Es muy importante tener un contacto constante con el inglés fuera de las sesiones que tienes con tu coach de English Coaching Projects. Aquí tienes enlaces a nuestra revista digital 'Weekly English Practice', nuestros videos en YouTube y a recursos que nosotros creemos pueden ser útiles.

¡Usa el inglés fuera de clase! Y si sabes de otros recursos, no dudes en recomendarlos a tu English coach y a tus compañeros de clase.

Leer, escuchar, escribir y hablar. Habilidades esenciales para comunicarse en inglés. Cada semana, English Coaching Projects te enviará nuestra exclusiva revista digital - WEEKLY ENGLISH PRACTICE (WEP) - para que puedas practicar estas habilidades. Incluye un artículo con su audio (5 voces distintas), definiciones del vocabulario y preguntas que estimulan la opinión y el debate. Puedes escribir tus respuestas, y incluso grabarlas, para enviarlas por correo electrónico a tu coach. En la segunda página hay más actividades prácticas e información sobre los eventos que organizamos en English Coaching Projects para que puedas practicar tu inglés en situaciones sociales.

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Weekly English Practice

WEP 061218 – Accentism in Britain

ECP coach Darren talks about “accentism” and its effect on British society

Click on the image to download the pdf

Weekly English Practice Accentism in Britain

“Accentism” is the new classism which determines social status

Before you read the complete article, look at this vocabulary and find it in the text:

posh: in an upper-class way

speech: the act of speaking

make an impression: produce a strong effect on someone

notion: a belief about something

flatten: flatten an accent means making it softer, more standard

rough: not smooth, coarse, unpleasant

fall into the trap: do something that seems good at the time but is not sensible or wise

elocution lessons: classes to help a person’s diction and pronunciation

 

Listen to the audio

The Queen’s English is known as “Received Pronunciation” or “RP” and according to recent research, people who speak with strong regional accents experience discrimination. Therefore, many “Brits” are under pressure to posh up their speech in order to climb the career ladder or make a better impression of themselves.

Accent prejudice is the perception that certain accents are inferior to others and in modern Britain there are many examples of this. A broad Birmingham accent is stigmatised as ugly and uneducated. The “Scouse” accent, spoken by people from Liverpool, gives the impression that this person is a thief and is likely to steal from you.

A colleague of mine who speaks with a Geordie accent, which he is very proud of, was once asked by an “RP” speaker if he was going to change his accent to teach English as it was unthinkable that he teach a regional accent from Newcastle to students in the Basque Country. Of course my colleague rightly rejected the notion.

This is a common problem and is equal to racism or sexism. It has a negative effect on people, encouraging them to change they way they speak and, in so doing, making them feel fake. What is more, if they do not flatten their accent, they are less likely to get the job they desire.

This ingrained linguistic prejudice makes people believe that those with more standard accents are more competent, intelligent, effective communicators and better suited to high profile jobs while those with regional accents are perhaps suited to less desirable jobs.

Only this morning, listening to Irish radio, a journalist commented on the accent of the newly appointed football manager, stating that behind the rough Yorkshire accent, there was actually a very astute and intelligent man. This is typical of the English speaking world. Judging one’s intelligence by their accent.

Academics who keep their regional accent are far and few between as they are aware that their students are likely to find them less effective if they have one, regardless of their expertise. The contradiction is impalpable. 

This is undoubtedly a scary reality and more so when interviewers fall into the trap of judging a person’s ability on a mere accent. A surprising 80% of employers admit that they do discriminate based on accent. Would Margaret Thatcher have become the British Prime Minister if she hadn’t received elocution lessons to give her an exaggerated upper-class accent? Probably not.

Written by ECP coach Darren Lynch

Let’s chat about that!

Write your opinions in an email and send them to your ECP coach!

  • Does accentism exist in your language?
  • What accents do you dislike in yor own language?
  • What is considered to be the most beautiful accent in your language?
  • Have you ever been teased (made fun of) because of your accent?
  • How do people in other regions view your accent?

 

WEP 291118 – Opposition to victim-blaming in Irish rape trial

ECP coach John describes the #ThisIsNotConsent campaign and the growing opposition to victim-blaming

Click on the image to download the pdf

Weekly English Practice Victim-blaming

Politician holds up a pair of knickers in Irish parliament in protest against misogynistic rape myths 

Before you read the complete article, look at this vocabulary and find it in the text:

to blame: to assign responsibility for a problem to someone/something

trial: a formal examination of evidence by a judge, typically before a jury

knickers: a woman’s or girl’s undergarments

rape: the crime, typically committed by a man, of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with the offender against their will.

thong: a tiny bathing garment or pair of knickers like a G-string.

lace: a fine open fabric of cotton or silk

incongruous: not in harmony with the surroundings or other aspects

 

Listen to the audio

Last week, an Irish politician held up a pair of knickers in Parliament. Ruth Coppinger did it to protest at the way a teenage girl was treated in a rape case. 

The lawyer for the man accused of raping her, who was found not guilty in the end, told the jury: “You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.” Ruth Coppinger says she used the underwear to highlight “routine victim-blaming.” The unusual gesture has led to a series of protests in Ireland about consent and how women are treated in sexual assault cases. It’s sparked a social media campaign and a washing-line of knickers in Dublin city centre.

The previous week, in summing up the trial, defence barrister Elizabeth O’Connell had said: “Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone? You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”

It is estimated only 10% of the sexual assaults or rapes that are even reported result in a conviction. One third of these convictions result in suspended or partially suspended sentences. The above comments have only helped add insult to the injury that rape survivors face.

Ruth said that while it may seem incongruous to hold up a thong in the national parliament, it’s even more so for underwear to be used in court as evidence against a woman. Her words and actions were a defiant stance against the blatant injustice of misogynistic rape myths being perpetuated in open court.

Ruth’s bold actions, alongside protests, helped bring the reality of victim-blaming in the courts to both national and significantly international attention. The level of coverage received by both the print and broadcast media globally is unprecedented. The hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent alongside pictures of thongs has also trended on social media internationally as an act of solidarity by women disgusted by the comments of O’Connell, and the culture of victim-blaming that exists within the courts system.

This attention and solidarity, speaks to a growing anger and radicalisation in opposition to gender-based violence and harassment, and the oppression of women in society. The mood amongst women, young and LGBTQ people that “enough is enough” is now widespread. This is seen with the emergence of the #MeToo phenomenon and movement late last year on social media, in the mass movements against machismo and violence against women in Latin America through the #NiUnaMenos movement and in the strike against sexism that took place this year in the Spanish State on International Women’s Day. 

Written by ECP coach John Andrew Hird

Let’s chat about that!

Write your opinions and send them to your ECP coach!

  • Have there been similar cases in the Spanish State?
  • What is sexism to you?
  • What kind of sexism is there in your society? Give examples
  • What would you do if you heard someone in the street or at work making very sexist comments?
  • Have you ever been a victim of sexism?

 

WEP 221118 – Why I came to live and work in Vitoria-Gasteiz

ECP coach Kez tells us why he came to Vitoria-Gasteiz

Click on the image to download the pdf

Weekly English Practice Why I Came To Vitoria-Gasteiz

Following on from a previous Weekly English Practice, ECP coach Kez tells us what made him come to live and work in this “glorious city”

Before you read the complete article, look at this vocabulary and find it in the text:

CV: curriculum vitae = review of a person’s employment history & education

far and wide: over a large area

to brush up on s.t.: to improve your existing knowledge of something

to head (abroad): to move in a specified direction (to another country)

disheartened: having lost your determination or confidence

eager/keen: strongly wanting to do or have something; enthusiastic

traumatised: shocked as a result of a bad experience or physical injury

woe: great sorrow or distress (often used hyperbolically)

 

Listen to the audio

As in my previous Weekly English Practice article, lots of people ask me why I chose to come and live and work in Vitoria. After I received my qualification for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), I had to decide which location was going to benefit from my newly-acquired skills. 

I sent my CV far and wide in search of employment, to places such as Florida in the United States of America to schools offering summer camp jobs on the beaches of Thailand.  Most employers were based in Europe though, and this is where my English teaching adventure started.

I had been receiving sporadic replies and interest from prospective new bosses, but the first company to offer me a contract was the British Institutes Centro Linguistico in Gioia Tauro in the south of Italy. I had been brushing up on my Italian, so I was very excited to head abroad and put my energy into a new job.

When I arrived there, I was happy to see that it was a pretty little village, in Calabria, and the crystal blue sea was only a few minutes away. I noticed a sign for new-build apartments with a price of €15,000. I asked a friend if this was the price of the deposit, and was told that this was the price for a completely new flat! I slowly realised that this probably had something to do with the Mafia.

Due to a few complicating factors, I decided that Italy wasn’t right for me at that moment, and I returned to England; a little disheartened; to renew my search. It wasn’t long until I was contacted by an English school in Spain, which had always been another of my preferred destinations.  The academy was in a little town called Miranda de Ebro. I looked it up on the internet. It seemed like a very nice place. 

I had a telephone interview with the directors, and they were very eager to give me employment. In fact, they were so keen, they wanted me to come that very day! I booked the flight and flew into Loiu, arriving at about 10pm. And by about 1am, my new bosses had decided that I wasn’t the person they were looking for!

Traumatised, after having had such a difficult start to my teaching career, being in a country whose language I didn’t know, not having a job, not wanting to return home again and generally not knowing what to do, I asked them what they would suggest I do. They recommended going by coach to a nearby city called Vitoria-Gasteiz with my CV and knocking on doors.

This I did, and teary-eyed, explaining to anyone who would listen to my story of hardship and woe, I started once again to look for a job. After ringing many bells and talking to many secretaries in many academies, I finally came to an office in Calle Postas, called inlingua, and met a very nice guy, Rob (you might know him!)

Twelve years later, I’m still here in this glorious city, working with Rob (John,  Ali and Darren), and despite the difficult start, it’s all been pretty good ever since!

Written by ECP coach Darren “Kez” Kurien

Let’s chat about that!

Write your opinions in an email and send them to your ECP coach!

  • Can you think of a time when someone did you a favour?
  • Can you think of a time when you did someone a favour?
  • Can you think of a situation that was bad for you at the time but finally worked out well?
  • Have you ever worked in another town or country? (i) If so, was it a positive experience? (ii) If not, would you like to?

 

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