Posts Tagged ‘spain’

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About Spain (Forcades and Oliveres)

April 26, 2013

From Jeff Ngyen’s blog, Deconstructing Myths, “It’s harder not to“:

In Spain, a voice of conscience can be heard among the people. Sister Teresa Forcades and indignado leader, Arcadi Oliveres, published a manifesto that called for the “nationalization of banks and energy firms, housing rights and tough measures against corruption”. The indignado protests have risen as a nonviolent movement to speak out against the economic grenades being lobbed at the country by way of the austerity policies of the Troika (EU/ECB/IMF). As in other countries where austerity has been implemented, brutal economic mandates have led to social upheaval as wage and food insecurity and debt cripple families and individuals across the age, gender and ethnic spectrums. The indignados have sent a clear message what their opinions are on austerity for the many and prosperity for the few. Typically, the response to the encampment in public spaces by the protesters has been met with police force just as it was in America against the Occupy movement. Unlike Europe, the pepper spraying, mass arrests and beat downs of Occupy members was met with crickets in the United States as Americans just wanted to get back to some semblance of a normal life, i.e., watching Honey Boo Boo and shopping for GMO milk and honey. As someone who has been critical of the church for their deafening silence in the face of the financial coup staged by the bankers and billionaires, I must give props to Sister Forcades. Every voice is needed in the battle for the hearts and minds of the people.

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Speaking Activity – Spain on holidays – Audio

April 24, 2013

We recorded the Listen & Repeat of useful language at the Intermedio 2 group, so you can practice sentences about planning a holiday in Madrid, Spain for English-speaking people.

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/usefullanguage/speakinginteractions/spInteractions_02.htm

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Speaking Activity (visiting Madrid, Spain)

April 22, 2013

In class, we’ll only have classroom copies (15! to share in pairs), so you can print it if you want to have your own copy! Thanks! And sorry about that. Cuts are getting inbelievable!

speaking-activity-Spain (2 pages)

Remember that English-speaking friends can come from different countries! Canada / Canadians (French Canadians / English-speaking Canadians), US Americans, Hawaians, people from Trinidad & Tobago /tobeigo/, Australians (Aussies) and New Zealanders (Kiwis), Irish people, British people (Scottish, from Wales, English), Indian people, South Africans…

If you think it’d be useful, I can record a Listen & Repeat episode.

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In Madrid…

April 3, 2013

In Madrid, the PP (Spanish right-wing political party) government has attacked the public healthcare system and workers’ rights, for instance, by making pensioners pay for their meds, and discounting money from the salary of workers who are on a sick leave!! It’s all about the cuts. However, how can this be explained?! the Treasure/Department of Treasure — the tax department, so to say — will allow “discounts” if you have gambling debts!!! — which means, that it’s more important to protect people losing money in gambling than to protect people’s health and people’s labor rights.

What does this have to do with a democracy? The people who have amassed fortunes their families would never in a million years be able to spend are consistently protected by our political leaders, in spite of the fact that they are destroying people, culture, civilization and the planet. It’s like back to Medieval Ages!

How is this going to solve the crisis? Madrid will be EuroVegas, a place, as we know, that won’t be about offering jobs respecting human rights and labor rights, but about creating that kind of underworld which has also attracked all kinds of crimes and exploitation of human beings. This is their idea of measures to overcome the crisis. I feel sick, with such lack of ethics and commitment to human beings.

Let people be evicted from their homes, go without healthcare, let public education become a place where teachers are objects voicing a same textbook at the same time (good for publishing houses, again, bad for connecting education to life outside because it’s impossible to develop projects!), and protect the decent abusers. Shame on them!

This is the new war — no weapons, no battlefields, but all about sheer violence.

http://economia.elpais.com/economia/2013/04/01/agencias/1364797814_363149.html

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Celebrating March 8: what’s so good about the human rights concept?

March 8, 2013

I certainly believe that December 10 should be an international holiday. You have to consider that it’s taken us till the 20th century to understand that all human beings have the same rights. Before we managed this idea, some people were considered worthless and some others the representatives of God on the planet, or those who could exploit and abuse feeling totally entitled to do so. Obviously, reaching this understanding cannot wipe out all the harm that the parameters that built societies for centuries constructed. But this is just a beginning, the beginning of a better way to organize societies.

Before we coined “human rights” it was religion organizing societies and what men and women could do in life, their roles, what their hopes and dreams should be. Today most people understand that religion and spirituality should not organize society, for those are private issues, to share with like-minded people, but not to impose on the population. We are learning to respect non-believers and also different kinds of religions or spiritual options.

The genius of the human rights notion is that both believers and non-believers can be able to accept it and respect it.

It is true that patriarchal monotheist religions are having a harder time with this notion, because their dogmas have assigned gender roles to human beings, and women have always been seen and treated as inferior — intelectually, emotionally, spirituality — and a source of evil. But numerous people who believe in those religions are moving beyond those dogmas. They are refusing to believe that it was women who brought suffering to the world, they are refusing to believe that sexual intercourse should exclude pleasure, or that women should have as many children as God sends them. They’re challenging many religious impositions and they’re trying to build a kind of spirituality consistent with the human rights notion.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, as a feminist, as someone who understands human rights, I’d like to post this little thought of mine in celebration of it all!

Venus 21st century: “You understand women have human rights, but you don’t need to develop a feminist intelligence of world? How come? (What a sad violent and pointless war)”

venusfeministapostal

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Yeepee! Airport Experiences! 2 minutes, really funny!

March 7, 2013

I found a way of getting your work published without it being such a big amount of work for me — which means, I can publish more, too!

Instead of publishing your work on the Talking People Podcast, I can simply upload the audio you send me (please, try to export it or save it as an mp3 file), paste the transcript, add my corrections on that, link to the audio and voilá!

And here’s Laura’s hilarious airport experience! Don’t read the transcript till you have heard it once. Then, the transcript includes my corrections and comments in block letters or highlighted in pink.

http://www.talkingpeople.net/tp/skills/speaking/oralperformances/ni2laura_airport.htm

Thanks, Laura, and enjoy you bunch!

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Ada Colau – we love you!

March 3, 2013

http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Ada+Colau

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Feb 23: Marea Ciudadana! (People flooding the streets!)

February 23, 2013

Edited for updating: 23,19:33

23F represented till today the date of the (failed) coup d’État we had in Spain just after 3 years of Democracy after the dictator’s death.

Today, 23F means to us it’s PEOPLE RECLAIMING DEMOCRACY.

In Spain, demonstrations happening in recent years have been called “mareas”, “tides (of people)” and have had people wearing different colors: green for education, white for healthcare, black wore by civil servants defending a service to society vs total support to private enterprises, orange to protect social servicesviolet for LGBTI and feminist movements (cutbacks in social advancements of this sort, including the right to have a abortion — it’s funny, even if violet appears on the news, they don’t mention the color! Ugh!), and yellow to defend true Justice… Recently, this has also included people attending places where people were going to be evicted from their homes, so… red to stop evictions. (They actually collected 1.5 million signatures which forces the Spanish Parliament to consider their proposal to solve this horrible problem.)

Reclaim democracy!

Saturday demonstrations in Madrid (Spain) in defence of public services (healthcare, education, justice), fighting for a truly participatory democracy, social and environmental justice (inc. civil disobedience against evictions!), and for transparency & honesty in economy and politics (no cutbacks! wrong debtors!):

23feb4 departure points — meet there and start march at 16:30h to Neptuno:

  • #23F Salida ruta Sol – Neptuno
  • #23F Salida ruta Colón – Neptuno
  • #23F Salida ruta Embajadores – Neptuno
  • #23F Puente Vallecas – Neptuno
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We can stop rape! Spread the word!

February 13, 2013

men-can-stop-rape

On Feb 13 & 14 we’ll be part of a global day of action against violence against women, organized by V-Day and V-Girls. In class (at a state-run adult language education, an EOI in Spanish), we won’t be physically dancing, but we will be playing the amazing music of our minds together thinking hard to solve the rape problem — we’ll be brainstorming to put together a list of things each of us, and we as people who care, can do to prevent rape. We will also celebrate the chance of being able to listen to girls’ voices: we’ll read stories voicing girls’ realities (we have 13 classroom copies to share).

Every student is welcome to present V-Day, One Billion Rising (the action) or any of these very useful materials! (We also welcome paper copies, as we can’t afford to make many copies.)

Please, don’t look the other way. You can lead by example. Together, we can change the world, to make it a kinder, juster place! Hurray for solidarity!! We’ll stop evictions and we’ll stop rape!

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If you are out of work, here’s something you could consider…

February 5, 2013

pbi30yearsIn the 1980s I volunteered with PBI, Peace Brigades International (don’t mix it up with Peace Corps in the USA — this group was created within the framework of LIW with a double aim: neutralize potencial social activists in the USA sending them abroad on “solidarity” projects, and using these people, their well-intentioned work abroad in the framework of LIW, this is, for true purposes that had little to do with what volunteers thought they were doing). Here’s their website in Spain: http://www.pbi-ee.org. I was with PBI-Guatemala, a little with PBI-El Salvador (we held a nonviolence training there) and after that, PBI-Nicaragua (this last one, a research project). In PBI-Guatemala we offered nonviolent escorting to people threatened by the death squads (relatives of the disappeared, trade unionists, peasants), we were international (nonviolent) observers, too (but without weapons, unarmed, unlike the UN Blue Berets — the funny / strange thing is people only notice people fight when they carry weapons, and so a lot of people fighting nonviolently are not perceived as people fighting! 0_0), in events like demonstrations and lock-in’s in factories, or the like, and sometimes we gave workshops on conflict resolution. I spent a year in Central America and learned about Low Intensity Warfare, and above all, about how people fought through nonviolence. Actually, people in countries at war value nonviolent direct action and work by pacifists further more than people in countries with democracies — places where if you protest, you are not shot or kidnapped and tortured. PBI has projects in several places, and I’m not following their work now, but I suppose there’ll be different projects. They only work where they are requested to work, meaning they don’t just go somewhere and work — they wish to have people’s request. You might find a project that suits you! Who knows! Well, I’m writing this basically because PBI is holding a meeting in Donostia on February 16, in case you want to find out about it. Here’s an area which is new. Thanks to feminism! Making women’s intelligences, courage, generosity and work visible in a patriarchal social system everywhere that has denied them their very human nature through terror and for centuries!!

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Next week: Feb 13, 14 – Taking a break to open a space!

February 5, 2013

iamrisingA teacher (public/state-run adult language education) kindly scanned the stories we will read in class on Feb 13 and 14, because we will be rising to strive for a better world, without all that “invisible” violence against women. People who have the book or the script “I am an emotional creature” are welcome to bring it to class. The cut-n-paste work here comes from copies of the book. I will take 15 classroom copies (you cannot keep them, because I’ll be using them with the 4 groups) so that two people can share one, in case people don’t have their own copies. It’s 10 pages in all (5 sheets of paper if they’re printed on both sides).

EC1 + EC2 + EC3 + EC4 + EC5 + EC6 + EC7 + EC8 + EC9 + EC10

It seems Val, an English teacher who was a student of mine years ago, will visit the Intermedio 2 group on the 14th I think, to present One Billion Rising. This means we might have a guest speaker who won’t be charging anything for her contribution!

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Spanish stereotypes & some ranting and raving…

February 5, 2013

By the way, why do European politicians show their support for the president of Spain in office, when at least half his party are involved in corruption? Something which gets nightmare hues considering unemployment rates keep increasing, young people are starting to flee the country, grandmas and grandpas, after a life of working hard, are sustaining economically their families (of unemployed members), say 900 euros for 4 — considering renting a flat in Madrid costs about that!

Excuse me, I feel sick. This is all far too much for my aging body! I’m not in the constructive mood just now, really! Puke, puke, puke! Protect democracy? Is that what they are doing? Or is it that they think it’s interesting to relate to corrupt people because this means they can “work together”? Puke, puke, puke! Is corruption in politics like in Spain? (I can’t imagine it, true, but… it must be considering their president’s high opinion of the president of Spain!!)

I hope people keep putting pressure in politicians — corrupt politicians must resign and go to court! THIS would be protecting democracy!

Found this interesting article. Have a good read!

Spanish stereotypes: statistics tell us they have Mondays, too

This one’s also interesting:
http://www.matthewbennett.es/551/spanish-stereotypes/

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Stories for Feb 14: A Teenage Girl’s Guide to Surviving Sex Slavery (in 2 pages)

February 3, 2013

Foto 132Here is one of the stories in I Am an Emotional Creature, inspired in girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And this is one of the stories we can read in class on Feb 13 & 14. In case you are afraid to read it, please consider this: we need to listen to the people who know about violence and are never listened to, not only to the people who tell about “the victims” (and keep in mind this book is informed by girls). The difference is clear: when you listen to people who were subject to violence, you not only learn about violence — you learn how to survive violence, and with this lesson you become more human, so to say, and you also become more aware of what to do about it all.

The minimum respect people who have always been ignored by HiStory is to listen to the direct source, and here is a 2-page story, a good chance!

A Teenage Girl’s Guide to Surviving Sex Slavery, 2 Word pages: LessonPlan14Feb2013

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Flour Power

December 30, 2012

Flour Power!Conflict resolution proposal from Spain:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12087635

More people have thought of Flour Power! (Greenpeace)

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News on the Lottery in English

December 22, 2012

cervecitashttp://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/22/world/europe/spain-el-gordo/index.html?eref=igoogledmn_topstories (I was reading this US American article and found a link posing the question of what we thought about praying to win the lottery… 0_0 That’s what comes from freedom of religion: that people can’t imagine there are non-believers… All is religion, no matter which. And this is what comes from a certain religion being imposed: that there are a lot of non-believers. In Spain today people are free to believe in any religion, not to believe in any but have a spiritual feeling, and there are non-believers too!)

Anyway… we spent 100 euros in lottery tickets, but won nothing. So we’ll go back to our schools after the holidays! 😀 No champagne! Just a little beer!

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A man walks to me and asks “Why are women so angry?”

December 20, 2012

I would have loved to answer with my Me Artist Self, but I behaved. I repressed my anger, my outrage at his blindness, or lack of empathy, and was generous to him: people are not aware of how the system operates in their understanding and feeling.

I took it as a question, not as condemnation. So I asked:

6368_116412211262_115675426262_2704501_1409767_n–I should say the question is, Why are men so angry?, don’t you think? [for Who’s done all the raping and murdering for centuries on this planet?, who’s invaded countries, established countries, destroyed countries, peoples? Who’s ruled over every human being for centuries, and why? Couldn’t He have understood there are other ways of living together in spite of people’s differences?]

You can’t feel threatened by angry women if you contemplate the state of the world. Contemplating the world with clear eyes, you can only have numerous reasons to fear your fellow men.

And I added the taboo word, in spite of how weary it all is — when people insist in not reasoning out relevant stuff:

Feminism has just finally begun liberating all human beings. Women being angry has helped us human beings to become more civilized, to achieve rights that enable us to relate as members of a same species, not as Men-Superior Women-Inferior. 

So my question is, “Are there any chances that men stop being so angry? [Can they learn to express their anger like feminists do, in nonviolent socially constructive ways?”]

I didn’t stay for the reply. Far too often replies are just about more violence, more injustice.

But I’m always hopeful. I tend to think that people — at least those with the capacity to feel curiosity — tend to awaken one day, and finally understand important ideas.

[I’ve written this little story because the other day a student asked me to tell them a story — I was surprised for I don’t know how to tell stories properly!! — and I actually didn’t but because we were all so busy! But the question by a man is true. Quite a few men are asking this question, though most don’t mean it as a question, but as condemnation.]

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News from Spain in English

November 30, 2012

Diagonal has an edition in English. In case you want to practice speaking about things happening in Spain…

http://diagonalperiodico.net/-English-.html

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Nov 28. Free lessons in streets

November 28, 2012

Complutense University teachers gave over 100 lectures in the streets in protest against education cuts.

Carlos Fernández Liria and Luis Alegre Zahonero gave their lecture in Sol at
17.30 on the topic ” Legalidad y legitimidad. Una discusión sobre el derecho
de resistencia y los límites de la obediencia”. (Legal or legitimate? Discussing the right to pose resistance and the limits of obedience)

http://lacompluenlacalle.blogspot.com.es/p/lista-de-clases.html

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“Going on an adventure”, Speaking in Public & Textbook Blues

November 20, 2012

In today’s monolog(ue) by Ana (Avanzado 2), on Childhood Memories, we wondered about how to word this amazing childhood experience of “going on adventures.” Ana’s sentence was something like “We used to have many adventures” (sorry if I’m misquoting). This sentence of Ana’s is correct. Still, we wondered. Jorge suggested “get into many adventures” and I mentioned “get into trouble” was quite common but wondered about “getting into adventures”. Well, Jorge, look what I found!:  “Harry and his friends get into an adventure with Voldemort.” (Harry Potter book review) Well done! Then, I don’t understand why I didn’t think of this!!: “We went on very many (childhood) adventures”, because when I was living at the wimmin’s peace camp in England (Greenham Common, remember?) one of the questions we were all often asked was “Do you feel like going on an adventure?” or “Shall we go on an adventure”? (meaning “Should we trespass on to the airbase?”).

Talking about adventures, do you miss that feeling? Well, if you like, I can tell you about how to get it! I’m kind of an expert in this! 😀 When you have to speak in public — in a Speaking Test, a speaking activity at Plenary, at an international meeting representing your company, at a meeting of any kind, in an assembly in Sol, whatever! — if you are a Spaniard and you see that you’ve got to speak in public 😀 you should count of the fact that your body is going to follow a different path to that which your mind will take! Your body will tremble, your heart will beat faster, your hands will feel icy cold and sweaty, your mouth will go dry, and generally speaking, you won’t be the best looking You! But if you practice, you’ll feel how your mind, this amazing organ we have (that becomes more intelligent and kinder the more you learn and work with it — and not against it!!), becomes amazingly focused on the activity you have to perform. Your only world at that moment is the task, not your looks, what people think of you, or the typical self-destructive assessment of “I should’ve –.” I know it sounds like scifi to the people who have not been often confronted to this arduous task, but it’s true. And this means that your mind will rapidly take over your body. You might still have a dry mouth, but your body will feel much better. I even think your body feels gratitude then, a kind of admiration to its mind! Perhaps just a minute or two will have passed, but all that body storm will be nothing because your mind will be TOTALLY ABSOLUTELY FOCUSED ON DOING THE TASK! Obviously, once the event is over, your knees will feel weak, and you will need to drink some juice and eat some chocolate or some crisps, but then you won’t care about it anymore. You’ll have succeeded in your mission, your Mission Possible! (I always visualize athletes at the Olympic Games when I have to speak in public. Well, that’s with Oposiciones, so that’s over, and when I read poems and stuff at events or in squats. I do have a hard time, in spite of being a teacher — an earthling who spends her days speaking in public. But practice helps so much! You’ve got to experience it this year!

Don’t forget this — speaking in public in class is not like speaking in public at work or in an exam. It’s much safer, it feels much safer, so please — give it a try. We’re all there to learn! You’ll be sharing your world with people and offering language material for us all to work with. You should never feel ashamed of making mistakes — that’s arrogant. When we are learning, the natural thing is we make mistakes, till we master that language item. And most importantly, mistakes — in my view — are opportunities for exploration and (self-)discovery! Mistakes are open doors to improvement. (Work on your List of Mistakes, will you?! Check above, the Page called Learn 2 Learn) Mistakes at Plenary are acts of love! because you’re offering people the chance to remember how to avoid that mistake just because you made it and they remember! (Sometimes I sound a bit demented! 😀 It’s exclamations in English! 😀 Plus, I suppose, the passion teachers are able to bring out when trying to help people understand something.) (But don’t be afraid — I’m a harmless! A pacifist!)

(And I’ve got sweets/candy for people who volunteer to speak at Plenary!)

(We could even buy a box of chocolates! /chóklits/ I’ll check prices!)

Last, I’m going to start skipping pages in the textbook, if you allow me to. But you should do it all, and ask me to post this or that. If I don’t start skipping stuff, or selecting what we WILL do together and what you need to do on your own, we will sink into the traditional lesson of learners not using their mouths or ears much and all that. In my defense I have to say that if we spent (we will not, it’s a hypothesis) all of our time together just listening to people speaking and analyzing their performance in terms of language use and in terms of textual structure and communicative strategies, and to people reading out their checked writings and we doing the same sort of thing, you would probably forget about exams and learn so much that then you’d pass the exam. Because all of this would also bring up sociocultural issues that would give you a richer knowledge of your own culture and some of the English-speaking cultures.

But academic freedom, this Constitutional right, has been crushed by an issue that should not even affect slightly academic freedom — that “parents” (really?) complain about the prices of textbooks (or that textbooks are very expensive)! What does that have to do with teachers?! Why do people who have houses and cars and all kinds of gadgets and fancy clothing complain about how much they spend in BOOKS?! This does freak me out! (What can I say? I’m a teacher!)

How much do people spend in books a year? I WONDER! (Incidentally, how many books a year do people read?) So teachers are not allowed to pick the methodology they work best with because parents can’t afford textbooks or because publishing houses are just interested in money-making! Hello, humankind in Spain: can we solve the problem rationally? And allow teachers to use the methodology they choose because transmitting knowledge and helping people learn skills is fucking difficult, and double hard if you cannot pick your method!! (We’ve got the National Curriculum, and the Local Curriculum to make sure teachers teach the same stuff in the same levels, so why can’t we let them do their job?!) I’m so angry! And so sad. Because I don’t really want to set up my own language school. I love public (state-run) education. I think it’s beautiful! Hard but beautiful. (Hard as hell in primary and secondary, but beautiful.) Just think of the people you relate to in class: it’s people from all walks of life! That is what free education for all creates: the chance of meeting all kinds of people, which is to say, the chance of learning about people, about ourselves, and also about the world. All gathered around the  shared interest in language learning. Who do you relate to in your private life? Like-minded people? Well…

OMG! I gotta go. I should be listening to your audios! 😉 Nightie night

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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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African Cinema

October 18, 2012

Film festival on Africa in Córdoba (Andalucía, Spain)
http://www.fcat.es/FCAT_en/

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80% of students on strike today! Defending public/state-run education – primary, secondary, university, adult language schools

October 18, 2012

Educational strike in Spain brings hundreds of thousands to the streets – news in a video
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=8363

Photos: Students Strike Against Education Cuts in Spain
http://photos.mercurynews.com/2012/10/17/photos-students-strike-against-education-cuts-in-spain/

Thousands of angry students take to the streets across Spain (video, today, Madrid)
http://rt.com/news/spain-students-protest-austerity-654/

Students hold banners and shout slogans during a protest on the second day of a three-day nationwide student strike against education cuts, in Madrid October 17, 2012. REUTERS/Andrea Comas

Teachers’ and students’ strikes against education cuts
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/1202997/1/.html

POST more links, if you like!

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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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