Consejos para escribir más claro

¿Qué libros recomiendas a estudiantes que quieren o necesitan mejorar su escritura? Después de unos cuantos años, yo sigo recomendando La cocina de la escritura, de Daniel Cassany. Aquí te dejo con algunas de sus ideas y consejos. ¡Comparte los tuyos!

Ojo, son fragmentos de la edición de 1996 y me he tomado la libertad de titularlos.

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Soccer and language learning

Leo van Lier, again

“I remember a visiting jazz musician speaking to my son’s music class in high school. I was outside in the hall (eavesdropping), waiting to pick up my contingent of car pool victims. The musician (a rather well known professional jazz performer) was just finishing his demo with some final words of wisdom. He said that students should think of music as a creative exploration, something that just flows. He felt that the students thought of music more as a rigid set of rules and formulas that had to be learned by heart, “just like mathematics and foreign languages. ” This was a quite interesting comment. Why should foreign language learning be equated with mathematics, rather than with, say, painting, or music, or soccer? After all, as I argued in the last chapter, language use requires an investment of voice, and there is an aesthetic element in language use from this perspective, in the same way that voice and identity are invested in music, painting, and even in more bodily activities such as soccer (and of course dance).”

Such a great and random find! I have been using the metaphor of soccer for language learning for a while now, trying to express its collective nature, its complexity, its embodiment, its unpredictability. It would be easier to think about it as going to the gym. We do need consistence. Goals. Repetition. And we benefit from coaching, recommendations, feedback. However, language is not an individual sport.

“After many years in which the world has afforded me many experiences, what I know most surely in the long run about morality and obligations, I owe to football.”  (Albert Camus)

Like soccer, language learning is based on unpredictable human interactions. The successful language learner has played many games and learned from them, creating a persona, an ethos, a pathos in the field, knowing how and when to pass the ball, to dribble, to improvise…

They have practiced improvisation and yes, “not improvising in the all-too-common and incomplete sense of just making stuff up and saying anything”.

An agency-promoting curriculum

Too bad I didn’t get to meet Leo van Lier, soul of our Institute:

“A completely passive learner will not learn. A compliant (obedient, dutiful etc.) learner will learn, because he or she employs agency, if only at the behest of others. In this way learners who study a foreign language in school because it is required, will be able to have some success and to pass tests. However, in order to make significant progress, and to make enduring strides in terms of setting objectives, pursuing goals and moving towards lifelong learning, learners need to make choices and employ agency in more self-directed ways. In addition to autonomy and related characteristics, agency is also closely connected to identity, and this emphasizes the social and dialogical side of agency: it depends not only on the individual, but also on the environment. In the classroom, an agency-promoting curriculum can awaken learners’ agency through the provision of choices and the opportunity to work as a member of a learning community on interesting and challenging projects and puzzles (Allwright & Hanks, 2009)”.

Leo van Lier (2010, p. 5)


Hoy, en clase, hemos hablado del doblaje y de este cortometraje, Doblajitis.

Y me he acordado de un artículo que escribí para la revista El Duende  en octubre de 2004. No lo encuentro en la red así que voy a ponerlo aquí.

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