Category Archives: Languages

The sound of language

The Lingua Franca Foundation has whirl pooled  yet another one of its activities. As the Foundation wears many hats, it is crucial to crystallise some of the  lot on the plate. As to that, the Foundation is now exercising its mother wit by squeezing out the language lime to suit our important clients more than 100 hours worth of training each !

 

This tailored language course focuses more on the trainees’ Achille’s heel. As a trainer, I have constructed a special test to determine the trainees’ level of language comprehension. After the assessment, the trainees are then being drilled intensively according to their level of understanding and capacity to learn- taking into account their personal ability, character, background and culture. Each learning scheme is uniquely design to fit the dress of the wearer.

After two consecutive months of intensive training with two different trainees, I honestly discovered that all roads lead to Rome. It is not at the end of the road yet, nevertheless, so far as I can tell, it has been a very fruitful journey for both the trainees and the trainer. 

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Self-evaluation grid from European Common Frame of Reference

Do you plan to apply for a job in Europe ?  Or to study in Europe ?  Or simply to improve your level of language ?

Today, we offer you a free and very handy downloadable tool !

This is the self-evaluation grid that experts designed for the European Common Frame of Reference for Languages.  It allows you to self-evaluate your skill levels in any language.

Students in classroom

So, before you subscribe for a language course or move to any European country, you can read the different items related to the level of understanding, speaking and writing skills.

This tool can also help you to fill in your CV correctly!  Yes, more often than not, I read what’s written on very brilliant and interesting CV’s :

  • English : mother language,
  • Italian : school level,
  • Spanish : good.

All this doesn’t mean anything for your future boss !  So, instead of these generalities, fill in your CV with clear statements like :

  • Italian : I can understand the main points of a clear standard speech, I can write standard business letters, and I can take an active part in familar professional context.

Doesn’t it sound more professional ?

You can read, dowload, share, print and embed the following document.  For a more comfortable reading, click on fullscreen and then adjust the zoom by clicking on the magnifying glass below, on the left.

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Uniqueness of Service

Each Individual is Unique

Stichting Lingua Franca Foundation realise the importance of  each client’s individuality and uniqueness. We acknowledge the existence of the client’s own specific needs and demands. We also acknowledge that each client needs to take total control on the development of his/her need(s) through out the entire course and everybody has his/her own pace to tackle the need(s) according to the level of understanding and acceptance.

Walking through the sand

We want the client to know that we actually understand their needs and the manner of wanting their needs to be fulfilled. Face-to-face interaction is one of the basic methods we use to penetrate the client’s true wish. Some people are afraid of spilling out what is truly in their hearts; thinking that others might make a mockery out of them. Some even think their needs and demands are too impossible to achieve. We are here to break that barrier of endless fear. We are here to assure them dreams can be realities if you work hard to achieve it. Dreams are not impossible. It is solely up to YOU to make the impossible possible.

Tailored Made Programme

The services offered by the Stichting Lingua Franca Foundation are specifically designed around YOUR NEEDS. Yes, YOUR NEEDS. We will propose to you a programme/service/workshop/course specially for YOU. A tailored made programme to solely suit YOUR EXACT NEEDS.  Considering all factors and wishes from YOU the client, the Foundation will evaluate seriously all levels of the individual’s potential and achievement. From there, we will create a course that you are comfortable with to enable you to  finally achieve your goals.

Personal Development and Performance

She-conomy : women, business, comsumption and marketing…

It is the first video I translated for the Lingua Franca Academy and I wanted to show it to you because it is very representative of a new generation of peculiarly lively entrepreneurs : Women !

In this clip, they talk about 70% of business being started by women.  In the last training courses that I coordinated in Belgium, figures were closer to 80-85% of women.  Women are now a new force you have to count with !that matters !

This video, initially published on the Blog She-conomy, has been produced by Stephanie Holland, woman entrepreneur and founder of the marketing agency  Holland & Holland.   She knows what she’s talking about.

I did the English transcription and the French translation with the open source translation website http://www.dotsub.com.  Translation of documents, including videos, is one of the Lingua Franca Academy’s activities.  It corresponds to one of our goals : promoting languages and intercultural exchanges.

Uuhh?? Uuuhh?? Mama, I can read..??!

Have you ever witness little children who are able to read without having to teach them how to read the language in the first place? This is without sending them to a specific language school, or send them to special language class to enable them to learn to grasp the language and to fully understand the concept of the language itself. I am talking about literally putting a book in front of them and they start reading simultaneously, and surprisingly with almost no fault nor correction! I am not saying that you shouldn’t teach any language just by speaking alone, but believe me! It helps a lot in grasping the meaning and pronouncing the words faster than usual.

boy reading a book

I have been speaking English with my children since they were born. It’s not their only language since we speak more than three languages in the house. But to my astonishment, my children are able to recognise words and sentences from any English book and are able to read them fluently. All I know is that, all these years we never stop talking and practising the language. We speak English every single day.

One thing here that I feel the urge to mention is that I make sure the children speak proper English. Not any ‘broken’ English as most people put it. I have the tendency to keep correcting their sentences whenever there is the need for correction. This is because I know for a fact that it is crucial to speak the language correctly so that the person receiving the information will benefit from understanding fully what you want to relay in the first place – hopefully without having to repeat over and over again for clarity.

boy and girl reading a book

Now, it seems that my hard work has been paid off – slowly (I am waiting for a big fat cheque at the end of all this! Haha, just kidding…) Honestly, I am genuinely happy to see that my children are benefiting our endless effort all these years.   There are a lot of sweat and tears along the journey, however, I am more than satisfied with the fruitful result. Imagine that throughout the years,  it was I  who read the books to the children almost every night. And now? Now, it’s totally a different story altogether. It’s a total opposite, really!  The children are the ones who read pirate adventures books, or stories about beautiful princesses and the ever lasting Prince Charming. Or stories about little boys and girls, or stories about frogs and swans, gnomes and fairies and even funny comic books to me instead! You should have seen the look in their eyes once they start reading on their own. As if they have found the long lost treasure  from Treasure Island. They are so proud to tell me, ” I can read, mama…. I can read!”

With this, I am now teaching the children the proper structure of the language through writing. I do not have to start at the very beginning since this is no longer an unfamiliar territory.  I am sure that the children will have more pleasure in learning the language  thoroughly since I am already seeing signs of ‘having so much fun‘ while they are reading and writing English. I am entirely convinced that the children will be able to read, write, speak and hear the language in full gear in the very near future! Never under estimate the power of the mind of a child….

Fruitful future

There is a new project buzzing around the local neighbourhood. I heard this through a contact of mine. We accidentally bumped into each other 2 days ago at one of the Youth & Family Development centres. The last time we spoke, I told her about my idea to propose a project in exposing children to multiple languages at very tender age.

Apparently that somehow caused some sort a chain reaction since, mysteriously out of the blue, she suddenly told me that she (and other colleagues) are in the process of trying to propose some sort of programme to develop children’s mind from birth till they are 4 years old.

Unfortunately we had to cut our conversation short due to appointments we both had to attend (but at different location with different people), but now it gives me a very strong impression that people do think the idea of teaching children and exposing them to new methods of learning, or a new language, etc. is extremely important in order to maximise the potential of the child’s mind and to gear it up to its fullest capacity. I have to say; I got excited! And I fully support this notion.

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Shereen El Feki : creating a gathering place for Arabic people and the rest of the World

Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations showed the war between civilization as unavoidable, something engraved in the core of geopolitics since the beginning of times…  A lucid examination of history shows something rather different : cultures and civilizations always exchange, giving to and borrowing from each other, excluding some elements and integrating some others according to the proper dynamics of their own evolutions.  The Arabic and Muslim world is no exception to this rule and is re-interpreting elements from modernity according to local needs and conditions, “to produce novelties which are neither conventionally Western nor traditionally Arab“.

Shereen El Feki, half Egyptian, half Welsh, is observing these side effects of globalization. “Her passion lies in the many projects in which she is involved which aim to better understand, and surmount, the social challenges facing Arabs, particularly young people”.

In this video, published by Ted India, she is showing some examples of these borrowings.

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