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Setting Priorites

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Who and what do you not worry about much?

Who or what could you live without?

What are two things that are important to you?

Which of them is more important to you?

What else is important to you?

What is the most important thing in your life?

Who could you not live without?

 

 

 

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Independent and Autonomous Learning.

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You you have a duty to yourself; because you will not be helped, unless you help yourself.  Every day, you have to motivate yourself and act upon yourself; rouse yourself, move yourself, wash yourself, feed yourself, get on that boat, and rest yourself.

How could you work effectively and efficiently for yourself (or for anyone else), unless you learnt what to do, and how to it, for yourself?

But there is no harm in asking an expert what your options are!

 

 

 

Don’t worry; be happy!

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You do not have to be able to socialise, do business, and think and DREAM in your second language.

You do not have to speak, read or write PERFECTLY in it; in fact, you do not have to speak, read or write in it at all, if you really do not want to.

COMPETENT interpreters and translators are available to help you, out there, in the big, wide world.

If you are on your own, and cannot think of the word you want in your second language, you can always try one from your FIRST language, make a gesture, or show a picture.

If your pronunciation (or spelling) and VOCABULARY are adequate, the grammar hardly matters at all.

Book Recommendation

0023DC58-24B9-4D1C-AB63-9BD03A052C44I have just finished a very enjoyable course in Basic English for Customer Care with the Ajuntament de Calonge. Following this, I am pleased to be able to recommend a book from Express Publishing by Virginia Evans, Jenny Dooley and Victoria Garza: “Career Paths; Hotels and Catering”. I hope that some of you will find it helpful.

Four things I don’t believe to be proven yet in 2017.

11B4D299-22BE-4505-9FD5-352F1F4AB79EI don’t believe it is proven that…

technology is going to take all our jobs away (“Teachers and Machines”, Larry Cuban, 2015).

CLIL is the solution to all educational problems (“InformeBilingüismo”, http://www.facebook.com/IUEducacion , 2017).

there is a biologically determined critical period for second-language acquisition (Hakuta, 1986, p.232).

teaching to a learner’s supposedly preferred learning style (visual/ auditory/ kinaesthetic) automatically improves the learning (Rogowsky and colleagues, https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/features/edu-a0037478.pdf , 2015).

I am not a Constructivist.

 

I have noticed that a lot of teachers have a strong belief in constructivism which I do not share. Please, let me explain.

As I understand it, constructivism holds that it is proven there are hard limits to human understanding and learning, limits within which we have to work. These limits are, it seems, determined by congenital and cultural factors, including individuals’ initial languages.

In addition, it holds that all our basic ideas are schemata, which may only possibly be of objective origin and are usually utterly specific to particular cultures and language communities, and that it is probably impossible to eradicate or replace them in an adult mind; consequently, it seems impossible radically to change any such a mind.

This suggests that we cannot really go very far in understanding people from other cultures, or in learning or translating additional languages.

Personally, I am struck by the views of Jose Ignacio Latorre (professor of physics at the University of Barcelona): science since 1922 has been effectively dismantling the myth that there are pre-existing local realities which are both determined and determining.

I am relatively optimistic about human autonomy, the human ability to learn and adapt, and the human capacity for empathy. Instead of constructivism, I prefer “the growth mind-set”.