Language learning

APRENDER INGLÉS DESMONTANDO MITOS ¿Inglés americano o inglés Británico?

Existe un amplio debate sobre este asunto. Todo el mundo tiene una opinión al respecto, más o menos fundamentada. Hoy desmontaremos brevemente este mito a través de varias preguntas.

¿Hay una “Real Academia de la Lengua Inglesa” o algo parecido? NO.

A diferencia de las lenguas romances principales (Español, francés, italiano y portugués), la lengua inglesa carece de este tipo de instituciones, por lo que hacer oficial alguna variedad de la lengua inglesa resulta difícil o imposible. Ante tal carencia de autoridad que regule ortografía, gramática y léxico, los hablantes ingleses se encuentran en una total y absoluta anarquía. Esto facilita que se acuñen nuevos términos continuamente y que la lengua evolucione sin control y a un ritmo sin igual debido a su carácter internacional.

¿Qué o quién regula la norma ortográfica y gramatical de esta lengua? Aparentemente NADIE.

Con lo único que cuenta la lengua inglesa es con la existencia de algunos descriptores como instituciones de prestigio que no fijan una norma gramatical, solo la describen regulando tan solo la pronunciación. Éstas son:

RP English: (received pronounciation) También conocida como BBC English, Queen’s o King’s English o Oxford English.

American English o inglés estadounidense. La única autoridad que podría considerarse como tal en este caso es la de Noah Webster como autor del diccionario Webster. Pero en este caso solo se describe pronunciación y grafía relacionada con el acento americano.

Se entiende, por tanto que el RP ENGLISH es la autoridad en esta lengua, pero no existe nada intrínseco a esta pronunciación que lo haga superior a otras. Es más una cuestión de prestigio social que otra cosa. Esto es lo que se piensa en el mundo no anglo-parlante. Algo completamente contrario a lo que piensan los angloparlantes. De hecho, […]

Por |mayo 29th, 2016|Language learning|2 Comentarios

APRENDER INGLÉS. Todo lo que hay que saber sobre certificados de nivel

 

A más de un español le está doliendo la cabeza últimamente con el asunto del aprendizaje de inglés y con la validez de sus certificados entre otros temas que nadie parece aclarar totalmente. Aquí ofreceré una breve explicación de cómo funciona todo. Hoy me centraré en lo que concierne a los universitarios.

Pues si chicos y chicas, llegó el momento… Habéis terminado vuestro grado y no podéis recibir vuestro diploma ni acceder a estudios de posgrado sin cumplir el pequeño requisito de la acreditación de nivel en lengua extranjera Europea. Un autentico incordio, pero todo tiene solución si estáis informados y os ponéis en buenas manos. ¡NO ES EL FIN DEL MUNDO!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lo primero, información. Esto es resumidamente lo que hay que saber sobre el asunto que nadie os aclara.

CERTIFICADOS DE NIVEL

En la década de los 90, el consejo europeo patrocinó la publicación de un documento donde se detallan y describen los niveles de conocimiento de las lenguas que componen el mapa europeo para homogeneizar la terminología: El marco común de referencia para las lenguas.

Este asunto hizo que todas las instituciones tuvieran que adaptar sus nomenclaturas a la nueva política europea en la que se inserta el PLAN BOLONIA. Lo que antes era BÁSICO; INTERMEDIO Y AVANZADO ahora es A(1-2), B(1-2) y C(1-2).

Existen tablas de correspondencia como esta:

¿Qué nivel necesito para obtener mi título de grado?  Necesitas certificar un nivel B1 EN CUALQUIER LENGUA EUROPEA QUE NO SEA TU LENGUA MADRE según el CONSEJO EUROPEO.

¿Qué nivel necesito para obtener mi título de máster? Necesitas certificar un nivel B2 EN CUALQUIER LENGUA EUROPEA QUE NO SEA TU LENGUA MADRE según el CONSEJO EUROPEO.

¿Qué diplomas son válidos para certificar mi nivel en el ámbito académico universitario? 

Esto es algo que […]

Por |mayo 22nd, 2016|Language learning|0 comentarios

Learn Spanish in Seville

Seville is one of the best destinations for learning Spanish and getting a total cultural and linguistic immersion. The city offers a wide variety of leisure options and you can adapt your stay at your convenience if guided by the right people.
This blog contains many tips and info in its articles in which you may find valuable information for getting the best out of your visit to the capital of Andalusia.
First thing to take into account is DO AS SEVILIANS DO. Yes, don’t fall in the topic. Enjoy our monuments, join our festivities, but try to interact with locals as much as possible.

Sevilian people is very open to foreign visitors and they will always give you a nice hint. Get lost among them and don’t be afraid.
Don’t show fear. Most of locals everywhere may feel insulted if you show fear when they are just trying to be helpful and good hosts. That will probably turn into bad energy vibe and, definitedly, is not the right way of approaching new people and cultures. Besides, Sevilla is a very safe city and you can walk its streets any time day or night with a very low rate of burglary or thievery activities in the street.

Get the right information. The first thing you should do when you arrive is to pay a visit to our OFICINA DE TURISMO. Here is where you get a lot of info and you can compare prices, touristic packages, etc. Also, People working in the office will give you objective advice in the sense that they won’t try to sell you plans or activities as it is the only place where they don’t get comission out of it. Others like concierges or […]

Por |abril 13th, 2015|Language learning, Sin categoría|0 comentarios

Spanish language is a hard one, but…

It’s been commonly said that learning Spanish is one of the most difficult tasks a student encounter when learning a new second language. Besides, it is the third most spoken language in the world so it makes the issue a total challenge specially to anglo-speakers.

Hard lists of verbal exceptions, heterogeneous endings for each tense and conjugation, multiple structures for conveying the same idea with slight connotations only perceived by natives… In the end, a thick concrete wall almost impossible to overcome.

Well, I have some advice for you.

I teach both English and Spanish so I am really aware of the problems that students of both languages may find during their training. I said training because this is how you have to see it. By training  what you are learning you will succeed and get visible results bit by bit and sooner than you think. You need to keep track of the new concepts acquired out of the classroom environment.

That interlingua limbo in which  a student of a second language is immerse is the best lab to test your skills and to settle your knowledge acquired. Hence again, as I have said formerly in other posts, culture input is keystone for your success.

Here goes an example:

If we translate only using a dictionary the following sentence:

TO GO ON A DIET

This is what we get:

*Ir en una dieta

Which should be: PONERSE A DIETA

If we do so the other way round, we get:

*To put on a diet.

 

None of these translations are accurate and may cause laugh in both native speakers of both languages.

Reflecting on these matters is crucial for you to learn appropriately the target language. Reading and commenting on these issues with your teacher can become much more […]

Por |diciembre 8th, 2014|Language learning|0 comentarios

Learn Spanish or study Spanish… Big deal?

Since languages have become subjects in schools the necessity of studying them have overwhelmed students with memory techniques, studies’ syllabus, associating the language with a text book, etc.

In Europe, it is mandatory to get a B1 level of use of a second language spoken in the European community if you want to certify your university degree (CEFR Benchmarks). By treating languages like this, we are diminishing its value to simple and plain contents and grammatical rules to be learned almost by heart by students who, after accomplishing their level requirements, won’t probably talk or read in that language anymore.

The will of learning a language comes from a needed requirement, not from our interest toward that language and their speakers’ culture. This affects negatively to the learning processes of students and learners. But here comes the turning point of this question proposed.

Learning or studying? Maybe both are possible? What do we take for “learning” really?

Learning a language, as we do when we are kids with our native tongue, is a continuous practice exercise. We learn and practice, learn and put into practice, make mistakes, get corrected and keep learning. Learning a language can be a funny and fulfilling experience if you use the right methodology. Simple as using contents of your interest and boosting your learning paths by putting into practice everything you learned during the class as fast as possible.

By practicing Spanish right away you are just simplifying the process. By practice you are able to eliminate almost any trace of studying rules by heart. Just practicing, rules are acquired by the experience of speaking in Spanish, making mistakes, being corrected, etc.

Global Language Training philosophy is that one of simplifying the learning process as […]

Por |octubre 29th, 2014|Language learning|2 Comentarios

Juan: A dónde vas? Ana: A apuntarme a clases de inglés. Juan: Otra vez?!

Comentarios así están a la orden del día en España. Hay gente que se apunta a clases de inglés todos los años al mismo nivel… Está claro que algo falla. Lo podemos tomar con humor pero lo cierto es que hay mucha gente que está perdiendo su tiempo y su dinero mientras otros se lucran sin resultados.*
Una vez escuché: “Si, a mi me gusta mucho apuntarme a clases de inglés todos los años…”
Pero… Un momento. Cuando uno aprende algo… No es que ya sabe? Cuando uno aprende a andar, a montar en bicicleta, a sumar, a restar, a usar un teléfono móvil, etc.
La verdad es que el asunto es preocupante. Sobre todo teniendo en cuenta que el número de academias e instituciones relacionadas con el aprendizaje de lenguas ha crecido sustancialmente en los últimos años. No te dejes engañar por falsos reclamos que nada tienen que ver con tu aprendizaje. No existe el método perfecto para todo el mundo pero si el método perfecto para ti.

Será culpa de los estudiantes? No lo creo. A pesar de ser mi gremio, debo admitir que no está gestionado de la mejor forma por la mayoría de las empresas que se dedican a ello. La mayoría se lucran gracias al desconocimiento y la frustración de sus ilusionados y humildes alumnos.
Aquí van un par de consejos útiles:
1. Cuando elijas un centro, pide muestra de que los docentes tienen la titulación y la preparación adecuada. Porque un profesor de matemáticas no puede enseñar ingles, ni viceversa. Por lo mismo que un contable no puede enseñar español (aunque sea hispano-parlante).
2. Cuidado! No intentes ahorrar apuntándote a clases de intercambio gratuitas, sesiones de charlas en inglés (sin preparación previa) en las que […]

Por |septiembre 9th, 2014|Language learning, Sin categoría|0 comentarios

The linguistic bubble. How far is language teaching business going to get?

Here comes a very controversial matter. Last June 12th, El País (a Spanish newspaper) issued an article about the growing amount of new language schools in the country. Something described as “the linguistic bubble” comparing this phenomenon to the former “real state bubble” and denouncing the fact that many of these new schools are not authorised for preparing people to official examinations and lack of the necessary tools for doing so.

It must be pointed out that many universities and companies ask for these diplomas (FCE, CAE, TOEFL, TRINITY, etc) as one of the main requirements for entering a degree or a job position. It does not affect only to English as a second language (being this one the most important) but also German, French and Chinesse. But it is English the most controversial for being the most demanded.

The author denounces that these schools are adevertising their courses with very low prices which negatively affects to their quality and, besides, to the prestige of the rest of the rest of schools which have been doing this for decades. It is a new line of business that has increased its activity over a 30% in the last 2 years, El Pais says.

The regulatory authorities and the representatives of Cambridge and Trinity (among others) in Spain are trying to take some control of this situation which, in turn, is not totally ilegal or fraudulent as they use names of examinations but not logos or brand symbols. Hence the controversy of the matter.

Just in a few words, there are some people that is taking advantage of the great necessity of learning foreign languages in Spain at any cost and by any means. This affects obviously to professionals who really […]

Por |julio 7th, 2014|Language learning|0 comentarios

How to learn Spanish on line

Learning a language on line is becoming easier and easier within these times. Once you touch bases with the language and get some development in the four skills (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking) it is time to get practice on line with the wide range of options that are offered in www.youtube.com, vimeo.com, and an infinite list of websites which supply with specific material for language learners, but watch out! Not all of them are good or suitable for your level, interests, and general practice.

Talking about Spanish language, Instituto Cervantes provides a big amount of material and information about Spanish language, literature and culture in general. But maybe your level should be high enough to understand instructions and contents in full Spanish from Spain. Nonetheless, it is a great tool for keeping track of your Spanish and keeping your learning & practice up.

Besides, there are a lot of free dictionaries monolingual and multilingual. Hence www.wordreference.com is one of the best under my point of view, due to the multiple search options that can help you out a lot if you know how to get the best from definitions, definitions in context, groups of words and forum discussions about the word combined in different uses, whether they are in a metaphorical use or straight meanings.

Obviously, you need the right motivation for improving and not getting frustrated with the use of these tools. Here goes a piece of advice: try always to read and listen about something that is interesting for you. Apart from practicing grammar, this grammar needs to be used always in context if you want to improve your use of Spanish in reality. Not needed to say that being in the country were the […]

Por |junio 16th, 2014|Language learning, Sin categoría|0 comentarios

How learning Spanish in Spain can become one of your best assets in life.

Learning a language on location is something not affordable for everyb0dy. But, there are some steps which may be taken to make it cheaper and more fruitful. Here are some examples.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT SCHOOL IN TOWN

When you start learning a language, you should be aware of which is the best school in town, or, at least, you may pick one in which both culture and language are taken into account at the same level when you are still in your country of origin. The role of the language teacher as a carrier of cultural messages is central to certain understandings of language teaching. Implicit in the concept is that the culture and values that underpin a language cannot be divorced from the language itself, and that an appreciation of certain key cultural concepts are required for a true understanding of the language being learnt. This is what you need.

PICK A TOPIC OF INTEREST IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE

There must be something attractive to you in the target culture/language. This is crucial for your success. Find something interesting for you like music, art, business, costumes. Many students of Spanish are interested in our culture, folklore, flamenco, gastronomy, societal features, national parks, sports, wines, literature, etc. Find yours and you will feel very comfortable in your learning, once you have started to be competent in it and doing what you like, not what you have been said to do.

GET GOOD ADVISORY AND BE AWARE OF WHAT YOU WANT TO DO ONCE YOU DECIDE TO COME TO SPAIN

Many people come to our country knowing little from us. This creates a strong cultural shock not bearable to most of them. Learn from the country you are visiting and do it […]

Por |mayo 19th, 2014|Language learning|0 comentarios

How to speak Spanish, Study Spanish?? No way!

Learning a language must be useful for your everyday life. Also learning Spanish in Seville. Any method is good if it fulfills your needs, and it has to be directed always on your behalf. That’s why we think that personal language training will be your best option when you are approaching a culture and its language. Your learning must be directed to your necessities and your language output developed in real context. The city of Seville offers one of the best frames for your success in this task. Associating your learning with your Spanish life’s experience will make easier both to achieve and acquire the target language.

Your learning will be monitorized by a professor with wide experience on teaching both English and Spanish. The advantages of being with this tutor are that he will be aware of your shortcomings, obstacles and advantages in your learning process. He will also be ready to modify contents being always able to adapt them to your learning rhythm at any moment. The adaptability of this methodology will offer you the following incentives:

1)      Increased motivation.

2)      Best concentration on learning due to the individual method.

3)      Personal needs covered as your will.

4)      No distraction directed towards other people learning rhythms.

5)      Opportunity of specializing the use of the target language to student’s professional interests.

6)      Developing learning through student’s best skills or abilities to get their best results.

7)      Absence of fear toward making mistakes during his/her language output in front of other learners.

8)      Reducing time between learning and assimilation of grammar and uses.

9)      Having the opportunity of using the concepts achieved during classes in truly real contexts in everyday Spanish life.

New technologies can be used in class and your learning is going to […]