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Aprender inglés ralentiza el proceso de envejecimiento del cerebro

Aprender inglés ralentiza el proceso de envejecimiento del cerebro.Aprender inglés ralentiza el proceso de envejecimiento del cerebro

La BBC ha publicado últimamente un artículo acerca de investigaciones de la Universidad de Edimburgo sobre cómo aprender un segundo idioma puede tener efectos positivos en el cerebro, incluso cuando somos adultos.

¡Una excelente razón para empezar o seguir aprendiendo! Lee el artículo en inglés aquí y dinos tu opinión. ¿Has notado si aprender inglés te ha ayudado?

Learning a second language “slows brain ageing”

The BBC has recently posted a news article from some research from the University of Edinburgh about how learning a second language can have a positive effect on the brain, even if it’s taken up in adulthood. A great reason to start or continue learning!

Read the article, and tell us your opinion. Also, How has learning English helped you?


Read the article on the BBC



“selfie” nuevo vocabulario en inglés

El vocabulario en inglés está en constante cambio, es interesante mantenerse al corriente de estas evoluciones. ¿Cuál ha sido elegido como la palabra nueva en inglés de 2013?

Esta palabra ha logrado estar en las noticias últimamente en el homenaje del Nelson Mandela. En un momento del funeral la primera ministra danesa Helle Thorning-Schmidt, saco un “selfie” con David Cameron el primer ministro británico y Barack Obama.

The word ‘selfie’ has recently been added to the Cambridge Dictionary and has been announced as their ‘Word of 2013’. But what is a ‘selfie’?

A selfie is a word of the modern age, a word born in the world of technology. It means a self-portrait photo, that’s usually taken while holding a mobile phone or camera and pointing it at yourself. Selfies are usually taken for social networking.

actividad en curso de inmersión en inglés

a selfie taken on one of our English Immersion course walks by a student

Last year’s word was ‘omnishambles’, which means a situation that has been completelty mismanaged and seen as shambolic or as a disaster from all perspectives.

English is constantly changing, and because of this constant change, and the fact that English accepts some foreign words and has become an international language, means that it probably has more words than any other language, but it is impossible to count for sure.

Here at Optima Communication, we sometimes like to play a game in the evening with students, where we choose an old English word and all the teachers and students have to invent a definition, then everybody has to vote for their favourite. This is a really great game, because it’s one where the students have the opportunity to beat the teachers in an English language game! And they usually do!

What new words have you heard?
Is the language in Spain used by the younger generations vastly different to older generation?

El inglés no es el único idioma indigena del Reino Unido: practicar el inglés online

Aquí podrás practicar el inglés online con un artículo que ha salido últimamente en las noticias. Leerlo y después darnos tu opinión:

The UK has ten, indigenous languages, how many can you name?

This article discusses why it’s important to learn indigenous languages and not just the main language spoken of a country.

I was originally from Wales and even though Welsh isn’t my first language, I do tend to agree with most points put across in this article.

Languages in the UK: practicar el inglés online. gales, irelanda, escocia

I think that it’s important to not let these old languages die because they provide a link to the past, help us to understand our culture, heritage and even our humor.

However, I think that it’s important to keep progressing, integrate with other cultures and their languages and traditions, and not close ourselves off.  Yes, I love my country, Wales, and the Welsh culture and I’d love for my children to be able to speak Welsh, but at the same time it’s important to let people from outside in.

Anyway, it’s also nice to be able to speak a little of an unusual language.

Finally, as the article says, the ten indigenous languages that are still spoken in the UK are:  English, Scots, British Sign Language, Welsh, Gaelic, Irish, Cornish, Manx, Angloromani and Shelta.

I’d love to know your opinion, do you think these old languages have a place in the 21st century? What is your first language?


By Siôn ( Teacher at Optima Communication)

Spain in the news: Equality between men and women, a 2013 report

I came across this article about equality between men and women on the BBC website; It is about a new survey that classifies rates of sexual equality around the world and compares them on a country wide basis.

equality men and women

Progress around the world in terms of equality, is one of the most important ways of getting more talent to participate in resolving the issues that we need to deal with as a society.

I think statistical information is one of the keys to informed debate, so I invite you to visit the original report that can be accessed on line.  This is obviously more in-depth than the BBC article and it contains information by country, and divides equality into 4 areas of considerations. As talent knows no gender distinctions and we would all benefit, both women and men, from more equality, that way the most talented people would be able to make a greater contribution to our societies.

Spain and the UK: how do they compare?

In the report a score of 1.000 represents equality for women; less than 1 inequality against women. The two countries I am most linked to are Spain, where I have been living for the past 20 years and the UK where I was born. Overall Spain comes out 30th in the world, out of the 136 countries under consideration, with an equality ratio of 0.727 and the UK 18th with an equality ratio of 0.774

  1. Economic Participation and Opportunity;  Spain comes out 76th with a disappointing equality ratio of just 0.652;  UK 35 th with an again disappointing equality ratio of 0.732
  2. Educational Attainment; Spain comes out 40th with a respectable equality ratio of  0.997;  UK 31st, and also with almost exact equality 0.999
  3. Health and Survival; Spain comes out with a perhaps surprising position of 75th with an equality ratio of  0.973; UK 92nd, with a similar equality ratio of 0.970
  4. Political Empowerment; Spain comes out 27th with a disappointing equality ratio of just 0.284; UK 29th, also with a disappointing equality ratio of 0.275

Comparing countries versus comparing against inequality

To me it is clear that it less important a countries position, with respect to other countries and more important the absolute levels of equality. Perhaps the league tables are more journalistic, as we all like to compare our countries with others. However, to be higher up the country comparison chart could be argued to be a negative thing in some extreme cases. Perhaps if it means that there is inequality against men in order to achieve it. For example, Iceland which tops the survey with an equality ratio of 0.873 has the following results in one area;

  1. Educational Attainment; Joint 1st with a equality ratio of , although I don’t understand this figure because for all sub areas the score is 1 or more, in one area the inequality is as much as 1.79. that is the ratio of women to men in terciary education (ie universities) Is it positive for a society to have 1.79 times more women at university than men? What do you think?

Political Empowerment and Economic Participation and Opportunity the two areas with biggest opportunities

However, this only occurs in a few countries in two areas; health and Survival (where 23 countries share the top score of 0.9796 )and Educational attainment (where 26 countries have the same 1.000 score). The bigger picture is that all countries of the world can improve in the other two areas, where Iceland is number 1 for Political Empowerment with a score of 0.754 ; and Norway number 1 for Economic Participation and Opportunity with a score of 0.837.

The report also compares the results with previous results from other years, this is interesting in Spain’s and the UK’s cases. Spain has dropped from it’s position of 10th in the world, with a score of 0.7444 in 2007 and the UK has dropped from 9th in the world with a score of 0.7365 in 2006. Has been Spain and the UK being going backwards in terms of equality?

Well I invite you all to have a look at the data and please feel free to leave a comment below,