Día Europeo de las lenguas

La EOI Valdemoro celebró el Día Europeo de las lenguas por tercer año consecutivo. Este año, debido a la pandemia el encuentro fue a través de vídeoconferencia. Muchas gracias a todos los participantes y a todos aquellos que se asomaron virtualmente a escuchar los diferentes poemas.

Día Europeo de las lenguas 2018

Día Europeo de las lenguas 2019

European Day of Languages 2019

Día Europeo de las lenguas 2020

European Day of Languages 2020

European Day of Languages

Text by Benito García Rodríguez – Illustration by Eduardo Torrico

A new edition of the European Day of Languages was successfully celebrated last 25th September. New this year, due to the Covid, all the participants joined the event by internet. So this handicap became an awesome circumstance, allowing the collaboration from foreign places in the local event. Poems written in languages of European and American countries, spoken in African and Asian countries too (Spanish, English…and Portuguese).

Spaniards were represented by a localism of Cervantes’ language, spoken in the region of Extremadura, close to Portugal, called “castuo”, and the English-Spanish fusion, born in the US South Border: “chicano English”. These participations were completed with the two main languages of the Iberian Peninsula, Portuguese and Spanish.

Widely represented, Europe contributed with French, English, Italian, Finnish, Polish, and Slovak, besides the quoted ones. This year we missed the African contribution of last year, so we wonder whether we can get some volunteers in Chinese, Arabian, or any other Asian or African language for next edition. A colourful note was introduced by the declaiming of a Guarani piece, an interesting localism from the Amazon rainforest. Amazing contributions, as the Finnish saga, closely linked to the Tolkien’s bible, The Silmarillion. The event ended with a special finishing touch, led by Lucyna López, who recited a Polish poem, in her mother language, French and Spanish.

After that a blue feeling was spread by the web and our souls, wishing an early recovering of the ancient normality that allows a real event, full of senses, enjoying completely the fascinating world of the languages. We hope that before June the COVID-19 lets us celebrate a special open edition in Valdemoro, allowing us meeting in person, sharing and having a toast to the long life of the linguistic variety.

Exchange with Minnesota

by Lidia Corregidor

Few years ago, I did something similar in high school. I enjoyed it a lot but it was for a short time. Thus, when I saw the opportunity to participate in this activity, I didn’t hesitate about it. We had the possibility to speak with the same person, in English and Spanish, for two months.

They are university students from Minnesota that are taking a course on History and Culture of Spain. For that reason, this experience has been perfect to practice for a language exchange with Flipgrid.

I have to admit that I was nervous about how the activity would be like. However, when I saw the first video of my partner on Flipgrid, I was very happy. We connected from the very first minute. And sometimes, we have talked a lot. For example, we have talked about our daily routine, history… And the most important thing we have talked about was our differences in culture, society and traditions.

We enjoyed the experience a lot. In fact, my partner on Flipgrid and I would like to keep in touch in other social media to be friends and to continue practicing our languages. I think that it’s fantastic and beautiful. Thanks to EOI, we have learned and practiced our English skills, and we have made special virtual friends.

In conclusion, if you are interested in something like that, I highly recommend it. Because, it is good to know a little bit more about other languages and other ways to see the life.

FlipGrid: Learning in a Different Way

by Susana Becerra Martínez

Ending February, the students from EOI Valdemoro were pleasingly surprised by being considered to take part in a language exchange programme with university students in Minessota (USA). The students were encouraged to join this appealing programme to collaborate with Concordia University with a revolutionary technological tool: FlipGrid.It could be a unique way to strengthen both our mediation and communicating English skills.

First of all, we were informed that the only requirements, which participation might entail, was committing ourselves to upload a couple of recordings weekly along eight weeks. Thus, we proceeded to ensure our short videos in both languages and sharing them with the assigned flipgrid partner.

I would like to share I was a little hesitant about whether to join the program. Undoubtedly, If I had not taken this chance, I would have regretted it, because it happened to be incredibly worth trying. It could be said that my hesitation was due to the unknown. It appears that the learning exchanging program has totally been a different approach to learn languages.

As for the programme, it has included a variety of topics in both languages. Speaking skills are being developed even further, in a kind of visual and oratory way of learning. I must highlight that most of the cases, a full understanding was reached together with the provided captions in the video.

When it comes to ensuring a seamless environment of work, we were weekly driven by our tutor to keep working on the next assigned task. On top of that, another remarkable point to consider is the total flexibility offered to students using this method. Besides, no times have been set up, which means that it can be done not only whenever it suits you, but wherever you decide to do it.

Personally, it has been an enriching experience to get to know exciting topics, and not only sharing but getting feedback from my smart flipgrid partner. Furthermore, taking part in this program has allowed us to get to know one another, sharing different cultures and bringing to the table different ways of looking at life. I dare to say that friendship has blossomed throughout learning.

In a nutshell, it has been a pleasure to take part in this program that helped us to learn and get to know other students on the other side of the world. In my view, this way of learning should be implemented at our language school as an integral part of the course, if possible. It is high time to make use of technological tools as to speed the process of learning languages up to get us closer to our goals even faster.

Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

by Almudena García

Actor Tom Hanks has been nominated this year as one of the candidates to win the Oscar Award 2020 for his role in the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. The movie was directed by Marielle Heller and produced by Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf and Youree Henley. It is based on the real story of well-known Fred Rogers, the host of the program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

The plot of the film is about a journalist who hates his father for abandoning him and her sister when their mother was dying. To cover up his pain, he criticizes all the people that he interviews. The man is obligated by his boss to interview Fred Rogers because nobody wants to work with him. Nevertheless, at the same time he meets Fred, his life will change greatly.

As a spectator, I won´t tell a lot of things about the film because I recommend everyone to watch it. In spite of this, I would like to talk about some details that have called my attention, like the moments when actor Tom Hanks repeats “mercy” along the film. This is what I want to talk about. Apart from having a good plot, it holds a precious message: to know how to forgive and to express your own feelings.

To conclude, in my opinion, watching this film in family is a fantastic way to learn how the feelings that we experiment also have to be shared with our loved ones, because they are the ones who know us best. Finally, it´s a pleasure to say that I really hope Tom Hanks wins the Oscar for his extraordinary work at this film.

Genes and Genealogies: Reflections on our Biological and Social Inheritance

by Irene Velasco

Have you ever heard that Charles Darwin, George Washington, Jane Austen, Humphrey Bogart or Lord Byron were descendants of Edward III? Even more, what if we were told that 80% of British people nowadays are descendants of Edward III? Probably, we will think that someone is pulling our leg. However, that was the beginning of the speech by Susanna Manrubia in the weekly Small Talk session at the EOI in Valdemoro.

Susanna Manrubia is a physicist who works at the Spanish National Biotechnology Center (CSIC). She researches about Evolutionary Systems, the relationship between genotype and phenotype, molecular and viral evolution and she is also interested in cultural patterns and collective social behaviour. What an interesting person!

She patiently and splendidly explained to us the way our ancestors converge at some point in the past due to what she called the “Grandparents Paradox”. To illustrate this, she used the royal genealogical tree of Edward III, where some ancestors appear up to six times, since nobles usually married within their own families. In Spain, we also have another example of this: Felipe II, whose both grandmothers were daughters of The Catholics Kings. Similarly, in a large scale, the tree of an individual joins other genealogical trees because their relatives appear repeatedly in the tree. The more we look into the past, the more repeated individuals we will find. Thus, we share ancestors. Furthermore, we have exactly the same ancestors at some point in the past.

The moral of this story is if we choose two random individuals and we go back into their past generations, they have got the same group of ancestors and it appears equal number of times in both of them.

On the grounds that we all come from the same ancestor, the question that comes to our mind is: Why are we so different to each other? Where is our diversity? Much to our surprise, the answer is simple: genealogy is not the same as genetics. Susanna showed us through different pictures how we receive 50% of our genes randomly from each of our parents and, as we go generations back, these genes are diluted into uncountable ancestors. For instance, at eight generations back, none of our genes comes from any given ancestor. We can have a well-known ancestor as Edward III or Genghis Kahn, but we have not inherited anything from their genome. Rather, each of our genomes is unique and make us special.

In the light of the above, on the philosophical question “Who are we?”, we can say that not only are genes and genealogy involved, but there are also a lot of other cultural, social and historical factors to take into account to answer this question accurately. Sussana Manrubia certainly gave us some food for thought!

Pain and Glory

by Lidia Corregidor

This film has been the first Almodovar’s film that I’ve ever watched. However, I´ve always watched parts of his movies in my cinematography classes. I tried to watch some of them but I didn’t find any motivation. When his film was available in streaming, I decided to watch it. When I finished the film, I was amazed. It was very interesting and real. Almodovar says that his film was inspired in his own life. So, this is one of the most important reasons why this film is so good.

Salvador Mallo is a former film director that is depressive. He feels worried about his life and all his works. Suddenly, he receives an honorary award and his friend and colleague tries to motivate him. So, Salvador will start to think about his past and how his mum taught him all the things that he knows and loves. In other words, he will try to be in peace with himself.

The best thing of this film is its color. Almodovar’s films are characterized by their bright colors. You can see the main color in every shot, but especially red. This film tells a real story. You can see Almodovar in every moment on his life. Furthermore, you can feel his emotion, understand his situation, be in his position and travel along his mind.

On the other hand, things happen very slowly. Sometimes, it seems that nothing interesting is happening. However, you don’t notice this during the film. The movie is well-known due to the director. If this movie hadn’t been made by Almodovar, people wouldn´t have any interest in watching it.

In my opinion, this is an interesting movie to watch if you like cinematography. You can enjoy it if you like to watch films about real issues. You can identify with some of the characters. And you can delight in the photography.

Mesón La Plaza

by Noris Rodríguez

This restaurant is located just in the main square of Valdemoro. The establishment is quite big with different areas; there is a small area with a bar and two dining-rooms inside, an air-conditioned terrace and an outdoor area, especially for the summer. The old-fashioned furniture makes the atmosphere very cosy.

All the food was very tasty and well presented. We tried a mix of croquetas, potato salad with tuna fish, hake with clams and beefsteak. The waiters were always kind and correct with all the costumers.

Even though I think it is not a cheap restaurant, I recommend it because of the high quality of all their products, the excellent service and the good location. You will enjoythe restaurant.

“Who Can Be Decent In An Indecent World?”

Resultado de imagen de joker
by Pablo González

Joker could has been directed by Martin Scorsese but finally he refused and the director is Todd Philips. It is an amazing thriller adapted from a cartoons’ story, with a budget of 55 million dollars; far away from the superhero´s films, its style links to the best seventies´ American cinema. Joaquin Phoenix is the main actor together with a great Robert De Niro, he shows us how angry and fed up the protagonist is with the XXI century.

The synopsis is the following. Arthur Fleck (Phoenix) lives in Gotham with his mother, and his only motivation in life is to make people laugh acting as a clown in small jobs. However, he has serious mental problems that make people see him as a freak. His biggest dream is to act as a comedian in front of the public but a series of tragic and unfortunate events will increase his anger against a society which ignores him. Even more, the plot is so gripping, haunting and thought-provoking at the same time that it is not possible to choose an only way to analyse the plot.

Joker is a film which has shocked me. The main reason is that it shows us how thin is the line between the hero and the villain, just by only moving a little your point of view, the doubts appear in your mind. As a negative point, I would like to say that this film is not suitable for children. Many families make the mistake of thinking they can take their children to the cinema just because the film is based on a cartoon story.

This film is a mirror where all of us can look at themselves. The tragic story shown is very common currently and each one of us will easily identify with a part of the character’s life. The race of feeling sad and miserable always ends up in the defensive stage of madness. When someone lives suffering troubles and seems not to find an exit, nobody can tell whether that person is going to react as a hero or as a villain.


Trainspotting  - Fotogramas
by Delcoss

Trainspotting is an adaptation from the fascinating book by Irvine Welsh. The film is set in Edinburgh, and tells the story of a group of heroin addicts.

The plot focuses on Mark Renton, a heroin addict who tries to stop the habit, and he manages to do it for a while, but eventually falls back into his addition. Meanwhile his friends do exactly the same thing that he does. All of them are immersed in an underworld of addition, crime and violence. The addict lifestyle is described as something without sense and empty of meaning, just like materialistic values promoted by the society.

The film is well acted by an excellent cast who have become pretty famous since then. It´s a black comedy; at times hilarious, tragic and moving. On the other hand, the movie doesn´t condemn drug addicts, but it´s more effective, since it shows the devastating consequences of drugs consumption.

Trainspotting is a film well worth seeing, it´s one of the most gripping and unconventional films ever made. Brilliantly acted, directed and written with the clear purpose of being thought-provoking.

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