The lack of posts on the Serveis Lingüístics de Barcelona blog recently has not meant a lack of SLB activity! Here’s a quick résumé of what our cooperative has been up to recently.

Serveis Lingüístics de Barcelona socios using the coworking

SLB socios using the coworking for training (& vermut)

1. We moved out of two of our founders’ flat and into an ace coworking space on Barcelona’s Carrer Bruc, on the cusp of the Gracia district. This has not only allowed us to work more efficiently, but we’ve also made connections with some of the other freelancers and companies based there, and we’re reaching out to local people and businesses. There’s an office and two salas for meetings, classes and workshops, and all socios can use the space free for coop business. For their own private work, they can rent it out – at the ridiculously cheap rate of 3€ an hour with heavy discounts for blocked hours! by Hada Litim, used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license,

“Brunch”, or “Win-Win”!

2. The cooperative has won a big ELT materials-writing contract with an international publisher which is currently giving well-paid work to four socios and two non-socios. We’re flat out on this right now but the great thing is the income it brings in to SLB – more money to fund training, our own materials, marketing for our socios as well as the very important admin and accounting. And if there’s anything left over, we’ll be sharing it out because that’s what cooperatives do! This is a fantastic example of why we’re working together – the job came in to one of our socios who was unable to do all the work himself, and would have had to turn it down. Instead, the perfect solution was to provide the services of our collective. Win-win for everyone!


Irene and bump …

3. Another service we provide is cover for our socios when they need to take time off – another thing that’s difficult to organise as a lone freelancer. One of our socios, Mandeep Locham, is currently on maternity leave and is having her in-company classes covered by two other members. Meanwhile, Irene Almazan will soon be doing the same thing, but we’ve found a cooperative of accountancy and business management to take over her role for a few months too! All of which means there will soon be two SLB babies! And so finding premises with creche facilities may be a next step …

4. Although we are sad to say that two of our socios, Simon and Andrew, have decided to move on, we are delighted to welcome David Harvell into the SLB fold. He’s currently completing a Master’s in Applied Linguistics but is managing to find time to teach in our current community project, organised by our own hardworking Laura Hesse in collaboration with T’Acompanyem in the district of La Mina. David is teaching a group of out-of-work local people who the organisation helps to improve their employability with training on IT and other skills – and now English. We thank David for his commitment and hopefully he’ll post here soon about the project.


Teachers as Workers

In other news … Sergi, as well as expanding our resources for translators, has been helping some of us brush up on our Catalan (merci Sergi!) and is receiving a bit of teacher-training in exchange … the last internal training session focused on vocabulary activities and techniques and brainstorming ideas for developing a phone/tablet app (watch this space!) … Alan has been drumming up business as head of a new department of his own ingenious creation …. George has landed a plummy job in Colombia, felicitats to him – we were sad he’s not coming back to Barna but thankfully he’s still committed to SLB as he is a very key player for us … we’re now working with a local marketing cooperative … also trying to lend support to the very worthy Teachers as Workers cause … and we have a number of people interested in joining SLB in the near future!

So there you have it! Hope not to leave such a big gap between posts next time, but as you can see we’ve been pretty busy. All the same, please get in touch if we can help you in any way, as we answer calls and emails more reliably than we post in this blog!

Acknowledgement: “Brunch”, by Hada Litim, used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license,

About the author : Neil McMillan

Current president of SLB and a freelance teacher, writer and teacher educator. Course director on the SLB TBLT course. Author and collaborating professor at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

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