28 may. 2012

ABOUT LANGUAGES

A LANGUAGE REFERENCE
When a bilingual teacher gets into the school or is at the main door surrounded by pupils he has to speak in English. This is because the most important thing we have to be, is a language reference for them. That is to say, our piece of the cake is English, so throughout all our schedule or time at school pupils can only hear English from us. We have to find the moment to speak to our Spanish co-workers... It is vital because pupils create a strategy to understand the language, They know they have to speak in English to be understood and they are learning in context using a vehicle, English: CLIL.


SEVERAL LANGUAGES GROWING TOGETHER
Our world is getting smaller because nowadays it is not too far-fetched to think that if we wanted to, in just a small amount of time, we could live on the opposite side of the globe. Means of transport are getting better year by year and our house economies have created a situation in which the majority of the people could fly and move from country to country. And because of these changes in our society, the demand and need of learning a second language has grown faster than ever. It´s almost becoming a necessity that each of learn a different language than our native one. And as teachers we must remember that: Our pupils are growing with several languages around them.



TRANSLATE OR NOT TO TRANSLATE
This is a term that makes lots of misunderstandings and it is because it was the way we learnt a language in the past. C.L.I.L. is very clear with it. We are learning the language through a context created in a subject and it is also merged with daily situations. The fact is to translate or not to translate. If we translate we are creating a strategy which helps pupils with large memory to respond in lots of situations but not in all of them. This strategy will be based on searching for information in L1 to respond in L2. So when something has never been taught in L1 the student will not have a strategy formed which permits him to isolate the contents and use everything in his mind to understand the content instead of using L1 to support L2. On the other hand, if we demand them to understand the contents of a subject and situations they will have created a strategy that will enable them to use the language fluently and with sense. If we focus on subject terms and in Science we will be able to see that if they have to translate they have double work. If students understand the contents they do not need to translate and they are not loosing the chance to know it in their mother tongue or other languages. During their mind development they will link the language acquired and the contents to different languages but perhaps the root of those kinds of contents will be in English. This is providing them with a large strategy and a bigger space in their experiences storage.

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