Sunday, April 17, 2011

Learning What Being a Teacher Is All About

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Labor Students,

We would like to give you and your parents this article by Pam Platt published on Courier-Journal.com. We hope it will make you all think. By the way, this article is in direct connection with this other published on Sunday 24th October 2010including a video by Taylor Mali which you will find, again, at the end of this post.


Last fall, I went to Florida for a few days, to a place where my sisters and brother and I had grown up, and where my parents had worked hard to provide for our presents and our futures. Dad retired from his pilot duties in the Air Force, earned his master's degree in education and became an ROTC instructor at a private school. Mom taught sixth grade at the same public school for 24 years. 
On my trip back there, I spent a few hours in a museum dedicated to sunken treasure that had been lost and found along the coast over hundreds of years. I decided to buy a couple of books on the subject and gave my debit card to the park ranger, a guy who looked to be about my age, maybe a little younger, who also staffed the gift shop (everyone is multi-tasking these days). He looked at my name on the card and then asked if my mom was Mrs. Platt, who had been his teacher in a school not far away more than three decades ago. 
When I said yes, it was as if the sun decided to shine directly from his face. He beamed. He instantly summoned memories of my mom in the classroom, what kind of teacher she had been, and how she made learning so much fun. I got a little choked up, to tell you the truth. 
This chance meeting at a museum reminded me of the living legacy of a teacher. After I left, I couldn't get to my cellphone quickly enough to tell my mom that there was nothing retired about the impact she continued to have on her students, no matter how many years she had been out of the classroom. (And thank you again, and still, Mr. Clarke and Mr. Truex, the teachers from whom I still learn, almost 40 years after I sat in their classrooms.) 
I've thought about that encounter recently, and the powerful truth it tells about teachers, especially as I've listened to the rants against public education, and school teachers, and their mission in communities throughout our country. 
A month ago, The New York Times ran a piece titled, “Teachers wonder, why the scorn?” I wondered that, too. 
“Around the country, many teachers see demands to cut their income, benefits and say in how schools are run through collective bargaining as attacks not just on their livelihoods, but on their value to society,” the article stated. “Education experts say teachers have rarely been the targets of such scorn from politicians and voters.”
The story noted the pitch of battle around the stewards of our children's public education: attempts to roll back tenure and seniority protections in some states, threatened layoffs in major cities and throughout the country (in its most recent survey, the National Education Association says nine of 10 superintendents expect to lay off school personnel in the fall), slings and arrows at unions and union efforts, accountability measures and test scores measuring student achievements, top-down remedies with little teacher input, character impunities. Is it any wonder that the article also mentions the high attrition rate in the profession? 
No one gets rich off being a teacher. I know. I grew up in a home headed by two of them. I also watched how they worked in the evenings and on weekends. They didn't have the kind of job you could leave at the office. They also didn't earn the salaries commensurate with other professions that carry similar responsibilities. That's why I don't get the scorn that has been heaped upon teachers in recent days, and I don't feel like any of us should be putting up with it anymore. 
There are more than 3 million public school teachers for more than 49 million public school students. The average teacher salary in the U.S. is about $55,000. According to the NEA, the average salary of public school teachers is almost $50,000 in Indiana, and more than $49,000 in Kentucky. Over the past 10 years, average salaries for teachers increased about 3.5 percent. 
Most teachers have one or more advanced degrees — almost half hold at least a master's degree. Most of the nation's elementary and secondary teachers have an average of 13 years in the classroom. Most of them participate in professional development programs each year. Their average age is 42. The overwhelming majority are women. 
Teachers spend more than 52 hours a week on all teaching duties and spend their own money on school supplies for their classrooms, as well as instructional materials. One survey said teachers spent more than $900 of their own money in a school year on those items.
Most teachers enter the profession because they feel called to work with young people, and most stay in the profession because that feeling never goes away. Still, about 30 percent of teachers leave the profession in the first five years. 
Beyond those facts, what does it mean to be a teacher? 
Nancy Esarey, a teacher for 16 years who came from a family of teachers, parent and grandparent of public school students, now teaching science at Seneca High School: “Every day, when I think about what I am doing in my room, I think back on my own children and now on my grandchildren and ask to myself — would I be happy about what they did in this class today? If my students were my own children, would I teach them any differently? Or would I do just what I am doing? So I think of the parents of my students — am I doing the job you would want me to do for your child? 
“Teaching is taking students by the hand and trying to take them to a better and brighter future — to give them the chance to make it using their knowledge and confidence. It also means allowing for them to learn from stumbling. If you do not allow people to make mistakes, they can never learn from them.” 
Niki Ross, a teacher for 11 years, now a kindergarten teacher at McFerran Preparatory Academy: “To be a teacher means that I have been given the responsibility to encourage, educate and motivate my students to be able to reach for the stars regardless of their race, color, nationality or backgrounds. It means that I believe that each of my students deserves a great public education so that they can be successful in their lives.” 
What don't people understand about the job? 
Esarey: “I feel most people think they know a whole lot about education because they all went to school. All people have also gone to the doctor during their lifetime (probably many times), but this does not mean they know a whole lot about medicine. People think inside the box when it comes to their child. They do not think about the overall picture of one teacher with classes of 30 students five periods a day. That means we (teachers) are dealing with 150 little Johnny's every single day. 
“Trying to stay on top of teaching bell-to-bell, classroom management, grading, and noticing any changes from the norm in our students is challenging and exhausting. I want every child to have the same opportunity to learn, become engaged and see the importance of their education to their future. Sometimes it can be difficult because some of the 150 students are disruptive or plain just shut down. Trying to reach every student takes every bit of passion, determination and control a teacher can muster.” 
Ross: “I think some people forget that a child's first educational experience should start in the home, especially when it comes to appropriate behavior in an educational or social setting. I also think people fail to realize that teachers are part of the community, they have families to support and provide for, their children are students in the same schools, and teachers work hard to be able to provide a quality public education.” 
What about the difference in the way parents and students treat teachers now as opposed to five or 10 years ago? 
Esarey: “When I grew up, if my parents ever got a call from school about my behavior or academics, there would be no questions about who was in trouble — it would have been me. Today, when I contact some parents, it gets turned around to being the school's fault or my fault as a teacher. 
“Many students are from single parent homes. Many students that I have work 20 hours a week to help the family financially. Many students I have do not see their parents much because the parents work two or three jobs to make ends meet. And, lastly, some of my students are already parents themselves, several times over. “I do not think the difference is in the way parents and students treat teachers — it is in the way they see education as irrelevant to their child's future.” 
Re-read that last sentence. Is that what the scorn for teachers is all about? Chilling thought. 
I don't know about you, but I don't know that I could manage the energy, the inspiration, the idealism or the fortitude to do everything a teacher does for one day, let alone an entire school year. 
We need to retire the old saying, “Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.” It's hateful, it feeds corrosive stereotypes, and it's simply not true. 
And so, finally, I am reminded of a fellow pilot who retired from the Air Force along with my dad; both were war veterans. They earned their teaching credentials and did their classroom teaching internships around the same time. At the end of his assignment, the friend told my dad he was going to write a book and it was going to be titled: “I'd Rather Be a Fighter Pilot in Vietnam than Teach Junior High School.” 
In other words, those who can … teach.



No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

ESO 2 & ESO 3 Easter Homework

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ESO 2 & 3 Students,

Your Easter homework is very, very simple. All you have to do is PRINT your 3rd Term PBL assignment (ESO 2: http://goo.gl/cXe7G; ESO 3: http://goo.gl/12lYw) and bring it to school for your FIRST ENGLISH CLASS after the Easter holiday (ESO 2: Wednesday 27th; ESO 3: Tuesday 26th) so that you can start working on it.

Please pass this piece of news around to your school schoolmates when you see them or use your mail, Tuenti, etc.



Thanks a lot. Happy holidays!

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non commercial purposes only.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blind ten-year-old becomes European Parliament's youngest interpreter

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We reproduce now the article by Aidan Radnedge published on Metro yesterday, Thursday 14th April:

A blind girl who is fluent in four languages has become the youngest interpreter to work at the European Parliament – at the age of ten.


Alexia Sloane lost her sight when she was two following a brain tumour. But she has excelled at languages and is already fluent in English, French, Spanish and Mandarin – and is learning German.

Now she has experienced her dream job of working as an interpreter after East of England MEP Robert Sturdy invited her to the parliament building in Brussels.

‘She was given a dispensation to get into the building, where there is usually a minimum age requirement of 14, and sat in a booth listening and interpreting,’ said her mother, Isabelle.

‘The other interpreters were amazed at how well she did as the debate was quite complicated and many of the words were rather technical.’

Alexia has been tri-lingual since birth as her mother, a teacher, is half French and half Spanish, while her father, Richard, is English.

She started talking and communicating in all three languages before she lost her sight but adapted quickly to her blindness. By the age of four, she was reading and writing in Braille.

When she was six, Alexia added Mandarin to her portfolio. She will soon be sitting a GCSE in the language having achieved an A* in French and Spanish last year. The girl is now learning German at school in Cambridge.

Alexia has wanted to be an interpreter since she was six and chose to go to the European Parliament as her prize when she won a young achiever of the year award.

She asked if she could shadow interpreters and Mr Sturdy agreed to take her along as his guest.

Alexia worked with the head of interpreting and had a real taste of life in parliament.

‘It was fantastic and I’m absolutely determined now to become an interpreter,’ she said.

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tutorial: How to Pronounce "EA Sports"

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Would you like to be a narrator for video-games? Or a dubbing actor? We are sure that all of you who have ever played one of these videogames can't have refrained from imitating that deep voice EA SPORTS... IT'S IN THE GAAAAME!!

Well, you are lucky, we offer you the ultimate tutorial to master that long-coveted intonation. We are sure you will enjoy it:
(This post is dedicated to my 3rd ESO students whom I can never hear when they answer... ;-)


No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

ESO 3 - 3rd Term PBL 2010-11

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ESO 3 Students,

Here is your PBL assignment for the 3rd term, a group project in which you will be practising the listening and writing skills.

Your task is to TRANSCRIBE these YouTube video clips:
  1. Comparative Adjectives
  2. Superlative Adjectives
  3. Passive Voice
  4. Passive Voice, Present Tense
You have to listen carefully to what the narrators say and type it down accurately. You DO NOT have to TRANSLATE it into Spanish: your job is to write a transcription in ENGLISH.

If there is something you don't understand (for example, a name or a specific term) it is a good idea to type on  Google or on any other search engine the text placed immediately before and after the 'missing' word. Very often those search engines will return results including the information you need. And, who knows, you may get lucky and find all of your video transcribed! In that case, be careful: not all transcriptions are accurate and reliable: you will have to check and edit them. Points will be deducted not only for incorrect content, but also for poor spelling, punctuation and/or formatting.

IMPORTANT: You must follow the same formatting rules as for the rest of school projects: The font must be 'Century Gothic', size 12; 1.5 line spacing, justified text, page numbers at the bottom centre of each page.

Only the PDF format will be allowed. Your file must be identified using ONLY the name of your group (which you will find below). For example, GROUP_2A_1.pdf or GROUP_2B_3.pdf. Points will be deducted if you do not identify your file properly.

The DEADLINE is FRIDAY 27th MAY at 23.59.59.

The groups and video assignments are as follows:

GROUP_3A_1: Comparative Adjectives
Yasmina El Hachimi
Amadeo Martí Vilas
Inés Álvarez
Tamara Bar
Martín Cid

GROUP_3A_2: Superlative Adjectives
Iago Borrajo
Adrián Blanco
Laura Fernández
Aaron Hernández
María Casal

GROUP_3A_3: Passive Voice
Sol Epstein
José Mª Álvarez
Claudia Suárez
Carlos Montaño
Inés Bolaño

GROUP_3A_4: Passive Voice, Present Tense
Carlos Maceiras
Sarah García
Paula Casal
Evelyn Rodríguez
Pedro Bartolomé

GROUP_3B_1: Comparative Adjectives
Miguel Romero
Fabio Gonçalves
Antía Suárez
Laura Fernández
Antía Bardelás

GROUP_3B_2: Superlative Adjectives
Estela Pascual
Saray Riveiro
Desirée Fernández
J. Manuel Vázquez
Miguel Sotelo

GROUP_3B_3: Passive Voice
Cecilia Saa
Lara Paz
Paula Varona
Lucía Ben
Carmen Oliveira

GROUP_3B_4: Passive Voice, Present Tense
Paula Suárez
Josué Saavedra
Jessica Davila
Fernando Herrera
Arantxa Hierro

Good Luck!

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

ESO 2 - 3rd Term PBL 2010-11

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ESO 2 Students,

Here is your PBL assignment for the 3rd term, a group project in which you will be practising the listening and writing skills.

Your task is to TRANSCRIBE these YouTube video clips:
  1. Present Progressive (Future Intention)
  2. Future Simple
  3. Choosing "will" or "be going to" for future time in English
  4. Will vs. Going to
You have to listen carefully to what the narrators say and type it down accurately. You DO NOT have to TRANSLATE it into Spanish: your job is to write a transcription in ENGLISH.

If there is something you don't understand (for example, a name or a specific term) it is a good idea to type on  Google or on any other search engine the text placed immediately before and after the 'missing' word. Very often those search engines will return results including the information you need. And, who knows, you may get lucky and find all of your video transcribed! In that case, be careful: not all transcriptions are accurate and reliable: you will have to check and edit them. Points will be deducted not only for incorrect content, but also for poor spelling, punctuation and/or formatting.

IMPORTANT: You must follow the same formatting rules as for the rest of school projects: The font must be 'Century Gothic', size 12; 1.5 line spacing, justified text, page numbers at the bottom centre of each page.

Only the PDF format will be allowed. Your file must be identified using ONLY the name of your group (which you will find below). For example, GROUP_2A_1.pdf or GROUP_2B_3.pdf. Points will be deducted if you do not identify your file properly.

The DEADLINE is FRIDAY 27th MAY at 23.59.59.

The groups and video assignments are as follows:

GROUP_2A_1: Video Clip #1
Rodrigo Rodríguez
Ana Louzao
Pablo Martínez
Nerea de Jesús
Juan Domínguez

GROUP_2A_2: Video Clip #2
Jorge Amoedo
Pablo Cámara
Samuel Fernández
Juan Manuel Vieira
Zulema Rodríguez

GROUP_2A_3: Video clip #3 
Íñigo Alcubierre
Zaida Domínguez
Javier López Graña
Lara Álvarez
Serafín Davila

GROUP_2A_4: Video clip #4
Adrián Castro
Isaac de Becerra
Gabriel Martínez
Rebeca Fernández
Sergio Martín

GROUP_2B_1: Video clip #1
Alejandro Penín
Brayan Mesa
David Maceiras
Guillermo García

GROUP_2B_2: Video clip #2
Edgar Pereira
Jessica Vilaboa
Irene Garrido
Jesús Vieira

GROUP_2B_3: Video clip #3
Candela Rodríguez
Iria Riobóo
Ander Dieste
Alejandro Amoedo

GROUP_2B_4: Video clip #4
Adrián Alonso
Omar Rouhou
Carlota Fuentes
Mª Laura Pérez

Good Luck!

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

ESO 1 - 3rd Term PBL 2010-11

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ESO 1 Students,

This is your last PBL of this schoolyear 2010-11. It is a group project in which you will be practising LISTENING and WRITING.  You have to listen carefully to what the narrator says and type it down accurately. You DO NOT have to TRANSLATE it into Spanish: your job is to write a TRANSCRIPTION in ENGLISH.

You have to start your transcriptions at 0:09, exactly after the narrator asks: 'Are you ready?'

Hello Friends,
Welcome to esl.banello.com. My name is Marcus and I'm going to describe my room. Well, are you ready?...
.



IMPORTANT: You must follow these formatting rules (the same as for the rest of school projects): The font must be 'Century Gothic', size 12; 1.5 line spacing, justified text, page numbers at the bottom centre of each page.

Only the PDF or DOC formats will be allowed. Your file must be identified using ONLY the name of your group (which you will find below).
For example, GROUP_1A_1.pdf or GROUP_1B_3.doc. Points will be deducted for poor formatting or if you do not identify your file properly.

When you have finished your project send it to labor.teacher@gmail.com.

The DEADLINE is FRIDAY 27th MAY at 23.59.59.

These are the groups:

GROUP_1A_1: Diego Anido, Alexis Antón, Bárbara Hurtado, Fabio V. Moura, Adrián López, Sergio Gasamanes.
GROUP_1A_2: Antía Junqueira, Mireia Martí, Daniel Alcaide, Christian Martínez, Carlos Giráldez.
GROUP_1A_3: Meres Gómez, Jennifer Alonso, Jhessica Oliveira, Adrián García, Alexandre Graña.
GROUP_1A_4: Lara Collazo, Rosmery Camacho, José Mª. Cabaco, Iago Lopes, Joan Bueno.

GROUP_1B_1: Mario Quinteiro, Iago Pernas, José Manuel Paredes, Mauro Sinfreu, Brayan Prado.
GROUP_1B_2: Santiago Pascual, Samuel Torres, Alejandro Méndez, Alba Reguera, Rubén Roo.
GROUP_1B_3: Diego G. Pérez, Noelia Soto, Magnolia Córdova, Uxía Ricoy, Rubén Souto.
GROUP_1B_4: Alicia Val, Xoan C. Wallenius, Adrián Sánchez, Anabel Pagán.

Good Luck!

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

You Need To Get Off Facebook

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Labor Students,
Have you got a Facebook account? Or Twitter? or Tuenti? Maybe you have an account in some or all of them. Do you spend too much time on the social networks? Actually, do you waste your time on them? Are you learning anything from your social network? Do you get any profit from them?

Maybe these questions had never even occurred to you. Or maybe they had because you've experienced this uneasy feeling 'I really ought to be doing something else but I'll log off in just a sec'. That is why we would like to offer you some answers. Watch this video carefully and THINK!


No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Vocabulary.com: The World's Fastest Dictionary

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We offer you again a new resource, another online dictionary. At vocabulary.com they brag theirs is 'The World's Fastest, Smartest Dictionary'.

They say that unlike most online dictionaries, we want you to find your word’s meaning quickly. We don’t care how many ads you see or how many pages you view. In fact, most of the time you’ll find the word you are looking for after typing only one or two letters.

They also hold that whenever you look up a word, you can add it to your learning queue. We'll prioritize that word, so you can start learning it right away. That way the next time you see it, you won't have to look it up.

And they add that each vocabulary word includes a short blurb that is easy to understand and fun to read. We provide usage examples from real life, so you can see how words are used in context.

Finally, if you find a word you're interested in just click to add it to your list of favorite words, or any other vocabulary list. Vocabulary lists are a powerful way to keep track of words you’d like to learn or to share your favorite words with others. This is one feature we definitely encourage you to use: their vocabulary lists are really useful when learning vocabulary, writing compositions, drawing mind maps, etc.

If you're interested in learning more about it, visit how it works.

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Augusta Masters 2011: BBC Promo

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Tonight is the 4th & last round of the 2011 Augusta masters. Presently, 21-year-old Rory McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, is leading by 4 strokes at -12. Spanish players, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Álvaro Quirós or Sergio García are having quite a good performance.

We offer you now the promo BBC did for this year Masters. This is the audio transcription:

Only the strongest will conquer the dark side of the course. The Masters from Augusta. The full tournament on Radio 5 live. Live TV coverage starts next Saturday at 8.30 on BBC 2.


No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Quiz

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Labor Students,

10 points up for grabs valid for the 3rd term to the first student to e-mail us the correct answer to this quiz:

Name a fruit in which you can move the first letter to the end and read the same word backwards

Good luck!

NB: This quiz is for our students... not for their parents!!! We don't need to drop any names, do we?

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Did You Know? Shit Happens

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Sanitation was voted the most significant medical advance in the last 150 years by the British Medical Journal readership, yet 2.6 billion people around the world still do not have access to basic sanitation, that is, a toilet. Awareness is the first step to change. This video was thus made in an attempt to help sanitation gain its much overdue attention. By solving the world toilet crisis, we will help leverage solutions to many other problems.


No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Memidex: Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and More

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As of today, among the online dictionaries Labor English Zone offers you will find Memidex, one of the quickest and easiest ways to get and compare online definitions, synonyms, etymology, and audio pronunciation.

Memidex is a free online dictionary and thesaurus with a simple interface, complete inflections, auto-suggest, adult-filtering, frequent updates, a browsable index, support for mobile devices, and millions of external reference links for definitions, audio, and etymology. It's fast too. Use the Find box for exact matching or browse using the complete index.

The Memidex online dictionary and thesaurus has been redesigned to better support web browsers on handheld and mobile devices while being just as usable (or more) as with regular desktop browsers.

Memidex external references currently include over 5.4 million definition references, 5.3 million audio references, and 1.8 million etymology references. Each reference has a title, a list of any other associated terms, an excerpt or description of the resource, a link to the actual web page, and a link to cite that specific resource in various established bibliographic styles. The references are from over a dozen leading online reference sources.

Each audio reference has a button to play the audio directly from the Memidex web page. You have unlimited playback for audio from open-license sources such as Wikipedia and Wiktionary, and one playback per session for copyright-protected sources. Most of the audio is for pronunciation while other audio demonstrates or describes the associated term. 


We hope you will find it as useful as we do.

No copyright infringement intended. For educational, non-commercial purposes only.

Monday, April 4, 2011

In Troubled Spain, Boom Times for Foreign Languages

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Last Tuesday 30th March, The New York Times published an article by Raphael Minder about Spain's poor foreign-language skills, in particular a lack of English. This is what they published:


Facing high unemployment at home, more Spaniards are seeking work abroad. But they are confronting a significant hurdle: their poor foreign-language skills, in particular a lack of English.
With a 20 percent unemployment rate, twice the European average, labor mobility has become a burning issue in Spain, prompting some business leaders to call for an overhaul of the Spanish education system that would make better language training a priority.
Emilio Cuatrecasas, chairman of Cuatrecasas, one of the biggest Spanish law firms, said recently that “Spain has to take seriously the need to reform its education, particularly in terms of teaching English.”
There are early suggestions that the next generation will have sufficient communications skills to work outside Spain: More children are now being taught by English speakers as part of their regular class work. At the same time, more adults are playing catch-up, notably trying learn German to respond to employment offers in Germany, which has the largest economy in Europe.
One place where educational changes are under way is Madrid. A program run by the regional government has made about a third of primary state schools bilingual. The government expects to raise that proportion to half by 2015.
On a recent morning at the Rosa Luxemburgo school in the district of Moncloa-Aravaca, 10-year-olds were studying the human body in English, learning terms like “salivary glands” and “esophagus.” One of them, Macarena Ferrán, said that she also got to practice English regularly while vacationing abroad, last summer in the Netherlands. As to her long-term ambition, “I would like to live in New York because it looks like a very interesting city,” she said in almost flawless English.
For the current generation of Spanish job-seekers, however, working in New York might be more of a distant dream. While there are no reliable comparative statistics, language-school owners like Richard Vaughan even argue that “the level of English is lower than 15 years ago,” reflecting a general decline in education standards in Spain.
Mr. Vaughan, a Texan who moved to Spain in the 1970s, now runs Vaughan Systems, the largest English language teaching company in Spain. He estimated that “fewer than 5 percent of the students graduating from schools of engineering, law or business possess a working knowledge of English.”
Spanish politicians are also among the worst in western Europe in terms of English skills. Neither the head of the Socialist government, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, nor the leader of the main opposition Popular party, Mariano Rajoy, speaks English.
Madrid’s bilingual program, however, is giving the region’s politicians something to gloat about.
“This is a major step,” said Lucía Figar, who oversees the regional government’s education policy. “Until very recently, getting to a decent level of English was simply impossible for any child whose parents didn’t have the money to send their child abroad or to a private school.”
The bilingual schools rely largely on Spanish teachers who get a monthly bonus of €180, about $255, for making the language switch. The schools also have recruited assistants who are native English speakers — often Americans on an extended university break or sent to Spain through an education scholarship like the Fulbright program.
Between 30 percent and 50 percent of the class work is in English, including the science that was being taught last week at the Rosa Luxemburgo school.
In another classroom, Felipe Alejandro Luna Merlo, an 8-year-old whose parents emigrated from Bolivia, was finding it more difficult to assimilate human anatomy in English, and struggling to understand general questions about his upbringing. Still, he sounded eager to progress, saying that he was also teaching his father, a waiter, how to say “the numbers and the colors” in English because “I really want him to learn like me.”
One of the teachers, Fernando Azpeitia, had spent three years in Chicago at a transitional school teaching Latino children. He welcomed the enthusiasm among his Madrid pupils. “The big advantage here is that parents have chosen to have their children learn English,” he said, “while in Chicago it was kind of compulsory.”
Whether the children always get to hear the Queen’s English is debatable, however, and even Ms. Figar acknowledges that some teachers could improve their own English. Still, she said, more than 90 percent of the children have so far completed their bilingual primary school program by passing English language tests set by Cambridge University.
“These tests are the best way to measure our success, rather than discussing whether some teachers have good grammar but poor pronunciation,” she said.
Indeed, pronunciation is rarely a Spanish strong suit. Last month, during the televised ceremony for the Goyas, Spanish cinema’s version of the Oscars, participants insisted that one nominated movie, “Buried,” should be called “Bar-y-ed.”
Ms. Figar also described as “absurd” the criticism directed last year at a €1.8 million Madrid advertising campaign to promote bilingual education. English purists said the slogan for the campaign — “Yes, we want!” — amounted to a grammatical error because a direct object should have followed the verb. “This was only about powerful advertising,” Ms. Figar said. When Apple promotes its consumer electronics, she added, “nobody questions whether their slogan should be ‘Think positive’ or ‘Think positively.”’
In collaboration with the Spanish Education Ministry, the British Council, Britain’s cultural agency, also runs a bilingual project in more than 200 schools, alongside similar initiatives in Italy and Portugal. Raising English standards in Spain “isn’t an overnight happening,” said Teresa Reilly, a British Council official. Still, compared with Portugal and Italy, “Spain is considerably ahead in the introduction and development of solid subject-based teaching in English in the primary and secondary sectors,” she said.
The economic crisis is also forcing more adult Spaniards to return to the classroom — and not just to learn English. Applications to learn German this spring semester have risen 15 percent from a year ago, according to the Madrid office of the Goethe-Institut, which promotes German culture abroad. That follows a recent recruitment initiative by the German government to add about 500,000 engineers from other countries to keep its economy growing.
Meanwhile, Miguel Flor de Lima, who teaches the Portuguese language in Madrid, said that a growing number of multinational corporations were cutting back marketing and other activities in Spain and Portugal, two of the most crippled economies in Europe.
“The crisis means that more companies are treating Spain and Portugal as a single Iberian market and then asking their people to adjust to that,” he said. “And that leaves employees with no other option than trying to master both languages.”

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Bolsas de Inmersión Lingüística 2011

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A Consellería de Educación e Ordenación Universitaria convoca 3.730 prazas para realizar actividades de inmersión lingüística no ano 2011.
Poderá solicitar estas axudas o alumnado de centros sostidos con fondos públicos da Comunidade Autónoma de Galicia dos cursos que aparecen na táboa inferior.

Prazo aberto ata o 12 de abril (non incluido)

Requisitos: 
Non ter concedida outra axuda para o mesmo fin neste curso nin estar incurso/a nalgunha prohibición para a 
subvención. 
Nota mínima na área, módulo ou materia de lingua estranxeira de Ben ou 6. 
Ter superadas todas as áreas ou materias no curso 2009/2010. 
Ter DNI, NIE, pasaporte, visado ou tarxeta de residencia en vigor, segundo corresponda. Exento o alumnado de 6º de EP.



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ESO 4: 3rd Term PBL 2010-11

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ESO 4 Students,

Here is your PBL assignment for the 3rd term, a group project in which you will be practising the listening and writing skills.

Your task is to TRANSCRIBE approximately 5 minutes of these four YouTube video clips:
You have to listen carefully to what the narrators say and type it down accurately. You DO NOT have to TRANSLATE it into Spanish: your job is to write a transcription in ENGLISH.

If there is something you don't understand (for example, a name or a scientific term) it is a good idea to type on  Google or on any other search engine the text placed immediately before and after the 'missing' word. Very often those search engines will return results including the information you need. And, who knows, you may get lucky and find all of your video transcribed! In that case, be careful: not all transcriptions are accurate and reliable: you will have to check and edit them. Points will be deducted not only for incorrect content, but also for poor spelling, punctuation and/or formatting.

IMPORTANT: You must follow the same formatting rules as for the rest of school projects: The font must be 'Century Gothic', size 12; 1.5 line spacing, justified text, page numbers at the bottom centre of each page.

Only the PDF format will be allowed. Your file must be identified using ONLY the name of your group (which you will find below). For example, GROUP_4A_1.pdf or GROUP_4B_3.pdf. Points will be deducted if you do not identify your file properly.

The DEADLINE is THURSDAY 12th MAY at 23.59.59.

The groups, which have been organised by you, and video assignments are as follows:

GROUP_4A_1: Video Clip #1 from the beginning to minute 4.45.
9. Ana G. Mardeni Coves
11. Joana Mayo Gandarío
12. Lucía Oitabén Figueiras
14. Sara Pérez Abraldes

GROUP_4A_2: Video Clip #1 from minute 4.45 until the end.
1. Carlos A. Cabaco Rodríguez
7. Jorge Loira Parente
8. Marcos López Lamas
15. Alberto Ponce Patiño

GROUP_4A_3: Video clip #2 from the beginning until minute 4.45.
4. Belén Glez. Muñoz
5. Olga Mª Glez. Rguez.
10. Marta Mtnez. Álvarez
16. Paula Reguera Ayán

GROUP_4A_4: Video clip #2 from minute 4.45 until the end.
2. Christian Collazo Román
3. Jesús Contreras Arias
6. Arturo Juncal Costas
13. Alejandro Otero Fdez.

GROUP_4B_1: Video clip #3 from the beginning to minute 4.43.
3. David Barcia Taboada
6. Esteban Bernárdez Troncoso
12. Alejandro Godar Calvar
14. Marcos Mtnez. Artime

GROUP_4B_2: Video clip #3 from minute 4.43 until the end.
4. Laura Barros Reguera
5. Marta Barros Reguera
7. Guillermo Couso Vidal
9. Paloma Díaz Gámez
16. Mercedes Schez. Vicente

GROUP_4B_3: Video clip #4 from the beginning until minute 4.35.
8. Sara Delgado Pérez
11. Angélica Freiría Rodríguez
13. Wenxue He
15. Brigitte A. Montaño González

GROUP_4B_4: Video clip #4 from minute 4.35 until the end.
1. Jennifer Ageitos Teira
2. Borja Areal Arias
10. Yale-Yalo Dong Liu
17. David Sanmartín Delgado

Good Luck!

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Change of Exam Dates

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ESO 2 and 3 Students,

As we have finished Unit 7 well before schedule, we are bringing forward the dates for the Listening Test 7 and the Test for Unit 7.
The new exam schedule will be as follows:

  • ESO 2 - Listening Test 7 - Wednesday 6th April, from 09.00 to 10.40.
  • ESO 2 - Test for Unit 7 - Thursday 7th April, from 10.55 to 12.35.
  • ESO 3 - Listening Test 7 - Tuesday 5th April, from 12.50 to 14.30
  • ESO 3 - Test for Unit 7 - Wednesday 6th April, from 12.50 to 14.30
We wish you the very best of luck!

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sundays

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On 30th July 2010 at LEZ (Labor English Zone) we told you about 1000 Awesome Things, a website listing the small things that make us smile on a bad day which has become a worldwide hit. They have just published their number 275 wonderful thing (as they started counting back from 1000): Sundays.

We are sure most of you will like and agree with what they have written:

It’s a beautiful day.
Don’t let it get away.
Now whether you’re holding hands in church, running with your dog at the park, just taking a break from the world, or just sleeping in till it’s dark, well … Sunday’s a good time to relax and enjoy some smaller moments:
1. Worship the Sun and ice cream. The word Sunday was originally named after “Sun’s Day” — just like Monday was “Moon’s Day”, Saturday was “Saturn’s Day.” Now it’s come to include giant bowls of ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and nuts. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a chance to worship both on a wobbly picnic table on some sandy grass by the water.
2. Couch potatoes unite. Sunday is the perfect time to practice the ancient lost art of Completely Lazing Around. Curl up on the futon with your boyfriend during the ballgame, pop open a pizza box with your pals for kickoff, or flip the recliner beside Grandpa for a marathon session of bird chirps and whispers during golf.
3. I’ve got all my sisters with me. After wading through work and before diving back in again, it’s time to pause and enjoy quality time with your friends and family. Maybe it’s a holiday dinner at Grandma’s, maybe you’re visiting dad in the home, maybe you’re dining out at college, or maybe you’re laughing with friends on the phone.
Yes, sometimes if you’re lucky the world slows down a bit on Sundays. Today we say when those highways unjam, when phones quit their buzzing, when your tensions untangle … it’s time for some Sunday loving.
AWESOME!
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Friday, April 1, 2011

April Come She Will (by Simon & Garfunkel, 1966)

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At LEZ we have posted 2 songs by Simon Garfunkel: I am a rock and 7 O'Clock News/Silent Night. We give you now, as we did last year, another of their masterpieces, 'April Come She Will.' Whatever happened to poets and musicians like them?
April, come she will
When streams are ripe and swelled with rain.
May, she will stay
Resting in my arms again.
June, she'll change her tune,
in restless walks she'll prowl the night.
July, she will fly
and give no warning to her flight.
August, die she must,
the autumn winds blow chilly and cold.
September, I'll remember
a love once new has now grown old.


This brilliant, beautiful video clip illustrating the song is by a young American genius, Justin Ho. Keep his name in mind: Sooner or later he will become a very famous film director.


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