Monday, January 08, 2018

In Praise of Rugby

Tackles, collisions, players running into each other at full speed... rugby is a combat sport. There is certainly more contact than in football, although according to the old English saying: "football is a game for gentlemen played by ruffians, while rugby is a game for ruffians played by gentlemen." If there is something that distinguishes rugby, it is the attitude of respect in the sport. You can see a referee who measures maybe a metre seventy telling this guy who is nearly two metres tall and weighs more than a hundred kilos "you've committed a foul, retreat ten metres" and the other man never complains. This attitude also exists between any two sets of fans, something that is related to the sport's concern with values. This can also be seen on the stands. When you go into a rugby stadium, there is a very warm atmosphere and there are never any insults; it's a very healthy feeling.


Related article: Rugby vs fútbol, by John Carlin

Friday, January 05, 2018

Percebes o lechugas o taburetes

Por JAVIER MARÍAS
El titular no podía ser más triste para quienes pasamos ratos magníficos en esos establecimientos: “Cada día cierran dos librerías en España”. El reportaje de Winston Manrique incrementaba la desolación: en 2014 se abrieron 226, pero se cerraron 912, sobre todo de pequeño y mediano tamaño. Las ventas han descendido un 18% en tres años, pasándose de una facturación global de 870 millones a una de 707. La primera reacción, optimista por necesidad, es pensar que bueno, que quizá la gente compra los libros en las grandes superficies, o en formato electrónico, aunque aquí ya sabemos que los españoles son adictos a la piratería, es decir, al robo. Nadie que piratee contenidos culturales debería tener derecho a indignarse ni escandalizarse por el latrocinio a gran escala de políticos y empresarios. “¡Chorizos de mierda!”, exclaman muchos individuos al leer o ver las noticias, mientras con un dedo hacen clic para choricear su serie favorita, o una película, o una canción, o una novela. “Quiero leerla sin pagar un céntimo”, se dicen. O a veces ni eso: “Quiero tenerla, aunque no vaya a leerla; quiero tenerla sin soltar una perra: la cultura debería ser gratis”.
Pero el reportaje recordaba otro dato: el 55% no lee nunca o sólo a veces. Y un buen porcentaje de esa gente no buscaba pretextos (“Me falta tiempo”), sino que admitía con desparpajo: “No me gusta o no me interesa”. Alguien a quien no le gusta o no le interesa leer es alguien, por fuerza, a quien le trae sin cuidado saber por qué está en el mundo y por qué diablos hay mundo; por qué hay algo en vez de nada, que sería lo más lógico y sencillo; qué ha pasado en la tierra antes de que él llegara y qué puede pasar tras su desaparición; cómo es que él ha nacido mientras tantos otros no lo hicieron o se malograron antes de poder leer nada; por qué, si vive, ha de morir algún día; qué han creído los hombres que puede haber tras la muerte, si es que hay algo; cómo se formó el universo y por qué la raza humana ha perdurado pese a las guerras, hambrunas y plagas; por qué pensamos, por qué sentimos y somos capaces de analizar y describir esos sentimientos, en vez de limitarnos a experimentarlos.
A ese individuo no le provoca la menor curiosidad que exista el lenguaje y haya alcanzado una precisión y una sutileza tan extraordinarias como para poder nombrarlo todo, desde la pieza más minúscula de un instrumento hasta el más volátil estado de ánimo; tampoco que haya innumerables lenguas en lugar de una sola, común a todos, como sería también lo más lógico y sencillo; no le importa en absoluto la historia, es decir, por qué las cosas y los países son como son y no de otro modo; ni la ciencia, ni los descubrimientos, ni las exploraciones y la infinita variedad del planeta; no le interesa la geografía, ni siquiera saber dónde está cada continente; si es creyente, le trae al fresco enterarse de por qué cree en el dios en que cree, o por qué obedece determinadas leyes y mandamientos, y no otros distintos. Es un primitivo en todos los sentidos de la palabra: acepta estar en el mundo que le ha tocado en suerte como un animal –tipo gallina–, y pasar por la tierra como un leño, sin intentar comprender nada de nada. Come, juega y folla si puede, más o menos es todo.
Tal vez haya hoy muchas personas que crean que cualquier cosa la averiguarán en Internet, que ahí están los datos. Pero “ahí” están equivocados a menudo, y además sólo suele haber eso, datos someros y superficiales. Es en los libros donde los misterios se cuentan, se muestran, se explican en la medida de lo posible, donde uno los ve desarrollarse e iluminarse, se trate de un hallazgo científico, del curso de una batalla o de las especulaciones de las mentes más sabias. Es en ellos donde uno encuentra la prosa y el verso más elevados y perfeccionados, son ellos los que ayudan a comprender, o a vislumbrar lo incomprensible. Son los que permiten vivir lo que está sepultado por siglos, como La caída de Constantinopla 1453 del historiador Steven Runciman, que nos hace seguir con apasionamiento y zozobra unos hechos cuyo final ya conocemos y que además no nos conciernen. Y son los que nos dan a conocer no sólo lo que ha sucedido, sino también lo que no, que con frecuencia se nos aparece como más vívido y verdadero que lo acaecido. Al que no le gusta o interesa leer jamás le llegará la emoción de enfrascarse en El Conde de Montecristo o en Historia de dos ciudades, por mencionar dos obras que no serán las mejores, pero se cuentan entre las más absorbentes desde hace más de siglo y medio. Tampoco sabrá qué pensaron y dijeron Montaigne y Shakespeare, Platón y Proust, Eliot, Rilke y tantos otros. No sentirá ninguna curiosidad por tantos acontecimientos que la provocan en cuanto uno se entera de ellos, como los relatados por Simon Leys en Los náufragos del “Batavia”, allá en el lejanísimo 1629. De hecho ignora que casi todo resulta interesante y aun hipnotizante, cuando se sumerge uno en las páginas afortunadas. Es sorprendente –y también muy deprimente– que un 55% de nuestros compatriotas estén dispuestos a pasar por la vida como si fueran percebes; o quizá ni eso: una lechuga; o ni siquiera: un taburete. (EPS, 27.03.15)

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Norman Foster's Common Futures

The exhibition titled “Norman Foster. Common futures” seeks to popularize the architect’s work and his vision of the future among a wide audience while revealing his sources of inspiration. The exhibition focuses on the continuities in Foster’s work and confirms how the future and the past can inspire the present.

Since his early works more than half a century ago, Norman Foster’s architecture has sought to employ technical expertise to anticipate the future and to overcome physical and social barriers. Inspired by both historical constructions and scientific progress, his projects reconcile tradition and modernity, urban intelligence and transformative capacity, aesthetic excellence and technological innovation.
On the occasion of the public presentation of his foundation in Madrid, the Norman Foster Foundation, this exhibition – curated by Luis Fernández-Galiano, Senior Professor of Projects at the School of Architecture of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (ETSAM) and Director of Arquitectura Viva – documents twelve recent projects that enter into dialogue with similar proposals from previous decades to underline the continuity of his concerns and to bring to light the variety of his interests.
From involvement in heritage buildings to projects for living spaces on the Moon, Foster’s work recovers the memory of the past and anticipates the needs of the future while remaining firmly anchored among the demands and urgencies of the present. All of Foster’s proposals for new work and culture spaces, care for cancer patients, populations lacking infrastructures, sustainable urban development and raised paths for cyclists, stimulate the endeavour to make our cities more liveable. All with the dominant themes of social awareness, openness to change and innovation.
Thus, this Norman Foster exhibition in Spain is held under the auspices of Fundación Telefónica at Espacio Fundación Telefónica, a building which was a paradigm of innovation in its day, the first skyscraper to be built in Spain, whose impressive structure is highlighted by the montage of the display. It is also appropriate for its central area to be occupied by a set of flying machines – from a glider to a space capsule – which are, in turn, an inspiration for these lightweight architectures and a symbol of a fast-paced world undergoing constant change.
In addition, in the twelve sections of the exhibition, we can run through Foster’s ideas on different topics of social interest, following an itinerary which begins with a reflection on the past and ends with the future, taking in culture, work, well-being and sustainability. Each section presents a recent project together with another from his initial period, demonstrating the continuity of these features in his architecture, constantly focused on the prefiguration of a common future.
The future of the past and heritage is illustrated by relating his painstaking extension of the legendary Château Margaux wineries to his first drawings of vernacular architecture when he was still a student, and comparing his current project for the expansion of the Prado Museum with the Carré d’Art, which he completed a quarter of a century ago in Nîmes. As for the futures of the architectural form and function, they link the modern offices of the Bloomberg company in London to the ones he built for Willis Faber & Dumas forty years ago, and the new Government House in Buenos Aires to the reformist Sainsbury Centre which, in its day, transformed the perception of art spaces.
Both the future of work and the future of well-being give rise to the parallel display of the iconic headquarters built for Apple in California and the pioneering project for Olsen in the London docklands, together with the welcoming Maggie’s Centre for cancer patients and the Hackney School for children requiring special care. For Foster, the desire to meet contemporary needs is combined with technical refinement, and the futures of both construction and technology are explored by linking the titanic project for Mexico’s airport with the Climatroffice – the visionary proposal he made with Buckminster Fuller – and the sustainable Droneport with the geodesic elementality of its autonomous house.
The city and the territory require us to rethink the future of mobility and sustainability, a task demonstrated here by relating the stimulating urban SkyCycle project and the popular Bilbao Metro, as well as the carbon-neutral city of Masdar and the pioneering ecological territorial plan for La Gomera. Finally, the future of the networks crossing the planet, and even the expansion of humanity beyond it, give rise to the dual display of the colossal Thames Hub project and the Collserola Tower in Barcelona, and the lunar base for the European Space Agency, built with robots and 3D technology, and the first project by the architect, a tiny shelter in the shape of an aircraft cabin, the Cockpit.

The exhibition titled “Norman Foster. Common futures” can be visited on the third floor of Espacio Fundación Telefónica (Fuencarral 3, Madrid) from 6 October 2017 to 4 February 2018.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Thursday, December 21, 2017

MADBOOTS DANCE: Dancing to Male Identity

MADBOOTS DANCE is a NYC-based company founded and led by two dancer-choreographers, Jonathan Campbell and Austin Diaz, who are also life partners. Having met in 2010 as both were starting their professional careers as dancers, Campbell and Diaz soon began to collaborate in the choreography of their own duets. In time, they began to create pieces for a small ensemble of male dancers, producing such works as Sad Boys, All Fours, and Masc. Their work frequently addresses gay themes and features male-to-male contact and intimacy. Excerpts of their pieces can be seen in high definition on their website www.madbootsdance.com or on Vimeo.



Austin Diaz and Jonathan Campbell of Madboots. Photo: Nir Arielli
The Gay & Lesbian Review met Diaz and Campbell at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Mass., in 2015 , where they performed Beau and Sad Boys in the Doris Duke Theatre. 
The Gay & Lesbian Review: Let me start with some background questions about where you grew up and how you got into dancing. How long have you’ve been dancing? And how did you come to found Madboots?
Jonathan Campbell: I grew up in Dallas. I started dancing when I was eight or nine. I kind of started out doing tap, because I was fascinated by the tap shoes. But when I got older, I realized I hated tap and started doing jazz. I went to a performing arts high school, and I was introduced to ballet and modern, and I realized that’s what I wanted to do. And then I got accepted to the Juilliard School. I graduated from there in 2010. And then I met Austin.
Austin Diaz: I grew up in New Jersey. I went to a small, local studio, and trained on my own. I started when I was about ten, and trained in jazz, tap, all that. It wasn’t until college that I really got to take modern and more ballet. I went to NYU, and I graduated in 2011. Which is actually when we met. We met at NYU.
JC: I had just finished school and started working for a choreographer in New York named Sidra Bell. She was commissioned by NYU to make a piece on the Second Avenue Dance Company. I was her assistant and Austin was in the piece. She actually hired Austin while he was still in school to join her company, so Austin and I ended up dancing together while he was still in school. We spent a lot of time together because she created a duet for us. It just kind of felt like there was a lot of chemistry artistically and dance-wise between us.
AD: It was at NYU that I rented space, and we were like, let’s fool around for a couple of hours and see if we can make something together, and we did. We made a duet, and that was sort of the birth of Madboots, in that moment. It was something that we wanted to continue doing. It took a little time to say, okay, we’re starting a dance company, but we did it pretty quickly, without understanding, really, what we were getting into and what it meant to have a dance company. So, the momentum picked up faster than we expected. But I’m glad that we did it.
G&LR: So, initially Madboots was just the two of you. At what point did you start to bring in other dancers?
AD: It was just the two of us for about a year, year-and-a-half. We were making duets at little festivals and anywhere we could perform. We’ve done some pretty embarrassing shows. We ended up performing in bars, and we did a show where no one showed up. We’ve had our share of lows when it comes to performing, but of course we’re happy to have had those experiences.
G&LR: Getting to perform at Jacob’s Pillow in 2015—how big a deal was that for you?
AD: It was a huge moment for us. We had been asked to do the Inside Out festival at Jacob’s Pillow in 2012, and that in itself was a really cool moment for us. Then we made the connection with Ella [Baff, the artistic director], and she kept in touch and offered us two residencies. Finally, the performance opportunity came in 2015, at the Doris Duke Theatre.
G&LR: That was Ella’s last year, wasn't it?
AD: It was actually her very last show. We closed the festival along with the Martha Graham Dance Company. Ella did her [farewell] speech and came over and did her last show, her last “Let’s dance!” So that was an epic moment for us.
G&LR: Do you think of Madboots as basically the two of you? Do you bring in dancers as needed, or do you have a company of dancers who stay with you?
JC: Right now we’ve moved towards a project-based model. We hire for each project that we do. The piece we’re working on now is for five dancers, but it’s always kind of shifting. The difficult thing about having an all-male company is that hiring dancers at a certain level and caliber—it’s hard to keep them, especially on a project freelance basis, because these guys can get work very quickly and easily. So, often they get these gigs that are high-paying or touring, and we can’t blame them for taking these opportunities. So it’s fluid; people come in and out; and we’ve gotten used to that. But it’s still somehow a company, even if it’s just the two of us.

From Sad Boys. Christoper Duggan Photography
G&LR: I’ve just been binge-watching the footage on your website. You guys have done some incredible work. I want to address your use of gay themes in your work. A lot of modern dancers or dancers in general are gay, but most companies don’t specifically deal with gay issues of isolation and homophobia, but you guys do so. Can you talk a little about this?
JC: It’s interesting, we started making work not necessarily with the goal of being driven from a gay male perspective or anything like that. We just wanted to make work together. It’s kind of because it’s who we are, so it’s inherent in the work that we’re making. It wasn’t until fairly recently that someone asked us, are you a gay company? We kind of looked at each other and said, “Yeah, we are.” We’re making gay works and we’re a gay company, and we should just embrace it.
AD: In concert dance, there has been some degree of homophobia. We’ve had trouble with a couple of venues presenting our work because of the gay content. The theaters will connect to the physicality, and they really enjoy the dancing, but when it comes to the gay content, they’re not so thrilled by it. It’s tricky, but the work is the work, and people will present it who are interested in showing that kind of intimacy onstage, which a lot of people shy away from.
G&LR: In your multimedia piece called Sad Boys, you flash words like “gay” and “faggot” on the floor during the performance. Would you call this a “political” statement?
JC: And “beast.” And “I feel pretty, witty, and gay.” I think people do read it as “political,” and I guess it kind of is. But these are just comments on our experiences and the things that people go through on a daily basis. These experiences are real, but it’s perceived as political or aggressive in that way.
AD: For us, it’s just our lives.
JC: You get called “faggot” on the street; we don’t step away from those things. We try to push them forward. It does make people uncomfortable, but I think it’s okay to do that. It’s kind of necessary.
AD: We think the visibility is important, to continue to try and bring up these topics and bring them into conversation and just create more dialogue.
G&LR: Another thing I wanted to ask about was your use of spoken narrative as background, such as a passage from Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. In Beau, a piece you did at Jacob’s Pillow, the lines are from the “holy” section as read by Ginsberg himself, whose voice is slowed down and deepened for the piece.
AD: We read Howl and other of his works, and it was so impactful; it affected us so deeply. I think there’s something about Ginsberg and his sense of rebellion that we really connected with. His writing has ended up in a few of our creations. I mean, there’s a lot of humanity in it, there’s a lot of vulnerability in it, and a lot of truth and bluntness in it.
G&LR: I also liked your use of a passage by David Wojnarowicz in your piece called All Fours. I guess it’s probably about AIDS and dying, but it’s also a commentary on the madness of modern civilization. What do you think?
AD: With David’s text, it was probably last fall that we found a couple of books about him, and we found these pieces of text that were so heartbreaking. It was when he was dying of AIDS that he was writing. It’s about his isolation, his feeling of voicelessness, of not being heard. He says, “I’m screaming, but it comes out like pieces of clear ice.” It’s full of heartbreaking images of trying to connect or trying to be seen, but you’re not. Which I think was a huge issue during the AIDS crisis: that these people were dying, and it was being swept aside. Even today, it’s still just as impactful and relevant—how many people feel voiceless and helpless.
G&LR: The way that you worked the words and the dance together is very intense. It’s an amazing vision. All Fours also features full nudity if I remember correctly. Was that aspect controversial, and does it present problems in terms of performance?
AD: For sure, for men in dance. It’s a little bit more accepted for women to be fully nude. But for men it does create more problems. We were performing another work—Sad Boys, which we’ve sort of edited since we premiered at the Pillow. Ella was totally fine with the nudity, but it has gone through a bit of an evolution after one presenter had a problem with it. Had it been a woman, the theater would have been okay with it. The fact that it was male genitalia was a problem. We were kind of stunned by that, and it was kind of infuriating. Basically, we just turned the lights very low. We made a compromise, which is sadly what artists sometimes have to do. However, I think nudity is becoming more prevalent in our work. It just is a vulnerable state of being—the exposure. Even going in toAll Fours—it wasn’t like we were thrilled about doing it nude, but we knew it needed to be done that way. Experiencing it alone onstage in real time—it changes you.
G&LR: Let me ask you about your influences, and where you would place your work in the context of modern dance.
JC: We’ve been asked this before, but I don’t know that there’s a good label for it, because it feels like our work is constantly shifting. The movement language, the æsthetic, even the way we set up the stage—we feel like we’ve kind of gotten to a certain place where we are already moving forward to change it.
G&LR: I’m fascinated by the creative process, especially with dance, because it seems to evolve in a more spontaneous way than, say, writing. You talked at the beginning about how you work together, how you start playing around with some ideas, and it seems like the work starts to take on a life of its own. Is that a reasonable description of how it works?
JC: It can. It has been different for each project. Sometimes we come in knowing exactly what we’re trying to do. We know how the piece starts and how it ends, and we’ll fill in the middle. Or we come in with just a title, and the piece kind of grows out of that.
AD: For our next creation, we have a thirty-minute piece of music that we want to use. This is something that we’ve never done before.
JC: We’re starting with the music, without knowing anything else. So, I think the starting point is different with each project. There have been processes where we started with just a phrase, and we come in and start making moves. We don’t know where it will go or what we’re going to do with it, because it kind of snowballs and things start to fall in place.
AD: And we kind of let our lives come in, and there are so many things that will happen just randomly, like a song will come up in a movie, or—
JC: Or even the people, when we’re working with other people and they say or do something, and it kind of triggers something and it gets absorbed into the work. So, speaking of influences, they can be music, texts, poetry, fashion. We look at the fashion blogs on-line and the way things are designed. So, it’s really sort of this big amalgamation of all of these elements.
THE GAY & LESBIAN REVEW, July-August 2017, pages 24-26

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Guy's Talk on Toxic Masculinity



Justin Baldoni wants to start a dialogue with men about redefining masculinity -- to figure out ways to be not just good men but good humans. In a warm, personal talk, he shares his effort to reconcile who he is with who the world tells him a man should be. And he has a challenge for men: "See if you can use the same qualities that you feel make you a man to go deeper," Baldoni says. "Your strength, your bravery, your toughness: Are you brave enough to be vulnerable? Are you strong enough to be sensitive? Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life?"

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Should “real” students do an online course on the side?



By Kalia Ross, The Guardian, 19 February 2013

Universities have started giving away their content free as "Massive Open Online Courses", with the satisfyingly ridiculous acronym MOOCs. Eleven top UK universities recently announced they were joining the Open University to launch FutureLearn, in an attempt to catch up with the elite US institutions that have led the way in teaching huge numbers online.

It all sounds great for people who, for one reason or another, can't go to a traditional university. But do MOOCs have anything to offer students already studying at a conventional institution? Well, I've signed up for a MOOC in microeconomics. I did it because I'm thinking about whether to do a master’s degree and what to study. I'm testing my resolve: if I enjoy it enough to study in my own time, maybe I'm ready for a master’s. Better to find out before I hand over the money. Why else would a university student consider a MOOC? You could use it to improve your CV – it shows you're motivated, you have a variety of interests and you're not struggling with your workload.

And before you can use an online course to help you get a job, employers have to learn what they are and respect them. University isn't just about what you learn but proving you know it. The only proof you did your MOOC is that you clicked on "I promise not to cheat[i]". This is changing, though: one of the biggest MOOC organisers, Coursera, is testing facial recognition software to monitor students, and charging a small fee for verification.
Moocs are extra tuition from a different perspective. Dreading[ii] that compulsory class you know you'll find difficult to pass, the one with the 50% fail rate? MOOC comes to the rescue. Free preparation: better than failing and suffering the consequences to your grade point average and student loan.

Are MOOCs a threat to old school universities? Should we fear that, before we've even paid them off, traditional university degrees will become obsolete like floppy disks [iii]? Probably not, as they are a long way from ready to replace traditional degrees. There might not be a MOOC versus traditional university mega-battle – instead, online courses offer another option on higher education's menu of delights.

MOOCs still have serious problems. A Coursera course crashed[iv] recently, unable to cope with the thousands of students trying to join online discussions. MOOCs are limited to subjects that can be assessed with multiple choice exams, marked automatically. Written any essays in your degree? Your professor's critique of them can't be replicated by a MOOC – yet. As for me, although I did not make a single friend in a community of 37,000, I enjoyed the chance to learn what I was interested in, on my own terms. MOOCs are a new approach to education – and we, traditional university students, needn't miss out[v]


GLOSSARY:
[i] cheat= act dishonestly in an exam
[ii] dread= be afraid of
[iii] floppy disk= diskette
[iv] crashed= stopped functioning
[v] miss out= miss the opportunity to benefit from something

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)