5 Things You Should Know about Spanish English Language Learners
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Every EFL classroom is different. Even though no matter where you are teaching you will be applying the same learning theories and teaching methodologies to your teaching, a lot of what happens in the classroom will depend on your students. As English as a Foreign Language teachers, we need to identify the needs of our learners as well as their interests in order to plan effective and fun lessons for them.
At the same time, even though each class is different, there are a few things you can predict based on your students’ first language and nationality. We are not saying you can generalize across the board, but cultural, educational and linguistic backgrounds will result in similar behaviours.
If you are teaching in Spain, here are a few things you can expect from your Spanish English Language Learners.
Note: we’re not talking about all Spanish-speaking English language learners, but particularly those from Spain. Spanish-speaking English language learners from Central or South America are another kettle of fish.
They have a natural fluency
When teaching in Spain, you might be surprised by how fluent your learners are, regardless of their level of English. Even learners with very low levels of English will have good fluency. This is probably because they are very confident learners. They are not shy to speak English in the classroom or make mistakes, both of which are characteristics of successful language learners.
They won’t stop talking!
This is every TEFL teacher’s dream! As a result of their confidence and their fluency – and possibly their Spanish-ness – Spanish learners love to talk. They will happily sit around and chat all lesson if they could. While this is all well and good, it means you may need to make sure they are on-task during the lesson. What this also means is that you are guaranteed to get a good response from your learners if they are interested in the topic. They will respond especially well to conversational activities and speaking tasks.
They may struggle with English grammar
If you speak Spanish, then you know what we’re talking about. Spanish grammar is quite different to English grammar. Spanish uses masculine and feminine nouns and differs according to level of formality. In Spanish descriptive adjectives come after the noun, not before as in English. In Spanish the subject of the sentence is indicated in the verb, while it needs to be explicitly stated in English. These are just a few issues your learners may have problems with when dealing with grammar.
They’ll have pronunciation problems
There are a number of phonetic differences between English and Spanish with the result that Spanish learners of English usually make a few pronunciation errors when speaking (just as English-speakers make pronunciation errors when speaking Spanish).
Spanish-speakers may confuse the short and long vowel sounds in English, thus confusing ship and sheep, or not and note. They will also pronounce the schwa sound because it does not exist in Spanish, so where in English we would use a Schwa in the er of teacher, the Spanish would pronounce the whole word. Again, these are just a few of the challenges your learners will face when it comes to English pronunciation.
They’ll struggle with false friends
They are some words which are similar in two different languages. They’ll look and sound the same and, as luck would have it, have similar meaning. Those are the good guys – they’re called cognates – and we’re happy to have them in our classrooms. For example, a banana is a banana (is a banana) no matter if you are Spanish or English, as is an animal and a colour, though they all have different pronunciations.
However, there are a few other fellows who love to cause a bit of confusion.
These are called false friends. They look and sound the same in two languages, but have totally different meanings. English and Spanish have many false friends just waiting to trip your students up. For example, in English you can take out a book from a library, but in Spanish you have to buy a book from a libreria (bookstore), and you might find yourself in a confusing situation if you say in Spanish that you are embarazada (pregnant) when you actually mean that you are embarrassed.
While we don’t want to paint all our Spanish English language learners with the same brush, you’ll probably find that your learners exhibit most if not all of these characteristics. This is good news for us because it means we can prepare for this in our lesson planning!
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- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.