Archive for the ‘Workshops’ Category

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Workshop on Lexical Creativity (create words in English!!)

May 24, 2013

I need to fix the broken link on Talking People, but I published my workshop on Lexical Creativity in case you want to print it. It’s an interesting workshop, and great fun too. I did it with Avanzado 2 students at that school and they created amazing words. We published some of those here.

Yesterday I heard “frenemies,” and example of what we call “blends” in Linguistics (friends + enemies). This one is quite quite recent (less than a decade?)! Do you know it? You can post the ones you know, if you like. Actually, I believe “follamigos” (which does not have the same meaning as “frenemies”) comes from imitating not only this kind of word formation in English but also thanks to this word in English.

With the Lexical Creativity workshop I help students learn about word-formation (morphology) and how we create words in a language. Morphology helps you decipher the meaning of some of the words you might not know, too… And learning about linguistic creativity also helps you get some jokes because, it’s a fact, in all languages we make up words and expressions, but in English it’s mighty easy!

The book I’m recommending (pic) is expensive because it’s specialized, but if there are any language teachers out there, they’ll surely enjoy it!

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April 26: Lesbian Visibility Day

April 26, 2013

We’d like to celebrate Lesbian Visibility Day with a song by Buika, a Spanish singer and song writer who performs all kinds of interesting music!

Mujeres-lesbianas-y-Reproducción-asistida

Visibilidad lésbica

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It’s patriarchy that says…

April 5, 2013

itspatriarchy

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Installations by Avanzado 2 students

March 20, 2013

doyouneedart

 Avanzado 2 student can post here the installation they imagine about themselves. It’s a beautiful exercise showing some beautiful things about art and human beings. So come on! Don’t be shy! And if you think you are not creative, give it a try, too. A human mind can learn all kinds of things — just think of how very well we’ve learned the gender-system lesson of what a man and a woman are, in spite of the irrefutable fact that we’ve all got human minds (as if genitals were our prison!). Then we could publish them all on the talkingpeople.net website! IMAGINATION TO POWER! 😀 TIPS: To post your “comment” click on the title of this post. Remember it’s better to write your message first in your computer and then just copy and paste. If you have any trouble posting your comment here, send it to my email and I’ll post it for you.

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Language is powerful! (audio)

March 18, 2013

Listen to this at Talking People Podcast episode

Here is the transcript

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Language is powerful! Metaphors we live by: Argument is war

March 17, 2013

Listen to this at Talking People Podcast episode

Feminists are people who have been able to question their own conceptual system, the language they use to express it and the way they relate to their own selves and other people. We have actually noticed how our minds liberated and expanded as we realized for instance the importance of language in conditioning our understanding. On top of that, many of us have read and listened to people doing all kinds of research, more theoretical research but essential for human knowledge. Still, the value of feminist work on language is astounding. Unfortunately, most people, unaware of how their own conceptual systems are built and how language works to construct culture — mostly tradition — being unable to develop any feminist curiosity or feminist intelligence, feel entitled to despise and criticize what they are totally ignorant of.

I’m excerpting some thinking by a non-feminist around language, which offers the same rich ground of thought and action feminists offer when we analyze language. I find these ideas really interesting and they bring about the resources of feminism and nonviolent struggle, too — sources we should all be exploring to learn to build a better world.

EFL students will also find value in these ideas for improving their oral work at speaking tests and their ability to hold rational discussions. (You can read my notes on Holding Rational Discussions on the Speaking – Discussions section on talkingpeople.net). Defending a position just means explaining your reasons to say something. Not agreeing should not mean fighting and repeating the same things over and over again. Agreeing on something is not One Winning The Other Losing, but both finding some constructive joint future action. If you collaborate, if you work together in your interaction or conversation, you will all win, so to say! If you don’t, you might all lose, to keep using this kind of violent language that has made us so violent when holding discussions!

It was not violence, but collaboration that developed the best in humanity in PreThemstory!

Metaphors We Live By, by George Lakoff & Mark Johnson (The University of Chicago Press, 1980)

Concepts We Live By. Chapter 1. Pages 3, 4, 5 [With my underlinings and comments]

Metaphor is for most people a device of the poetic imagination … a matter of extraordinary rather than ordinary language. Moreover, metaphor is typically viewed as characteristic of language alone, a matter of words rather than thought or action. For this reason, most people think they can get along perfectly well without metaphor. We have found, on the contrary, that metaphor is pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but in thought and action. Our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.

The concepts that govern our thought are not just matters of the intellect. They also govern our everyday functioning, down to the most mundane details. Our concepts structure what we perceive, how we get around in the world, and how we relate to other people. Our conceptual system thus plays a central role in defining our everyday realities. If we are right in suggesting that our conceptual system is largely metaphorical, then the way we think, what we experience, and what we do every day is very much a matter of metaphor.

But our conceptual system is not something we are normally aware of. In most of the little things we do every day, we simply think and act more or less automatically along certain lines. Just what these lines are is by no means obvious. One way to find out is by looking at language. Since communication is based on the same conceptual system that we use in thinking and acting, language is an important source of evidence for what the system is like.

Primarily on the basis of linguistic evidence, we have found that most of our ordinary conceptual system is metaphorical in nature. And we have found a way to begin to identify in detail just what the metaphors are that structure how we perceive, how we think, and what we do.

To give some idea of what it could mean for a concept to be metaphorical and for such a concept to structure an everyday activity, let us start with the concept ARGUMENT and the conceptual metaphor ARGUMENT IS WAR. This metaphor is reflected in our everyday language by a wide variety of expresssions:

ARGUMENT IS WAR

[Notice how language has always used the masculine. Why was that? Women were banned from thinking and education. Traditionally, they’ve been considered unfit for rational thinking. Of course, this is not true. We should all be unfit now for exerting patriarchal reasoning and we should all be finding ways to think beyond the patriarchal frame of mind, so solidly based on violence and misogyny (considering women inferior in everything). We’re developing Empathetic Rationality, reasoning which includes love or solidarity, a concern for life, and this is kinder, wiser, and better for our living together!]

Your claims are indefensible.He attacked every weak point in my argument.His  criticisms were right on target.I demolished his argument.I’ve never won an argument with him.You disagree? OK, shoot!If you use that strategy, he’ll wipe you out.He shot down all of my arguments.

It is important to see that we do not just talk about arguments in terms of war. We can actually win or lose arguments. We see the person we are arguying with as an opponent. We attack his [sic] positions and defend our own. We gain and lose ground. We plan and use strategies. If we find a position indefensible, we can abandon it and take a new line of attack. Many of the things we DO in arguying are partially structured by the concept of war. Though there is no physical battle, there is a verbal battle, and the structure of an argument — attack, defend, counterattack, etc. — reflects this. It is in this sense that the ARGUMENT IS WAR metaphor is one that we live by in this culture; it structures the actions we perform in arguying.

Try to imagine a culture were arguments are not viewed in terms of war [but in terms of collaborating in joint thinking, or to learn, to know, to solve problems], where no one wins or loses [but everybody learns a bit more about itself, people and/or the world], where there is no sense of attacking or defending, gaining or losing ground [but a sense of contributing ideas for joint analyses, and contributing experience for joint reflection]. …

Chapter 3. Page 10

… in the midst of a heated argument, when we are intent on attacking our opponent’s position and defending our own, we may lose sight of the cooperative aspects of arguing. Someone who is arguing with you can be viewed as giving you his [sic] time, a valued commodity, in an effort at mutual understanding [or joint pursuing of more knowledge and wisdom, or at problem-solving]. But when we are preoccupied with the battle aspects, we often lose sight of the cooperativeaspects [& knowledge building, problem-solving].

Well, I hope that you mull over all of these ideas, because we should really improve our way of viewing and performing discussions! In the same way we should learn to stop connecting love to obligation, for the latter degrades and distorts love!

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Convocatoria Noviolencia 15M Sol

March 13, 2013

If people can attend this meeting, I’d love to know about their impressions!

Encuentro de grupos y personas sobre NOVIOLENCIA Y TRANSFORMACIÓN SOCIAL. Segunda reunión.

Domingo 17 de marzo. 18 horas. Csoa Raíces. Calle Mesón de Paredes nº 15. Metro: Tirso de Molina.

La sugerencia para el orden del día de esta segunda reunión es analizar las propuestas que se sugirieron en la anterior reunión.

  • Realizar una campaña con todos los grupos posibles sobre objeción fiscal como forma de lucha política. Coordinarnos y generalizar esta forma de lucha. (Propuesta colaborativa: http://titanpad.com/1ZcMmYWXiK)
  • Guía práctica TRANSFORMACIÓN SOCIAL MEDIANTE LOS IMPUESTOS. (Propuesta colaborativa:http://titanpad.com/ULsalMNKTF)
  • Formar una plataforma con páginas en FaceBook y Twitter. Se sugiere el nombre ALTERNATIVA NOVIOLENTA.
  • Se propone un taller sobre machismo y violencia. El mejor antídoto contra el nacismo es el feminismo.
  • Recogida de firmas entre personas de la cultura apoyando un manifiesto para que la constitución prescinda del ejército como instrumento de la defensa nacional. (Propuesta colaborativa: http://titanpad.com/A5Ozs7LLce)
  • Realizar una campaña coordinada con otros grupos contra los Gastos Militares.
  • Trabajar contra la criminalización de la protesta.
  • Trabajar la autogestión.
  • Taller de comunicación noviolenta.
  • Apoyar consultas ciudadanas incluyendo las consultas digitales por internet.

Aquí está el acta del pasada reunión: http://titanpad.com/X5l0PFTMlh

Contacta con nosotras en noviolencia15msol@gmail.com
Actas de nuestras reuniones: http://actasmadrid.tomalaplaza.net/?cat=342
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Noviolencia15msol/118537784958307, Twitter: #noviolencia15ms, N-1: https://n-1.cc/pg/groups/1408214/noviolencia-15m-sol/, Blog: http://www.noviolencia15msol.blogspot.com.es

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Prueba documental! :D

March 13, 2013

sabiondoSo here’s the picture of the page I was told I had misquoted. It’s page 22. This was my misquote (which is what it says): “when he’s fifty [meaning Bostrom, quoted just above in the indented paragraph] … he will no doubt have … [now he imagines B’s future], proved a number of the unsolved problems of mathematics, built a robot wife and published several successful cookbooks.”

I circled “wife” in my copy and wrote “gender biased”. My notes say: You can build a robot for doing the housework. Why should you build a robot WIFE? A “wife” is a human being, after all! 😀

Anyway, we can find more examples. In all kinds of places. Because this gender bias is a classic, including men who consider themselves feminists like the author of this book — who seems to believe it’s like a degree, that there is an end to developing a feminist intelligence! 😀 –, especially if the person naively beliefs that our minds are neutral when they confront the world. Traditionally, everywhere you read it’s men defining what women are or should be. The problem nowadays is how little aware people are of how very deeply their intelligence of the world is patriarchal, this is, distorted. That’s why we need to develop a feminist intelligence. 

If you’re interested in reflecting further, read page 24. Today in Avanzado 2 Martes I was talking about this view and then offering a healthier one (and more informed one for sure — just look around you!), I believe, thanks to tons of thinking by using the tool of feminist analyses of violence. But I’ll write about this some other day, in case you want to post your views, people!

I’m posting this closer to the first post on this book, which means, changing the posting time, because I’ve posted much more interesting stuff since, and the author’s reaction is somewhat boring. So far “Part 1: MAN [sic]. Chapter 1: The World’s Most Dangerous Idea” is not exciting or inspiring. It’s about “transhumanism” (which does not have anything to do with transgressing the patriarchal gender-system) or work on not dying. However, the frame of mind perpetuates the same gendered world we have, as if they were unable to think beyond that. As if genitals determined it all of what a human being can be! totally ignoring all the good thinking around the human mind. Well, I’ll stop here! Another example came to my mind and I’ve got tons of other things to do! Nightie night!

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An Optimist’s Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson

March 13, 2013

In Redes, they’re showing today an interview with Mark Stevenson, the author of An Optimist’s Tour of the Future.

I have ordered two copies, one for the School in case people want to borrow it and one for myself. As I listen, he says some things that many people in social activism share — starting with a love to the scientific method, I mean, true research, not the kind of Science we had in the past, always used to show women’s inferiority and the like, to back up what religious leaders said of women. Still, there is something that makes me deeply sad – he totally ignores the existence of women on the planet. How can anyone explain all the positive change in the planet ignoring women’s participation? WE WOMEN ARE FUCKING CHANGING THE WORLD THROUGH NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION! We are not “helping men to do so”, we’re part of this on our own initiative! With no need of religious dogmas or political party ideologies! (meaning, in the name of human rights for all, and not in the name of God, the Fatherland, or any Political Party!)

If we had the time, we would apply a LANGUAGE NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION to the translation at Mujer Palabra! Yes, it’s been translated, and most probably by someone who had no issues wording the world for all in the masculine.

Anyway, there are things to learn from this book. And hopefully, I’ll be wrong about his men-only frame of mind! 🙂

Prueba documental – so you can see for yourselves if I’m misquoting

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Installations 1

March 12, 2013

weaving-silkToday in Avanzado 2 people were trying to imagine what kind of installation they would put together if they wanted to tell people about themselves, as a self-portrait. Because I was bored and had no one to talk to, 😀 I wondered how I would portray students! Que tengo mucho peligro! 😀

María — I thought I’d portray María as a tapestry. It would have to be a silk tapestry, full of bright colors but also with less defined areas and with areas of very subtle hues. When people looked at it, they would take in how skillfully weaved it was! All the care in world put into its making!

treeinbubbleJosemaría R. — On second thoughts, I have to say I was not right in picking an olive tree. Although olive trees are beautiful, they are not the kind of beautiful Josemaría is! 😀  So I would have to work more on the idea of a tree. I’d place the tree in a way in which we would be aware that it’s got roots. Just imagine a whole tree without the ground. Yes, in the air! Oh, got it! It would be in a container full of water!

aparadordevitrinaAna — for her installation, I would pick one of those pieces of furniture which is key in the dining/sitting room, and which is like a chest of drawers but has its top half with glass, so you can see through. The wood would be really solid and beautiful. The design would be simple and beautiful. And behind the glass we would be able to see some precious objects of Ana’s! It wouldn’t be cluttered. Just a few. Perhaps some free space too. And what about the drawers…? Ah!? Ana, tell us!
I would place this piece of furniture in a well-lighted space and I’d probably add a couple of huge plant pots, but I’m not sure about this! (By the way, here’s the exhibition Ana told us about!)

home-designOscar — my installation for Oscar would require three long (and wide) window panes arranged as half of an hexagon, like in this Hopper picture. But we would see them from the inside and as our background. Then there would be a big beautiful light brown wooden table. It would be placed as if tracing a vertical line towards the windows. Oscar’s seat would be with its back to the windows, the chair would be drawn out as if he had just left. On the table we would see a newspaper. Aold_typewriternd some delicious natural orange juice shining in the morning light. On the left, at the longest side of the table, yes, there would be a typewriter. And next to the table, closer to the spectator, there would be a waste paperback, full of balled pieces of paper. The space should have a lot of warm morning light!

By the way, doesn’t this remind you of the game, “If X were music,… / If X were a period in History, … / If X were an object, …/ If X were a smell, …, what would he/she be?

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Why do people feel modern art is crap?

March 12, 2013

Are people aware of the implications of their beliefs around modern art? Do people know that some of the beliefs we individually have come from what power-structures have taught us?

Never before in patriarchal societies have we had the freedom we have today in terms of expressing ourselves. [Not in all the planet, of course. Let’s say in “societies questioning patriarchal order” (“developing societies”). However, since we do, since art is at our hands, and free to express whichever subjectivity we wish to express, people despise it. They find no merit in this.] And this is what most people think of art: it’s crap, it’s corrupt, artists are cheating us! There’s nothing for meaningful thought processes like knowing when to divide things us in parts and reconnect them in different ways.

Art is about humans expressing something. It’s a human need. So what’s wrong if people are trying to explore things and express their own very particular viewpoint or experience? Haven’t people had enough of “universal truths” with all the History we’ve been through and with what market dictates today, and mainstream media?

The Art Market is not art. It’s a market. It’s a market that sells art, that makes money by selling artwork.

Would people today prefer to live in a world like the world that power-holders in Ancient Egypt presented for over 3,000 years (was that the time? I’m not good at maths!)? A world where only ONE SOLE DEPICTION of the human body was considered valuable, good for a society?

The diversity we find in art today shows the diversity we are enjoying. We are not sentenced to death if we write poems, or model figurines, or paint pictures people in power don’t want to have around. We are just excluded from market.

… 🙂

Do people need art? It seems that now that art is at hand, people do not need power holders to keep them away from art — they do it themselves. This is self-repression. Is this what our freedom will be about? Not needing power-holders to exclude us from areas of human knowledge because we will exclude ourselves, willingly?!

The more we ignore, the more easily we despise, or underestimate…

Give art a chance. You might discover relevant things about yourself and the world!

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Donations for Talking Dictionaries!

March 6, 2013

33 hours left for Crowdfunding!!!

At Mujer Palabra we have donated 100$ to Living Languages (David Harrison and Anna Lazuli) so that they can continue sending researchers to document languages bound to extinction. In this case, it’s about Papua New Guinea, the place where a highest number of languages are spoken, 680 or so! — if my memory is working!

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/talking-dictionaries-for-papua-new-guinea-s-endangered-languages

You should check out the Talking Dictionaries they already have on their site!

Here is a workshop I put together: On the importance of languages

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What can people do to solve the crisis? (Brainstorming)

March 5, 2013

First, it’s important to find accurate analyses, local, national and also macroeconomic. People have produced a lot of riches with their work and a minority has amassed unbelievable amounts of money, and this should be exposed and those people should start giving back to the populations on the planet.

We should also share the information we find, and discuss it.

We could support the people who are offering constructive analyses and taking initiatives which reclaim democracy, initiatives like the one to solve the housing problem arising from evictions. With this I mean, we can help with our own signatures.

We could help gather signatures, too.

At a more local level, we should support going local: we should support local businesses, and local production, as consumers. Investing money in local businesses creates employment, investing one’s saving in buying a house does not.

We should pay our IVA tax (VAT tax). The taxes on what we consume are used to fund the public system!

Of course, we can demand tax policies become people-friendly instead of exploiting the ones who have the lowest salaries!!

Find out what people are doing in your area. Consider that social activists are people who devote their time and effort to build a better world. See what they are up to, in case you can learn about something or even find projects you can join.

If we find no jobs, we could try to get together with other unemployed people to see if we would be able to set up a small business, to earn a living, at least, to get by!

We should demand the government prosecute corrupt business people, bankers and politicians. In this way, there would be much more money, employment and social justice. We would be defending democracy, reclaiming democracy.

We could create ways in which people giving some money could help the most needed. Like trade unions in the past, when every worker put some money so that workers on strike, fighting for everybody’s rights, could get by.

Organize or help organize a meeting point where people in your area can exchange goods and services. Organize a jumble sale — donate things you don’t need, so that they can sold at a cheap price, and so that all the money collected in this way helps the needy. Donate what you don’t need to charities, if you can’t find or create any of this.

Charities — not NGOs, but places that have always assisted the homeless, for instance — alleviate individual suffering, and this is precious, but they do not achieve structural change. So don’t think only in terms of “giving to the poor” — we also need to change something in how our societies work, and that’s why we should get more involved in constructing democracy.

The government should create policies that made it impossible for the richest people to take their money out of the country. The world of football has corrupt people too, but the richest people are not necessarily in the public eye, especially when they are corrupt.

We should demand policies that encourage the creation of small businesses, and also policies that encourage the development and use of renewable sources of energy. Check out the environmental movement — they’ve got zillions of ideas on how to do this.

One thing is certain: go to demos, attend people’s assemblies. Join Nonviolent Direct Actions in places where people are defending what’s fair/just. This is precious for a democracy!

I have found a site collecting more ideas: http://www.advantagein.com/politics/economiccrisis.htm
We should also get information of how people are managing in Greece and Iceland!

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Feb 21: Motherlanguage Day!

February 22, 2013

http://www.un.org/en/events/motherlanguageday/

And here’s an article on David Harrison with videos and all! http://dailyedventures.com/index.php/2013/02/21/11656/

I first heard him speak on a podcast episode by National Geographic years ago. Unfortunately, this very interesting podcast disappeared, but “Interview to a Linguist” is here because I use it in class with Avanzado 2 people.

More on his work, I published a little workshop on the importance of languages on this blog with excerpts of his very interesting book When Language Die — hello, David and Ana! and thanks for the permission! — and then Sheldonina used it to create her own presentation on the matter at university — she got the highest mark she could get! Hopefully, we’ll publish that on talkingpeople.net soon-ish.

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Intro to Feminism (in Spanish) & More for Curious Happy Creatures!

February 14, 2013

feminism-is-the-radical-notion-that-women-are-people-cheris-kramarae-and-paula-treichlerAfter our celebration of One Billion Rising, and our discussions, I would like to recommend a book in Spanish which I read last year. It includes some of the Herstory we’ve always been denied: the History of the women, particularly of the women /wímin/ that opened the way for what is today known as Feminism. Of women who worked for women’s human rights — risking their lives, most of the times; actually, French “revolutionaries” guillotined the women who demanded the Declaration of Men’s Rights included women, because it didn’t, in spite of the fact that there were philosophers supporting them like Mary Wollstonecraft, and many more! (Well, Wollstonecraft was English, but she moved to Paris at the time, to support the French Revolution.) It also makes a good present/gift. It’s “Introducción al feminismo,” by Nuria Varela. And on this webpage in her website, she has some posts tackling some of the issues she includes in “Introducción…”, in case you want to read a bit before getting a copy!: Feminismo para tod@s.

Yesterday I also recommended Eulàlia Lledó Cunill‘s books on language, from a feminist linguist’s perspective. If you love language, if you are aware of the amazing power of language to affect reality, I particularly recommend you read feminist analyses of language. At Mujer Palabra, guess: we have a lot of resources on the importance and the power of language! Here are our postcards!

Last, a book debunking neurosexism, to clear the way for healthy notions coming from neuroscience, that will enlighten you if you haven’t grasped so far how deeply the gender roles condition our choices. Cordelia Fine, Delusions of Gender. In Spanish (great gift, too): Cuestión de sexos.

  • floresdestructivasMost people have never missed women in the books they read — “he” being enough to represent the species, and the “she” experience being too unimportant to deserve books or even a name.
    (Bansky’s graffiti on romantic love.)
  • I know most people have never wondered why the only books about women we read /red/ were written by men.
  • Fortunately, in the 1990s in Madrid, we finally managed to have quite a few women being published. However, we’re far behind books by women if we compare our case to the USA or Britain.
  • Women have to find their voice, word their thoughts and experiences, and ANY human being should be curious about listening to, reading what they say. Why is there so little curiosity? Why is it so common people immediately feel threatened when women do so? (Patriarchy, as a system, is a terrible idea. Analyzing the construction of the patriarchal gender roles is liberating for all, and much more consistent with the notion of human rights!)
  • I committed to reading women writers in 1989, when I found Feminism in the society that surrounded me — I was living in London at the time. And I was appalled: how could it be that I hadn’t realized women had no voice, no authority as thinkers and artists in my mind-world?! How could it be that I hadn’t missed listening to women thinkers and artists and activists? I felt so ashamed, and so angry! I realized how very destructive the weapon of OMISSION is. My proposal is you commit to reading at least a book a year by a woman. And please, saying “a woman” is just saying, a human being who has been denied the right to study and get involved in public life and all because she has been categorized in culture as inferior, psychologically, intellectually, emotionally, spirituality. There are all kinds of women-persons, but they all share having been considered the dark / evil side of the gender coin.
  • The 20th centuries are beginning to change that (though, if you read the book, you will see how we said this same thing centuries ago!), and we women are voicing our thoughts and experiences in public. We should. It matters. It’s a matter of great importance. Because we have not been allowed to have a voice in culture — we have just been allowed to transmit patriarchal culture. That was the closest we were of any connection to an intellectual life.

I think it would be worth listening to women, too.

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Speaking Tasks for B2 level students!

February 8, 2013

Femen_anorexic_models_3I have finally finished a two-page list of Speaking Tasks. It’s useful for people using the mentioned textbook, but it might be useful for more people, to get some sort of idea of topics dealt with at this level.

SPEAKING TASKS 1-5 NI2

For my Intermedio 2 students: these topics are B2 topics, and your exam will be a B1 exam, so this is kind of esquizo!!! Anyway, you will be picking one to do in March at Plenary. There are three types. Have a look. Please, spread the word, so students never checking this out and never looking at the Bulleting Board in class get the news! If you people don’t do this activity in March, I’ll quit. With this, I feel more like your mother!! EEK!!! (I’m a teacher in adult language education!!)

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How to organize/organise a flash mob & Ways to rise

February 6, 2013

OBR-twitterbgOne Billion Rising! From the Toolkit, because it’s new — it’s been updated on Feb 5, I think:

2 pages: FlashMobHowTo

Another new document in the kit is this 2-page Ways to Rise:

OBR-WaysToRise

They’ve included what we are doing too (see ideas for teachers), as an example of more ideas on rising!

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I Am Rising!

February 4, 2013

iamrising

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Telling stories – Using the Mentalist

January 8, 2013

mentalist2x5Here is the link to the narration of episode 2, Season 5 of The Mentalist, possibly my favo(u)rite (except for how the victim gets/is murdered!)! I actually wrote a poem based on the final scene!  If you read my first post on story-telling, this’ll be a good follow-up. Read it — notice the tenses, especially, the fact that the present tenses are used for dramatic effect. Then, orally, re-word the narration (a bit, all of it, whatever!) switching to the past tenses and see how it feels and what needs to change and the kinds of changes that take place. Then come to class and tell us about it!

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Find out where people who look like you live!

December 30, 2012

OK, it’s just an interesting statistical calculation. The title is all wrong, in my view. They’re so obsessed with being fat!!! This calculation is interesting because you get info on where most people with these traits of yours (age, weight, height) come from!

If you type in your sex, weight /weit/, height /hait/ and country of origin, you’ll get some interesting information based on your BMI and on the info we have of that by countries.

It seems I’m more similar to Danish or Irish women than to Spanish women! Funny! 😀

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18770328

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More on American Indians and related issues

December 17, 2012

Here’s a Coyote story, “Coyote Kills a Giant.” Coyote appears in Native Indian stories and I’ve got a picture of him in a matriarchal tarot I bought in London — Coyote, the Trickster, it’s called.

Here are two poems by Indian women who I later found on the Internet!

  • The Housing Poem, by Dian Million and
  • Strange Fruit, by Joy Harjo – in this recording I try to explain why this poem is so poetical, meaning so powerful, so free — not that I’m happy with my words, really. I love poetry so much I simply hate to speak about poetry. It’s really hard for me! All I say about it sounds worse than keeping my mouth shut, so that’s why I seldom speak about poems, or poetry! 😀

The book that triggered all of this Native Indian reading I got into was this one: Reinventing the Enemy’s Language. Contemporary Native Women’s Writing of North America. The link I have on Talking People is broken, so that’s why I’m posting it here — eventually I’ll get into fixing that and working a bit more on the web page devoted to American Indians.

But anyway, on Talking People, the Native American section in (top right-hand side) in The World – People & Culture
Direct link

I know that talking about First nations in the world feels bad, because they’ve been abused. But today, more and more people are networking, getting in touch, wanting to learn from each other and live together respecting the fact we are all different, too, and this is positive. I mean, we should not look away when we have the chance to learn from other people, even if we belong to the culture that is responsible for all the harm done to other groups of people.

I’m not only thinking of North American Indians, or the indigenous population in Central and South Americas (watch Vía Campesina). I’m also thinking of Romas, in Spain called gypsies — people who were nomadic many years ago and came from India. Gypsie people nowadays are gypsies but lead sedentary lives like ours, have assimilated the alien culture (white’s) but keep being gypsies. I wonder if you would have some time to check all I say here is correct! If you find mistakes or improvable explanations, please, send me an email so I can fix it!)

In Australia, the government had the decency and the dignity to express an apology to the aboriginesSame news in The New York TimesLearning Activity based on this news. Words matter. Apologizing is something that more people should be free to do. Obviously, those words should only be used when we are willing to stop the abuse and when we are also willing to give the necessary support.

SORRY THIS BIT WAS MISPLACED!! THIS IS ITS PLACE: Apologizing to gypsies would be a good idea. However, in Spain, we haven’t even considered necessary to bury all the dead that the Franquist dictatoship refused to bury — something that had never been done in Western Europe, because after every war, the dead, regardless their ideology, were all buried!

David Harrison, in a book I recommended here some time ago (see post), posed the question of how sad it is for languages to go extinct considering they are knowledge systems. He mentions some First Nations or native peoples who have a unique knowledge of nature. A kind of knowledge technological consumerist societies do not have. Many indian languages in the USA have gone extinct, and now people are trying to preserve some of the surviving languages. In Spain we also know about language revitalization policies, because during the dictatorship various peoples who were also Spanish were persecuted, their languages were banned, and when we managed to start building a democracy we had to implement revitalization policies. Fortunately, some of those languages, like Catalan and Euskera (Basque) have been recovered. Euskera was in peril of becoming extinct years ago, but is now in good health. Apparently, it’s the only Iberian language that has survived!! All the languages around here belong to the IndoEuropean Language Family except Euskera! It’s so interesting! Strangely enough, in the Autonomous Community of Madrid it’s very difficult to learn any of the other languages spoken in Spain, for political reasons! That’s really sad, and I do hope some day this won’t be the case! We need a plurilingual world — through language we can build a more civilized society!

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News for all

December 4, 2012

Hiya!

Absent Marks: I just typed in your November absent marks on the School’s Website, so please, don’t forget to check the site out for possible mistakes — this week! By the way, I don’t use the email I have over there, mostly because I don’t know how to use that platform, but also because I just check it out at the beginning of the month, when I have to type in your absent marks.

Message for Beatriz H (Intermedio 2 Lunes): I have your audio file + my written feedback saved on October 30. I thought I had sent it to you. I have searched the forlder in my email account but I can’t find your email — sorry about that. Can you send me an email, with your Group Code (or this “Int 2 – Lunes”) on the Subject Line (título) and your name, Bea H, plus a note about what it’s for (e.g. my Oct audio), so I can send you both files?

For People following this blog: First of all, thanks for subscribing. If you are not students of mine, double thanks! I’m not sure what you might expect from this little blog — I understand it might have to do with activism or with learning about people in Spain! Anyway, I have good news for you all. Clicking here and there I failed to find the list of who is following this blog 😦 but I managed to set this blog to send out just one message a day, a message which would include the things I posted in the last 24 hours. This also means you won’t get the info in real time, but it’ll be daily. It’s set to send the message out at 4.00 am (Spain).

Feedback. Considering I’m an explorer (meaning I improvise a lot) and multi-chaotic (meaning I improvise a lot), if you find anything here which you find useful or like, it’d be great if you digged it (for my students, “I dig it” means “I like it”) and/or even posted a comment. Don’t feel obliged (no os sintáis en un compromiso), in any case — I am using the widget “Top Posts…”, which helps in this way.

Designing the Avanzado 2 course Together: Although people didn’t comment in class the proposal I posted a few weeks ago, I think, today, in Avanzado 2 Lunes, we’ve talked a bit about it. People will be thinking about the two possibilities I think we have, and we’ll talk about it again next Monday.

The favo(u)red option, it seems, is: you students work with the textbook at home every week (a weekly learning plan would help you lots!), doing one unit a month. (There’s no way we manage that in class.) The textbook is a very good resource, and then you can have our time together to interact and exploit me on language questions, and techniques and stuff. As you would be getting the same input at a similar pace, you would be free to ask questions in class, including making the proposal of checking together some of the exercises. But you would be responsible for learning from the textbook and selecting what to do in class, or asking questions on that.

Then I’d pick the speaking activities and the most important listening activities, and we’d do that in class, plus me checking your writings and oral work.

This would allow us — people working in overcrowded groups — to spend the lessons interacting — while putting into practice what you learned/learnt in the textbook –. And then we would also have more time to listen to selected podcast episodes I’d bring (news, interviews), documentaries, or other. Of course, I’d tell you about language, and culture, and other stories.

Now we’re trying to do it all, but it’s not practical. It’d be amazing for your English if you could find more time to devote to your learning at the advanced level.

In any case, I’m scheduling December to include a lesson on the Alexie novel (I’ll bring a listening, you bring the novel and your willingness to speak about it and share stuff), another on TV series (including dramatized reading), and perhaps… ? another based on viewing a documentary.

Otherwise. You see, if we don’t agree on something, what will happen is this (the other option): we won’t be able to finish unit 3 in December (we’ve got so few lessons together!), and it would take us January too. We’d start unit 4 in February, but — I’d like you to practice exercises in the exam format, esp. listening and reading exercises… Considering they don’t allow us to use previous exams, just the June 2009 example (!), I’m designing some more exercises. And I’d also like to show you at least one of the Ciclo Elemental and Ciclo Superior (old system) exams, to see what you think about the level tested in each kind. So we’d finish unit 4 in, say, mid March, and then we’d have a month for unit 5… Then there’s the spring holiday, right? And then — I think our last month together should be devoted to intense speaking activities (timed monologs, timed dialogs)– which also might include listening (documentaries for discussion in small groups and at plenary).

So — you see? Please, don’t take me wrong: I’m an experienced teacher, a professional, I mean. I can organize all of this on my own. But I believe in teamwork and also in human communication! 🙂 I think what we do together is kind of amazing, as compared to what we can do on our own. I can certainly assist you in your final year with a teacher, I can also help you to become independent and resourceful lifelong learners, to understand the importance of language and languages and how culture is connected to individuals and groups. But in the end it’s all about you and your English. 🙂

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Joni Mitchell for a thank you!

November 30, 2012

joni_mitchell-hejira♥ A big thank you to the people who generously offered to read my little workshop (30 pages!!) on Language and Culture, and give me feedback. Your comments are precious to me, and I hope to find some time some day (!) to put together the final version — the latest would be next summer! 😀 (Tons of work loading up just now!)

Thanks again! I’m posting a link to a Joni Mitchell song I love. But there’s no personal message in it. I’m just posting it because I love the music and how she sings! Hope you like it too!

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When crowds become mobs – Tips for trying to prevent this…

November 30, 2012

Woops, sorry – I edited this after having sent it out

The other day in Avanzado 2 Monday the term “mobbing” came up (mobbing < mob) and I clarified its meaning and pronunciation, which is not /múvin/ but /móbin/! 😀 “Bullying” also came up as another borrowing from English related to naming a group of people who hurt / abuse one person in various ways, not necessarily physically. Typically, mobbing takes place in private enterprises, where adults might get to be far too competitive, and bullying has school toilets and playgrounds as its typical scenario.

This week (yesterday) we also started a consciousness-raising activity in our School, in order to make people reflect upon our role in emergency situations. We teachers are useful for all kinds of things. But we’d rather have professionals in this area doing this. Guess why we can’t have them. Anyway, possibly next week, we don’t know when, an alarm will ring, indicating we should evacuate the building. We have to pretend it’s true, i.e. there’s much to learn from it. (And then once the activity is over, we can celebrate!) All occasions in life when you have the chance to learn something as relevant as this should be taken seriously! 🙂 You might think it’s useless because we all know it’s not true. How can I explain it’s not useless, considering I’m not a fire fighter! Well, I’ll resort to my experience, as usual. At the end of the 1980s I attended a few trainings in Spain on nonviolent direct action, conducted by people in the pacifist movement – the MOC men and women, COs and total resisters. I did so because I was traveling to Central America to be a nonviolent escort and an international witness with an independent NGO called Peace Brigades International. Our mission was deterring violence against the people we “accompanied.” Guess what we, the team, did every week. We set up a role-play, un sociodrama, based on a violent situation we might confront, and then we analyzed our reactions. This was very useful to allow us be well-prepared (not only psychologically, I must say) to react in the best possible way when we were “accompanying” human rights activists, trade unionists, relatives of the disappeared people, peasants… people who could be murdered or kidnapped in front of our very eyes — of course, this doesn’t mean we would necessarily succeed, you never know if you’re going to be able to control your fear, but the more scenarios you have in mind, the more chances there are for you to react in some of the ways you imagined. This is obvious! I also used scenario-analysis to feel more confident when wandering on my own at night in the city, or when traveling on my own. I’ve always supported freedom of movement for women, too! 😀 — and the visualization of a horrible threat women have had. (Oh, just remembered: the other day I mentioned this in some group, can’t remember now which: the feminist movement Take back the night! might’ve inspired (too) today’s slogan Take back the streets, like the MOC movement here inspired the present Conscientious Objection (CO) by workers in the Healthcare system.)

Evacuation needs to be a community process, and this means, we have to learn to take care of ourselves while trying to help out in the process, at least trying not to make things worse. We need to learn to control our fear and allow the goodness people are capable of, because most human beings are capable of solidarity. So three important pieces of advice that help greatly are:

1. Try to be silent – when people shout we can’t hear instructions that people in charge or people who have decided to help others might be giving. Also, we wouldn’t be able to hear people who were shouting for help, if something had happened (e.g. someone locked in a toilet.) Uncontrolled screaming — out of fear, because of panicking – obviously, not because of pain — increases the chances the crowd becomes a mob, a destructive force, murderous as we witnessed recently.

2. Forget about material things, i.e. belongings. Your priority should be your life and avoiding harming other people. If you are lucky and get the chance to put into practice how to behave in an emergency evacuation, it is not a good idea to waste this opportunity.

3. Move swiftly but carefully towards the exit (and then away from the entrance!), with the group of people around you, caring for yourself and others while thinking that everybody in the building needs to get out as soon as possible, which means, for instance, that you should not block the exits – not inside the building, not outside the building.

The equation Ignorance + Fear = Violence, like what happens with Anger + Fear = Violence, should be avoided, we should try our best to avoid it. We should not forget about our ability to be kind, to exert civic behavior. Most of us have the potential to behave in two very different ways: destructively, or controlling our fear and in solidarity.

Btw, I forgot to talk about this to the 16.30 Avanzado 2 Tuesday group! It seems my mind was more into hearing you talk about love! Oh my! 😀 Well, I hope the practice is not next Tuesday!!

Well, aren’t I a chatter box!!! 😀

More ideas for you mull over!

What is “mob mentality”

Source: adapted from Wise Geek (a team of researchers, writers and editors dedicated to providing short, clear and concise answers to common questions).

The term “mob mentality” is used to refer to unique behavioral characteristics that emerge when people are in large groups. It is often used in a negative sense, because the term “mob” typically conjures image of an aggressive, chaotic group of people. Social psychologists who study group behavior also use terms such as “herd behavior,” “herd mentality” or “crowd hysteria” to describe similar behaviors. The study of mob mentality is used to analyze situations that range from problems during evacuations to public gatherings that turn violent.

Herd Behavior

Not until the early 20th century did we start applying scientific theories about crowd behavior to humans, and we did so in order to find ways to minimize or control it. One reason for herd behavior is that humans, like other species, tend to do what others around them are doing. This usually is because those who join the group in the behavior figure that if several others are doing something, it must be worthwhile, or they would not be doing it. For example, people figure that a crowded restaurant must be serving good food, or it would not be as busy. In most cases, this thought process comes subconsciously, which is one reason why all animals take part in herd behavior.

Herd Mentality

Herd mentality involves more conscious thought than herd behavior. This type of mentality can be influenced by things such as peer pressure, conformity, the need for acceptance and the desire for a sense of belonging. These things often cause people who are in groups to behave in ways that are similar to others in the group. For example, you might choose to listen to different music when in a group of friends than you would listen to when alone, because the others might make disparaging remarks if another type of music is chosen. People in crowded celebrations tend to drink alcohol because of peer pressure, men in football events tend to use aggressive language that often leads them to physical violence.

Mob Mentality

Other factors come into play when the term “mob mentality” is used to refer to something negative. Two of the main factors are the greater anonymity that exists within a group and the distribution of responsibility for the group’s actions. These factors sometimes make a person believe that they can act a certain way within a group and not have the same consequences that the same actions would have if he or she acted alone. For example, if someone is in a group that is vandalizing a building, he might believe that there is less of a chance of getting caught than if he was acting alone, because it might be difficult to identify every person who was involved. This person might also feel less guilt because other people also vandalized the property. Another factor in mob mentality is the sense of confusion or even panic that can exist in a large group. An example of this can be seen when people in crowds suddenly begin rushing in one direction. Although many people in the group might not know why this is happening, they see the urgency in the group and begin rushing in that direction, too. In extreme cases, the urgency and panic increases, creating a sort of crowd hysteria, and some people might even get trampled (crushed) as a great number of people try to move in the same direction as quickly as possible. Even for something as seemingly innocent as a department store sale, a mob mentality might be evident as dozens of shoppers rush toward the sale items, push each other out of the way and fight over the items.

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Languages in Europe

November 18, 2012

Protecting minority languages in Europe: If you don’t use it, you lose it!

Protecting Eureopean Minority Languages. In 1998 the European Union agreed to take action to protect minority languages in its Member States. Why do you think this happened?

Why a European Day of Languages (Sept. 26)

Language Facts

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LoM from Intermedio 2 Writings 1

November 17, 2012

This list is based on the First Writing Assignment by my two groups of Intermedio 2 students.

  • The first and most important mistake MOST people have made is not complying with the requirements. If you ignore this in your June Certificate Exam you’ll fail. When you do this in exams, we teachers are not allowed to correct your exercise. So please, pay attention to the instructions you are given. If you can write a type of text, you can certainly write your name or a task description!

So my “Well done!”, “Excellent”, “Good work” only refers to your English in the Writing Assignment, unless you have ticks in the rest of the requirements. Don’t feel bad about having made methodological mistakes — just do it right the next time, if you want to develop this ability and if you wish to make sure you won’t forget about the requirements in your final test! 🙂 Here is the link to the Writing Guideline I posted here in October and pinned on the Bulletin Board in class, too.

  • like/miss + O + a lot / very much: I like it a lot, I miss you very much
  • writing/written: double consonant makes the previous “i” short. /ráitin/ /rítn/
  • Sorry for taking so long to write to you / Sorry for not writing earlier / in such a long time / Sorry for not having written earlier. Listen to a TP Podcast episode on apologies.
  • hope/wish: I hope you can come for a visit (that can happen!) – I wish you could come for a visit (that won’t happy, the person actually can’t!)
  • hope/wish: I hope everything is OK (present) / I hope everything will be OK (future)
  • furniture: I haven’t got much furniture; I need to get a few pieces of furniture for my new house.
  • Proposals: We could do this or that. We can also do this other thing…
  • so vs very/really: It’s been so tiring! I miss you so much!It’s really tiring. I really miss you
  • US write you – UK write to you – but you don’t have to mention who to, in sentences like: Please, write soon.
  • know/meet/learn/see/visit: 1) … so you can SEE/VISIT (not KNOW) the most important sites / the most interesting sites / the most culturally-relevant sites. 2) … and then I MET (not KNOW) a gorgeous girl. 3) …
  • How vs. what … like: 1) I’m writing to know how you are and what your new life is like. 2) I’m writing this letter to let you know what my life is like now/today! / so I’m going to tell you about my new life.
  • Time clauses (no WILL): When you come for a visit, we could… (proposal)
  • Situated: only for formal and semiformal. My house is in Leganés vs (tourist guide: The museum is situated/located next to…)
  • have gone/been to: I have been to a psychic vs. She has gone to a psychic (she is not back yet)
  • nothing/not anything: I have nothing new to tell you / I don’t have anything new to tell you.
  • How about you? – cannot initiate a letter. It implies someone asked you first. It’s good in conversations.
  • , if you like: (better than “if you want”)
  • Spanish?!: I have thought (that) + Proposals ? – There’s no need to write this just before a Proposal. Examples: Instead of “I’ve thought we can/could (do this or that – Proposal modals)…”, just say: “We could (do this or that)… You can use “I have thought” with “about what you told me yesterday”, “I have thought about applying for a job in London”. If you are shy or uncertain of what the reaction to your proposal might be say this: “If you decided to stay at my place, we might go out together. I could show you around — we could visit the Prado Museum, this or that place”.
  • Connectors: “On the other hand,” implies you are now consider a different kind of point in an analysis that has two sides, so to speak (pair: On the one hand – On the other (hand)). “En otro orden de cosas” (Moving on to other issues, On other matters, On another front,  and similar ideas, like “Cambiando de tema” (Changing subjects / Changing the subject), “Otra cosa que quería contarte” (Something else I wanted to tell you about is, Another issue I wanted to tell you about), “Ah, se me olvidaba:”, “Also,”* (Otra cosa, Además) … NB: Remember that “Also,” is not “also”.
  • Vestirse de (disfraz): to dress up as a … ; aunque to dress up = vestirse tipo 31Dec.
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On the Language Situation in Spain & Endangered Languages

November 6, 2012

Today, in class, with the Avanzado 2 group, suddenly, I can’t remember why, Lyons came to my mind (the linguist, the author of Introductions to Theoretical Linguistics, a book I read when I was at university, ages ago!!), and his blues on how speakers of a language feel no curiosity, no need to listen to what linguists can say about their language. It was the same kind of complaint Cynthia Enloe, for instance, a feminist, posed coining the notion “feminist curiosity,” hers a blues on how little feminist curiosity people had in spite of centuries of evidence on what life was(is) like for women on the planet. And well, suddenly I found myself speaking about the language situation in Spain from a linguist’s point of view. When I realized, I apologized, for we had used up the time to do one of the textbook activities. But people were really nice and said it had been interesting, that it was OK. So I got all excited and of course, tried to make the moment last longer! 😀 I continued with my blues on why considering the fact that our country includes various cultures with their own language and that we Madrilians moved to other Autonomous Communities on holidays, it was so hard to learn any of those languages in the Autonomous Community of Madrid.

Why can’t we learn any of the languages in Spain in Madrid, when our democracy (our Constitution) has acknowledged their existence and — obviously — protects them? (as compared to what the previous dictatorship did to those that weren’t Spanish). Why, if we live somewhere where 14 languages are spoken, are we monolingual in the Autonomous Community of Madrid? How much richer would our life be if we managed to be bilingual* and trilingual* as most of the population on this planet is?

*with 2, 3 mother languages to start off!

I hope the Occupy Movement, called 15M in Spain, manages to pick up this topic, and manages to move beyond the nationalistic standpoints that have made us feel people speaking a different language are not worth our curiosity, our willingness to learn. The most dangerous and beautiful and relevant thing this movement has done for us is precisely that — break the taboo and start discussing politics, because it concerns us all.

From my very insignificant place in my society, in the same constructive spirit as 15M, I’d recommend the exercise of listening to people who were not allowed to speak their mother language, to develop the ability to feel some curiosity that will allow one to listen to those people, or read about the subject. People who have not been subject to this cannot really imagine what it is like. I think this exercise could help the population to move on, approach the topic with better insight, a greater sensitivity. At least it would help us (as a group) to know that banning languages in dictatorships has nothing to do with intense language revitalization policies in democracies, that recovering a language (policies voted in Parliaments and validated by a Constitution) is not the same thing as trying to eliminate a language (acculturation war – part of modern Low Intensity Warfare).

One of the saddest things for me is how little we seem to remember what “dictatorship” means. I hear so often today! Let me pick up again the topic Dictatorships & Languages/Cultures. Do we know what it felt like for people to have their mother language banned? However, nowadays people speak about language policies as “a dictatorship.” We should be more accurate when we speak. We should love and respect words more. They mean things. We should develop a curiosity, a love for being more accurate. We shouldn’t use “dictatorship” even as a metaphor because it contributes to maintain unfounded perceptions and because metaphors are a source of great discovery in poetry, in literature, but a tool connected to ideological manipulation — whether intended, for the case of politicians, or unintended, for the case of ordinary citizens –when used to analyze political issues. And with these reflections I’m not thinking of we today in class, but on the wider picture of social pressure in Madrid, the region where I live.

Here is a little workshop On The Importance of Languages, in case you want to read David Harrison, a linguist! And if you want to listen to him, and get some very interesting information about languages in this planet and their rate of becoming extinct, listen to the National Geographic “Endangered Languages“.

Well, if people in the discussion wish to post their insight, you are certainly welcome. We do live in a democracy and this shows when people are able to speak about any kind of issues!

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Never give up!

October 24, 2012

Here’s the postcard I mentioned in one of the groups today, or yesterday! If you click on it, you’ll get to an interview with the cartoonist who drew it, Jackie Fleming. Feminists (or protofeminist minds, like the female revolutionaries in the French Revolution who got guillotined by the male revolutionaries because she-they demanded to be included in the Declaration of the Rights of Men & Citizens that the men had written!), feminists (or feminist minds) have achieved a lot for humanity, in spite of being subject to all kinds of violence, including hatred. Still, today, people who have never read feminist analyses or reflected upon their very many areas of struggle, believe they can call them man-haters. This is ignorance. As George Orwell said, in 1948, “Ignorance Is Strength“. But hey, perhaps we won’t create that Big Brother world. Feminists have contributed to changing the world and done so through nonviolent action and by sharing their analyses of our society and of how The Personal Is Political — thanks to this notion, nowadays, if we hear a man beating up a woman in their shared house we can call the police and the police will not tell you: It’s private, we can’t help, he has a right to beat her up. We should learn where some of the greatest ideas this species has had  come from! In spite of very harsh repression on women worldwide, they have also contributed to society. And I’m committed to sharing my knowledge and informed opinion on this, and our Herstory, too. Patriarchy is a social System. It’s the father of all systems we’ve had so far. But it’s not the only system possible. We can be better: we can understand we should not consider some human beings superior to others, like Philosophy, Religion, Science, Art… what not… has told us century after century: that women and Black people/Indians… have an inferior mind. That’s an inmoral lie. The human mind as an organ is the same but we develop different talents depending on many things, and one is what others expect from us. If you expect nothing from a human being, this person will have more obstacles, less encouragement to grow. Fortunately, in our History/Herstory, some people have done what they were not expected to do. They’ve used their imagination, their (empathetic) rationality.

So here’s my little Thank you, feminists! Please, never give up!! Here’s another wonderful work of art, a song by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, “Don’t give up”. Enjoy! 🙂

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Today in Avanzado 2 Tues/Thurs

October 18, 2012

Today we only had time for listening to two students doing a mon. at Plenary. A warm thank you to those generous students! Thanks to the mistakes they made, among a few other things (related to language and to exam strategies) students had the chance to become more aware of the importance of using modals in English correctly. But the bell rang, and we had to leave, so next week (please, remind me if I forget, both Avanzado 2 groups!) we’ll have a special lesson on Modal Awareness! 😀 😀

In case you cannot get to sleep out of curiosity, 😀 you can start reading my notes on that over here:

Click on “The Amazing World of Modal Auxiliaries“!!! http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/func_gram/index.htm

One more thing / Something else: Sandra has suggested a topic for a lesson on Grammar in Use. It’s about word families — words with the same root but belonging to different word types. She’ll bring me her materials, so (that) I can design a lesson on this, on morphology or word formation.

When I was teaching without a textbook, I designed a workshop precisely for this: to help students learn about word formation. It’s called “Lexical Creativity Workshop” and it’s on the Functional Grammar page at Talking People. You might want to have a look at it, supposing you have plenty of time for your English! 😀 (Still, your priority now is to use your textbook audios and your TV series episodes, OK?, and second, to do as much of the textbook as you can, so that you all can check your results in small groups.) I just remembered I have another workshop on that, but I think it’s not on Talking People. I’ll try to remember where it is!!

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A Workshop on the Importance of Language(s)

September 19, 2012

NEWS: Sorry, there were a few mistakes, and I fixed them on Sept. 26 (plus enlarged the font!) in case you want to print the improved version!

Dear people, a little workshop I designed on the Importance of Languages and Human Language. I hope you enjoy it! and get a copy of David Harrison’s book, When Languages Die!

If you were in any of my old groups of Avanzado 2, you probably listened to the interview to a Linguist, by National Geographic. The exercise was note-taking and re-telling. Well, you will find some of that info! Have a lovely day!

WhenLanguagesDie_01+activities – 7 pages, pdf file

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