CLIL Stuff

Organicémonos.

Nos piden que utilicemos Symbaloo para recopilar y compartir enlaces a recursos AICLE. Uso otras herramientas similares – quién no – con más o menos entusiasmo y convencimiento (Pinterest, Scoop-it, Diigo…) y aunque conocía Symbaloo no lo había utilizado antes. Francamente, después de probar muchas cosas, me he acostumbrado a organizar mis enlaces personales en carpetas en Chrome, y me resulta la forma más eficiente y sencilla. Pero bueno, Symbaloo no está mal: es sencillo y visual, y ayuda a poner orden en este océano de recursos y sitios web en los que prácticamente todos corremos el riesgo de ahogarnos todos los días, con la clara ventaja de la vertiente social y poder compartirlos, que no es poco. Así es que he puesto manos a la obra. Y aquí está:

symbaloo2He empezado por incluir sitios con recursos AICLE, algunos de mis propios recursos de enseñanza de inglés como segundo idioma, y alguno más en un área a mitad de camino entre ambos, Content-Based Instruction, y en el que también tengo interés. Aprovecharé para ir organizando mi ordenado caos cibernético…

 

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Diseccionando AICLE

Continuamos viaje por el territorio inexplorado del universo AICLE. Siempre me ha atraído, aunque no lo conozco lo suficiente como para opinar, dado que he siempre lo he visto desde fuera. Pero espero que el curso del Intef (Uso de Recursos Educativos Abiertos para el aprendizaje integrado de contenidos en lenguas extranjeras) me permita acercarme lo suficiente como para formarme una opinión. Sobre todo, porque los compañeros del curso son en su gran mayoría profesionales que llevan mucho tiempo trabajando en ese campo.

tileUna de las actividades (¡que una vez más entrego casi sin resuello en el último minuto!) consistía en analizar una unidad didáctica con esa metodología. Como profesor de inglés como segundo idioma, no tengo un área concreta a la que aproximarme, así es que disfruto del lujo de tener todo el campo del saber donde escoger. Y como de todas las materias académicas que he conocido, siempre he sentido debilidad y curiosidad por la historia, anduve buscando y analizando unidades didácticas en ese campo. Hay, sorpresa número uno, más recursos disponibles en abierto de los que sospechaba. Y en muchos casos, sorpresa número dos, materiales de gran rigor y calidad. Uno de los
repositorios que más me han impresionado es el de la Consejería de Educación de Andalucía. Impresionante.

Y en fin, entre los numerosos ejemplos a escoger, me decanté con poca duda por una unidad didáctica con el título de Al-Ándalus (todos esos años viviendo en Córdoba me acaban de empujar irresistiblemente a estas cosas). Se trataba de analizar la unidad didáctica y ver hasta qué punto considerábamos que aplicaba de modo eficaz los principios y la metodología AICLE. Y esto es lo que vi…

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Hi Clil friends, this is me…

Federico se presenta… from Federico on Vimeo.

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Hello CLIL!

Here we are, taking the first baby steps into the fascinating realm of CLIL.

The little I know about Content and Language Integrated Learning has been strictly out of curiosity, reading an article here and there, but of course – as sooner or later we all find out – if you want to  make any progress you’ll need a more formal and structured learning environment at some point, and the course offered by the Spanish Educational Training Platform -INTEF- is the perfect excuse to get started in this area.

So here we go…

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European Day of Languages 2011

Once again the Council of Europe has insisted that their celebration of languages should coincide with the beginning of our school year: Monday September 26th.

Now, we couldn’t let them down, could we?

The European Day of Languages (EDL) aims to celebrate the rich and diverse culture behind each and every language. Their website offers information about the purpose of the celebration, a calendar of events in different countries, a self-assessment language test, etc. Have a look!

If you like games –and particularly language games- try the different activities under the Language Fun section in the menu bar at the top. Here’s a sample.

  • Self-evaluation game. Do you want to find out what your level of English (or any other European language) is?
  • Language Treasure. What’s your favourite English or Spanish word? Check out other people’s choice and submit your own.
  • Talk to me. How many European languages can you identify? And in which countries are they spoken?
  • Memory game. Do you know your flags? Here’s a tough one for you.
  • How many languages are spoken in London? Read about this and many other interesting Language Facts.
  • And if you reeeeeally are into languages, don’t miss the ultimate Language Quiz. What do you know about European languages? Give this quiz a try and find out!

Enjoy!

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What’s Your English?

The never-ending argument about what is ‘proper English’: is there such a thing as a standard, “proper” English? And if so, which? The RP of the educated minority in Southern England? How acceptable are the national varieties of the former colonies?

It is, of course, a very old debate. And the only way to take it seriously is through humour. And rap. Watch this:

If you find it difficult to follow, you may want to have a look at the script.

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Intimate Strangers

When English photographer Susie Rea started one of her latest projects, ‘Intimate Strangers‘, she decided to reach out to the strangers she meets on her way to work every day, find out who they are and break the silence…  She points out that in today’s world we often know more and keep closer contact with people who live thousands of miles away than we do with the people we see every day, with our next door neighbours.

Haven’t you ever wondered about the lives of people you see every day but have never talked to? Send us your comments. Continue reading

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Will Chinese be the next international language?

Many people think so. As a matter of fact, young people everywhere are enrolling in Chinese language classes. And many parents are sending their children to learn Mandarin (Obama among them).

Some experts, however, think it unlikely. Here’s an interesting article from Newsweek Magazine.

English Is Here to Stay

Why learn Mandarin? China won’t make you speak it.

The data would seem to be in: China is poised to become the world’s economic leader within the next few decades. But there are those under the impression that this will mean a sea change in the world’s linguistic terrain as well. Certainly, any human being who seeks education, influence, or power should be learning Mandarin, right?
Wrong. The world’s de facto international language will continue to be English. The language spoken by the whole world will not be the one spoken in the country that runs it—a new and hybrid linguistic world order.

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New Year’s Resolutions

New year’s resolutions? Yes, that’s right: all those things we promise to definitely do this year on January first, add I’ll start tomorrow… and end up promising again one year later. After all, promises are made to be broken.

Or maybe not: this year I will.

Check out some resolutions and choose ten you would like to make yourself.

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The importance of pronunciation

There’s nothing wrong with having a foreign accent when we speak English. As a matter of fact, we all have an accent of some kind, even in our language. If you are, say, Argentinian, you’ll have an Argentinian accent; and if you are from Madrid, you’ll have a madrileño one. It’s very much the same thing when we speak a foreign language. If you are Spanish, chances are you’ll have a Spanish accent, right? As long as it is clear and intelligible and you can communicate effectively, it is a perfectly natural thing and nothing to be ashamed of.

Having said that, however, it is important to remember that pronunciation is one of the major factors when it comes to breakdowns in communication between speakers of different languages. Don’t worry if you don’t speak like a native. But do not underestimate the importance of good pronunciation. A strong Spanish accent may make you perfectly understandable to Spanish speakers (what’s more, even more so than a native speaker) but it may cause difficulties to speakers of other languages. Sometimes, great difficulties. And it is not just students of English who have that problem…

It can happen to him:

Or to him:

 

 

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