Language Schools & Local Organiser news…

In order to cater for the needs of the various language schools and local organisers register on Xilfee, we now offer you the ability to search our registered host families for those who would be interested in providing accomodation for such parties.

Host families who in addition to finding students students directly are listed here http://www.xilfee.eu/search/

If you are are either a language school or local organiser of foreign student visits and are interested in this service please contact either Matt or Fiona to find out more. Alternatively simply join up as a Business or Professional member via the host family registeration page and you will be able to contact these members directly.


Can it be that complicated?

facebook is great but I’m no techie wizard and with two homeschooled children hanging around, I find it really quite difficult to think AND act. Hope you like the changes; tell me what I can do better. Fiona


Summer on 1st March here in the UK

Fantastic weather today, blue skies, no clouds. I spent some time at the allotment with the children who took their guinea pigs along for a bit of fresh air, exercise and grass. Went to see a lovely lady in Nettleham later who does EFT. Watched a Laurel and Hardy film after tea.


Travel and new cultures & Frog Intestines

See our new Article pages here Learning a Language Abroad – the best way to experience foreign culture … Do people really fry up frogs intestines?

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URGENTLY NEEDED:

Host family/tutor, ideally in Seville, Spain for 15 year old French student wishing to have regular visits during year. Ideally English & Spanish spoken. Apply Here.


Accordez un peu de votre temps à Greenwich…

 

 

Sur la rive sud de la Tamise, à l’Est de Londres se trouve la ville historique de Greenwich. Célèbre pour être à l’origine du Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), elle accueille l’Observatoire Royal, le National Maritime Museum, le Cutty Sark et bien plus encore.

 

Promenez-vous dans le superbe Greenwich Park ou à son plus haut point vous trouverez l’Observatoire Royal. Avec un peu de chance – ou si vous restez assez longtemps – vous aurez droit à un discours humoristique et très instructif de l’un des membres du personnel en costume d’époque.

 

Il vous fera découvrir la ligne du méridien qui sépare l’Orient de l’Occident et vous contera l’histoire de la ligne et l’importance cruciale de la longitude pour la navigation en mer. Si cela ne suffit pas, il y a aussi un Planétarium sur le site, et la “Camera Obscura” un intrigant avant coureur de la chambre obscure du type utilisé par Canaletto quand il a peint ses célèbres tableaux de Venise.

 

Retournez vers l’entrée du parc où vous ne pouvez pas manquer les belles lignes du National Maritime Museum. Le bâtiment lui-même est impressionnant avec sa large façade aux multitudes colonnes blanches avec la rivière d’un côté et le beau vert du parc de l’autre. Allez à l’intérieur et vous serez accueillis par l’une des plus grandes collections de l’histoire maritime dans le monde, avec une variété impressionnante d’instruments de chronométrage et d’astronomie. Il y a même un espace atelier qui est populaire auprès des enfants.

 

Vous avez faim après toute cette culture? Greenwich abrite une collection cosmopolite de restaurants bon marché, ou on peut manger de bonnes nouilles chinoises ou choisir un restaurant plus chic. Ou vous pourriez essayer un des nombreux pubs anglais, par exemple, le Cutty Sark ou le Trafalgar Tavern qui sont tous deux sur le bord de la rivière.

 

Le Cutty Sark quant à lui, le seul survivant du commerce du Thé, est un superbe voilier trois-mâts construit en 1869. Il a été en cale sèche à Greenwich depuis de nombreuses années et c’est un vaisseau grandiose et mémorable. Il est actuellement en cours de rénovation suite à un incendie en 2007, mais devrait être rouvert au public au printemps 2012.

Envie d’une promenade en bateau? De la jetée de Greenwich, vous pouvez prendre un «River Bus» qui vous mènera tout droit à Westminster, en passant Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, au London Eye avec bien d’autres sites emblématiques sur le chemin.

 

Oh, ai-je mentionné le shopping? Ne vous inquiétez pas, vous pouvez faire votre cure de shopping sur les fabuleux marchés de Greenwich! Les marchés sont ouverts du mercredi au dimanche et incluent arts, artisanat, antiquités, ustensiles de cuisine et de maison , vêtements et des stands de produits gastronomiques. Il y a un bel espace entouré de magasins couverts permanents, mais le marché s’étend sur plusieurs rues adjacentes – accordez vous quelques heures pour avoir le temps de tout voir!

 

Avec un théâtre et aussi des cinémas, que pourrions nous demander de plus à cette petite ville? Si vous séjournez à Londres ou dans le Sud-Est, une visite à Greenwich s’impose!


Using English subtitles in film

In Portugal we have always had a habit of subtitling our films, series, or any other type of program, whether in film or television. When there was some novel or series recorded, it sounded bad to our ears; the voices did not correspond to the movements of the mouth, looked like a folding text read without punctuation and often there was no difference between female or male voice! It was preferable to see in the original language without subtitles.

Surprisingly, the latest animation films that have been released have been slightly improved. It’s great to see a room full of young children into laughter with a silly innocent character. The quality of their own voices and dubbing are excellent.

It is obvious that for some people with reading difficulties, the subtitles are too fast to be able to accompany the film. On the other hand it requires acute hearing to determine the sound track to the legend. The problem becomes bigger for the visually impaired as they are required to understand the foreign language, mostly English as well. On the other hand, the deaf suffer from the lack of subtitling and sign language. Fortunately it is possible to see several TV channels with teletext subtitles directed mostly deaf to the public.

Subtitling is not always the best: the translation is faulty, some lines are not translated captions occupy and own a part of the image. I remember a funny translation where the word “toast”, in the case of honouring a guest, it appeared as toast – to brown a slice of bread!

The first rows of the film are to forget, as you read the caption of the action we have already lost the picture …

Both dubbing and subtitling have their advantages and their difficulties, but that can be drawn from this is that either one or the other intended as an aid to include not only linguistic but also social inclusion.
Fans of subtitling argue that this method allows to improve the reading skills and reasoning of the viewer. And in fact may even be right, as a proposal for a European Parliament resolution: “Supports the captioning of television programs in national languages, instead of folding and overlapping of voices in order to facilitate the learning and use of EU languages and a better understanding of the cultural context of audiovisual productions; Recommends to Member States that television programs, especially children’s programs are subtitled and not bent. ” The European Parliament says that: “the possibility of enjoying the European public works carried out in other languages ​​should be encouraged through better language teaching, but a lower use of folding also promotes the learning of languages.”
Of course, this recommendation leaves some questions in the air. On one hand you want to include language on the other leaves aside the social inclusion of those who have greater difficulties in monitoring both the model of subtitling and dubbing of the model. People with literacy problems could even benefit from this measure, but they are mostly elderly people with low willingness to accompany the reading of subtitles and with great difficulty seeing. Here too the blind are forced to learn a foreign language if they want to see something.
It is therefore a measure of understatement, at least in the Portuguese most suitable to stimulate a young audience often multilingual in several European Union countries, which have more than one official language. To an audience as monolingual Portuguese, there are still many battles to be fought.
Early teaching of English in the curriculum enrichment activities can enhance the understanding of the depth of the language.


Why host an overseas student?

There are many reasons why a family might choose to host an overseas student and there are many benefits that can arise from the situation. For a starter, many families with children find that an overseas student can enrich their own education, language skills and understanding of other cultures. It’s a two way relationship in many aspects and for all that a student gains from studying in the UK, a host family is able to gain just as much by way of experience.

Inviting an overseas student into the family home can be an extremely rewarding experience and one that is particularly suitable for those who enjoy meeting new people. A student from another country enables a UK family to learn about new cultures, religions and languages and helps to educate children about the lives of those in other countries. For families with children, hosting an overseas student can be such a valuable learning experience and many come out of the experience with new friends and an illuminated insight into another way of life.

Families without children may choose to host an overseas student not only for company or to meet new people from different cultures, but also to brush up their own foreign language skills. An overseas student will rely on his host family to enrich his own educational experience, and in doing do, a host family can gain so many new language skills themselves. Additionally, it goes without saying that the host family will learn so much from a young person staying in their home- about different countries, cultures and religions. Many host families also gain a sense of real accomplishment from contributing towards the personal development and growth of a student under their care.

Some host families decide to take in a student due to changes in personal circumstances, such as maternity leave, redundancy or retirement. Often in situations where hosts find themselves at home more often, they feel more able to open up their homes to a student, for more reasons that one. Perhaps the financial rewards might help towards house-hold bills, or perhaps a family might wish to use up free space in their home. Whatever the reason, many families find that hosting a student can have great benefits.

Host families are encouraged to explore their reasons for taking in an overseas student thoroughly, before committing to anything. It’s vital that families are clear about what is required of them throughout the length of time that the student is with them. It’s a good idea to consult with all family members about the benefits a student can bring, and what the family themselves wish to get out of the situation. Drawing up a list of reasonable rules and expectations can be a really good exercise so that all involved are clear about how day to day life will be. This also benefits the students as they too will be clear about their own role whilst they are in the UK.

Ultimately, hosting an overseas student can bring great rewards- not just financially, but emotionally, spiritually and educationally. Many families feel that they gain so much from hosting a student that they agree to new students again during the following academic year. Many also feel that showing hospitality and sharing knowledge about their culture and way of life brings a real sense of satisfaction that is difficult to beat with any other occupation.

 


“Lo mejor de Reino Unido con un bolsillo ajustado”

Para mucha gente que llega a Reino Unido de otras partes del mundo como estudiantes, profesionales o turistas, una de las cosas que puede resultar un poco impresionante es el precio de la vida. Y no es casualidad ya que las libras esterlinas están entre las modenas más fuertes del mundo. Sin embargo, no es imposible pasarla bien con un bolsillo ajustado, a pesar de que al principio pueda ser un poco tedioso familiarizarse con las mejores opciones. Por lo tanto, he aquí unos pequeños tips que pueden ayudar a aquellos estudiantes y jóvenes que llegan a Reino Unido con todas las ganas de pasarla bien y sacar el mejor provecho de lo que ofrece el país, sin tener que gastar más de lo necesario.

Una de las cosas que primero debe tenerse en mente es planear con tiempo. Ya sea un viaje a alguno de los cuatro paises de Reino Unido, o a alguno de los mágicos, vibrantes e interesantes lugares que pueden visitarse en pequeñas excursiones de uno o dos días, es importante hacer un plan y organizarlo con calma. De esta manera es posible encontrar las mejores opciones y los mejores precios.

Esto incluye hacer reservaciones con anticipación y comprar boletos aprovechando los magnificos descuentos que muchas veces se ofrecen a estudiantes y gente joven. Por ejemplo, desde que se planea el primer viaje en tren en Reino Unido es conveniente comprar una tarjeta de descuento para jóvenes menores de 25 años y estudiantes que ofrece 30% de descuento en cualquier tarifa de trenes. Si se reservan con tiempo y usando los descuentos que muchas veces se ofrcen, los trenes y los autobuses pueden llegar a costar hasta 60% menos que el precio normal de última hora. Además, siempre se pueden aprovechar los bonos semanales o menuales para viajes locales en autobús, en vez de comprar viajes sencillos o redondos de un día, si la estadía en algún lugar es lo suficientemente larga.

Ser estudiante tiene además muchos otros beneficios para nuestros bolsillos cuando se quiere sacar el mejor preovecho de una rica experiencia en Reino Unido, ya que también existen descuentos para otra gran variedad de artículos y servicios como museos, espectáculos como teatro, ballet y musicales, centros y parques de diversiones, librerías, tiendas de ropa y hasta restaurantes. Además ,como dicen the more, the merrier; mientras más gente se organice para hacer actividades juntos, es mejor, ya que existen muchas ofertas de dos por uno, o para grupos. Vale siempre la pena preguntar.

Por último es importante tener en cuenta que Reino Unido tiene la gran ventaja de orfrecer una gran variedad de productos y servicios para muchos bolsillos, por eso siempre es conveniente comparar precios y calidad hasta encontrar algo que realmente convenga cuando se va de compras.

Una opción que suele ser muy popular es acudir a las tiendas conocidas como charity shops, donde se vende desde ropa, libros, accesorios, postales y discos, hasta juegos de mesa, suvenirs y juguetes, de todo un poco. Muchas de las modas entre los jóvenes británicos están inspiradas en la ropa, accesorios y calzado que puede encontrarse en estas tiendas, conocida como vintage. Las charity shops no solo son convenientes por el precio y sus curiosidades, sino porque además al comrpar en estos lugares, se puede salir con doble sonrisa en la boca, ya que se hace una “una buena accion del día”.


impariamo litaliano

Una volta trovata una forte motivazione imparare l’italiano per un anglofono non dovrebbe essere un’impresa molto difficile.

L’italiano è facile da pronunciare se si esclude la lettera “R”che deve essere pronunciata nella parte anteriore del palato ( non nella gola come quella francese ) facendo vibrare la lingua.

Comunque si tratta solo di una lettera e con un po’ di esercizio e tante risate diventerete degli esperti linguisti.

Anche la scrittura è molto più facile del francese perché l’italiano è una lingua fonetica, si legge come si scrive. Una volta imparata la pronuncia delle lettere dell’alfabeto, leggere per voi sarà una passeggiata.

Quasi v’invidio, perché io sbaglio ancora lo spelling e la pronuncia delle parole inglesi dopo oltre 20 anni di stretto contatto con la lingua!

Come procedere per un apprendimento facile facile…

Lo so cosa state pensando…No, non si tratta di un errore. In Italiano ripetere uno stesso AGGETTIVO due volte è assolutamente normale. Nel caso che vedete sopra, ha lo stesso significato di MOLTO facile.

Ma questo lo imparerete strada facendo.

La cosa migliore da fare prima che vi tuffiate a capo fitto sui testi è di evidenziare le aree di particolare difficoltà.

Per voi inglesi suggerisco un lavoro accurato sulle vocali: A,E,I,O,U. Imparate e ripetete il suono più volte

Perché per quanto riguarda spelling e pronuncia sarete portati a confondere i suoni della E e della I

Un’altra cosa da tenere in mente sempre per quanto riguarda la pronuncia dell’italiano è che si devono pronunciare assolutamente tutte le lettere contenute in una parola. Non c’è niente di simile a una “silent” e o k etc…Vi sembrerà molto strano all’inizio specialmente quando incontrerete le famose (“infamous”in questo caso) doppie. Si tratta di doppie lettere come in LEGGERE (to read), per esempio che se non rispettate alcune volte possono portare a malintesi. Pensate alle parole: casa/cassa per esempio. Ma non spaventatevi perché basta conoscere il nemico per sconfiggerlo. Ecco perché il mio consiglio è di fare una ricerca sulle particolarità della lingua. Esplorate i dintorni prima di entrare nell’accampamento nemico. Saprete in anticipo quali armi utilizzare.

La prima, ve la dico subito, è la PAZIENZA.

Procedete a piccoli passi e non dedicate mai più di un’ora allo studio. I testi di lingua italiana tendono a essere molto prolissi e poco schematici e rischiano di annoiarvi e stancarvi.

Il mio consiglio è di isolare una frase e lavorarci su e ascoltare il più possibile per educare l’orecchio al suono. Non importata se non capite quello che si dice.

Il modo più piacevole e certamente più efficace per memorizzare un gran numero di vocaboli ed espressioni, è la MUSICA. Non vi accorgerete neppure che state imparando e il divertimento è assicurato.

La musica pop italiana è di facile ascolto (anche se la troverete certamente troppo melodica!). Nelle canzoni, si sa, le parole sono poche ma vengono ripetute fino alla noia e sono spesso le stesse.

In una famosa canzone di Umberto Tozzi, solo per citare un esempio, la parola TI AMO (I LOVE YOU) è ripetuta quasi 20 volte.

Cantautori( singers who write their own songs) come Claudio Baglioni, Francesco De Gregory, Adriano Celentano, sono molto famosi anche fuori dall’Italia e le loro canzoni sono facilmente comprensibili e anche grammaticalmente corrette.

La grammatica Italiana è complessa ma, anche in questo caso procedete a piccoli passi.

Evidenziate i due problemi fondamentali:

GENERI(genders) e CONIUGAZIONI VERBALI. Se conoscete il francese o una qualsiasi altra lingua romanza, non dovreste incontrare grossi problemi. Ma se questa è la vostra prima lingua, dovete dedicare tempo alla memorizzazione di coniugazioni verbali e parole accompagnate da ARTICOLO. Es: lA casA, Il casO. Imparare le nuove parole con l’articolo determinativo vi aiuterà a riconoscere il genere del nome. Cosa di vitale importanza se considerate che per la legge della CONCORDANZA tutto deve concordare, appunto… Non posso suggerirvi scappatoie in questo caso. Un aiuto prezioso è la lettura. Leggete libri e giornali italiani e se potete memorizzate intere frasi.

Grazie all’internet, potete avere accesso ad una miniera di materiale linguistico autentico. Consultate i siti dei quotidiani italiani più famosi, come La Repubblica, La Stampa, o le riviste di moda come Grazia, Donna Moderna. Per non parlare dei filmati e dei documentari che potrai trovare su You Tube.

Non mi resta che augurarvi Buon Viaggio e Buon divertimento!

Nel prossimo articolo vedremo quali sono gli errori più comuni per un anglofono che parla l’italiano e come fare per evitarli… Anche se, a mio parere è solo sbagliando che si impara, non vi pare?