Catalan

What’s in a name?

Mallorca Tutoring Academy, Vicki McLeod

Back in September 2009 Julie Staley and Jay Hirons opened the doors to the Kip McGrath Education Centre in Son Quint Golf in Palma for the first time. It wasn’t long before I got to know and respect them for their professionalism, their standards and their ambitions. They set out to offer a very high standard in educational tutoring for children who either spoke English as their mother tongue and needed help maintaining a good level or children who were learning to speak English as a second language. I’m guessing that the first few years, just like for any new business, were challenging: it’s not easy to establish yourself on this little island, so many people come and go, and you have to keep working hard. But these gals certainly did that as they have just celebrated five years in business and rebranded themselves in the process. Just last week Kip McGrath renamed themselves Mallorca Tutoring Academy, with a fancy new logo and some big new ideas.

“We learnt so much about running a business here on the island”, said Julie. “Together with this knowledge and support from the franchise we have been able to develop the business you see today, and become a well-known part of the Mallorca educational community”.  The business formerly known as “Kip” manages to cater for a diverse range of clients from the age of four and up. Over the years of taking my daughter La Gidge to have educational support sessions there I’ve met kids who hail from all over the world that are now living in Mallorca and coping with its very particular language demands and educational peculiarities. The reason I take my girl to the centre is to get some help with her reading and writing in English, I didn’t want her growing up spelling things phonetically as that’s a difficult habit to get out of. If Gidg needs it in the future she can get help with her maths, her Catalan, Castellano, sciences, study skills, take her SATs and Cambridge language exams or study for “A” levels. MTA are now developing new services which include drama classes, a cinema club, and an expanded Senior Academy with a wide range of exams available for the students to take.  All of this as a support and supplement to normal school activities.

One of the things I really love about this service is that it means Gidge gets the benefits of being part of our local community as she goes to her fantastic local school where she’s taught in Catalan, Castellano and (to a lesser extent) English. She has Spanish mates as well as all the international kids who seem to have gathered in Port Andratx, we also have kids from all over the world studying at her primary school. But because of MTA she gets the benefits of 1:1 tutoring, a personalised approach to learning, and bags and bags of confidence.

They’re celebrating their rebranding this Saturday 17th January from 2pm at their centre when you can meet the MTA team, and loads of other educational specialists from around the island who will be available for free advice and assessments.

YOU CAN GET IN TOUCH WITH THEM HERE:

Mallorca Tutoring Academy

Golf Son Quint

Cami de son Vida 38

Palma de Mallorca

07013

Telephone: +34 971 79 14 10

E-mail: info@mallorcatutoringacademy.com

Web: http://www.mallorcatutoringacademy.com

Advertisements

Normal service will be resumed

The medical form....

The medical form….

Regular readers of this column will have noticed that I have been anything but regular recently with my column, and for that I apologise. I’ve been getting to know the Spanish health system. Now it’s nothing to worry about, I’m not about to announce a terminal disease or a pregnancy but I have been coping with a new and unexpected development. I’ve become one of those people who has back problems, despite my indignant denial of the situation.

Which is how I found myself in Son Espases Hospital at 9.30am a couple of Sundays ago waiting for an MRI. There is a little known skill that a Britisher has to develop once they have moved to Spain: the ability to recognise their surname when a Spanish person pronounces it in a waiting room. You don’t want to jump up and cry “Ese soy yo!” and then be embarrassed to realise that they have in fact just called Senora Mendoza, crivens no, that wouldn’t do at all to draw attention to one’s self would it? On top of that there is the immense translation task which is the medical questionnaire, in Catalan. Back in 2004 when my husband and I moved to Mallorca we very quickly had to use what was then Son Dureta Hospital for a mystery illness (which turned out to be a very nasty bout of reactive arthritis) I had to cart around an enormous Spanish English dictionary with me in order to be understand, much to the amusement of the nurses. At least now I can use the Google Translate App on my phone, (if you haven’t got it, get it, it’s free and very handy for tricky vocabulary. I didn’t know the Catalan word “imant” meant “magnet” for example).

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have an MRI. Although I’d seen plenty of them on Casualty, I still turned to my Facebook mates in the group “I have a question” to find out what advice they had for me. “You have to stay still but don’t panic”, “make sure you go for a big wee beforehand”, “it’s quite noisy but it’s okay they give you earplugs”, and “I played an alphabet game in my head to distract me” were the four most key pieces of advice that played through my head (wishing I’d remembered the advice about the wee), as I lay down on the trolley and slowly slid into the tube. I fought off the temptation to have a panic attack when I realised that I was in an expensive coffin-like structure and started to write this column in my head.  My friends were right, it is noisy, but the sounds themselves are very much like what you would expect to hear coming from a teenager’s bedroom: a repetitive twanging guitar sound, one note only, a stuck record (vinyl, remember them, even older than my massive dictionary) and a jack hammer. Well, depends on the type of teenagers you know I suppose.

I’ll be back next week. (See what I did there?).

http://www.familymattersmallorca.com

Vicki McLeod 2014