Sunday, October 16, 2016


We could start from many different perspectives; however, I do believe that something primordial is to begin with the right and left side of the brain.

We have the concept that the right side takes care of all those matters related to mathematics or psychology or “very rational issues”, analytical and “Feet on the ground” problems or situations. On the other hand, the left side wanders, dreams, rambles in less “important things” such as arts in general. Well, surprise! We have to work with both sides in order to actually grow in our mental capacity, therefore, increase and properly develop our intelligence and knowledge.

I am giving you this example because it is the classical and controversial argument regarding what is more important in life, economic stability or job satisfaction? Not meaning of course that developing yourself within the practical side of life is wrong, all the contrary, is great and, besides, arts are usually not a good “business”, but trust me, it is very satisfactory and soul fulfilling.

Anyway, the main issue here is to realize that the concepts that we have been talking about in previous sessions, learning and acquisition of a language, which are complementary to one another, must be in balance as the right and left side of the brain must be as well.

The symbol of justice, the blindfolded woman with a scale, is showing us that justice is not always properly balanced, leveled; but it is always moving up and down according to rules and appreciations. The same happens when we talk about learning and acquisition, if the learner does not consider acquisition, or the other way around, his or her knowledge will be incomplete. The idea of watching movies or T.V. series in the target language in order to practice listening comprehension and vocabulary and pronunciation “acquisition”, I am thinking of English as my personal field of studies, reading, as the main source of vocabulary once again, but grammar and writing skills as well as grammar and writing skills, which is very logical. As we live in a country in which only a few speak a foreign language, these “tools” are our only option if we want to enter the world of the target language.

Therefore, this is a call for the teachers to insist on the acquisition side of the matter, and for the students to apply some of their time in the practices mentioned. We must find the balance between the studies of our major subjects and English. Languages are an essential plus, if you wish, for our future professional life within whatever field you develop yourself in.

So what are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Language Acquisition

  Logically, the title makes us think of children´s first communication and we are right, to begin with.
However, if you pay attention, you will notice that before the acquisition of language, children communicate in different ways; mainly, through crying. Nevertheless, our concern is to realize when children start communicating with words; this depending on the child of course. This happens between the age of one and three or four years old. The point is that once they begin, they go from single words to full sentences more and more elaborated at an amazing speed, being able to build complex sentences in a way that, for an adult, seems miraculous.
The one-word stage happens around the time the child turns one year and begins to utter sounds that have meaning, like 'ma' for mom, 'da' for dad, and 'wa-wa' for water. They begin to speak in simple words, like 'dog' or 'up.'
By the time the child has reached their second birthday, they usually have elements of the two-word stage. The two-word stage is sometimes called telegraphic speech because, around two years of age, the sentences created are short and direct, like a telegraph. Babies might indicate their wants like, 'Want milk,' or 'Go outside.'

One of the earliest scientific explanations of language acquisition was provided by Skinner (1957). As one of the pioneers of behaviorism, he accounted for language development by means of environmental influence.
Skinner argued that children learn language based on behaviorist reinforcement principles by associating words with meanings. Correct utterances are positively reinforced when the child realizes the communicative value of words and phrases.
Do you know what word you first spoke? Have you ever considered how many words you have learned over your lifetime? Many psychologists estimate we learn around 3,500 words a year between our first birthday and before we are 30. We grow from infants without language to chatterboxes with a gift for gab, and researchers are fascinated by how this happens.

 Now, arriving to our main concern, language acquisition is something we must relate and actually strongly value, as an absolutely necessary complement to language learning.
Language acquisition in adults is quite similar to children´s acquisition, that is, we learn according to the needs we may have in accordance to the environment and people around us and we will acquire proper communication as well as the mistakes made by the people we are dealing with. Mistakes if we look at them from the perspective of correct grammar, pronunciation, and so on; however, these so called “mistakes, may be just variants of the language, according to sociolinguistics.
As we are teaching young adults who will require of speaking English in the most accurate and “real” way, we have to have them aware that vocabulary, pronunciation, accurate understanding of idioms and expressions, as well as sociolinguistic variants, are topics which are learned only in a basic and limited way through studying our school books. Meaning that only through “real” experiences, we shall acquire the previously mentioned concepts.
I am most frequently asked about teaching grammar rules to very young English language learners. I would not teach grammar out of context to young students. Research has shown that "out of context" grammar drills do not work with students of any age. Teachers of English language learners should really be developing the oral communication, reading, vocabulary, and writing skills of their young students. The grammar will take care of itself. Even though explaining a grammar topic as an introduction to the “unit” assigned or using the grammatical terminology will not affect the learning unless you “stick” to this procedure throughout the lesson. So, we are now arriving to the question on “how do we do acquire the mentioned skills if we do not live in an English speaking country”?
Well, the only basic ways are reading, listening to music in English, being careful when selecting the songs and singers, and watching movies or t.v. programs in the target language. Our task is to convince our students of the importance of these activities outside the classroom.
 There is an important distinction made by linguists between language acquisition and language learning. Children acquire language through a subconscious process during which they are unaware of grammatical rules. This is similar to the way they acquire their first language. They get a feel for what is and what isn’t correct. In order to acquire language, the learner needs a source of natural communication. The emphasis is on the text of the communication and not on the form. Young students who are in the process of acquiring English get plenty of “on the job” practice through the activities mentioned before. They readily acquire the language to communicate with classmates.

Language learning, on the other hand, is not communicative. It is the result of direct instruction in the rules of language. And it certainly is not an age-appropriate activity for your young learners. In language learning, students have conscious knowledge of the new language and can talk about that knowledge. They can fill in the blanks on a grammar page. Research has shown, however, that knowing grammar rules does not necessarily result in good speaking or writing. A student who has memorized the rules of the language may be able to succeed on a standardized test of English language but may not be able to speak or write correctly.

Summarizing, The purpose of this analysis is to realize the need the students have to communicate in “real situations” forgetting about grammar and getting the pleasure of speaking in a language different to theirs, which is what they will require when developing in a professional environment or personal life.

Welcome to your “New Culture”.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


In order to be a successful professional, you need a personality,
and a personality is only acquired through culture. 
The greater the culture, the stronger the personality and success.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Welcome aboard!

This is going to be our new communication media. Wait for further instructions.

Your Teacher