Don’t worry; be happy!



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”, , 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, , 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”.

What is learning?


Learning is not being taught; it is not the simple transfer of knowledge from a teacher to a pupil. It is certainly not doing hard and boring homework set by the teacher.

Learning begins when your brain does what it does best for a living: noticing, observing and remembering what interests you. It goes on when you spot a desirable goal and start to move towards it: quite independently, you set yourself intermediate aims; directing yourself, you select the means of acquisition and choose your study habits; you autonomously devote of your time, and engage with the resources to hand.

However, it works better if you are not alone, if you have a companion, a mind-coach, by your side; someone to help you fulfil the task in hand by reminding you to recall all the useful appropriate stuff that you already know, and encouraging, daring you to put it into practice.

Do you need a robot?

If you want to make something, spread some news, sell something or buy something, get a machine to do it for you. If you want to develop yourself, get another human being to encourage you. A human language-coach can do far more for you than any robot can.