’t have a clear idea about this, the best option is going to the place where the language was created. In this way we will be acquiring the roots of its different varieties and we will be closer to its different interpretations.

 

Another aspect to take into account is if we think we are going to enjoy our experience. This will help much  in our learning. The more we enjoy, the more we learn. Learning doesn’t have to be boring. At least, this is my main objective when teaching. So, wherever we decide to go for learning Spanish, or any second language, it has to be attractive, […]

Por |noviembre 21st, 2013|Language learning|1 comentario

Homenaje a España en Miami International Book Fair

Nos encontramos en el año de conmemoración de la llegada de Juan Ponce de León a Florida hace 500 años como primer explorador oficial de la corona española en 1513. Desde aquel año hasta nuestros días, la herencia española no solo ha estado presente en estas tierras sino que se ha ido extendiendo por todo el territorio Norteamericano. Estados Unidos se ha convertido en el país de habla no española que más influencia ha tenido de nuestra cultura y Juan Ponce de León junto con otros exploradores españoles como Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca fueron responsables de este hecho desde el comienzo de la expansión anglo-española en el continente Americano.

Este insigne vallisoletano, al cual se le deben los topónimos de Puerto Rico (siendo gobernador de la Isla bajo el gobierno de Carlos V) y Florida, consiguió permiso del Rey Fernando para recorrer las tierras del norte de las isla Lucayas donde se situaba el río Biminí cuyas aguas se conocían como milagrosas por proporcionar la eterna Juventud: The Fountain of Youth. De la cual yo mismo he tenido la oportunidad de beber 500 años después y que espero me mantenga joven por muchos años. Bromas aparte, el legendario lugar se encuentra en los alrededores de la actual ciudad de San Agustín. Conocida como la ciudad más antigua de Estados Unidos y en la cual se respira el legado español en cada rincón, desde el nombre de sus calles (Avilés, cambados, etc) hasta su arquitectura (incluyendo su fortaleza pentagonal muy al uso en aquellas alturas y de herencia hispana).

La feria del libro más importante de Estados Unidos celebrada en Miami está teniendo lugar en estos días en la que es ya su trigésima edición. Debido […]

Por |noviembre 18th, 2013|culture|0 comentarios

Very Spanish wines. Drinking the culture… an experience for the senses

Yes, I said drinking the culture. The Spanish culture can be drunk-learned by enjoying its fantastic wines on location. When I say on location I mean in the wineyard, in the cellar, direct from the barrel, sulfites or chemical free, in the very heart of the smell of several types of wines and guided by the owner and maker of the golden treasures of his production. A very unique activity that still can be enjoyed with Global Language Training.

If there is something representative from Spain, this is definitely its fantastic wines. From Rioja to Ribera del Duero, Penedés, Albariño, etc. But there exists a unique wine in the world that is brewed in the south of the península: SHERRY WINE. Brewed from “Palomino fino” and “Pedro Ximénez” grapes (mainly). Everybody knows and recognise the quality and uniqueness of this wineries which offer the summum of wine culture exported from Cádiz province to the resto of the world. Wines that are more than wines, halfway between wines and spirits…

 

Taken to England By Drake (among others), which only increased the steem of its people to this wines. Laureated, celebrated and personified in love affection by William Shakespeare in some of his works (i.e. Henry IV).  We find ourselves immersed in the most liquid expression of the character of its inhabitants and the history of this rich piece of land at the southernmost corner of Europe heading to Africa.

Last week, James, Stephanie, Xavier (the baby) McNeely and me went to pay a visit to Jose Luis Muñoz. He is the owner of a private bodega located near the river beds of Guadalquivir (Halfway between Jerez and Sanlucar, next to Doñana natural reserve), and spend his days taking care […]

Por |noviembre 14th, 2013|culture, Spanish gastronomy|0 comentarios

Personal language training or group language learning?

Today we are going to deal with these two, let’s say “methods” or just teaching approaches. Both are very effective but in the right moment and different for each learner. Personal language training or group learning.  Learning Spanish in Sevilla with us is full of possibilities. It is the student who decides how to learn or approach the target language.

Group learning is very effective for the first steps in the target language, it means, for beginners. It’s great for many reasons but mainly for improving the interaction in class. Despite, big groups are not very recommendable because each student may have the opportunity of practicing in every session. It is a good way of keeping track of students motivation. In their learning process, they need to feel comfortable with their mistakes and doubts. Seeing it in others will help each student’s confidence.

But, once we have acquired most of the grammar concepts, some vocabulary and we are able to speak and produce in a more or less operative way, Personal language training is the solution for our definitive success. There is a point in which we have to make the target language something of our own as we do with our mother tongue (specially in adults). We need to see the world, our job and our social relationships through the language we are learning. This is called language awareness and what is really going to take us to an almost bilingual level.

So, taken to this point, the secret formula of success is nothing but putting our practice into a real use. The more real, the better results. Simple as that. Global Language Training offers that to those students in that stage.

Pleease, feel free to contact us […]

Por |noviembre 6th, 2013|personal language training|0 comentarios

How to speak Spanish fluently

Most students of Spanish are really concerned about how to speak Spanish fluently. Actually, it is not only a problem of students of Spanish but also of many other languages. Well, part of my research and professional activity deals with the acquisition of the Spanish language in context so I’m going to drop my opinión through this post.

All of us know foreign people living in our country. People with which we interact everyday and we don’t stop to think how did they get to speak so fluently? They just learned the rythm of the language, they might have some accent, yes, but they got the rythm.  Intonation becomes very important in our oral practice and we need to imitate what we hear in terms of rythm and intonation, eventhough accent and pronounciation are important, they are not as important as intonation.

The way is just getting in tune with the language’s culture and learn it through imitation, there is not secret formula for this. When in Rome,do as Romans do. Let the language get into you with activities in which you use it, which means, not focusing in the language ( as it is just an instrument) but on what you can do with it. Read aloud, read dialogues and perform them, record your voice and compare it with what you have heard and imitated, work with music if you like it. As Max Heindel said: Music is the soul of Language. It will take you to fully understand what it is said with all connotations and interpretations any sentence can undertake.

As I always say, therea are many methods but you just have to pick the best one for you. The one that works better and […]

Por |octubre 30th, 2013|Speaking|0 comentarios

CUSTOMIZED LANGUAGE LEARNING, WHY? WHO?

What if you have been trying to learn a second language without substantial results during a long period of time? Maybe you understood the grammar, but you still are not able to express yourself in a fluent way simply because you don’t know how to put together all that knowledge in a proper (and real) way. What is to say that you know the pieces but you don’t know how to put them together to communicate as native speakers do. You are able to express yourself but still sounds weird for you and you see strange faces on your listeners. Living a language is the best way to learn it, and also the quickest way to do it. You can make it faster under our guidance.

Everyone has his/her own way to learn. Depending on your interests and your professional activity, you have to learn a language in order to use it on your behalf. Maybe a teacher is using new technologies and applying the best pedagogical tools to his/her class, but what if those simply doesn’t fit you? It is very likely that you are not going to get your objectives covered having lost a lot of time and money on courses. I am not saying with this that group classroom learning is wrong. It’s the best way to get an overall idea of the target language, but there’s a point in your learning process (and no one is the same) in which you have to express yourself in that language and a real context is the best way to do it.

Customized language training is the solution to this situation.
Most of your best memories are from trips you have done. When you are enjoying […]

Por |octubre 23rd, 2013|Sin categoría|0 comentarios

Sevilla: the best Spanish language lab. The city

Learning Spanish language in Sevilla normally becomes a unique experience. Just ask your friends who had the opportunity of coming here and enjoying the interaction with people, its fantastic weather, the beauty and magic of its streets, plazas and monuments. Every moment of the day offers an output of culture in a city that encompasses daily life with strong values and tradition in a quite subtle way.

Imagine that you are at the university and, after your Spanish lessons, your teacher recommend you to go and practice your listening and speaking abilities in the language laboratory. All of us know what a language lab is. I have been working in some of them during my period in Florida International University. It is a very useful place in which you normally find material to practice and a teacher to get guided conversation if want to; or just listen to tapes, watch movies, videos, etc. But all this is off-setting.

What if you just go to the setting for a month and use a bigger lab: Sevilla? Why not? Where you can talk with locals, learn their costumes, participate in the output of the everyday life in a city which has witnessed so much hispanic history through its streets and old gates. Let’s say that instead of listening to a taped conversation, you just sit down in any of the beautiful cafes in the historic center of the city, or the Jewish quarter, or any little town in the Aljarafe, and listen to people’s conversations (it’s already known that Spaniards talk very loud so it wouldn’t represent a problem). What if instead of watching a Spanish movie and participate in a debate with your peeps, you have the […]

Por |octubre 17th, 2013|culture|0 comentarios

DÌA DE LA HISPANIDAD, DE LA RAZA, COLUMBUS DAY… SPANISH LANGUAGE DAY

Today is our duty to pay attention to Día de la Hispanidad:

521 years back from today, an important event occurred to definitely change the minds of the whole population of the world. A group of Spaniards commanded by Christopher Columbus arrived to the coast of what they thought were the East Indies but what actually was America. More than 400 years later, by the beginning of XX century, Some Spanish authorities and the Iberoamerican Union decided to commemorate the discovery of the new continent in an attempt of drawing up Spanish speaking countries and Spain with the intention of sharing their cultural origin as an act of racial and cultural pride cleaning differences that they had after the independences  of most of these countries from the Spanish rule.

This date is celebrated in different ways in every country. In Spain, The King (as the major authority of the Spanish Army) presides a military show with still some imperial reminiscences and also coincides with the Virgen del Pilar Day, which entails some religious connotations to the commemorative ceremony. In other Spanish speaking countries, many cultural activities and different events are also celebrated. Besides, the USA also celebrates this day but they call it Columbus Day and centre their commemorations on the fact of the discovery which, for them, undergoes the origin of the American Dream philosophy. They see in this the challenging search what those brave men did in the pursuit of their dreams encouraging all Americans to make their own dreams true. Moreover, the Hispanic population in the USA is increasingly growing very fast so the celebration is turning into a kind of commemoration of the union of cultures and fraternity under the Hispanic culture […]

Por |octubre 12th, 2013|culture|0 comentarios