My father was born in the Canary Islands. He was a watercolourist-painter with North-American family, and my mother was born in Tarragona. She was a Catalan university-teacher whose father was exiled to Mexico because of the Spanish Civil War. At home, drawing, reading and writing were common entertainments for all of us. As one of eight siblings, in my childhood I also had a rich experience of games, songs, storytelling and excursions that made me communicative, curious and always happy to discover new playgrounds to explore. Maybe that’s why I’ve been studying almost all my life: History, Philology, Pedagogy, Communication Technology, and everything that happens to catch my attention, especially if it is related to learning, interacting and communicating.
I’ve always liked languages, and I’ve taught in Catalan, English and Spanish to students of all ages. Two of my three children have participated in the European Erasmus Programme, and all of them have studied four languages at school. I’m sure that plurilingualism and intercultural relationships can help new generations to feel both more rooted and more open to the world, proud of their past and ready for their future.
I’ve been involved with computers since the late eighties – using Spectrum 4k, Comodore 64, and Honeywell Bull 120 computers, do you remember them?… I passed from designing a little programme for learning Catalan vocabulary, to participating in early international projects on line with the first Educational ICT Programme in Catalonia (PIE, in Catalan). I see myself a bit as a pioneer educator, breaking new ground in school projects: EuroSesame, IberoCultures, Kidelink, Lingua-E, Comenius…
From then on, I haven’t stopped searching for different methods and techniques to reach and interact with real audiences all over the world. For the last ten years I was in the Department of Education in Catalonia, first as Assistant Manager in the Inspectorate of Education, and later as Head of the Foreign Language Service. There, I was coordinating and planning institutional language-learning programmes, and encouraging international exchange among teachers, students and schools. Now, as Inspector of Education and Co-founder of the Transformation Society (@TransformSoc), I participate in teacher training, educational research and on-line webinars, together with my life partner, @RayGallon.
My tweets this week will promote plurilingualism, international global skills, language learning, and intercultural awareness. I’m convinced that these are the skills we need to navigate in this on-line Transmedia Universe, where we are blending our physical and virtual identities, while trying not to lose either.