Proyectos – los buenos por qué de mi desaparición

Hará mañana un mes que no publico absolutamente nada en el web-blog, y es que he estado muy ocupado.

Para empezar me he graduado, ya soy maestro de inglés, cosa que agradezco mucho. Han sido cuatro años muy largos y muy duros – pero ahí estoy, un maestro más sin poder ejercer.

Sin embargo, aunque el mundo de la escolarización no parezca aparecer en mucho tiempo en mi vida (ni yo atendiendo ni ejerciendo como docente), no significa que no pueda seguir utilizando mi profesión como medio educativo además de entretenimiento… Y es que ahora mismo estoy desaparecido por haberme embarcado en cuatro proyectos bien diferentes:

  • El spot cinematográfico: desde hace un mes que ando liado colaborando con la ONG STOP Accidentes en un nuevo spot de prevención de fatalidades en las carreteras. Mi objetivo es tratar de causar el mayor impacto posible en un tipo de anuncio hacia los que, desgraciadamente, la sociedad siente ya empatía cero. ¿Cómo podrán los chicos de VisionFES y STOP Accidentes cambiar este hecho? Ya lo veréis – y en cines -, pues estamos bastante convencidos de que podemos influir un pequeño gran cambio en la sociedad con este proyecto.
  • El guión de espectáculo radiofónico: me enorgullece anunciar que a partir de ahora formo parte del equipo de guionistas bajo las órdenes de Nacho López Echeverría, Cheve: canta-autor, actor de doblaje y creador del programa radiofónico en vivo La última emisora, que lo petará en Madrid. Me uno al mismo Cheve y a otros grandes guionistas en la composición de los nuevos programas – podéis engancharos y escuchar el Piloto aquí.
  • La novela gráfica: dando vueltas de mi cabeza a un cajón, de un cajón a un dossier como proyecto de cortometraje, y de proyecto audiovisual a novela gráfica por fin estoy en la labor de dar vida a mi primera novela gráfica de fantasía C A V I T Y – el primero de tres ensayos sobre la vida desde tres puntos de vista muy, muy diferentes. Para poder hacer tangible a esta idea uno fuerzas con el fantástico ilustrados Oriol Tuca, cuyo trazo digno del Moon Knight de Sienkiewicz podría dar vida fácilmente a cualquier cuento parido por Neil Gaiman… He aquí su blog – ¡espero estar a la altura!
  • El cuento educativo: finalmente, uno fuerzas con el maestro e ilustrador infantil Jere Oner para la elaboración de una serie de cuentos infantiles educativos con la intención de integrar la lengua extranjera (inglés) con el entretenimiento infantil. Podéis visitar su blog aquí, y pronto tendréis más noticias.

Todos estos proyectos, o la mayoría al menos, bajo la firma Vision Factory – mi empresa de medios y entretenimiento multi-plataforma. Dentro de la misma sigo colaborando en todo aquello que se necesite de mí, desde echar una mano construyendo un Iron Man 1/1 a participar como actor en algún que otro metraje.

Aunque este verano estaré algo out, escribiendo y buscando cómo encauzar bien todos estos proyectos, seguiré con las reseñas de todo aquello que necesite reseñarse. Espero poder trabajar una reflexión acerca de Inside Out y de MARVEL’S Ant-Man las próximas semanas, y de empezar una nueva sección con reseñas vintage titulada ENCARECIDAMENTE, donde encarecidamente recomiende pelis y series que me gustan.

Así que ya sabéis, no os abandono: os quiero más que nunca y sigo trabajando para educar, inspirar y entretener.

Sergi

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On Dialogic teaching – CLIL through oral communication

During my last Practicum as an English teacher on a Catalan Primary School, I’ve been teaching Science through CLIL. When my tutor proposed me to teach a subject using a foreign language (L2) instead of just teaching English – you now, grammar and vocabulary – I happily agreed.

Now, I’ve been studying subjects in L2 since I was in Year 5. In fact, Science was the first subject I learned through English, so teaching it to a new generation was something I thought I would be fun to do. There was a slightly little difference though – when I was little, Science was taught through text books in English as if they were translated from Catalan, so there was no language adaptation to L2 learners as we were and we had to work it out as we could… and the school where I’ve been teaching do not use any kind of book.

“This should not be a problem”, I said to myself. “We’ve been taught in class that CLIL should be based upon dialogue, and it is in first place through dialogue how you can identify the needs and aims of the class group”. So true.

I was terrified when I started teaching there – I watched my tutor teach English to the group I was supposed to teach on Vertebrates later on, and his level was quite lower than expected. The idea that I couldn’t adapt my speech to them or the fact that some of them wouldn’t be able to follow the class was horrifying. What could I do? Then I realized: let’s ask them.

After talking to several of my new pupils, I was clear on something: visual support was the key to understanding. Not just for them – the use of colorful presentations, remarked contents, videos, gestures… But for the teacher, for if you pay attention at their eyes you’ll be able to know if they understand before using your main weapon: ask them if they understand. If they don’t, let them explain between them.

Creating a dialogue between the class group – or several dialogues in small groups – you’ll be reinforcing trust and empathy between classmates, and therefore creating bonds that, sooner or later, will become a small community of people. Then I realized that I shouldn’t be teaching, but sharing my knowledge and experiences during several sessions, aiding myself with videos and presentations, and always asking for their knowledge and opinion.

That’s what CLIL is really all about, not learning using another language but learning through another language. Speaking, asking and sharing.

Sergi

On CLIL: A Sociocultural Perspective

I’ve been researching on CLIL for the lasts few months in order to develop my Final Work on my Degree (How to properly CLIL), and now and then I’ve found several works from Josephine Moate. The one that we’re talking about today is part of a general research on a pedagogical model for CLIL. As my last post on MARILLE did, this one talks about social and multicultural learning in school through languages, but it goes a little far away.

As some of you may know, CLIL stands for content and language integrated learning. This is learning new content through a Second Language (L2) as the same time as you learn this L2 too. This kind of teaching can be found in Catalan schools since late 1990’s, but it is now that there’s been appearing some improvement on the teaching-learning model.

As we implied when talking about MARILLE, knowing more than one language and working with them provides the students with both a wider range of contents and a wider view and understanding of cultures and societies. This happens when a L2 is used as both too and content in school since children start to attend Primary Education.

The article talks about many things that can be found in many works on CLIL. There are two concepts though that are quiet significant and it should be mandatory for everyone to reflect on them: Social talk and Exploratory talk (ET).

Social talk is the process of talking with partners, peers and co-workers in order to know each other and gain trust. It’s using the language for more than knowing and understanding cultures and societies, to know a person and learn to care about him/her. This concept applied to a group of people is the first step in “community building” – and communities are united and work as one in order to progress faster and more efficiently.

ET is the group or individual dialogical method of learning by exploring language and content. It means that knowledge shouldn’t be constructed from whatever possibilities and contexts a 00teachers brings to class, but by the own expectations of the student. Don’t tell them what amphibians are, just create the environment for them to ask you. Exploring content using the L2 allows the pupils to look for and learn the language more significantly.

These methods worked in group create a collaborative learning experience that lead to a better understanding of both content and language, and are just a couple of strategies that can be found in order to success when applying CLIL.

Sergi

On MARILLE – Promoting plurilingualism in the majority language classroom

Learning a language not only provides you with the capacity to communicate with a larger range of people all over the world, but to expand the knowledge you have on cultures and lifestyles. Languages reflect the cultures, traditions, aims and spirit of every country or people who speak eat – every word, every phrase comes from a specific event and point in history or lifeabouts.  So, as more languages you learn, a wider view and understanding of life.

The MARILLE Project tries to apply this way of viewing language into the classroom. Plurilingualism in European schools is a fact: in every class we can find boys and girls from all over the continent or even the world. Each one may speak one or even two foreign languages, and all of them are forced to study a “majority language”, which is too the language of instruction used to learn the content of the rest of the subjects.

The main question that MARILLE asks itself is, if there are several languages in a class, why not use all of them to teach? This would result on more efficient students with – as we said – a wider view of how societies and cultures work, with more empathic and comprehensive way of living and acting than the students stuck in their own-culture-set schooling. It would prepare them to be able to communicate in higher levels with foreigners too, a necessary skill both for their future studies and professional world.

There are always some inconvenient: not only the educational methods and systems should be re-arranged, but the curricular values and needs too. On the other hand, the teaching skills needed by the docents that would impart these plurilingual classes would be higher – finding ourselves in the need of a new educational program for this type of teachers.

So, MARILLE proposes a brilliant and utopic teaching system which surely, basing ourselves upon the values it is built on, it would improve the capabilities and skills of students, making them even better members of a global society. Nevertheless, the requirements for this system to be carried out are very difficult to put into practice at a national, or even region level.

Practices made so far have given outstanding results. Let’s hope this way of integrating language, community and culture as a tool for content and knowledge education ends up working eventually.

More on this topic: http://marille.ecml.at/

Sergi

Child-Centered Education

The title – and topic – of this post should reflect an accurate description of our Educational System. Pitifully, it doesn’t. In fact, our System resembles a factory in which effective members of our society are “produced”.

We hardly can say “educated” or “taught”, as their education is based upon a series of compulsory knowledge to be learned and minimum marks to get in order to “pass”. I’ve been through three Practicums and visited five schools, and four of them have proven to me that the “Effective”-Based Educational System, through books, marks and class-centered teaching, are the past, present and near-future of education in Spain.

Nevertheless – as I said – there’s still hope.

There are State Schools who are trying to center their system into a child-centered one. This is the case of the CEIP in Barcelona in which I’m practicing my teaching skills at the moment: a two decades old school in which there is no room for books, exams or homework; in which co-education and personal formation is vital, and dialogue and coherence in learning are the bases of the formation of its students.

For four years now I’ve been reading about the Dialogic Learning System as written in Ramón Flecha’s Aprendizaje dialógico en la sociedad de la información, a learning system never used at the classical system schools I’ve been. This system is used at the CEIP I’m right now, and it has proven to be quite efficient.

Based upon teaching through dialogue the pupils are easily assessed, for the conversations between the teacher and the classroom reveal easily if they comprehend or not the lesson and why. This, of course, has a bigger impact on linguistic-based subjects – such as the study of foreign languages or social sciences -, but helps creating a quite nice and direct educational environment with all the children.

Child-centered education is the near-future of education – avoidance of grading and defining the education of the children through marks and compulsory knowledge has no future in an ever-evolving society as ours. I’ve been two day doing my Practicum in this school, I’m looking forward learning more and write about it in here.

The children are the ones to decide how they need to be taught. Teachers: let’s stay in silence, pay attention and, over all, listen.

Sergi

Pocketfully

Before starting my Practicum III on Monday, I read a chapter called Aula (Classroom) from Joan Todó’s A butxacades (Pocketfully would be an accurate translation of the title): a handful of narrative essays involving memory, arts, the economic crisis, etc. Of course, Aula talks about school-education.

This chapter follows a week in the life of a common female school-teacher who lives and works in a very small town, where everyone knows everybody: who they are, and what they do. Todó tries to make us empathize with the daily feelings of the teacher, a hard-working and stressed young woman who tries to teach every day with a smile. This proves to be quite difficult for her as her pupils do not behave properly, the budget is affecting the school and forcing her to work non-properly, and gossip about her effectiveness as a docent spreads over the town.

Nevertheless, she wakes up again every morning with the decision of teaching her children, no matter what.

In fact, Joan Todó reflects perfectly how a teacher feels – so helpless, with so much frustration, incapable of teaching as one wishes to do. These are the same feelings one has when reading it of course, especially in the gossip scene at the super-market, when a couple of mothers criticize her for having punished their “good boys”… “How can she? Is not it enough to work every day from nine to five and have three months off?”

The first rule as a teacher is to know for sure that you won’t ever be admired enough for your work. This is something we as students have been remembered every day since we started our degree four years ago. Parents rarely will thank you for your hard work, their minds closed and you being referred as a kind of baby-sitter who happens to teach how to read. A newcomer teacher will lose the anxiousness and thrilling of teaching since month one…

On the other hand, it doesn’t really matter. Vocation is well-feed as long as your esteem remains positive, feeling comforted when realizing a pupil has learned, you have solved a problem, or made your class live a life-changing lesson or experience. You are the only one who has to tell yourself ‘YOU ARE DOING VERY WELL!!!’, never expecting people who will never understand to say it to you. And, you must know, they will, sometimes – and it will be great… but not as great as watching your kids learn, grow and smile (their own way to thank you).

So, as bad as it may feel Joan Todó’s Aula when first read it, you have to take the teacher from the story as a reference. Wake up every morning no matter what and prove yourself you can change the world.

Sergi

Nueva categoría – On Education

Como muchos de vosotros sabéis, mi profesión prima es el mundo del cine y el audiovisual. Lo que no todo el mundo sabe es que en el fondo, y desde siempre, ha sido la docencia y la educación lo que me ha impulsado a trabajar en el séptimo arte.

Desde siempre he creído que es a través de los medios audiovisuales, sobre todo en referente a la ficción, que se puede alcanzar al mayor número de personas y educarlas o influir en ellas, sin depender de la edad del espectador. Y no sólo hablamos de conocimientos, sino también de cultura y valores, mensajes positivistas y globales, etcétera, etcétera. Ya hablaremos de eso más adelante.

El caso es que en un mes podré confirmar que soy maestro y que mi especialidad es la lengua inglesa, sobre todo centrándome en AICLE o CLIL. De momento estoy haciendo mi último Prácticum en un CEIP de Barcelona y desde la Universidad se me han pedido una serie de reflexiones acerca de la experiencia docente y diferentes artículos sobre educación. Es por eso que inauguro la sección On Education, donde de vez en cuando publicaré  – en inglés, claro está – reflexiones sobre temas del ámbito educativo.

Un saludo, saludete –

Sergi