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english

Dogs Don’t Speak English

Ashley sitting in a chair with a light gray blanket over her legs. She is leaning over to give a pointy-eared merle dog a kiss

By Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Ashley Nunnelly

Wouldn’t it be nice if they did? If I found a magic lamp, one of my three wishes would be to be able to talk to my dogs. Even if it was for only 10 minutes. I would explain a few things:

  • It’s for your own good that I am cutting your nails, I promise! If you sit still, it will be easier for both of us.
  • I put the blankets on the couch over your favorite lying down spots for a reason. Would you kindly choose to aim for them when you lie down on the couch to catch all of your hair instead of lying directly beside them?
  • I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, and being with you makes me happy.

I haven’t found a magic lamp yet, so in the meantime I will continue to shape my skills at communicating with my dogs without English. How do I do this? Let’s talk training!

We’ll start with the basics.

All organisms do what works. Behavior serves a function.

Ashley's back is to the camera. There is a golden retriever puppy peeking over her shoulder, looking at the camera. Ashley has her head turned toward the puppy.What does this mean? Think about the things that you do throughout your day. Last night you probably set an alarm. Why? You have been rewarded for waking up on time to go to work—perhaps by feeling calm while getting ready in the morning or by being praised in your employee review for always being punctual. Or perhaps you have been punished by your boss having a talk with you about being late for the third time in a row.

You do what works. You set that alarm. You’re hungry, so you make breakfast. You filled your gas tank yesterday, so you got to work right on time—smooth sailing. Think about every tiny choice you make throughout the day. Most likely there is some sort of an outcome for you that makes you happy or serves some sort of function.

Here is what to know about a behavior and the function that it serves:

Antecedent Behavior  Consequence

Let me explain.

Antecedent: This is what prompts a behavior to happen. Example: my stomach growls.

Behavior: This is what the learner (we’re ALWAYS learning) does. Example: I say “Tom, [my boyfriend] I’m hungry.”

Consequence: Consequence has a negative connotation, but let me assure you that in this context, it just means something happens! That thing could be good or bad. In my example’s case: Tom replies, “Well, what are you hungry for?” Then he suggests a few options.

Ashley stands in an airport seating area with a man standing next to her. He is holding up a black lab in Leader Dog harness. The dog is giving Ashley a kiss.In this example, I received a positive outcome. My partner helped me decide what to eat and suggested his willingness to help find food. But think about it—maybe Tom’s behavior is driven by previous experience too. He has learned in the past that I am happy when he responds in this manner, and he has learned that he has a finite amount of time before I get truly “hangry” and the consequences of his choice of response turn unpleasant (if you’re reading this, Tom, I am sorry and I love you!).

All behaviors serve a function to determine what the consequence of the behavior is. And we, as trainers, partners, pet owners and parents, have the ability to manipulate both the antecedent and the consequence—therefore changing the learner’s behavior.

Science has shown that by far, positive reinforcement changes behavior the fastest and with the most permanent outcomes. Why? Because learners do what works for them! If the outcome for me opening the freezer is receiving chocolate gelato, by George, I’m going to do it a lot.

So, think about all the things I listed above that I want to tell my dogs.

  • Sit still for your nails and it won’t be so bad! – How can I change this? Is making my dog stay still earning him a really fantastic “consequence”? I’m going to start slow and give him a positive consequence each time. Elliott (my dog) lets me touch his paw—he gets a piece of hot dog. Elliott lets me close my hand around his paw—hot dog. Elliott lets me lift his paw—hot dog. Elliott lets me hold the clippers near his lifted up paw—hot dog. Elliott lets me clip a nail while holding clippers with his lifted paw—HOT DOG! Every step of the process into clipping the nail, I told my learner, “This WORKS for you!” He doesn’t understand that I may accidentally cut too short if he squirms. He just knows that squirming gets him away faster. But I can manipulate the behavior by manipulating the consequence and teach him to be happy to give me his paw—because he’s going to earn himself a hot dog!
  • Aim for the blanket when you jump on the couch. – There are a lot of ways I can approach this point. My first choice would be to use a clicker to capture and reinforce the behavior “aim for blanket” (I’ll be talking about clicker training in a future post!). Another thing that I could do is make sure that his attempts to aim for the blanket are reinforced. How? Cuddles happen when you’re on the blanket. Treats happen when you’re on the blanket. Pets and praise happen when you’re on the blanket. Sure, you are still comfortable and happy on the couch if you are off the blanket. But if you are on the blanket, even BETTER things happen! So why would you not aim for that jackpot every time?
  • I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, and being with you makes me happy. – They know. And I know they know. I know this because when I am doing a training session with my dogs and I have been carefully choosing which behavior to reinforce, they have played my silly human game. They played with me to guess which tiny movement they did this time earned them that treat. When we have a breakthrough and I smile at them and laugh and cheer, in response they wag their tail and do a doggie smile and squint their eyes at me. I know that the two of us are playing and enjoying the learning together! How silly is it that we humans like it when they put their butt on the ground after we make the weird, human sound “sit”? “Okay, my nice human. Whatever makes you happy, weirdo.” Consequence of doing what I say=treat! Or praise or a belly rub where we two are just enjoying each other’s company.

Ashley appears to be sitting on a gray carpeted floor, speaking to a yellow lab in Leader Dog harness. The dog's tongue is hanging out and its tail is blurry from wagging.I work hard with my home dogs (spoiled rotten) and my work dogs (Leader Dogs in training) to make all training a game. I want to see my dogs WANT to do what they are doing. I accomplish this by making the behavior that I want have a positive consequence for my dogs. I make sure that the “good” (I say good in quotes because the human definition of good varies greatly from if your genie asked a dog what their definition was) behaviors have really positive outcomes! Food, play, cuddles just how they want it; whatever the motivating consequence that drives that learner is, I make it happen.

Behavior—what ALL of us organisms do, whether person or dog—is always a choice.

And do you know what job is completely full of choices? Being a Leader Dog. Those dogs make hundreds to thousands of choices every day.

For the next step in creating those choices, check back for my next blog!

Cover photo by Andrea Beltran

“Dear Ashley:”

Have a question for Ashley? Ask her! Ashley will answer your questions in upcoming posts, so tell her what you’d like to know.

  • We won’t show your full name in any posts.







  • We’ll let you know when Ashley’s post with answered questions is up!

The post Dogs Don’t Speak English appeared first on Leader Dogs for the Blind.

This content was originally published here.

Categories
english

Ministry of Education Mandate to Learn English in Universities and Colleges in Peru is Driving Growth for Lingo Media | Lingo Media – changing the way the world learns english

LM aug 19
aug 19 2Peru is the third largest country in South America, rich in mineral resources and now with a renewed focus on education to revive an economy that has been vulnerable for the last decade. According to a whitepaper published in July 2014 by the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Peru, amongst other initiatives, teaching a foreign language, preferably English, is no longer optional, but a mandatory requirement for undergraduate students for a minimum duration of 5 years.

According to the British Council of Education Intelligence, President Ollanta Humala announced that bilingual education was a priority and set the goal of achieving bilingualism, with English as the priority language by 2021. Funding has been allocated to meet this goal with initial aims of English language reform to include more resources, increasing English lesson time at the higher education levels and prioritizing teacher training and professional development through online and face-to-face training. Additionally, in order to create a bilingual nation more resources have been marshaled for both student learning and teacher training. In 2016 alone, the goal is to equip 280,000 teachers with dual language skills.

Ultimately, growth in the amount of Peruvians that can speak English will improve employment. For example, foreign investors are showing increasing interest in Peru’s mineral wealth. The countries ability to boost English levels reflects its goal of expanding and globalizing the economy further.

Lingo Media’s ELL Technologies’ virtual English-language teaching platform is currently being deployed to students in the Universidad de San Martin de Porres and CERTUS, a leading educational Institution in Peru.  The Universidad de San Martin has over 20,000 students over two main campuses in Lima and Chiclayo, Peru. The software platform has the ability to monitor and manage the progress of the student, assign activities, train pronunciation and the general spoken skills, interact with users, and save the information. This initiative is aimed to contribute to the digital transformation of English language learning in Peru.

Through Lingo Media’s distribution agreement with Telefónica Educación Digital, its English language learning portfolio of products is assertively being promoted and delivered to universities, colleges and vocational schools in Peru.  Gali Bar-Ziv, COO of Lingo Media, commented on Telefonica and its recent contract with CERTUS, “Our partnership with Telefónica in Peru is based on their commitment to promoting and advancing the digital transformation of education in Peru. This contract is a resounding example of what this partnership can achieve and it is a strong endorsement of our software, to be adopted by CERTUS, a leader in Peru’s education sector.”

There are more than 80 Universities in Peru with over 500,000 students of which 18 were listed in the top 300 in Latin America. Furthermore, in all of Latin America there are approximately 1,300 Universities, creating immense opportunity for growth for Lingo Media as it deploys its software and helps ‘Change the Way the World Learns English’.

This content was originally published here.

Categories
english

Assemblywoman Joyner passes major housing legislation for those who speak English as a second language

Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner has won passage of state legislation that will enhance access to New York City’s housing for those with limited English language skills.

This measure is particularly important as New York’s housing courts are reopening and many tenants face the possibility of eviction.

Titled the Housing Court Equity Act of 2020, it will level the playing field for tenants who are more comfortable using languages other than English.

“The use of English-only documents in our city’s housing courts has proven to be a barrier for a growing number of New Yorkers and often leads to landlords having the upper hand as tenants have the deck stacked against them,” Assemblywoman Joyner said. “The result has left many tenants facing an uphill battle as they strive to keep their homes and avoid the tragedy of homelessness. Unscrupulous landlords exploit circumstances as tenants struggle to understand documents that are written in a language that they may not fully understand — and the dire consequences impact far too many families throughout our city.”

The bill requires that key housing court documents not just be provided to tenants in English, but in Spanish and the six other most common languages in New York City. Litigants in housing court will also be advised that they have the right to have all court proceedings and any settlements interpreted for them orally so they can understand a settlement before agreeing to it.

“Landlords have been able to exploit the fact that an increasing number of tenants have limited English language skills and that’s truly troubling in a city that’s home to so many immigrants from all over the world,” Joyner said. “A majority of residents in my Bronx community speak Spanish or have families that immigrated from the African continent where English is not commonly spoken. We need to ensure that they’re able to fully exercise their rights in housing court and don’t face undue barriers.”

Joyner added, “My district is not alone with statistics showing that there are 5.5 million New Yorkers who are not-native English speakers and 2.5 million New Yorkers with limited English proficiency,” she continued. “As a result, millions of New Yorkers are finding that the scales of justice are tilted against them each and every day. The Housing Court Equity Act of 2020 levels the playing field and balances the scales of justice for many New Yorkers faced with language barriers.”

The bill has has passed both houses of the state legislature and will be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signature later this year.

This content was originally published here.

Categories
spanish

Learn Spanish with Fairy Tales! 6 Enchanting Stories to Read and Watch Online

Let’s be totally honest here: Everyone loves fairy tales. Am I right?

We all have a super soft spot for the stories we learned as children. They’re engaging, enchanting and full of excitement.

Filled with castles, creatures, heroic adventures and all the stuff that dreams are made of, fairy tales are just plain fun!

If something is fun, we naturally feel extra enthusiasm for it.

Enthusiasm encourages regular usage. Think about it: If you like something you want to experience more of it, right?

In this case, going heavy on using Spanish fairy tales in a language learning program leads to increased fluency. It’s a logical assumption that the more we practice, the faster we’ll get proficient.

Bringing Spanish fairy tales into your program is a win-win—not to mention a wonderfully entertaining way to boost your Spanish skills.

Let’s check some out!
 

How Spanish Fairy Tales Help Language Learners

Fairy tales are geared toward children so in any language, they utilize pretty basic vocabulary and sentence structure. For Spanish learners, that’s a plus because simple words and phrases build a solid foundational vocabulary.

The stories are short so they require a minimal time investment to read. They’re perfect for grabbing a small slice of Spanish learning when you’re on a tight schedule.

Since fairy tales originate from across the globe they’re often glimpses into different cultures. The cultural information encourages children to be aware of other global experiences—and it’s a great reminder of that fact for adults, too. Extra bonus? Fairy tales end with a happily-ever-after so they’re uplifting!

How to Use Fairy Tales to Learn Spanish

It’s not difficult to incorporate Spanish fairy tales into your learning program. To start, pick one or two that appeal to you and channel your inner child.

On a basic level, fairy tales are great for working your Spanish reading comprehension skills. But that’s not all!

You can use Spanish fairy tales to widen your vocabulary. While reading, compile vocabulary lists, create a customized flashcard set or jot down interesting or peculiar expressions. Remember, fairy tale lingo often includes dragons, rescues and other fabulous topics!

You can listen to audio versions of Spanish fairy tales to gain extra listening practice. Again, it’s a great idea to note interesting words and phrases.

Finally, Spanish fairy tales can also be used to power up speaking skills. Use audio or video to model pronunciation—and remember, it’s beneficial to hit pause and replay a passage if you need to hear it again.

When you’re feeling confident, try reading aloud to gain both reading and speaking practice!

6 Enchanting Spanish Fairy Tales to Read and Watch Online

Había una vez una chica llamada Rapunzel. Vivía en una alta torre en el bosque.
(There was once a girl named Rapunzel. She lived in a tall tower in the forest.)

The captive Rapunzel with her long braided hair is a fantastic story for Spanish learners to pull into their language programs. It has everything fairy tale lovers look for: authentic characters, an interesting premise and even a witch!

This version offers both Spanish and English translations which are set up for optimal learning. The Spanish is presented in tidy, manageable blocks. It’s beneficial to attempt to read these without clicking the link to bring up the English translation. Often, we know more than we think we do, so give it a go reading in Spanish!

Audio and video versions are also available. Accessing those options requires purchasing a subscription to the service. Or, you can watch this free Spanish version on YouTube. Watch and see if you can note any differences between the two versions.

Whether you read or listen, “Rapunzel” is great for learning the construction and usage of Spanish commands. That’s excellent information to learn—even if you’re not planning on telling someone to toss down their braid for climbing purposes!

“Cenicienta” (“Cinderella”) is a sweet tale that’ll make any Spanish language learner smile. It’s the story most of us heard as children, but this version features lovable animated characters. Here, even the mean stepsisters are almost likable!

The version of Cinderella we’ve linked to is especially good for language practice, since it’s hosted on FluentU.

In other words, FluentU teaches you Spanish by showing you authentic content made by and for native speakers. FluentU videos enhance any Spanish learning program by introducing carefully curated content that make learning fast, fun and successful.

A fabulous aspect of using a FluentU video is the interactive caption feature. It helps ensure that nothing is missed—and that’s a valuable asset when you’re watching something especially fun—like “Cinderella.” If you find yourself at a point where you’re unfamiliar with vocabulary, don’t fret. Just click on the words or phrases that are new to you to get immediate in-context definitions!

This particular fairy tale is a solid resource for core vocabulary. From a life of drudgery to dancing in a castle, the characters use so many useful words and phrases that are worth noting!

This classic tale about three billy goats and an especially gruff troll is a fun read in any language. But honestly, it seems to come alive in Spanish! I heard this story in Spanish before English, and I’ve always preferred the Spanish version.

The version linked to above offers two translations, when relevant. It includes the literal translation as well as a more contextual translation, which is a neat way to see how languages differ.

A prime example of the usefulness of a literal translation is seen every time the grouchy troll yells from beneath the bridge:

 “¿Quién está ahí arriba? ¿Quién está haciendo taca-taca sobre mi puente?”

(“Who’s up there? Who’s clip-clopping over my bridge?”)

This translation sounds more natural in English, but it’s not literally what the troll says:

 “¿Quién está ahí arriba? ¿Quién está haciendo taca-taca sobre mi puente?”

(“Who’s up there? Who’s making clip-clop over my bridge?”)

Here learners see how the Spanish language works with regard to vocabulary usage.

The audio version of this fairy tale is also available on the site.

This charming video presents a well-known fairy tale in Spanish with English subtitles. The sentences are short which makes this an excellent choice for a beginning learner program.

The vocabulary used in this tale is very basic so this is a solid resource for learning a core vocabulary. Additionally, the vocabulary covers colors so watching this fairy tale is an easy method for learning those crucial words!

“Érase una vez que había una mamá cerda que tenía tres cerditos…”
(Once upon a time there was a mama pig who had three little pigs…)

Any story that begins with “once upon a time” just makes most of us smile, regardless of the language that it’s being told in. But this version of the popular fairy tale is especially endearing.

The story is told in Spanish with an English translation. The illustrations are colorful and vividly bring this tale to life.

There’s an audio version that’s available, so after you read the story, feel free to listen to it—or vice versa. I read and listened, and enjoyed both options.

One of the biggest values of this particular tale is that this version has a twist at the end. If you think you know how the fairy tale ends you might be surprised. This twist gives learners the opportunity to read for comprehension and perhaps be challenged to discern what exactly happens to the wolf in this story!

This presentation of “Hansel and Gretel” is geared toward more advanced learners. The language is a bit more complex than some of the others mentioned here. Additionally, the sentence structure isn’t short and simple throughout the tale.

Another point that makes this a bit more challenging for learners is that the English translation isn’t on the same page as the Spanish fairy tale. This encourages learners to stretch a bit, and perhaps spend some time translating passages on their own without relying on the English translation.

Both the full English translation and the Spanish version are sure to please Spanish language learners—and remind them that sometimes those we meet in a dark, shadowy forest aren’t who they pretend to be!

Adding fairy tales in Spanish to any Spanish language program instantly increases the fun factor of learning!

Diving into these beloved bits of popular literature increases reading skills. But it also gives learners the opportunity to grow their vocabulary, practice speaking by reading out loud and add fluency on every level.

Spanish fairy tales invite learners to curl up, relax, read or listen—and learn while having fun!
 

If you liked this post, something tells me that you’ll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.

This content was originally published here.

Categories
english

Conservative talk radio host fired for demanding workers speak English

The Independent employs reporters around the world to bring you truly independent journalism. To support us, please consider a contribution.

A conservative radio show host lost her job after she filmed herself telling landscapers to speak English.

Dianna Ploss, a supporter of Donald Trump and conservative talk radio host in New Hampshire, filmed herself berating a man for speaking Spanish while he was working.

Ms Ploss was on the way to her radio station when she overheard a landscaper speaking Spanish. She began filming herself and started harassing the workers.

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Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

“It’s America. You should be speaking English,” Ms Ploss said. “Is anybody here illegal? Are these guys illegal?”

She continued to berate the workers, and claimed the local government was engaged in “communism”.

“Your tax dollars up here in New Hampshire, that’s what’s going on here,” Ms Ploss said. “So now they have people who don’t speak English who are putting in this stuff that taxpayers are paying for and look what they’re doing. This is communism.”

At one point during the video, a man stops to ask Ms Ploss why she’s harassing the workers. Ms Ploss calls him a “social justice warrior” for wearing a face mask and directs her response towards her viewers.

“He’s a black man, and he’s going to protect the brown man from this white woman who’s practising white privilege because she happened to walk by and heard this guy talking to all of these guys doing this work in Spanish,” she said.

The broadcasting company Ms Ploss worked for issued a statement on Sunday announcing she was no longer associated with the company.

“Dianna Ploss is no longer associated or affiliated in any way with WSMN or Bartis-Russell Broadcasting, LLC. We at WSMN value freedom of speech, freedom of expression and assembly.

“We will not tolerate discrimination, racism or hatred. We continue to present and offer on-air opportunities for discussion, education and the exchange of opinions and ideas,” the statement said.

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Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak speaks to the media after he was found guilty in his corruption trial in Kuala Lumpur

2/50 27 July 2020

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un poses for a photograph after conferring commemorative pistols to leading commanding officers of the armed forces on the 67th anniversary of the “Day of Victory in the Great Fatherland Liberation War”. Which marks the signing of the Korean War armistice

3/50 26 July 2020

Federal officers launch tear gas at a group of demonstrators during a Black Lives Matter protest outside the Portland Courthouse

4/50 25 July 2020

Rescue forces in action after an ultralight aircraft crashed into a house in Wesel, Germany

5/50 24 July 2020

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan (C) and invited guests attending Friday prayers at Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque during the official opening ceremony of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

6/50 23 July 2020

Federal officers arrest a protester after she crossed a fence line set up around the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland, Oregon. State and city elected officials have called for the federal officers to leave Portland as clashes between protesters and federal police continue to escalate

7/50 22 July 2020

Fire burns near the village of Galataki as authorities evacuate the place near Corinth, Greece. More than 250 firefighters, backed by water-dropping aircraft, were struggling Wednesday to contain a large wildfire fanned by strong winds that has forced the evacuation of five settlements in southern Greece

8/50 21 July 2020

A Black Lives Matter protester carries an American flag as teargas fills the air outside the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse in Portland, Oregon

9/50 20 July 2020

A trader decorates a camel with Henna at a cattle market set up for the upcoming Muslim festival Eid al-Adha also called “Festival of the Sacrifice”, in Rawalpindi

10/50 19 July 2020

The Milky Way galaxy is seen in the sky above the International Car Forest of the Last Church in Goldfield, Nevada. The roadside attraction, created in 2002 by Mark Rippie, has over 36 automobiles including cars, trucks, vans and buses that have been balanced on their ends or stacked on top one of another

11/50 18 July 2020

Revellers take part in the annual Gay Pride parade, also called Christopher Street Day in Frankfurt

12/50 17 July 2020

Airplanes of the Scandinavian Airshow draw a heart in the sky, above the Turning Torso building in Malmo, Sweden

13/50 16 July 2020

Farmers protest outside the Indonesian Parliament against the cancellation of an ‘omnibus bill’ that aims to revise dozens of existing laws to ease the way for investment in Southeast Asia’s largest economy in Jakarta

14/50 15 July 2020

Flooding in Sunamganj. Almost four million people have been hit by monsoon floods in South Asia, with a third of Bangladesh already underwater from some of the heaviest rains in a decade

15/50 14 July 2020

Second Republican infantry guard regiment take part in the annual Bastille Day military ceremony on the Place de la Concorde in Paris

16/50 13 July 2020

A man walks his dog through thick sea foam blowing ashore during a storm in Seapoint, Cape Town, South Africa

17/50 12 July 2020

Security forces on the outskirts of Amritsar take part in Van Mahotsav, an annual tree-planting festival in India

18/50 11 July 2020

People covered with coloured powder enjoy music during the Holi festival in Minsk, Belarus

19/50 10 July 2020

A demonstrator during clashes following the funeral of 29-year-old Palestinian Ibrahim Abou Yacoub, who was killed by Israeli forces, in the village of Kifl Hares, south of the West Bank city of Nablus

20/50 9 July 2020

The sun rises in Timmendorfer Strand, northern Germany

21/50 8 July 2020

Portraits of healthcare workers are pasted on the Opera Bastille, designed by Anne-Christine Poujoulat, to pay tribute to caregivers during the Covid-19 pandemic in Paris

22/50 7 July 2020

Tengger tribe people make their way to the summit of Mount Bromo volcano to make offerings in Probolinggo, as part of the Yadnya Kasada Festival. The Tenggerese climb the active volcano to seek the blessing from the main deity by presenting offerings of rice, fruit, livestock and other items

23/50 6 July 2020

A healthcare worker checks the temperature of residents during a check-up campaign in Mumbai, India

24/50 5 July 2020

People wearing protective face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus sit at a bus stop in the city of Zanjan, Iran

25/50 4 July 2020

Protesters blocking an exit to the precinct of the officers who arrested Elijah McClain, cover their ears anticipating the use of flash-bang grenades by police in Aurora, Colorado

26/50 3 July 2020

A member of the Israeli border police jumps during a Palestinian protest against Israel’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank, in Kafr Qaddum near Nablus

27/50 2 July 2020

A surfer jumps clear of his board while enjoying winter waves at New Brighton Beach in Christchurch, New Zealand

28/50 1 July 2020

A man is detained by riot police during a demonstration in Hong Kong. China imposed a new national security law which has faced international condemnation

29/50 30 June 2020

A man smokes a pipe while wearing a face mask during a demonstration in Nantes, as part of a nationwide day of protests to demand better working conditions for health workers in France

30/50 29 June 2020

Lawmakers from Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party scuffle with people from the main opposition Kuomintang party, who have been occupying the Legislature Yuan, in Taipei

31/50 28 June 2020

Protester holds crosses during a demonstration in honour of the victims of coronavirus in front of Brazil’s National Congress

32/50 27 June 2020

A demonstrator wearing a face mask holds a sign during a protest against police brutality and racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, at the Victory column in Berlin

33/50 26 June 2020

Hygienists inside a decontamination area in a coronavirus treatment centre that cares for positive patients that show little or no symptoms in Dakar

34/50 25 June 2020

A seagull snatches a croissant from a buffet during a press conference at the headquarters of AP Moeller – Maersk in Copenhagen, Denmark

35/50 24 June 2020

A volunteer receives an injection from a medical worker during the country’s first human clinical trial for a potential vaccine against coronavirus, at the Baragwanath hospital in Soweto, South Africa

36/50 23 June 2020

Swiss acrobat Ramon Kathriner performs during the “Glacier 3000” Air show, an event marking the reopening of the Alpine facilities above Les Diablerets

37/50 22 June 2020

A worker cleans volcanic ash off the stupas at the Borobudur temple in Indonesia, a day after Mount Merapi erupted in nearby Sleman, sending a plume of ash into the sky

38/50 21 June 2020

Aerial view of a burial at the Vila Formosa cemetery during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on June 21, 2020. – The novel coronavirus has killed at least 464,423 people worldwide since the outbreak began in China last December, being Brazil Latin America’s worsthit country with 49,976 deaths from 1,067,579 cases.

39/50 20 June 2020

National Guards form a line in front of “Black Lives Matter” protestors in Tulsa, Oklahoma where Donald Trump was holding a campaign rally

40/50 19 June 2020

Nurses, doctors, midwives and health care workers attend the fourth Zumba dance session organised by the Nursing Council of Kenya at Kenyatta stadium where screening booths and an isolation field hospital have been installed. The dance sessions have been organised to re-energise and uplift health care providers sprits during this pandemic

41/50 18 June 2020

Alpha jets from the French Air Force Patrouille de France and the Royal Air Force Red Arrows perform a flypast over the statue of Charles de Gaulle on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris to celebrate the 80th anniversary of wartime leader’s appeal to the French people to resist the Nazi occupation, broadcast from London

42/50 17 June 2020

Activists from the Extinction Rebellion movement block a street outside the German Automobile industry association during a protest in Berlin

43/50 16 June 2020

Barbers wearing protective suits and face masks inside a salon in Dhaka, Bangladesh

44/50 15 June 2020

Siegfried White raises his hand as he protests outside a burned Wendy’s restaurant on the third day following Rayshard Brooks death. The black man was shot by police in the car park in Atlanta. The mayor ordered immediate police reforms on Monday after the fatal shooting by a white officer

45/50 14 June 2020

People take part in a Black Lives Matter protest march in central Tokyo

46/50 13 June 2020

Protesters raise their fists during a demonstration against police brutality and racism in Paris, France. The march was organised by supporters of Assa Traore, whose brother Adama died in police custody in 2016, in circumstances that remain unclear

47/50 12 June 2020

A pro-democracy supporter shouts at riot police during an anti-national security law rally in Mongkok district in Hong Kong, China. Protesters heeded online calls to gather as the city marks the one-year anniversary of the major clashes between police and pro-democracy demonstrators over the controversial extradition bill

48/50 11 June 2020

A section of the River Spree next to the Reichstag building coloured green by activists from “Extinction Rebellion” to protest the German government’s coal policies in Berlin

49/50 10 June 2020

A woman poses in front of a decapitated statue of Christopher Columbus at Christopher Columbus Park in Boston Massachusetts. The statue’s head, damaged overnight, was recovered by the Boston Police Department, as a movement to remove statues commemorating slavers and colonisers continues to sweep across the US

50/50 9 June 2020

Ivy McGregor, left, reads a resolution during the funeral for George Floyd at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston. George Floyd is being laid to rest in his hometown, the culmination of a long farewell to the 46-year-old African American whose death in custody ignited global protests against police brutality and racism

Ms Ploss recorded a new harangue after losing her job. In the footage captured on Monday, she stood in front of a cardboard cut-out of Mr Trump and a poster that read “MA 4 Trump 2020” while she made ominous promises and referred to herself in the third-person.

“You have not silenced Dianna Ploss. I am not going away,” Ms Ploss said. “Patriots, we have a country to save.” The radio host lamented the “commies” and “leftists” who were trying to “shut us down” and “destroy our country” during her response.

She tried to paint her situation as ridiculous and cast herself as the victim of leftist mob mentality gone mad.

“So, if you want people in America to speak English, that makes you a racist,” she said, apparently incredulous.

The men harassed by Ms Ploss posted a statement on their company’s Facebook page thanking the community for supporting them after the video was shared widely online.

“The numerous phone calls, social posts, emails, voice messages and overall kind words are extremely encouraging and heartfelt,” Tom Morin, the owner of the landscaping company, wrote. “I believe that we can all take immense pride in how quickly the community rallied to demonstrate that this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

This content was originally published here.

Categories
spanish

Which Countries In Africa Speak Spanish? (Actually, Only Equatorial Guinea)

With 480 million native speakers, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world.

The primary reason for this is of course Spain’s history as a colonial empire which spread the Spanish language to 19 countries in the Americas in the 15th-18th centuries.

But what about Africa, you might ask? The African continent, like the Americas, has been severely influenced by European colonial powers during the last few centuries, but unlike the Americas, Africa is much more known for its Portuguese, French, Dutch and English-speaking former colonies.

So aren’t there any Spanish-speaking countries in Africa?

In Africa, only one country has Spanish as an official language. That country is Equatorial Guinea, where around 68% of the population of 1,3 million people speak Equatoguinean Spanish as their mother tongue, and while Portuguese and French are co-official languages in the country, these are much less current. One reason for the Spanish language’s limited presence in Africa might be that “the scramble for Africa“, when most African territories were claimed by European powers, took place in the 19th century, when the Spanish Empire was on a steep decline.

Equatorial Guinea is a West-African country bordered by Cameroon to the North and Gabon to the South and East and with the coast of the Atlantic Ocean to the West, where the island of Bioko is located to the North of the coast of Cameroon.

How Spanish Came To Be Spoken In Equatorial Guinea

The first time European came into contact with what is now Equatorial Guinea was in 1472, when the Portuguese explorer, Fernando Pó, arrived at the Island of Bioko. The island was in turn attempted colonized by the Portuguese, but for several centuries with very little success.

in 1778, the Portuguese queen signed the island over to Spain in what is known as the treaty of El Pardo. After a failed expedition to take hold of the new colony, the Spanish only hesitantly took hold of the new colony, which they mainly used for hunting slaves.

With the Spanish abolishment of Slavery in 1817, the island became less valuable to the Spanish and it ended up being used mostly for plantations. The efforts to establish plantations were set back numerous times due to epidemics and diseases which killed many of the Spanish settlers, and for a time, the Island was mainly populated by freed slaves, African immigrants, Cubans, Filipinos as well as Jews, Catalans and and a few Spaniards – many of the latter groups being deported criminals.

It’s not impossible that the different ethnic and linguistic groups have left a footprint in the dialect of Spanish spoken in Equatorial Guinea today.

In 1926, the island of Bioko and the mainland region of Rio Muni united into Spanish Guinea, which by the time that it gained its independence in 1968 became known as Equatorial Guinea.

During the whole period in which Equatorial Guinea was a Spanish colony, Spain was preoccupied with its territories in America which all gradually declared independence during the 19th century. In addition to this, the Spanish-American war in the end of the 1800’s meant that Spain was disadvantaged when it came to settling their new colony, let alone claiming supplementary colonies.

This is probably the main reason why there aren’t more Spanish speaking countries in Africa.

Equatorial Guinea And Its Languages

Spanish, in its local dialect called Equatoguinean Spanish, is spoken by 90% of the country’s population, 68% of which being native speakers. The Equatoguinean dialect of Spanish is known for being closer to European Spanish than the Spanish variants spoken in Latin America.

The Equatoguinean Spanish dialect is the official language of Equatorial Guinea along with Portuguese and French although the latter two are spoken by a relatively small number of people.

The local and indigenous languages spoken in the country mostly belong to the Bantu family of languages (the same language family that Swahili belongs to). They include such languages as Fang, Bube, Benga, Ndowe, Balengue, Bujeba, Bissio, Gumu, Igbo, Pichinglis, Fa d’Ambô and Baseke.

To listen to an example of Equatoguinean Spanish, watch the following video:

Other Spanish Speaking Regions In Africa

Equatorial Guinea is the only sovereign state in Africa where Spanish is an official language, but one other country in Africa speaks Spanish:

Spain.

At this point you might want to point out that Spain is a European country, not an African one, but you’d only be partly right, because Spain still has some African territories (or colonies, if you will).

The Canary Islands, although not part of continental Africa, is an island group located in the Atlantic sea to the west of Southern Morocco. Before the arrival of the Spanish, the North African Amazigh (or Berber) language was spoken on the Canary Islands, but today, they’re completely Hispanophone.

The same goes for Northern Morocco, where Spain officially possesses two cities, Ceuta and Melilla, as well as Mauretania and Western Sahara where the Spanish language remain present although not dominant.

This content was originally published here.

Categories
mandarin

How Repetition Can Help You To Learn Chinese Quicker No ratings yet.

Repetition may sound stale and boring, especially in terms of studying a new language. Many believe that repetition is often redundant in learning, as it is often associated with inefficiency. However, when it comes to learning languages, repetition can sometimes offer many benefits.

This is due to how the learning process generally works through repetition. When it comes to learning a new language like Mandarin, covering similar material in a variety of ways can allow your mind to exercise its mental capacities better. In turn, repetition can help to improve your skills and knowledge of a particular subject, and in this case, language.

Examples of Repetition in Chinese Language Learning

If you are enrolled in an online Chinese course in Singapore, you will be taught to read and recognise words when you hear them. At the same time, using a new word in a sentence in writing or conversation can help you pick up the word and use it in your language vocabulary. As such, there is some repetition involved when learning Chinese.

Despite this, repetition may not be a bad thing. If you are seeking to become fluent in Chinese, knowing how to read and write may not be enough. You also need to be able to listen and speak proficiently. To do that well, you may need to learn the same material differently.

In this instance, repetition and redundancy can become extremely useful for individuals trying to learn Chinese.

Why You Should Utilise Multiple Ways to Learn Chinese

Repetition in language learning can also be useful for grasping certain topics, words or sentences that you may not fully understand. If possible, when you learn Chinese online, you should seek different ways to further your learning of the language. For example, you can pick up Chinese books, listen to Chinese songs, and even watch Chinese movies and add words that you may not know about into your vocabulary. This can help you broaden your knowledge of the Chinese language.

Generally, many online language learners are stuck with a single course or method and realise that these real-world scenarios and situations are nothing like what they have learned. As a result, they may struggle to apply their knowledge. This could also be due to their narrow knowledge of Chinese.

If you take some time to add repetition and various methods of learning when studying Chinese, you can better reinforce what you have learned. At the same time, you can also increase the possibility of covering a broader scope of materials in that language.

Never Think of Repetition As A Waste of Time

While repetition might sound redundant, it has its share of benefits you can enjoy if you use it correctly. There are times when repetition has a place, such as in language learning, wherein it helps individuals progress in their learning quicker. Whether you are trying to learn Chinese online or pick up an online Mandarin course in Singapore, repetition can always be beneficial in helping you learn and understand words quickly.

Repetition can help you to build up a stronger foundational knowledge base and vocabulary, both of which are sure to come in handy on your journey to becoming fluent in Chinese!

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This content was originally published here.

Categories
english

Out on ‘Welly-town’ to learn English and Kiwi culture

Free travel and tickets inspired a ‘post-Covid lockdown’ trip to the capital

Two English Language Partners Palmerston North classes jumped on the comfy ‘Capital Connection’ bound for Wellington.

The train ride was a first for many, and everyone managed to make the 6.15 am departure time!

Catching the bus from Wellington central to Zealandia involved a practical and useful everyday task: learning to read street bus timetables.

At Zealandia, people were captivated by the huge Takahe walking freely, Kereru perching and brown teal swimming in the lake.

The wildlife is protected from predators, and the eco-sanctuary is rich in native trees, leaving native birds free to fly wild in the serene, beautiful environment.

Learners captured the display of beauty with their cameras and enjoyed the unique sounds of singing Tui, ‘skraark-ing’ Kaka and trilling Riroriro.

The classes returned to the city to picnic near the waterfront, then explored Te Papa’s exhibitions, where learner Dhana Pati made notes for a future class presentation.

‘Gallipoli – The Scale of Our War’ brought ANZAC Day to life as everyone had studied how Kiwis remember their fallen soldiers. Each enormous sculpture highlighted a personal story of life during wartime, and class members wrote messages on paper poppies, leaving them in front of the giant ‘fallen soldier’.

Learners also explored nature – but indoors at Te Taiao | the Nature Room, which further opened eyes about New Zealand’s wildlife and the ways we’re protecting our natural taonga.

To experience our shaky lands first-hand, learners tried standing in the ‘Earthquake House’. Curious Te Papa staff chatted before the classes left, providing an opportunity for some useful ‘English in the real world’ exchanges before walking along the waterfront to catch the train home.

The well-deserved outing was extra special for all after the hardships of the last three months.

English Language Partners thanks the Capital Connection, Wellington buses and Zealandia for the free rides and entry!


Wellington’s eco-sanctuary, Zealandia https://www.visitzealandia.com/

Te Papa https://www.tepapa.govt.nz/


ENGLISH LANGUAGE GROUPS

  • 2-4 hours per week
  • Learn Kiwi English in a class
  • Learn about New Zealand culture
  • Go on day trips
  • Meet other people in your community
  • Qualified teachers
  • Fees may apply. Ask at your centre.

The post Out on ‘Welly-town’ to learn English and Kiwi culture appeared first on English Language Partners New Zealand.

This content was originally published here.

Categories
mandarin

4 Reasons Why This is the Best Time To Learn Chinese Online 1/5 (1)

There is no denying that the classroom setting is the best learning environment for most people. However, it may be difficult to go to a classroom to learn Chinese during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the current situation encourages everyone to stay indoors, traditional language learning has become much more limited. However, that is not the end of our language learning.

While you may not be able to go to a classroom, it is possible for you to learn Mandarin online, along with many other languages. In fact, the current situation presents an excellent opportunity for many individuals to learn Chinese while they are stuck at home. Here’s why!

1. Serves as a good distraction during this period

While our current situation of being stuck indoors may not get better anytime soon, learning Chinese online can serve as a great distraction from our current reality. Instead of being constantly reminded about the pandemic, you can use the time to learn a new language online, and even learn about the culture of the language.

There are plenty of other ways you can distract yourself too, such as reading a good book or playing video games. But there is no denying that enrolling into a Chinese class and learning from the comfort of your home is a great distraction too.

2. A great way to get familiar with technology

For both children and adults, it is a good idea to get acquainted with how modern technology works. While some may know of certain tech devices, such as smartphones and tablets, taking up an online class can also help you get familiarised with certain software and programs for your online language classes.

It is also a great way to learn about how online language classes rely on modern conveniences to allow us to teach and learn effectively regardless of the distance.

3. Perfect for introverts and less-sociable individuals

Not everyone is born an extrovert or with good social skills. Some people may find it difficult to interact and learn within the typical classroom setting. As a result, this can stunt the growth of children and students, and significantly limit their learning potential. However, with online classes, those who are often shy about asking for help could be much more inclined to participate and ask questions.

Many who teach Chinese online are also able to attest to how students are much more interactive online. This is perhaps due to fewer interactions on a whole, or due to their learning environment as they may feel much more comfortable in their homes. In addition, students might be able to better express themselves through online than they do with face-to-face interactions.

4. It is much more affordable

There are many people that believe you have to spend a fortune to learn Chinese in Singapore. However, that is not true. Many language schools offer affordable virtual lessons that anyone can start joining today. With the language learning process taking place over the Internet, you can save up on a ton of expenses, such as transportation and dining out. This makes learning online a much more economical option when compared to traditional classroom learning.

Learn Chinese Today

If you are ready to make better use of your time while staying indoors during this period, why not get started by learning Chinese? Should you decide to also pick up a new skill or learn other languages, now is the best time to do so. Get started on your journey to learn Chinese today!

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This content was originally published here.

Categories
english

Learning English outside the classroom – Part 3: How to learn English with YouTube – Espresso English

This is a guest post series by Alastair Budge, the founder of Leonardo English and the host of the podcast, a podcast for intermediate English learners and curious minds. The podcast comes with subtitles, a transcript, and key vocabulary, and is trusted by 100,000 students in 157 countries.

This is Part 3 of our series on learning English outside the classroom. Check out Part 1 – Learning English with Podcasts and Part 2 – Learning English with Netflix.

This is Part 3 of our series on learning English outside the classroom. Check out Part 1 – Learning English with Podcasts and Part 2 – Learning English with Netflix.

YouTube has boomed in recent years, and almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day.

, and I’m sure you use it already.

It is also full of videos about learning English, and there is a lot of great content that’s available for you.

It can be overwhelming though, as there is a lot to choose from. Here are our tips on how to use YouTube effectively to learn English.

Before you start

It has never been easier for anyone to start a YouTube channel. All you need is a smartphone and an internet connection.

This is great in terms of the amount of content that’s available, but it means that it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.

YouTube does a pretty good job of showing you the best content, but remember, unlike Netflix, you will often find some quite amateur videos. 

The good news about this is that if you come across something that you don’t like, or that you don’t think is valuable, just hit ‘back’ and find another video. 

How to use YouTube effectively

If you just search ‘’ on YouTube, you would be presented with a wall of hundreds of thousands of results. 

It can be overwhelming, and before you do that, you should think about your goals.

Are you looking for tips on vocabulary and grammar?

If so, then you should probably check out channels like the

These kinds of channels explain words, and phrases, and recreate a classroom-style environment – there is a teacher, and the teacher explains things to you that you can then put into practice.

This can be a great way to self-study. If there are particular areas that you find hard or things that you know you need to work on, then this is content that can be very helpful to you.

Pro tip: Use the ‘watch later’ button to save videos that you don’t have time to watch right now. You can create your own playlist, then watch videos when it suits you, whether that’s on the metro, on the sofa, or just killing time waiting for a friend.

But you shouldn’t limit yourself to just content that is aimed at English learners, especially if you’re at an Intermediate level or above.

From amazing nature series like to comedies like , from documentary channels like to , you could spend years just watching YouTube videos.

So don’t limit yourself to just content about learning English. Not only is it always good to have a change, much like Netflix, sometimes it’s good to have a bit of a break and watch something that’s a little bit lighter and is entertaining.

Pro tip: You can turn on subtitles on YouTube, but these are often ‘auto-generated’, so they aren’t 100% correct. , but can also be unhelpful if you’re actually trying to learn English. So we’d advise you to not do this unless you really can’t understand anything.

This content was originally published here.