"I can’t remember being taught much grammar until I took a course in ‘Use of English’ at 17 years old"

Patrick Mainprize

While I can recall being taught spelling and some punctuation at my primary school, I can’t remember being taught grammar at all.
In fact, I can’t remember being taught much grammar until I took a course in ‘Use of English’ at 17 years old, something the head suggested I did – thank you, Mr Morgan!
Maybe we have a generation of teachers who suffered the same fate, and that is why some teachers lack the confidence when introducing some of the grammar and punctuation concepts now expected at primary school level.

Desde el enlace siguiente tienen acceso el documento final sobre la «I Fase de la Evaluación del Programa Bilingüe de la Comunidad de Madrid».

Documento ico pdf

Millie Slavidou


Millie is a British writer and translator living and working in Greece. She writes about etymology on Jump! Mag and has published fiction for kids with Jump! Books
Today Millie has suggestions on how to support bilingual children, particularly in the tween and teenage years. This is a tricky age to keep them motivated, as they are often immersed in the local majority language, and may not be interested in their minority language.

Although skilled bilinguals appear to be able to interact with others in whichever language is required, the evidence suggests that both languages are active when bilinguals read, hear, and speak one language alone.

By Judith F. Kroll, PhD

You are sitting at a café or at the airport when you overhear a conversation in English that suddenly switches to another language and then back to English. If you are a monolingual speaker of English, you may notice the mixture of languages without realizing that you have eavesdropped on an impressive feat of cognition. For many proficient bilinguals, code switching between two languages is a natural feature of language use (e.g., Myers-Scotton, 2002). Yet the same bilinguals rarely make the error of speaking the unintended language or speaking to a monolingual in a language that they don't understand. How is this cognitive control achieved?

Huffington Post
13/10/2012


La enseñanza bilingüe se extiende cada vez más en España. Algunos datos lo confirman: este curso ha llegado a 377 centros educativos en la Comunidad de Madrid, en Andalucía son ya más de 800 y en 2015 se espera que la mitad de los colegios públicos madrileños y al menos un tercio de los institutos sean bilingües. Se pretende, así, potenciar la enseñanza de idiomas -especialmente de inglés-, pero el sistema se está encontrando con un problema duro: escasean los profesores con nivel suficiente para dar sus clases en otro idioma.

El Programa Integral de Aprendizaje de Lenguas Extranjeras del Ministerio de Educación ha establecido para 2020 el objetivo de que todo el profesorado que vaya a impartir su materia en una lengua extranjera tenga acreditado, como mínimo, el nivel C1 de referencia, que, teóricamente, permite comprender una amplia variedad de textos extensos y con cierto nivel de exigencia y expresarse de forma fluida y espontánea. El problema actual, según indican los propios profesionales de la enseñanza bilingüe, es que hay muy pocos profesores que alcancen ese nivel.
Por lo general, para dar las clases en un idioma extranjero en secundaria actualmente se necesita acreditar un B2, el nivel inmediatamente inferior al C1. La práctica, sin embargo, no es tan sencilla, ya que cada Comunidad Autónoma tiene sus propios criterios. "Se les suele exigir un B2. Ahora bien, ante la escasez de profesorado se han firmado convenios y se han aprobado regulaciones de programas bilingües en los que se les permitía la entrada con un simple curso de habilitación. Después debían comprometerse a obtener el nivel B2 en un plazo de dos años. Esto no es apostar por la calidad, desde luego", explica Isabel Aráez, profesora de Educación Secundaria en el Instituto Felipe de Borbón de Murcia y colaboradora experta en educación para la Comisión Europea.

Kenji Hakuta


Our metaphors for the human mind are filled with allusions to the image that it is a container with limited capacity. We cram for exams, vent our frustrations, and empty OUT minds. If the mind is a vessel to be filled, and if language is something that fills it, then one might ask some serious questions about the consequences of bilingualism on mental development. Two languages take up more room than one, and thus one might wonder whether the process of becoming bilingual might impede the mental development of the individual by taking up too much space, as it were. To the extent that one believes in this general idea, one could oppose bilingual instruction in young children on the grounds that it would be detrimental to their overall cognitive development. I am sure that practitioners in bilingual education have all heard variations aplenty on this theme from various opponents of bilingual education. In this paper, I would like to comment on the question of bilingualism and cognitive development, particularly in research relating to current US.