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News

January 2014

Doña Lengua gives in-company professional English training for Axel Springer.

Doña Lengua gives in-company professional English training for Axel Springer

For many companies there is the possibility to organize courses for their employees through the Fundación Tripartita without cost and thus train their workers with the aim of meeting the new challenges of the internationalization of Spanish companies.

Unfortunately, many companies do not know yet that the opportunity to opt to subsidised professional English courses exists.

Doña Lengua teaches language courses for the multinational company Axel Springer that has chosen this option to guarantee their employee’s continual training and constantly enhance their skills within an international scope.

The training Doña Lengua Idiomas is focused towards business subjects: presentations, telephone calls and vocabulary specific to the sector.

Axel Springer is a good example of a company that gives great importance to quality in all aspects.

December 2013

We are a centre recommended by tusclasesparticulares.com

We are a centre recommended by tusclasesparticulares.com

Doña Lengua Languages has achieved being the recommended centre and has received the quality seal in one of the main training websites in Spain tusclasesparticulares.com as a recommended centre due to the high level of the services we provide regarding linguistic consultancy and training, our dedication to students and the business and internationalization oriented courses.

June 2013

Bilingualism scientifically speaking.

Bilingualism scientifically speaking

From Doña Lengua we would like to express our worries about the usage of some terms related to the acquisition of foreign languages in Spain.

The tendency we are seeing is the wrong use of the word “bilingual” both in schools and Curriculum Vitae.

In many occasions, when the term “bilingual school” is used, it refers to a school where classes are given in two languages, but that doesn’t mean that their teachers are native speakers.

We are also hearing on a daily basis many people saying, “I am bilingual in English”, but though they have a very high linguistic competence and a advanced level of fluency, that doesn’t mean they are bilingual, since scientifically speaking, a bilingual person is not a person that simply masters another language or that speaks two languages.

It is essential to take into account those differences between the natural acquisition of a language as a native and other language as a non-native. We must go from the following scientific bases:

• Whether learnt in class or in a natural environment, learning always depends on the conditions and ambient that affects it. As the conditions in one case or the other are different, results will also be different.

• For adults language learning will depend on other factors usually related to conscious processes whereas children do it unconsciously.

• Which is the critical period to be considered a native? Between 9 and 13 years old.

• Which are the scientific conditions to become bilingual? Bilingual people are people either raised from childhood in a bilingual domestic environment (Composed bilinguals) or people that spoke at home in L1 and in L2 outside the house (For example, people whose family moved abroad). If the child is exposed to two different languages from his birth, or from a very early age until puberty, in a continuous way (Coordinated bilinguals).

However, if a person is not native but has a very high linguistic competence (C2, top approximation to a native speaker regarding the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), he will not have trouble when it comes to working in the targeted language as long as he knows the specific vocabulary of the operational area.

Curiously there are many people that not being native in a language use the vocabulary in their professional field better than a native who does not work in the same field, which indicates the existence of professional jargon or sociolinguistics.

February 2013

The Doña Lengua Languages and Sobarte Theatre collaboration

Christopher Columbus through the eyes of the children from St. Petersburg

The Doña Lengua Languages and Sobarte Theatre collaboration presents a new and innovative approach to language learning.

Sobarte is a cultural project designed for all types of artists, be they children or adults. This theatre company provides an environment where everyone can put forward ideas, create, develop and exhibit their creative works. The project is created and designed by Sandra Piñon. The Sobarte Theatre offers groups a chance to link music, painting, photography and dance with their language studies. Each member of the group will develop their own individual work focused on a common theme and on exhibition they will unite to create a play that incorporates all artistic mediums, including the art of learning and teaching languages.

In collaboration with the Doña Lengua academy of languages and the residential culture complex of Fray Luis de León, the Sobarte Theatre creates a unique space for children and adults alike where they can acquire communicative strategies allowing them to express themselves in foreign languages using a playful methodology. Nothing to fill the gaps, no boring manuals and no fear while talking, simply just acquiring a new language within a linguistic immersion program through movement, expression and vocabulary used in real life contexts.

It’s a unique experience that allows us to combine leisure and language learning! The native speaking entertainers will help you to launch yourself into English, Spanish as a foreign language, German, French, Italian and Portuguese.

April 2012

Christopher Columbus through the eyes of the children from St. Petersburg

Christopher Columbus through the eyes of the children from St. Petersburg

The two poles of Europe unite in Doña Lengua again to build a direct bridge between St. Petersburg and Madrid within the project, Learning to communicate with the whole world. Doña Lengua, as the organisers of the linguistic immersion course, carried out a variety of recreational bilingual activities to prepare a next generation of translators from childhood. The main theme of the play that will be premiered at the school in St. Petersburg, as a final part of the collaborative project produced in Madrid, focuses on Chrisopher Columbus through the eyes of children, a work put together by the Doña Lengua team and poetry based on this enigmatic and historical figure.

Montfort school opened its doors again to give presentations about Spanish and Russian traditions, and of course, for the children to play football in an international team composed of Spanish and Russian players. As part of the linguistic immersion program at Doña Lengua, the children undertook photography and art competitions based on their impressions of this trip to Madrid.

March 2012

Language immersion in Madrid

Language immersion in Madrid

Doña Lengua welcomes back the children from St. Petersburg, thanks to the collaborative project with schools focused on Spanish learning in St. Petersburg. The project, “Learning to communicate with the whole world,” utilizes drama and theatre to teach Spanish in a fun and effective way. During their stay, the children participated in various linguistic immersion activities focused on Spanish history and the history of Madrid, thanks to a script specifically written for a children’s play about the Madrid metro and the hidden clues found in the names of its stations: Quevedo, Colón, Antonio Machado, Velazquez, Goya, among others. The play performed by the children was developed within this project by the team at Doña Lengua to encourage learning by using role-play techniques. The children visited Madrid and its surroundings, while taking advantage of their stay in Spain to undertake recreational activities in Madrid’s museums. In collaboration with Doña Lengua, the school “Montfort” received the children from St. Petersburg to give presentations in Spanish about Madrid and St. Petersburg.

October 15 – 30, 2011

Doña Lengua welcomes students and teachers from the Spanish school of St. Petersburg

Doña Lengua welcomes students and teachers from the Spanish school of St. Petersburg

Doña Lengua opened its doors to a group of children and teachers who came to visit Madrid from the Spanish school of St. Petersburg. They took advantage of their stay to learn Spanish in a fun and enjoyable way, thanks to the program ran by actress and teacher, Sandra Piñon. Everyone participated in the daylong activity, “Madrid: language, culture and communication,” within the framework of the project, “Learn to communicate with the whole world.”

During these two weeks, the children from the Spanish school of St. Petersburg took part in many cultural activities: workshops in museums, guided tours and sports games. Moreover, a training course in Spanish as a foreign language was carried out at the Doña Lengua academy, via the playful methodology based on Lozanov’s suggestopedia. Sandra Piñon, Spanish teacher and a professional expert in using this methodology in a theatrical environment, taught the children to act and perform, while speaking in Spanish, and to express themselves through a non-verbal medium. In the end, the children presented a play in Spanish based on “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This play will be presented again by the bilingual Russian-Spanish school N 43 in St. Petersburg in the following month of December.

October 5, 2011

Seminar - “Opening the box of surprises”

Seminar - Opening the box of surprises

We had the pleasure to introduce a project that erases boundaries and opens up new horizons to the whole world through the communication between foreign languages.

This event was principally dedicated to those who are interested in and want to learn languages. The discussion was mostly focused on the following topics:

What does it mean to receive quality classes?
Why learn languages in the modern world?
What are the strategies needed to learn for a specific context?
What does the formula, LANGUAGE + CONTEXT = COMMUNICATION, mean?
What does the Common European Framework of Reference for languages tell us?
What purpose does it serve to tailor educational materials to suit the student’s individual needs?
What is the aim of designing tailor-made courses for specific needs?

All of these questions induced an intense debate between students, translators and teachers, all from various educational backgrounds. The debate was complemented by a comparison relating language learning to music, led by the musician and pianist, Pedro Manuel Oliver Fernández. The debate brought us to the conclusion that: “Learning, in any area of the humanities, can be attributed to three aspects: feeling, interaction and perception.”

September 28, 2011

Celebrating Doña Lengua Academy of Languages and Translations’ official opening.

Celebrating Academia Doña Lengua: Academy of Languages and Translations official opening. After many months of preparation, we finally had the pleasure to invite our friends, collaborators and sponsors to participate in the official launch of the academy, and to share in a superb talk from our supporter, Pilar Gómez-Acebo (the President of the Spanish Federation of Women Managers and Entrepreneurs). Following the presentation, all members involved this business project, along with our guests, were treated to a tasting of fine Spanish wine, courtesy of Tera y Castro, S.L.

On this day, all members from the Doña Lengua team joined in a toast to celebrate all their efforts that have brought us to this moment. Invited friends, former students, faculty and staff were all here to share in this important moment together.

The members of board of directors, which include the Managing Director, Pablo González Alonso-Buenaposada and the Academic Advisor, Tatiana Eman, gave a talk on the philosophy behind Doña Lengua and highlighted the keys to success in foreign language learning. They discussed the motivation that develops within the classroom and the learning process itself, based on three simple principles: the individual, the culture of the language being learned, and the importance of offering a diverse selection of educational materials focused on specific day-to-day situations and contexts.

Finally, Pilar Gómez-Acebo went on to talk to us about how individuals hold enormous potential when acting within the business environment. All attendees participated in the discussion, exchanging their opinions on the existing economic crisis in the business world and how it affects the education sector. In the end, the general consensus was that learning and education needs to be coupled with personal and professional development.

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