Tuesday, 26 February 2013


Here are the materials from Thursday´s session on Interaction. PowerPoint and links will be uploaded shortly...



Below you´ll find attached the resources from last week's session on Interaction. Any questions, please let me know.



Hi again,
Here you have the slideshow from last Thursday's session. Keep us posted on any activities that you try here.

Strangers and Interaction

Here's an interesting article about Interaction in Cities which I came across a few days ago. Did you know that Interaction between Strangers is a subject at university?
Although no linguistic implication is discussed, it seems to me that the ways we as "individuals" may choose to interact (or not) with strangers may also shape how we choose to activate our skills and use language in context.
Read it here:

Monday, 25 February 2013

Get your students reading with Minifiction!

Have you ever wanted to use some authentic writing in your classes but found it too time-consuming to look for (and read!) material, only to decide that it´s not useful / suitable for your class?
I´ve just been in this situation and found a really useful article on the British Council website, which talks about using "minifiction" or "flash fiction" in the classroom.

The article is here , so you can decide for yourslef!

Personally, I think it´s another option for those of you who want to use some authentic texts in class, as the stories are short and need less preparation on the teacher´s part in terms of reading, extracting  language, grammar points etc. AND....the students feel satisfied at having read something "real"!


Songs are a good resource to learn grammatical structures. There are many songs that repeat the same sentences, so it is easy for the children to recognise these structures. A good example is the song Moon Shadow, by Cat Stevens:

I'm being followed by a moon shadow
moon shadow-moon shadow
leaping and hopping on a moon shadow
moon shadow-moon shadow
and if I ever lose my hands
lose my plough, lose my land
oh, if I ever lose my hands
oh, if...
I won’t have to work no more
and if I ever lose my eyes
If my colours all run dry
yes, if I ever lose my eyes
oh if …
I won't have to cry no more.
yes, I'm being followed by a moon shadow
moon shadow - moon shadow
leaping and hopping on a moon shadow
moon shadow - moon shadow
and if I ever lose my legs
I won't moan and I won't beg
of (oh)* if I ever lose my legs
oh if...
I won't have to walk no more

And if I ever lose my mouth
all my teeth, north and south
yes, if I ever lose my mouth
oh if...
I won't have to talk...

Did it take long to find me
I ask the faithful light
Ooh did it take long to find me
And are you going to stay the night
I'm being followed by a moon shadow
moon shadow - moon shadow
leaping and hopping on a moon shadow
moon shadow - moon shadow
moon shadow - moon shadow
moon shadow - moon shadow

As we can see, in this song there is a repeated structure "If I ever lose..." so children can work with conditionals. After the first paragraph, we can miss the words "If I ever lose" and we ask the children to fill in the gaps. As it is repeated all the song, it won't be very difficult to them to recognise the words.

In this specific example we can also work with present continuous "I'm being followed" and future simple "I won't have to".

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Keep up the inspiration!


I´ve really enjoyed reading about the way you are using some of the ideas we´ve been discussing in the Workshop! I am glad that your students are enjoying the activities. It´s great to have such responsive and responsible participants as yourselves...Thanks for sharing your ideas and experiences and keep posting!
Hi mates!

 Last week I had the opportunity to put into practice some of Neda's ideas and the results were very positive. Course: 4th ESO.

We worked with a song (Adele's "Someone like you"). As an icebreaker, I told them to listen to the song and write all the words they could understand. After that, they had to discuss what the song was about in groups of 3 with the help of the words.

Only some of the students had a clear idea of the meaning of the lyrics. So, I decided to give them all the lines of the song. The problem was that they were not in order. Their task was to put these lines in order  and listen to the song again.

I think that this can be a motivating activity to introduce a grammar point or some vocabulary that is in a song. In this way, we can catch students' attention easily.

Friday, 22 February 2013

My experience with Neda's Idea.

Hi everybody.
First of all I'd like to thank Neda and Pilar. Neda for her amazing workshop. I'm having a great time and learning a lot. And Pilar for organizing everything so well.
Juan after these compliments I would be recognised with 5 more hours than you.
Finally, my experience.
I've tried one of the ideas that Neda suggested. I had a Reading. A text in the book ( Interface 1º ESO ). It has a Listening. I told my SS to close their books and open their notebooks. I told them to write down every word or sentence that they hear. I played the text twice. First time the whole text. Second time making stops. Afterwords I asked them  which words they've heard and to try to guess the topic of the Text. AMAZING !!!. TRY IT. Sole

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Hello everyone,

I want to share with you another activity for third and fourth years. I propose a tongue-twister, a good way to improve pronunciation. Firstly, students will try to say some parts of the tongue-twister separately, in order to pronounce them correctly. In the end, they will try to say the tongue-twister as fast as possible, but also pronouncing it correctly, linking the words.

Another way to work with these tongue-twisters is separating the class in groups and make each group say one part of the tongue-twister.

Below I write you some examples of tongue-twisters:
-"I can skateboard with a black hat and eight bags"
-"I'm happy when it's hot and I'm on holiday"
-"The spider and the grasshopper are under the flower"
-"Five fish eat ice cream with a knife"
-"The green witch is wearing punk jeans"
-"The rich prince likes chicken and English"
-"The snake and the spider eat spaghetti"

This idea was taken in a formation course by Enma Thomas.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


                              WORKING WITH SONGS                                        

         In order to work with songs in a different way, I have already practised some very useful ideas and strategies provided by Neda in our weekly sessions. And I must admit that the result has been a complete success.
OBJECTIVE: Conditional Sentences for 4ºESO. Making hypotheses.(Type II)


1)      Work with the song “If I were a boy” by Beyonce. (Devote one session).

a)      The students listen to the song and individually they write down on their notebooks ten words they can understand.
b)       In groups of three, students share and exchange vocabulary and ideas, trying to guess the topic or plot of the song story. If possible for advanced students, they can also rewrite the parts of the song they get to understand.
c)      Every group read their handouts to the rest of the class.
d)     The teacher projects the lyrics and plays the song while the students check their notes.
e)      Sing the song and enjoy it.

                                            If I were a boy        by BEYONCE

If I were a boy even just for a day
I'd roll out of bed in the morning
And throw on what I wanted
And go drink beer with the guys

And chase after girls
I'd kick it with who I wanted
And I'd never get confronted for it
'Cause they stick up for me

If I were a boy
I think I could understand
How it feels to love a girl
I swear I'd be a better man

I'd listen to her
'Cause I know how it hurts
When you lose the one you wanted
'Cause he's taking you for granted
And everything you had got destroyed

If I were a boy
I would turn off my phone
Tell everyone it's broken
So they'd think that I was sleeping alone

I'd put myself first
And make the rules as I go
'Cause I know that she'd be faithful
Waiting for me to come home, to come home

If I Were A Boy by Beyoncé on Grooveshark

2)      Write a composition about a topic that is related to the song. The composition steps are explained to the students in class ( devote one session ) and an example of a guided composition is written on the blackboard jointly in class. Use “brainstorm” and “mind maps” to elicit information and ideas from the students and teach them how to do it the same at home.

COMPOSITION TOPIC: Who would you be if you were a famous character from a novel
                                             you have read?

POSSIBLE TITLE:   If I were a different person, I would be…
                                    (explain the use of “were” with the 1st person sg).

COMPOSITION CONTENT: The answers to the following questions may help you with your

-Why would you like to be that character? Describe him/her physically, his/her personality and
  behaviour and give reasons for your choice.

-How would you behave?

-What would you do?

-How would your new life be?


-Your composition must have three paragraphs as a minimum:

-INTRODUCTION: very brief information about the plot of the book you have read and the
                                   character chosen.

-COMPOSITION BODY: one or two paragraphs Cincluding,among many other ideas, those in the
                                           previous step ( composition content ).

-CONCLUSION: Your opinion about the experience. Would you really like to be a different
                              person or are you happy and proud of yourself?

-Grammar you must use in your composition:

-Descriptive structures: adjectives (remember word order), relative sentences.

-Conditional sentences: Conditional Sentences Type I and II (hypothesis).

-Verbal Tenses: simple past, present perfect, conditional “would”, present simple (descriptions ).

-Connectors : Temporal ( firstly, then, to conclude…) ,Cause or Reason (because), Conditional (if,

-Comparative structures: in the conclusion you may compare your current life with your
                                         hypothetical life.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Reading books

In third and fourth years of primary education, for reading I use Macmillan Children's Readers books. Children have to read one book every trimester. They don't translate the whole book, they try to understand the idea of the story. They also have a vocabulary list they have to learn. With the CD provided in the book, they listen to the story and practice pronunciation. As they don't have to search every word in the dictionary, they are learning to understand the meaning of the sentence, and how they link words to know the meaning.

I write some books below, for years 3 and 4:
- Real Monsters /The Princess and the Dragon
- Birds / The Mysterious Egg
- Dogs / The Big Show
- Making Music / The Talent Contest

Writing session tasks

Hello again,

Here are the handouts for the tasks to go with Thursday's session. I'm afraid they won't mean much to you if you didn't come on Thursday...

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Do you know Gooru?

Just thought I'd share this with you.  It's a search engine for learning with all kinds of possibilities for teachers and students. Maybe you are already on the case and using this!

Writing Links and Resources

So, here are some links that you might find useful and interesting to explore.

WRITING Presentation


I hope you enjoyed Thursday as much as I did! Very nice to see so much creativity around : )

Here is the presentation. I'll follow up with the handouts and resources very soon...

Saturday, 16 February 2013


Last Tuesday I developed a reading activity with my students in the fourth course in primary education. 
I used it to revise units 1, 2 and 3 and this is what we did.

Pre - reading
We played with the flashcards in order to revise vocabulary.

While - reading
I showed them eight pictures, and they had to match them with their descriptions. 
I started showing them four. Later, they had to move around the class to read the texts.
They compared their solutions in pairs and then in groups of four. 
After that we did the same with the other four pictures.

Post - reading
In groups of four, I gave them one text with gaps. They had to read it again without writing anything. Then in turns, they had to say the answers.
Finally they copy the text in their notebooks filling the gaps.
Each group correct the text using the white blackboard.

The activity was pretty good but I had some problems with technology, so we didn’t have time to do the post activity in that way. I showed them the texts with the gaps on the white blackboard and they said the answer orally.
They find the activity entertaining and quite easy. Maybe I gave them too much information about the pictures.
Next time it would be better...

PDF with pictures and texts pictures
PDF with texts with gaps fill the gaps presentation
Photocopied texts fill the gaps  
texts to print 


Friday, 15 February 2013


Hello everyone,

I would like to share a link that perhaps is known by many of you but I think that it would be a good support to take into account for your listening sessions with your pupils.
The web is TED and you can use it in several ways.Yesterday was St. Valentine's day and the next link is a speech related to it.
I hope that you like it more than the 'boring' song that our beloved and admired Neda showed at the very beginning of the writing session.Sorry,but you told me off yesterday for leaving before the end of the session and I need the revenge.(Joke)

The link:

Thursday, 14 February 2013

My classes of Music

Hello, my name is Elizabet and I am a teacher in the second course of primary education. This year, in my school, we have started applying the bilingual program, in the first course of primary education. During the following years, the next courses will progressively be part of this program.

Currently, I am not a teacher in the bilingual program, but, next year, I am probably being part of that part, teaching Music and Science.

As a music teacher, and when I start using this program, I will probably use the music to teach the notes, the instruments and many other important contents: rhythm, movement skills, etc. I think the use of music will be very useful, because the children will become part of the development of the class and they will be more motivated to participate in the class.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

READING Presentation

Here's the slide show from the session on "Reading" last Thursday, 7th Feb.

Friday, 8 February 2013


Here are the links and resources to go with yesterday´s session on Reading. I hope you find them interesting and useful. Power Point Presentation to follow...



Sunday, 3 February 2013




( Dedicated to Inma , “meine Kollegen”, who inspired  this activity)

Listen to the poem read by a kid

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

By Keats

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

 Those that I fight I do not hate,
I know that I shall meet my fate
In balance with this life, this death.

No likely end could bring them loss
Somewhere among the clouds above;
A waste of breath the years behind
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,

Drove to this tumult in the clouds;

Those that I guard I do not love;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,

Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
A lonely impulse of delight
Or leave them happier than before.

Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,

By Keats


“Von ANACARMEN ROLDÁN PRIETO” ( let me know about results if any. If it doesn´t work let me know why. If there are any particularly successful renditions or activities,please share them. Thanks so much). 

Saturday, 2 February 2013


     As Saint Valentine's Day is round the corner and Neda talked about the use of songs in our lessons in the last session. Why don't we celebrate Saint Valentine's Day with a song?
     I've chosen Adele's Someone Like You which is a hit, probably familiar to our students, as it was n. 1 on charts for several weeks.
     The activity is thought for 3rd or 4th year of ESO, but I'm sure you can adapt it to the level of your students.
     As a PRE-LISTENING activity, I would recommend a mind map. Just write LOVE in the middle of the blackboard and tell your students to say any word related to it. They will probably come up with verbs (get married, fall in love...); adjectives (jealous, divorced...) and nouns (passion, lover...). You'll be surprised!
     As a WHILE LISTENING activity, you can use my hand-out (with answer key) or create your own.
     As a POST-LISTENING activity, you can use a set of questions to discuss, for example:

- How do you feel after listening to the song?

- How does the girl in the song feel?

- Have you ever felt like her?

- Do you think love lasts forever?

- Do you think it is better to stay alone in order not to suffer?

     These are the links: just download them and enjoy your lesson!!
Someone Like You (answer key)
Someone Like You (Adele) MP3
Someone Like You-Adele (lyrics)
Someone Like You (exercises)