Arizona Changes How English Language Learners Are Taught


Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed Senate Bill 1014 into law, eliminating the controversial four-hour mandated block of English-language instruction (ELL) for English language learners in the state. ELL teachers now have more flexibility to tailor instruction to meet the needs of students.

The bill’s House sponsor, Rep. Michelle Udall, said that four-hour model just doesn’t work.

“We know that students learn a foreign language best when they are among native-speaking peers, and this gives them more opportunities to be among native-speaking peers from the state,” she told the House.

Supporters of the bill said keeping English language learners segregated for half the school day means they also do not receive enough instruction in other subjects, like math.


Arizona schools serve about 67,000 students considered English Language Learners (ELLs) each year. And how these kids learn a new language as well as their grade-level curriculum has been the subject of debate for decades. In a special edition of KJZZ’s ongoing series Inside Arizona Classrooms, reporters visited two schools for a closer look at why.

Inside Arizona Classrooms

It was near the end of a March day in a classroom at Rainbow Valley Elementary in Buckeye, and a bunch of 5-year-olds were busy coloring and cutting out paper dolls shaped like George Washington — a sort of intro to American history.

Student Elizabeth Cordero deliberately colored in Washington’s hair and carefully cut around the tricky parts.

What other presidents does she know about?

“Uhhhh … Martin Luther King Jr.?” said Elizabeth.

While Elizabeth may not be able to name a president now, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been learning a lot this year. Back in August, she and her classmates came to school speaking nothing but Spanish. Today, she can say almost all of what she thinks in English – thanks to her teacher, Bedelicia Reyna.

“From now to about April is when you really see a lot of growth, so this is the time of year when I really love my job,” Reyna said.

Reyna specializes in English Language Acquisition and has always taught kindergarten. She said they’re like little sponges that soak up her lessons, which are almost entirely in English.

“At the beginning of the year it’s very very hard because they don’t speak English, so a lot of the time I am speaking to them in Spanish, even though I’m not really supposed to,” she said.


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State Policies In The USA Impacting Career and Technical Education (CTE) In 2018


2018 was a significant year for Career Technical Education (CTE).

In 2018, 42 states and Washington, D.C., passed a total of 146 policy actions related to CTE and career readiness, including legislation, executive orders, board of education actions, budget provisions and ballot initiatives.

This report from Advance CTE and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the sixth annual review of CTE and career readiness policies across the United States.

It represents the most comprehensive national snapshot of state activity related to CTE and career readiness, and provides a critical opportunity for state and national leaders to reflect on national trends and consider future directions.

In 2018, the top policy areas of focus included:

– Funding
– Industry partnerships/work-based learning
– Dual/concurrent enrollment, articulation and early college
– Industry-recognized credentials, tied with graduation requirements; and
– Access/equity.

Reports from previous years can be found on the State Policies Impacting CTE Year in Review series page.


The Arkansas Career and Technical Education (CTE) Division supports the national vision for CTE, Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of CTE, and in particular, the five key guiding principles of this vision, namely:

1. All CTE programs are held to the highest standards of excellence
2. All learners are empowered to choose a meaningful education and career
3. All learning is personalized and flexible
4. All learning is facilitated by knowledgeable experts
5. All systems work together to put learner success first


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Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (Life In The Shadows) by Gloria Anzaldua


Books allow the dead to speak to the living. All writers know this basic fact, that we become immortal by the very act of writing. Today, I picked up a copy of a book called, “Borderlands, La Frontera” by Gloria Anzaldûa. Gloria no longer is among the living, having passed away in 2004. No matter, because she has become immortal.

Immortal? Yes, immortal. Her words, thoughts, emotions, hopes, dreams, the full range of her humanity still speaks to any reader who wants to hear her voice, and learn from her wisdom, gained throughout a lifetime of exploitation and quite simply, an existence at the outer edges of society. Hence, the title of her book, Borderlands.

I just finished reading the preface to her book, and it is powerful in its evocative grip upon the reader’s consciousness. The reading calls forth an awareness of what life is like for people who find themselves outside the mainstream of society…

That is all I wish to say, because Gloria is quite willing and able to speak for herself, even now, a quarter of a century after her book was first published.


Borderlands The Preface: Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza

Dedicated to a todos mexicanos on both sides of the border.

The actual physical borderland that I’m dealing with in this book is the Texas-U.S Southwest/Mexican border. The psychological borderlands, the sexual borderlands and the spiritual borderlands are not particular to the Southwest.

In fact, the Borderlands are physically present wherever two or more cultures edge each other, where people of different races occupy the same territory, where under, lower, middle and upper classes touch, where the space between two individuals shrinks with intimacy.

I am a border woman.

I grew up between two cultures, the Mexican (with a heavy Indian influence) and the Anglo (as a member of a colonized people in our own territory). I have been
straddling that tejas-Mexican border, and others, all my life. It’s not a comfortable territory to live in, this place of contradictions.

Hatred, anger and exploitation are the prominent features of this landscape.

However, there have been compensations for this mestiza, and certain joys.

Living on borders and in margins, keeping intact one’s shifting and multiple identity and integrity, is like trying to swim in a new element, an “alien” element. There is an exhilaration in being a participant in the further evolution of humankind, in being “worked” on.

I have the sense that certain “faculties” (not just in me but in every border resident, colored or noncolored) and dormant areas of consciousness are being activated, awakened. Strange, huh?

And, yes, the “alien” element has become familiar-never comfortable, not with society’s clamor to uphold the old, to rejoin the flock, to go with the herd. No, not comfortable, but home.

This book, then, speaks of my existence.

Anzaldua Borderlands

My preoccupations with the inner life of the Self, and with the struggle of that Self amidst adversity and violation; with the confluence of primordial images; with the unique positionings consciousness takes at these confluent streams; and with my almost instinctive urge to communicate, to speak, to write about life on the borders, life in the shadows.

Books saved my sanity, knowledge opened the locked places in me and taught me first how to survive and then how to soar. La madre naturaleza succored me, allowed me to grow roots that anchored me to the earth.

GloriaAnzaldua My love of images-mesquite flowering, the wind, Ehecatl, whispering its secret knowledge, the fleeting images of the soul in fantasy-and words, my passion for the daily struggle to render them concrete in the world and on paper, to render them flesh, keeps me alive…

The switching of “codes” in this book, from English to Castillian Spanish to the North Mexican dialect to Tex-Mex to a sprinkling of Nahuatl to a mixture of all of these, reflects my language, a new language-the language of the Borderlands.

There, at the juncture of cultures, languages cross-pollinate and are revitalized; they die and are born again.

Presently this infant language, this “bastard” language, Chicano Spanish, is not approved by any society.

But we Chicanos no longer feel that we need to beg entrance, that we need always to make the first overture-to translate to Anglos, Mexicans and Latinos, apology
blurting out of our mouths with every step.

Today we ask to be met halfway.

This book is our invitation to you-from the New Mestizas…


Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza ~ Gloria Anzaldua

Gloria Anzaldúa never let borders stop her. In fact, she expanded our understanding of what physical and cultural borders meant. A literary queer Chicana scholar, poet and author, Anzaldúa wrote about her life growing up near the South Texas border, the beauty and perils it offered.

Her best-known book, “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza,” is a seminal text that explores the invisible borders between people.

Anzaldúa uses poetry, prose and theory to dive into her own life and the marginalization she faced. Codeswitching from English to Spanish and sometimes to Nahautl, Anzaldúa delivers a message that borders are a fluid space.


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#Chile – English Opens Doors Program: 2019 Volunteer Application Process is Now Open!

The English Opens Doors Program (Programa Inglés Abre Puertas) is an initiative supported by the Chilean Ministry of Education. For more information about the organization of the Ministry of Education and where our program falls within the hierarchy, please click here.

The Program was created in 2003 with the mission to improve the level of English for students between 5th grade and 12th grade throughout the Chilean public school system by providing teacher training, instructional materials, language competitions, English immersion camps, and semester abroad scholarships for university students.

The English Opens Doors Program seeks to foster a new generation of Chilean students equipped with the tools and abilities they will need to succeed in an increasingly globalized world. The Program includes:

Professional development courses
Resources for English teaching in rural schools
English teacher networks
Scholarships for future English teachers
Summer and Winter English Camps
Public Speaking, Debates, and Spelling Bee competitions
National Volunteer Center


The National Volunteer Center is a branch of the English Opens Doors Program and is supported by the United Nations Development Programme-Chile.

The National Volunteer Center recruits native and near-native English speakers to work as teaching assistants in Chilean classrooms, specifically to improve students’ listening and speaking skills. Volunteers also assist with other initiatives of the English Opens Doors Program, such as debates and English Camps.

Volunteers teach and encourage the study of English while living with Chilean host families and interacting with members of the local community.

Apply Now: The 2019 Application Process!

The 2019 application process is now open! Before filling out an application, please read the “Applicant Requirements” section and the information pertaining to the volunteer’s role and benefits which is provided on the “Volunteer Roles and Benefits” page, linked here.

Please note that the application process is a rolling process so candidates will be accepted on that basis (first come, first served). So, apply as soon as possible!

If you have any questions or concerns pertaining information on our website or the process outlined below, please feel free to write the center at:

Chile - Wide Angle

Applicant Requirements:
Be a native or near-native English speaker.

Have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university by the program start date.

Be between 21 and 35 years old (applicants over 35 will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis).

Be mentally and physically capable of teaching children.

Be willing to dedicate their energy and time to teaching, and making students their priority.

Have experience living or travelling in another country.

Have an interest in Chilean culture and living in a developing country.

Be highly committed, responsible, and flexible.

Have access to sufficient funds in order to cover personal expenditures throughout the duration of the program.

Assume the associated costs (transportation to consulate, cost of obtaining documents) of obtaining a Temporary Residence Visa before arriving in Chile (direct visa fees from the consulate will be waived).

Assume the cost of international transportation to Santiago according to the program start date.

Please look through the program website to learn more about the volunteer role and benefits, placement opportunities, and previous volunteer experiences.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email us directly at:


The 2019 English Opens Doors Program Application! ==> (Click Here)

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Chile necesita los mejores profesores

miércoles, 06 de febrero de 2019

Señor Director:

En relación con la nota publicada el 25 de enero en “El Mercurio”, titulada “Beca Vocación de Profesor pierde fuerza entre jóvenes, a pesar de otorgar más beneficios”, considero importante destacar algunos puntos que han quedado fuera del análisis.

Primero, que la matrícula en pedagogías ha aumentado en las universidades de alta acreditación. De hecho, el estudio del Observatorio de Formación Docente de la U. de Chile, citado en el artículo, señala que si bien la matrícula de primer año de las carreras universitarias de Educación en 2017 ha caído en alrededor del 27,3% respecto de 2011, esta caída se localiza principalmente en el 42% de programas que en 2011 eran de baja acreditación y que han dejado de funcionar.
=> Informe Completo

nuevas-capacitaciones-profesores-actualidad-revista-educar-junio Esta misma investigación señala que la matrícula en las carreras de pedagogía se está concentrando actualmente en los programas con mayor nivel de acreditación. Cabe destacar que mientras en 2011 apenas un 12,4% de los futuros profesores se inscribía en programas de alta acreditación, en 2017 esta proporción subió a 56,6%, es decir, hay tres veces más que los matriculados hace seis años.

Esto significa que los docentes del mañana están prefiriendo centros de estudios que desempeñan una mejor función, apostando por la calidad. Esto es algo que, sin duda, debería alegrarnos y animarnos a continuar por este camino.

Tanto el Ministerio de Educación como la Comisión Nacional de Acreditación y el Consejo Nacional de Educación tenemos un rol clave en esta materia, principalmente en lo que respecta a orientar, fortalecer y evaluar.

No obstante, el actor principal en esta discusión deben ser las propias universidades. Es primordial que las facultades de Educación estén al centro de los proyectos institucionales.

Un mayor esfuerzo en esta línea, de la mano de la Ley 20.903 -establece que a partir de este año solo las universidades acreditadas podrán matricular nuevos alumnos-, permitirá avanzar en la calidad docente desde la formación inicial. El futuro puede ser esperanzador, pero requiere de trabajo y voluntad.

Francisca Díaz

Directora Centro de Perfeccionamiento, Experimentación e Investigaciones Pedagógicas (CPEIP), Ministerio de Educación

Fuente: Economía y Negocios => Online


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The English We Speak: “My Bad”


My bad

English belongs to its users. In other words, you use English as a tool to express yourself. The words you choose to use belong to you, the user. If I want to understand you, I must pay close attention to the context, or the situation, in which you are talking to me about. For example, the phrase, “My bad.”

Context: Rob’s late for the studio – has it got something to do with his back? Feifei thinks so until she realises he’s using a phrase that admits his mistake without actually saying ‘sorry’. Learn a piece of English slang in this episode of The English We Speak.


Welcome to The English We Speak. Hello, I’m Feifei… but where is Rob?

Oh! Hi, Feifei, you’re nice and early – can’t wait to get started, hey?

I’m not early – you are late!

Late? No, no, no, no – we said we’d start at half past ten… didn’t we?

No – ten o’clock, Rob. Look at this text message: “Can we start earlier at ten, please?” and you replied “sure”.

Oh! My bad!

Your back? Don’t start complaining about your back just to avoid apologising.

No, not my back – my bad! I am apologising – that’s what ‘my bad’ means – it’s an American English phrase that we use sometimes to mean we accept responsibility for a mistake.

Well, that’s good to know. So you’re really saying ‘sorry’?

Well, not exactly…

Now, as an English teacher, how could we encourage students to investigate for themselves about the phrase, “My bad”? Surely, this definition (my bad = my mistake) is not the only way native speakers of English use the phrase.

Corpus Linguistics

We can teach students how to use a corpus to do an analysis. Since we are dealing with a nonstandard (slang) use of the phrase we are interested in, it would be a good idea to use the iWeb Corpus. It is a 14 Billion Word Web Corpus of contemporary English used on the internet.

We find the phrase has a Frequency of 16067. In other words, we have a phrase that is not used very often (low frequency). Nonetheless, students can do research about the phrase (in context) to find out a more nuanced, if not entirely different meaning of the phrase.

So, you divide your class into groups of 4 or 5 students. Depending on class size the number could be higher or lower. The idea is collaboration, teamwork, shared responsibility to complete an authentic task that will engage the learners. It is an integrated skills task because it will include all 4 skills: reading, speaking, listening, and writing.

The presentation of findings, in both oral and written format, could be the culminating activity.

Below are 2 results.

1. I see that now my bad. (Source: )
2. And i really sry for my bad english. (Source: )

iweb-precedent-1OK. Which example (number 1, or number 2) should students choose to investigate?

Number 1 is the correct answer. So, our students click on this link,

Where did that link come from? How did we get it?

Answer: The iWeb Corpus (available since May, 2018) provided us with the link to show the context. It is the specific web page where the phrase, “My bad” occurs.
There are three main ways of searching the corpus.

First, you can browse a frequency list of the top 60,000 words in the corpus, including searches by word form, part of speech, ranges in the 60,000 word list, and even by pronunciation. This should be particularly useful for language learners and teachers.

Second, you can search by individual word, and see collocates, topics, clusters, websites, concordance lines, and related words for each of these words. Note that some of these searches are unique to iWeb.

Third, you can search for phrases and strings. And because the corpus is optimized for speed, searches for substrings (*ism, un*able) and phrases are very fast, e.g.: got VERB-ed, BUY * ADJ NOUN, “gorgeous” NOUN — and even high frequency phrases like: from ADJ to ADJ, phrasal verbs, or NOUN NOUN.
So the students click the link. They know that somewhere on that page they will find the phrase, “My bad” being used in context. Yes, after going over the page, they find it.

The page is a discussion forum about the 2018 NBA Basketball Draft:

Speaker A: (Forum Participant): Oh Canada
“Come on guys read the article. Simmons stated he came into LSU at 217 and is now 250. He’s saying he gained 33 pounds in a year which is quite the feat but much more possible than 33 pounds in 3 years.”

Speaker B: (Forum Participant): Hype Machine
“I read that was the gain since the draft.”

Speaker A: (Forum Participant): Oh Canada
“Yah I see that now my bad. Alot of media outlets reported that but the ones quoting him have it correct. The combine officially weighed him at 239 3 months ago. Crazy how much misinformation there is out there.”

That is only one of many hundreds of examples. It is possible that nobody in the group has enough knowledge of the context to analyze the forum conversation in which the phrase appears. If the group is unable to do so, the teacher could step in to provide clues about what the NBA Basketball draft is and why a player’s weight would be an important piece of information for a team to know about a player they are considering for their team.

OK. But what if the teacher doesn’t have a clue about the NBA Basketball Draft?

Well, there are 500 examples to work with. So, give the students the freedom to choose their own examples based on their prior knowledge (Ausubel) and interests. Student choice would be a way of promoting learner independence, autonomy, and a more significant, deeper learning experience.

Finally, let me be clear. Corpus linguistics can be a lot of fun, but if it is a frustrating, tedious, and boring activity, it will not achieve the results teachers are hoping for.

Therefore, first of all, you must train the students on how to use the corpus.

Your activity, if done well, will have many possibilities for success built into it.

In my opinion, corpus linguistics is all about finding out how language is used. Since people use language differently, that means a wide diversity of possible answers for any linguistic investigation. This is not a search for that one, and only one, correct answer.

There are literally thousands of correct answers possible.

Focus on process, not product.


Free Download: ==> From Corpus To Coursebook <== Free Download

So how does the Cambridge English Corpus actually help us create course books? Dr. Michael McCarthy tells us how he used it for the creation of Touchstone English Course in his free book.

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The Spyce Boys: The Future Of Cooking Food


Spyce is the world’s first restaurant featuring a robotic kitchen that cooks complex meals to order. All bowls on the menu cost $7.50. The restaurant’s motto is: Boston, Don’t Settle For Cold Kale.

Culinary Excellence Elevated By Technology

Founded by four MIT graduates with a vision to reinvent fast casual dining, and led by the culinary talent of Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud and Sam Benson, Spyce offers wholesome and delicious meals (at $7.50) in three minutes or less.


At Spyce, we’ve created the world’s first restaurant featuring a robotic kitchen that cooks complex meals. We created this concept in hopes of solving a problem we found ourselves facing, being priced out of wholesome and delicious food. Along the way, we’ve been lucky enough to add in some Michelin-Star magic with Chef Daniel Boulud. We’re excited to introduce you to Spyce, open to the world at 241 Washington Street in Boston.


Spyce Boston

With $21M in fresh funding, the robots are coming — to a kitchen near you

Spyce, the world’s first restaurant manned by a robotic kitchen, raised a $21 million Series A round on Monday. The funding, which was led by Collaborative Fund and Maveron, will be used to open “a number” of robotic restaurants on the East Coast and double Spyce’s employee headcount over the next year. Spyce currently employs nine people in Boston.

Company Profile

Founded by four MIT grads in 2015, Spyce opened its first restaurant in downtown Boston in May 2018. The “Spyce boys” say they’ve pioneered a new way of creating nutritional, customizable bowls through the use of their robotic kitchen, which cooks complex meals to order — then cleans up the mess after.

The four men had the idea for the startup when they were tired, hungry collegiate water polo players who wanted a healthy fast-food option that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. So they put their engineering brains together and Spyce was born.
Their bowls, which start at $7.50, feature healthy, filling foods like brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, brown rice, roasted chicken and beans.

The robotic kitchen features seven cooking woks, all heated efficiently via induction — a technology invented by Nicola Tesla. Each meal takes about three minutes to make, start to finish.
spyce woks
Existing investor Khosla Ventures and esteemed chefs like Thomas Keller, Jerome Bocuse and Gavin Kaysen also participated in the most recent financing.

“Spyce piqued my interest with their hospitality-first approach,” said Chef Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable and Bellecour in a statement. “Their use of innovative technology and engineering to deliver a consistent, reliable product is driven by the desire to best service their guests, which is what motivates me every day as a chef.”

If you still feel weird about robots cooking you lunch, rest assured: the robotic kitchen is certified by the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation), and cleans and sanitizes the cooking woks after every meal.

The kitchen is programmed to monitor cooking, refrigeration and water temperatures, and all components in the refrigerator that come into contact with food are regularly removed and cleaned by the Spyce crew.

“The robotic kitchen makes healthy bowls more accessible to all people,” said Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures in a statement. “With the technology married with a strong consumer experience and brand, they are reinventing the way restaurants are typically operated. We are excited to bring this food brand to more people in the U.S. and beyond.”

Its Yelp reviews are pretty good, if you’re wondering how’s the food itself. To note, Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud serves as Spyce’s culinary director. But if you’re not quite the kale and beans kind of person, seeing the restaurant’s whirring, spinning robotic woks in action might be worth the visit. Spyce runs an open kitchen, and the show is definitely part of the experience. “It’s fun to see what’s going on behind the scenes,” co-founder Brady Knight said, “We didn’t want to hide anything because we think what we made is pretty cool.”

So, will the robots mean people lose their jobs?

The short answer is “No”. As cool as this Spyce robotic restaurant sounds, robots aren’t quite capable of doing actual food prep and making bowls look presentable. The restaurant still employs human workers at a commissary kitchen where ingredients are chopped and prepared; on site, there are two garnish employees to add the finishing touch. So, although robots could eventually take all our jobs, Spyce’s founders didn’t invent a machine that can put all restaurant employees out of work right now.

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Bob Dylan And Vocational Education In Chile: “The Times They Are A Changing”

Foto: TP Mineduc

An entire month (February 2019) is dedicated to technical and vocational education in Arkansas (USA). That seems hard to believe, because logic would judge this as excessive. Counter-intuitively, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson recently proclaimed February as Career & Technical Education Month. For educators in Chile, this is hard to believe, so I have evidence: a picture, a link, and a tweet. I know that without this kind of evidence, it is absolutely unbelievable.


What I find even more fascinating than the month-long celebration of the achievements of students in high-school vocational education, however, is the stories of the vocational students:

Emily Richey, Madison Needham, Bobbie Timmermann, Alexis Roberson, Mathew Adcock,
Ashley Turner, Coby Wilson, Lindsey Triplett, and, Sara Whitson.

There is a common thread, namely, that vocational education does not suffer from a lack of prestige. Quite the opposite is evident in their collective stories. This statement captured my full attention:

“Career and Technical Education has provided me with unbelievable opportunities that not only have broadened my education, but also equipped me with life skills necessary for my future… I feel fully prepared to enter college, attend medical school, and obtain a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in order to one day manage nursing homes and clinics all across Arkansas.”—Emily Richey, Paris High School

In Chile, this kind of ambitious aspiration (MBA) would be unheard of coming from a vocational school student. The Chilean high school vocational education system simply is not designed or intended to produce MBA graduates. The system lacks the prestige and quite frankly, the rigor, to accomplish this feat.

So, I’m curious about this “Career and Technical Education” (CTE) model. It seems like a hybrid, an innovation in which students who participate in the program have all of their options available: 1) workforce qualification, 2) university study. Let’s take a look at it:

Hmm… The Chilean system is very different, in terms of how you access educational opportunity. A student who follows a vocational education career track in Chile could only access a limited number of “special access” / continuation of studies, university entrance openings.

This is clearly not the case in the USA. We know this when the girl in the video ( a nursing student), says this about technical education: “…it’s not a limit, it’s a beginning.”

To finish on a positive note, Vocational Education in Chile is changing, right now. A number of new initiatives implemented by the previous and current government will provide these same dual opportunities for Chilean students. By dual I mean high quality preparation for work and/or high quality preparation for the highest levels of academic, university education.

Needless to say, no high school in Chile currently can make the boast that their students are prepared for work, with technical qualifications, and simultaneously prepared to successfully complete a rigorous, academically challenging university degree granting program.

As Bob Dylan put it, however, “The times they are a changing…”

“Venid gente, reunios,
dondequiera que esteís,
y admitan que las aguas a su alrededor
han crecido,
y acepten que pronto
estaran calados
hasta los huesos
si creén que aun estan
a tiempo de salvarse,
será mejor que comiencen a nadar,
o se hundirán como piedras,
porque los tiempos estan cambiando.”
Bob Dylan, 2016 Nobel Prize Winner in Literature.

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My Story Is Your Story

Family PyT


Writing, writing and writing again, that is my story. The common thread that holds everything together is plain and simple: writing. Everything is nothing without writing.

Writing is what makes it something for everyone. Yes, it is fair to say that writing is an All or Nothing proposition for me. All that I hold dear is because of writing, for which I am thankful for all that it has given me.

Family Punta y Taco

Therefore, in the final analysis, this story is your story and your story is my story…

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Corpus Linguistics: Using The BNC With English Language Learners


The British National Corpus (BNC) is my favourite corpus. What’s yours? All teachers should have a favourite corpus. For many years, I preferred to use a free, online vocabulary profiler called LexTutor. In fact, I still use it when I want to analyse a particular text to find out how complex the vocabulary in that text is.

Having said that, the BNC is the best corpus in the world for a student-analysis of English in context, in my opinion. But mind you, it is not the biggest corpus out there nowadays. The technology available is constantly transforming the field of linguistics and second language acquisition.

The most important transformation has been connected with the digitization of teaching and learning. New technology has brought us new ways of engaging students in discovery learning. How you teach with the BNC is effectively to enhance student engagement and promote deep, conscious learning, which linguists call “noticing”…

Well, how’s your Spanish? In Spanish, the speaker in the video below demonstrates how to use the BNC. If your Spanish isn’t very good, don’t worry. I have another video below in English which discusses word frequency and the various ways you can use the corpus.

Today, we are living in the age of Big Data. There is a massive corpus freely available which has 14 Billion words in it. Incredible, amazing, it almost defies human comprehension. It is called iWeb: The intelligent Web-based Corpus.

It is new, developed in 2017. It uses English from the following countries: USA / CANADA / UNITED KINGDOM / IRELAND / AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND. Our takeaway: the BNC is NOT the biggest corpus in the world, not by a long shot.

However, let’s go back and get a closer look at the BNC. What is the BNC? Here’s what they tell you on the BNC website:

“The British National Corpus (BNC) was originally created by Oxford University Press (OUP) in the 1980s – early 1990s, and it contains 100 million words of text, with texts from a wide range of genres (e.g. spoken, fiction, magazines, newspapers, and academic).

The BNC is related to many other corpora of English that we have created, which offer unparalleled insight into variation in English. The BNC is the most widely used online corpora — more than 130,000 distinct researchers, teachers, and students use it each month.”

Let’s break that down a little:
1. 100 million words of text
2. a wide range of “genres”, or different text types,
(e.g. spoken, fiction, magazines, newspapers, and academic).

So, what can you do with the BNC?

A very useful thing for a teacher of English (or a writer/author) is to analyse collocations, which are words that go together. Below is an example of collocation analysis using the word, “future”. The analysis is to discover which words are used immediately before and after “future”. Our analysis helps us to describe how language is used in context,(e.g. spoken, fiction, magazines, newspapers, and academic).


Fortunately, I found a very good video to explain how to do collocation analysis,so you are spared further explanation from me. Enjoy the video below.

(Very) Practical Applications of Corpus Linguistics by Daniel Zuchowski

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