Thursday, November 16, 2017

¿Sirve para algo hablar en inglés con mi hijo si no soy nativo?


Cada vez más padres se plantean comunicarse en un segundo idioma con sus niños desde que nacen

Bastarreche con sus mellizos y Rodríguez junto a su hijo.
Bastarreche con sus mellizos y Rodríguez junto a su hijo. CLAUDIO ÁLVAREZ

Cuando se enteró de que su mujer estaba embarazada de mellizos, Tomás Bastarreche lo tuvo claro: él y su madre le hablarían a los niños en inglés. “Luego, a la hora de la verdad, a mi madre no le salió, pero a mí sí, sin problema”. Desde la infancia de Tomás, la familia de Bastarreche se interesó por que aprendiera el idioma y pasó varios veranos en Estados Unidos. Sus mellizos, Javier y Matilde, de dos años, ya entienden lo que les dice con su marcado acento español.
Por su parte, Carol Rodríguez se animó a hablarle en inglés a su hijo Eric una vez lo tuvo en brazos. “Me encanta el idioma, que me costó aprender, y decidí hacer la prueba durante un par de semanas a ver qué tal me sentía. Y no se me dio mal”. 
“Hablarle a los hijos en inglés cuando no se es bilingüe requiere un gran sacrificio”, dice Valeria Ávila, logopeda en Sinews, un centro de Madrid que ofrece terapia (psicología, psiquiatría, logopedia y terapia ocupacional) en varios idiomas y organiza talleres periódicos para padres que tratan de criar niños bilingües (el próximo, este sábado). “Tiene que ser una decisión muy firme y madurada entre la pareja para que el niño sepa cuál de los dos le va a hablar en qué idioma”.
Tanto Bastarreche, profesor de Derecho Constitucional en la Universidad Autónoma, como Rodríguez, azafata de Iberia, son unos enamorados del inglés, y poder darles a sus hijos la posibilidad de aprenderlo desde la cuna les pareció una idea estupenda. “Como dice mi mujer, es una inversión de futuro”, añade Bastarreche. “Lo que no puedo es cortar las expresiones que me salen naturales en español y les digo: “Venga, let´s go to the park”, añade. “Yo no he querido cortar los apelativos cariñosos que no me salen naturales en inglés", interviene Rodríguez. "Le digo “bichito, eat a little more”.
Desde el British Council, la coordinadora María Pipeneda, trilingüe (habla griego, inglés y español), dice que la máxima para los padres que se están planteando hablarle a sus hijos en inglés debe ser "cuanto antes, cuanto más y cuanto mejor, mejor". “Y hay que tener una actitud positiva. Que sus hijos vean que sus padres también disfrutan con el idioma. Que le cantan, se lanzan a hablarlo…”.
El sevillano Alex Pérez, que le habla en inglés a su hijo de dos años desde que nació, ha creado la web www.crecereningles.com y en septiembre lanzó un curso para los padres que como él toman esta decisión. “Vi una necesidad de información y he lanzado 10 clases por las que se paga una suscripción mensual de cinco euros”, explica Pérez. “Espero ayudar a otros padres que estén haciendo como yo", explica Pérez. "Yo no soy nativo y tengo una limitación. Pero eso no me corta, porque él va a aprender más que si no le hablara en inglés y sé que algún día me superará”.
Una de las dudas que tiene es con qué acento hablarán sus respectivos hijos cuando crezcan. “El acento de los padres no influye nada”, dice Ávila. “Los niños están programados para adquirir otro idioma y animamos a todos los padres, tengan el acento que tengan, a hablarles en inglés”. “Hay muchos acentos en inglés, que es un idioma global”, añade Pipedes. “Lo que están construyendo es una base que posteriormente irán afinando”. Tomás va más allá: “Yo incluso a veces soy consciente de cometer errores cuando hablo con mis hijos. Pero es un riesgo que asumo. Espero que algún día se den cuenta de cómo es en realidad”, ríe.
Sus expectativas futuras, son compartidas: que un día sus hijos se dirijan a ellos en inglés. “Estaría bien si más adelante quisieran que fuera nuestro lenguaje común, pero no es necesariamente mi objetivo. Lo que tengo claro es que yo les seguiré hablando en este idioma”. (El País, 16.11.17)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

IdI Students and Alumni Go to the Cinema in 2017


IdI Students and Alumni Go to the Cinema
Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 at __pm
Cine Avenida, Marqués de Paradas 15, €3.90

Like in previous years since 2003, the Instituto de Idiomas is organizing a cultural activity at the cinema. On this 2017 edition, we are going to see a recent British drama film (with Spanish subtitles), which was highly acclaimed at the Seville European Film Festival, only a few weeks ago. God's Own Country is a story about love, dignity, immigration, and ultimately about male identity in our time. Hope you can join us that day.The showing time will be announced later on.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Are you a nomophobe?

If you're wondering how to respond to that question, an Iowa State University study can help you find the answer. ISU researchers have developed a questionnaire to help you determine if you suffer from nomophobia or a fear of being without your mobile phone. 

Caglar Yildirim, lead author of the study and a Ph.D. student in human computer interaction, and Ana-Paula Correia, an associate professor in ISU's School of Education, identified four dimensions of this modern-day phobia. The study was published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. Watch the video below to learn more about nomophobia and then answer the questions below to see if you are nomophobic.

Nomophobia Questionnaire  

Study participants were asked to respond to the following statements on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). Total scores were calculated by adding the responses to each item. The higher scores corresponded to greater nomophobia severity.  
  1. I would feel uncomfortable without constant access to information through my .
  2. I would be annoyed if I could not look information up on my smartphone when I wanted to do so.
  3. Being unable to get the news (e.g., happenings, weather, etc.) on my smartphone would make me nervous.
  4. I would be annoyed if I could not use my smartphone and/or its capabilities when I wanted to do so.
  5. Running out of battery in my smartphone would scare me.
  6. If I were to run out of credits or hit my monthly data limit, I would panic.
  7. If I did not have a data signal or could not connect to Wi-Fi, then I would constantly  to see if I had a signal or could find a Wi-Fi network.
  8. If I could not use my smartphone, I would be afraid of getting stranded somewhere.
  9. If I could not check my smartphone for a while, I would feel a desire to check it.


If I did not have my smartphone with me:
  1. I would feel anxious because I could not instantly communicate with my family and/or friends.
  2. I would be worried because my family and/or friends could not reach me.
  3. I would feel nervous because I would not be able to receive text messages and calls.
  4. I would be anxious because I could not keep in touch with my family and/or friends.
  5. I would be nervous because I could not know if someone had tried to get a hold of me.
  6. I would feel anxious because my constant connection to my family and friends would be broken.
  7. I would be nervous because I would be disconnected from my online identity.
  8. I would be uncomfortable because I could not stay up-to-date with social media and online networks.
  9. I would feel awkward because I could not check my notifications for updates from my connections and online networks.
  10. I would feel anxious because I could not check my email messages.
  11. I would feel weird because I would not know what to do.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Politics at play when banning books


Politics at play when banning books


55% of Republicans think that texts with homosexual or transgender characters should be banned from elementary school libraries. This is Donald Trump's America.

The American Library Association is set to release its 2017 list of Top Ten Most Challenged Books, and a peek at last year’s lineup reveals a very distinct trend –  five of the ten books were disputed by parents, educators, and concerned citizens alike for their inclusion of LGBT characters. New data from YouGov Omnibus suggests that the trend will likely continue onto this year’s list.
The majority of Republicans (55%) feel that books with homosexual or transgender characters should be banned from all elementary school libraries, and 2 in 5 (21%) think that they shouldn’t be present in public libraries either. In comparison, a quarter of Democrats (26%) agree that this sort of literature should not be accessible to grade school students, while just 13% would consider public libraries an improper place to house LGBT-related reading materials.
Since Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone first appeared on bookshelves in 1997, it has stirred up intense controversy – and been regarded by some as “satanic,”  – for presenting children with themes related to “the dark arts.” Two decades after the popular novel was published, negative sentiment surrounding texts featuring witchcraft, wizardry, and magic remains. In fact, 41% of Republicans want books with these subjects banned from elementary school libraries, and over a quarter (28%) don’t think they belong in the hands of high schoolers. Comparatively, 24% of Democrats would keep occult literature out of elementary schools, while 17% would in high schools. However, 13% of both Republicans and Democrats don’t think public libraries should carry books related to magic.
Similarly, over half of Republicans (57%) want books which employ blasphemous language to be banned from elementary schools, in comparison to 38% of Democrats. The partisan split narrows, though, when it comes to public libraries, with 27% of Republicans and 21% of Democrats saying books which takes God’s name in vain should be kept out.
However, for the most part, party agreement on the appropriateness of certain elements in literature ends there. For example, the majority of Republicans (55%) believe it is inappropriate to exhibit books with sexually suggestive images on the cover in a public library, while just over a third of Democrats feel this way (35%). There is also a break between the sexes on this particular topic – 52% of women think it is inappropriate, but just 40% of men.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Teens are sleeping less – but there’s a surprisingly easy fix

By JEAN TWENGE
The Conversation, October 19th 2017

Something is stealing teens’ sleep.
In a newly released analysis of two large national surveys, my co-authors and I found that the number of U.S. teens who reported sleeping less than seven hours a night jumped 22 percent between 2012 and 2015. Sleep experts agree that teens need at least nine hours of sleep a night. But by 2015, 43 percent of teens reported sleeping less than seven hours a night on most nights – meaning almost half of U.S. teens are significantly sleep-deprived.
What could have raised sleep deprivation among teens to such unprecedented levels? Some factors are easy to rule out. For example, we found that the amount of time teens spent working, doing homework and participating in extracurricular activities held steady during those years. But there was one large change in teens’ lives between 2012 and 2015: More owned smartphones.

It starts as an alarm clock…

Today’s teens – whom I call “iGen” – are the first generation to spend their entire adolescence with smartphones.
In our analyses, we found that teens who spent more time online and on social media were more likely to sleep less. Time spent watching television had a much weaker link to fewer hours of sleep, and teens who spent more time with their friends in person or on sports or exercise actually slept more.
Time spent online, however, was the one teen activity that both increased during the 2010s and was linked to shorter sleep, making it the most likely cause of teen sleep deprivation. Seventeen- and 18-year-olds – who spend more time online than younger teens – were also the most sleep-deprived: The majority, 51 percent, slept less than seven hours on most nights by 2015.
The link between time spent online and less sleep was considerable. Spending five or more hours a day online (vs. one hour) upped the risk of sleeping too little more than 50 percent. Spending three hours a day (vs. one hour) upped the risk nearly 20 percent.
Smartphones – which the majority of Americans owned by the end of 2012 – allow mobile and instant internet access. It’s difficult to prove what causes what in an analysis like this, but it seems much more likely that teens’ increased smartphone use between 2012 and 2015 led to less sleep than less sleep leading to more smartphone use.
Why might smartphones cause teens to sleep less? Unlike other electronic devices such as TVs and desktop computers, smartphones (and tablets) are easily carried into the bedroom and held by hand in bed.
Most of the students I interviewed for my book “iGen” told me they kept their phones within reach as they slept, in part, because they all used it as their alarm clock. Many also told me that their smartphones were the last thing they looked at before they went to sleep at night. That’s a problem, because answering texts and scrolling through social media is mentally and emotionally stimulating, which leads to disturbed sleep. Others told me that they also regularly reached for their phones, often just out of habit, when they woke up in the middle of the night.
There’s a physiological response as well: The blue light emitted by smartphones and tablets simulates daylight, inhibiting the brain’s production of melatonin, the hormone that helps us fall asleep and stay asleep. And that’s if teens try to go to sleep at all.
A 2014 study found that 80 percent of teens admitted to using their phones when they were supposed to be sleeping – a practice some call “vamping.” Some said they stayed up most of the night when their parents thought they were asleep.

Some simple limits

Sleep deprivation can have serious consequences for teens.
Those who don’t sleep enough perform more poorly in school and are at greater risk of developing obesity. Sleep deprivation is also linked to mental health issues including depression and anxiety among both teens and adults.
When conducting research for my book, I found that iGen teens are more likely to be depressed and anxious than previous generations. If smartphones cause teens to sleep less, and less sleep leads to depression, sleep deprivation might explain why teen depression increased sharply after 2012 – exactly when smartphones became common, and exactly when sleep deprivation began to increase among teens.
What can be done? Later start times at high schools have significant positive impacts on teen sleep, but school start times aren’t something parents and teens can control.
In contrast, limiting smartphone use before bed is a strategy that can be immediately implemented (ideally for the whole family, adults included). A “no phones in the bedroom after bedtime” rule can work. If your family uses phones as alarm clocks, buy inexpensive alarm clocks. Put an app on phones that shuts them down during certain hours, or leave phones and tablets in another room overnight. Suggest reading a book, taking a bath or writing in a journal in the hour before bed. Your teens will probably get some more sleep – and they might find themselves healthier and happier as well.
The author is a professor of Psychology at San Diego State University

Monday, October 30, 2017

The (Sensible) Outsider's View



Seven minutes of good sense from the European Parliament. It's worth listening to. With Spanish subtitles
PS: Deception means "engaño" in Spanish, not "decepción", which is disappointment. 
It is a false friend which the translator clearly missed

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Educación electrónica

Por CARLOS MARTÍN GAEBLER


Hoy en día, cualquiera que tenga en sus manos un dispositivo electrónico de telecomunicación sabe cómo usarlo, tan intuitivos son, pero no existe manual de instrucciones alguno que le enseñe cuándo usarlo y cuándo no. En esta columna reflexiono sobre nuestra forma actual de comunicarnos y relacionarnos socialmente.

Si bien es comprensible el uso simultáneo de sistemas de telecomunicación en momentos de ocio al aire libre, mientras cocinamos o hacemos alguna tarea del hogar, hay otros momentos en los que nuestro interlocutor requiere de nuestra atención en exclusiva, como cuando almorzamos con un amigo o familiar al que hace tiempo que no vemos, cuando ejercemos un trabajo de vigilancia o supervisión, cuando asistimos a una obra de teatro, escuchamos una orquesta de música clásica o prestamos atención a un profesor en el aula. Es una cuestión de respeto. Ultimamente he comprobado que, además de por el lógico y progresivo envejecimiento neuronal, otro de los motivos por los que en la actualidad algunos adultos tienen tanta dificultad para aprender un idioma extranjero es por el déficit atencional que les provoca el estar pendientes de recibir una llamada o un mensaje de texto durante una clase. Esta ansiedad hace que su cerebro esté distraído, falto de la necesaria concentración para asimilar lo que oye o que ve.

Familia empantallada
También está desapareciendo entre muchos jóvenes la capacidad de concentrarse en algo durante un tiempo, y esto los docentes lo percibimos a diario. Muchos usuarios de la red, en su dispersión, no pueden fijar la atención. Algunas nuevas tecnologías producen, de hecho, una pérdida de tiempo pues nos hacen excesivamente dependientes de lo inmediato. Los psicólogos hablan ya de la ansiedad producida por el miedo a perderse algo (MAPA) en el whatsapp o en las redes. ¡Qué difícil nos resulta prescindir del control de nuestro entorno y zafarnos del yugo de la conectividad permanente! Algunos viven enchufados, o empantallados, como diría Elvira Lindo, sin prestar atención a lo que ocurre a su alrededor ni a las personas que les rodean cuando comen o viajan, por ejemplo. Las compañías de telefonía móvil han conseguido finalmente que hayamos aprendido a vivir sin saber esperar y nos han creado la necesidad de consumir productos con los que se lucran.

No prestamos atención a la realidad circundante cuando vamos en el autobús o en el metro, y así no nos vemos impelimos a pensar en la sociedad injusta y defectuosa que nos rodea. Pensar es necesario para construir un mundo mejor. Y cuanto menos pensemos mejor para el poder establecido. Caminamos por la calle distraídos, sin alzar la vista, cual autómatas, absorta nuestra mirada en una minúscula pantallita centelleante de letras animadas en continuo movimiento. Nos sentimos frustrados porque nuestro interlocutor no nos preste la atención que merecemos. Vivimos en la era de la distracción.

Vivimos hipercomunicados a distancia con otras personas, pero desconectados de nosotros mismos. Nos conformamos con una interacción de bajo coste, tanto emocional como lingüística. Predomina la telecomunicación frente a lo que me gusta llamar cercacomunicación. Se chatea o teclea para evitar hablar por teléfono o ver cara a cara mediante videoconferencia.

¡PARE DE TECLEAR!
A su vez, esta sobreutilización de las tecnologías de la telecomunicación ha producido una evidente degradación de muchos oficios. A diario vemos cómo, por ejemplo, socorristas, vigilantes, conductores de autobuses, ambulancias o taxis, policías de patrulla, obreros de la construcción, dependientes de tiendas, cuidadores de ancianos, enfermeros, médicos, etc. no tienen reparo en mantener teleconversaciones textuales privadas con amigos o familiares durante su horario laboral o mientras conducen un vehículo. Parece haberse perdido también la paciencia contemplativa, fenómeno este que se observa sobre todo en museos, en exposiciones o en cines.

Quienes me conocen saben que no soy ningún tecnólogo, pues me sirvo a diario de las tecnologías de la telecomunicación, tanto en mi vida personal como profesional. Pero no me considero un esclavo de las mismas. Afortunadamente, vivo el día a día desenchufado y con la mirada atenta a lo que ocurre a mi alrededor y a las personas que me rodean. No considero la tecnología como la panacea para resolverlo todo, como ocurría en la pesadilla orwelliana.

Precisamos buenos modales tecnológicos para hacer frente a esta nomofobia (pánico a quedarse sin móvil). Un ejemplo ha sido la reciente conversión de algunos vagones del AVE en espacios silenciosos o la prohibición de conducir hablando o tecleando por el móvil. Estos días se publican libros sobre la dieta digital para no caer en excesos tecnológicos o vídeos que nos animan a levantar la mirada del teléfono móvil para apreciar la realidad circundante. 

Luis Aragonés le espetó un día al jugador Sergio Ramos en un entrenamiento de La Roja:“¡Haga usted el favor de dejar el móvil de los cojones y hable con sus compañeros!” La telecomunicación ha llegado para quedarse, de acuerdo, pero, ¿le estamos dando el mejor de los usos? ¿Tendrá algo que ver la desaparición de la asignatura Educación para la Ciudadanía con este no saber estar de algunos? ¿Quién nos educa para no abusar de la tecnología? cmg2014

Artículos relacionados: 

Infelicidad digital, por Francesc Miralles
¿Nos dominarán las máquinas?, por Pepa Martínez Nieto
Más dóciles y más cobardes, por Jordi Soler
Si escribes, no conduzcas, por Javier Rodríguez Marcos
¿Por qué hay personas más enganchas al móvil que otras?, por Beatriz Guillén

Monday, October 23, 2017

Seville European Film Festival


A new edition of the Seville European Film Festival is coming up! Watch films in English and in other European languages, in the original version and with digital quality (mostly at the Nervión Plaza cinemas), at the SEFF. Don't miss a good opportunity to see and hear a selection of quality European films and improve your language skills either by listening to films in English (with Spanish subtitles) or by reading the English subtitles of films in other languages. It is good value for money (a student pass allows you access to 15 films for only 20€!). Come and enjoy the festival's international atmosphere. See you there :)


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Pronunciation of -s endings


In general: /z/ e.g. pens, days, bags, photos, sews, ties, potatoes, goes, babies, universities, companies, studies, tries, wives, shelves, is, has.
After -f(e){-ph,-gh}/-k(e)/-p(e)/-t(e): /s/ e.g. books, students, photographs, works, types, laughs.
After -ce/-s(e)/-ss/-sh/-ch/-x(e)/-ge: /iz/ (extra syllable) e.g. produces, nurses, garages, buses, classes, dishes, teaches, fixes, washes.

Pronunciation of -ed endings

PRONUNCIATION RULES OF THE PAST SIMPLE TENSE OF REGULAR VERBS

1) After the sounds /f/, /k/, /p/, /s/, /sh/, /ch/ or /x/, the -ed syllable is pronounced /t/: look > looked (pronounced /lukt/); watch > watched; laugh > laughed; stop > stopped


2) After other consonants and vowel sounds, the –ed is pronounced /d/: live > lived; play > played; die > died; love > loved; clean > cleaned; marry > married


3) Verbs ending in the sound /t/ or /d/, add an extra syllable, pronounced /-id/: decide > decided; want > wanted; hate > hated; visit > visited; start > started


To practise these endings, watch the following lesson on You Tube.


WHO DID WHAT? 

Do you want to know more about 1 Pablo Picasso, 2 Albert Einstein, 3 Rudolf Nureyev or 4 Wolfgang Amedus Mozart? Match each activity with one of these four celebrities. Example: G2 = Einstein couldn't read until the age of 8. Then, say which past tense is pronounced /-tid/, /-vd/, /-zd/, /-ld/, /-rd/, /-pt/ or /-st/. Finally, read each sentence aloud for pronunciation practice.

A He came from a Jewish family.

B He painted the Guernica for the Spanish Republic.
C He emigrated from Russia to Paris.
D He escaped the Nazis and survived.
E He criticised Franco’s dictatorship all his life.
F You can find his face on some 50-cent coins.
G He couldn’t read until the age of 8.
H He died of Aids.
I He failed his Physics exam at school.
J He died young and poor.
K He invented cubism.
L He was the best dancer of his time.
M He composed a wonderful Requiem.
N He discovered the relativity theory.
O He died in exile.
P He wrote music for several kings.
Q His paintings are sold for millions.
R His mediocre competitor, Salieri, hated him.
S He never danced at the Maestranza theatre.
T He had the reputation of being a Latin lover.

ANSWER KEY:
A Einstein came from a Jewish family.
B Picasso painted the Guernica for the Spanish Republic.
C Nureyev emigrated from Russia to Paris.
D Einstein escaped the Nazis and survived.
E Picasso criticised Franco’s dictatorship all his life.
F You can find Mozart’s face on some 50-cent coins.
G Einstein couldn’t read until the age of 8.
H Nureyev died of Aids.
I Einstein failed his Physics exam at school.
J Mozart died young and poor.
K Picasso invented cubism.
L Nureyev was the best dancer of his time.
M Mozart composed a wonderful Requiem.
N Einstein discovered the relativity theory.
O Picasso died in exile.
P Mozart wrote music for several kings.
Q Picasso’s paintings are sold for millions.
R Mozart
s mediocre competitor, Salieri, hated him.
S Nureyev never danced at the Maestranza theatre.
T Picasso had the reputation of being a Latin lover.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Man in an Orange Shirt_BBC mini-series


Vanessa Redgrave stars in the screenwriting debut of best-selling British novelist Patrick Gale that charts the challenges and huge changes to gay lives from World War II to the present. The drama follows two gay love stories set 60 years apart — linked by family, and by a painting that holds a secret that echoes down the generations. The two-hour film (divided into two episodes) explores a forbidden relationship made impossible by illegality and societal pressure, and contrasts it with present day romance as a minefield of internalized issues and temptations. 

Redgrave plays a grandmother struggling with her relationship with her gay grandson. The superb cast also includes Oliver Jackson-Cohen, James McArdle, Joanna Vanderham, Laura Carmichael, Julian Morris, Julian Sands, David Gyasi and Frances De La Tour. On the BBC, Man In An Orange Shirt forms part of the Gay Britannia season — a program of content to mark the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality. Two must-watch, captivating love stories.