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Nov 052013
With Manchester City sitting a disappointing eight on the Premier League table, the club under new coach Manuel Pellegrini have apparently decided to address some of their troubles in an innovative if distressing manner.

New Sevilla, Summer signings Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo, along with 2011 signing Kun Aguero from Atletico Madrid are evidently having troubles adapting to their new English surroundings, the culture and the language I mean (everyone has trouble adapting to the food), and so the club have decided to enroll their charges in an ingenious new language program: the Teletubbies.

Well, it's more than just the Teletubbies really. New signings are given a "language acquisition pack" by tutors that includes not just watching Tinky-winky, Dipsy, La-La and Po, but including other children's programming from In the Night Garden, CBeebies to Balamory as well. They're learning English with Ms. Hoolie, Iggle-Piggle and the rest? I guess it takes Aguero full circle because he earned his nickname from his childhood resemblance to a popular Japanese anime character, but is it effective? Are they meeting their language goals? What's their measurable fluency? Is it standards based?

The club is happy with the results and the players are adapting slowly, Aguero said recently in an interview that his English was "getting better every day", but who's to say really. I mean, I learned the language by watching reruns of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, Sesame Street and the Electric Company on PBS, so who am I to ridicule this? I'm just a lowly primary school teacher with an overly developed sense for the absurdity around him.

Whatever the truth to this premier league nonsense is, you get the feeling again, and again that you're being played with by the editors and writers Daily Mail who published the original article yesterday. That isn't necessarily a bad thing.
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The Ball is Flat is a website and podcast devoted to the Beautiful Game. Football, Futbol, Fusball or whatever you call it, it is the game that divides and unites us. The Ball is Flat's mission is to cover European football with an eye open, the heart in motion, and the brain colored with the right amount of cheerful cynicism. Read more:

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