Friday, 21 December 2012

READERS 2011-12

These are the titles of the books you will be reading with me this school year. Look at your course and level to know a little more about it.  Have fun!

1º ESO

"Vampire Killer" Ed. Oxford (Starter Level) 1ºESO. LOWER LEVEL

'I am a vampire killer . . . and now I need help,' says Professor Fletcher to Colin. Colin needs a job and he needs money - but do vampires exist or is the professor crazy?

"The Secret of the Stones" Ed. Vicens Vives (Green Apple-Starter) 1ºESO. HIGHER LEVEL

Twins Max and Laura spend an exciting summer in a small village near Stonehenge. A mysterious symbol, their uncle's old book of codes and secrets, strange people and much more. Read about the adventures of the two 'detectives' in this original story and maybe discover the true secret of Stonehenge.


3º ESO

 "K's First Case" Ed. Longman. 3ºESO. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL

Sir Michael Gray is the victim of a murder and he was very rich. Katrina Kirby - or K as she is called - is a detective and she wants to find out who the murderer is. But there are lots of suspects.This is K’s first case. Can you help her find the murderer?

 "A Kiss Before Dying" Ed. Burlington Books. 3ºESO. UPPER INTERMEDIATE LEVEL

 A powerful, hard-hitting adult story of murder and suspense by one of America's foremost novelists, which since its publication in 1954, has been made into several very successful feature films.

2º BTO 

"The Giver" by Lois Lowry 


 Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Newtown Massacre

America has been shaken once again by a massive school shooting, this time at a kindergarten in Newtown, Connecticut. 
Casualties: 20 children and 7 adults.

As it is stated on the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, American citizens have the right to defend themselves by keeping and using arms: "the right of the people to keep and bear arms". The National Riffle Assocication has been the greatest defender of this right since its foundation. However, after the deadly Newton shooting it has gone silent.

Listen to the track and try to fill in the gaps. You can click on ? to know about the number of words needed. Send me a screenshot with your results.

Lesson by Breaking News English

Role-Play Activity

Role  A – Barack Obama
You think the time has come to take guns out of society. Tell the others three reasons why. You will not listen to politicians who say, "people kill people; guns don't kill people". Banning guns is now your biggest aim as President. You think gun crime embarrasses the USA around the world.
Role  B – NRA chairman
You are tired of the same arguments every time there's a tragedy. Tell the others three reasons why. The problem is society. More money should be spent on mental health issues to stop people going on mass shootings. People in America need guns to protect themselves.
Role  C – Anti-gun Jo Public
You want all guns removed from American society. Tell the others three reasons why. You don't understand why in America gun ownership is a right but free healthcare is not. You think Obama is weak and cannot get anything done on gun control. The NRA chairman is crazy.
Role  D – Pro-gun Jo Public
You need your gun. Tell the others three reasons why. Guns are a part of America's tradition. Guns keep society feeling safe. No one will try to burgle your house because people know you have five guns. The police cannot be everywhere to protect you. Guns can.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

What are you thankful for?

Listen to the instructions given on the VoiceThread below and act accordingly.

Due Date: Tuesday 27th

Sense it!

Our senses allow us to enjoy our food, the sound of music, the beauty of a sunny day, the softness of a child's hair -- in short, our lives!

Let's review the vocabulary you studied in unit 4 in your books related to the senses.

1.-I bet you didn't know there was an American holiday that celebrates the sense of smell. Listen to the extract and fill in the blanks. If you click on the Hint ? Button, you'll get the number of words needed for each gap.


2.- Now review the words and expressions studied in Unit 4 before your written test.

3.- Finally, have fun with these optical illusions. Do not just browse through the different images. It's very important that you read through the instructions and act accordingly. But before starting, who can tell me where the hidden tiger is?


Friday, 16 November 2012


Last Thursday Emir gave you a talk about the US Constitution, which I hope you enjoyed. Anyway, I felt really proud of you when I saw you there listening and taking notes. You should congratulate yourselves on how far you've got.
What you did is part of the key competences in the educative system, a very important one, in my opinion. Being able to follow, take notes and then retell what you heard is something you'll have to do at any time in your life. Moreover, you were doing it in a foreign language!!!
I'd like to thank Emir once more for making all this possible and for bringing a small piece of American History closer to you.

Now it's your turn to make a short summary of the talk given on the VoiceThread below. Make use of your notes to organize your speech. Try to speak clearly and slowly. Focus on pronunciation and grammar accuracy.
Deadline: Tuesday 20th November

And for those of you, lucky you! that went to Austria on the Comenius Project, I would like you to tell us all about it, about the experience, the people you met, the places you visited, the workshops you took part in..., how you felt...

Wednesday, 7 November 2012



As everybody knows, Barack Obama won the elections yesterday, becoming the 44th President of USA. I think Obama is not only a good politician, but also a great communicator. His speeches are always worth listening to. You can watch yesterday's victory speech here.


Now answer 10 of the following questions and send me a VoiceMail with your answers:

1.       What does Barack Obama say about people waiting in a line for long to vote?

2.       Who did Obama call after he won the elections?

3.       What does he want to talk about with Senator Romney?

4.       Who is Joe Biden?

5.       What year did Obama get married?

6.       How many inhabitants are there in the United States?

7.       Complete: But despite all our differences…

8.       What professions does the worker’s child in North Carolina want?

9.       What challenges can Obama only solve if he Works together with the other parties?

10.   What makes America great and exceptional?

11.   Why does Obama mention New York and New Jersey?

12.   What happened to a family in Ohio?

13.   Complete the sentence: “something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep __________, to keep __________, to keep __________.

14.   Finish the sentence: “You can make it here in America if…”

 Click on the cartoon to see more....

Saturday, 3 November 2012


As part of your final marks this term, you will have to give an oral presentation to the rest of the class about a topic of your choice: a sport, a film, a book, a country, a trip, a band, a TV series, a brand-name, a star... 

Your presentation must take between 5-10 minutes and it should have some visual or audiovisual support.

It is very important that you follow the tips below: 

Oral Presentations: Do's & Don'ts
  1. Be organized! The more organized and focused your presentation is, the more relaxed you'll feel.
  2. Breathe! (It helps you relax.)
  3. Don't try to cover too much material. Remember you only have 5-10 minutes.
  4. Don't overwrite your visual presentation. Remember this is an oral presentation.
  5. Do speak clearly, slowly and at an appropriate level for your audience.
  6. Use vocabulary that is appropriate for your audience. If you use new vocabulary, make sure you explain it and write it on the board.
  7. Do make eye contact with all members of your audience.
  8. Do move around.
  9. Do use hand gestures.
  10. Do allow the audience to ask questions at the end of your presentation.
  11. Don't read your presentation. You can use short notes, but reading a presentation is unnatural; also, it makes it very difficult for your audience to follow.
  12. Do practice your presentation with a partner or in front of the mirror.
  13. Do remember to thank your audience.

Read through these guidelines, too.
You will be evaluated by your classmates as well as by your teacher on this Peer Evaluation Sheet.

Dates for your presentations

Friday Nov 9th: Paola R. & Sara M.
Friday Nov 16th:  Iren B. & Maria S
Tuesday Nov 20th: Lucía B. & Laura D.
Friday Nov 23rd: Álvaro S., Inés I., Laura L. &Isaac
Tuesday Nov 27th: Nora S. &a Rocío C.
Friday Nov 30th: Sergio C. & Paula G.
Tuesday Dec 4th: Lorena D. & Zoraida P.
Wednesday Dec 5th: Manuel J. & Miriam A.,
Tuesday Dec 11th: Daniel L., Irene G. &  Ana C., 
Thursday Dec 13th:  Ivan S., Ana Z. & Guillermo P.
Friday Dec 14th:  Carmen M. , Irene M. & Alvaro
Tuesday Dec 18th: ?

Dates for your listening tests this term

Nov 14th & Nov 15th: Short listening test

Dec 12 & Dec 13: Long listening test

Monday, 29 October 2012


About 5000 Spanish teenagers travel to Britain to study English every summer. Others decide to spend a school year abroad attending High School lessons in an English-speaking country. A few are lucky to study their university degree abroad with the hope of better educational and work opportunities in the future. 

In the track below, an expert offers advice to ESL/EFL (English as a Second Language / English as a Foreign Language) students at UK universities. Listen to the conversation and answer the questions below. Send me your answers through VoiceMai. Make complete answers and give as many details as possible.  

1.- What has he just finished doing? What kind of course did he take?

2.- Why was it a challenge for most of the students in the course to study in the UK? 

3.- Why does he say "people weren't very forthcoming"?

4.- What were the students good at and not so good at?

5.- What does "critical thinking" involve?

Watch the following video about well-known universities in USA and answer the questions on the right.
When you finish, send me your results. Remember to write down your name and surname and my teacher code.

Deadline: Monday 5th November

Friday, 19 October 2012


I forgot to tell you about your homework for the weekend, so I just hope some of you drop by and see this post. Anyway, the deadline will be Thursday 25th, so everyone will have plenty of time.

As you know, we've just started a new unit in our book which deals with life choices and I've come accross a New York Times Interactive where senior students from a high school in San Diego were asked about their plans for their future, their 10-year plans. 

You must hear their answers, choose two students and send me a Voice Mail with all the information you've understood. Try to avoid the usual mistakes. Do not read. Try to sound as natural as possible and do not rush.


Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Halloween is getting nearer and it's time for scary stories. 
It can be a lot of fun to read a great scary short story. You are going to prepare and read your stories aloud.

You need a lot of practice beforehand. I'll be assessing your pronunciation, intonation, rhythm... Basically, how good you are at storytelling!
Try to make your story captivating and interact with your audience. Be expressive. No one likes to listen to someone read in a monotone and expressionless voice; it does not hold their attention.

 You must choose one of the stories in one of the following sites: 
Choose a creepy short story that will make your hair stand on end!!!

I'll record your readings and make a podcast with all of them. 
Reading Dates: 30th & 31st October


Lyrics Training is an easy and fun method to learn and improve your foreign languages skills like English through the music and lyrics of the songs.

Once you've chosen a song and a mode, the video will stop after each verse so that you can write the missing words. 
You can always listen to the line again by pressing backspace key.
If you don't understand a word, press tab key to jump to the next.
Click on HELP and read the instructions.

As you know, I got hoarse (I've lost my voice) and I think this song reflects how I feel and what I feel like doing. Try the Intermediate Game Mode. 
When you finish, try this other song .

Now you're free to explore the page and enjoy the songs you like. 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


You may not have known but I want to make sure you know now that every October 5th Teachers' Day has been celebrated since Unesco created the celebration in 1994.

Watch the video below that pays tribute to teachers

Listen to the track by ESL Holiday Lessons and try to fill in the blanks below:

The follwoing two videos reflect on the history of education in America since 1600. Half of you will be watching the first video while the other half will watch the second one. Take notes so that you can tell the other half what you have learnt from the video.
The Evolution of Educators Part 1

The Evolution of Educators Part 2


Classrooms around the world

Monday, 8 October 2012


Next Tuesday, each one of you will have one minute to depict the best image of you.

The expressions and vocabulary used in your oral exposition together with pronunciation and intonation will determine your grades.
You may use one minute visual presentations to support your speech.

Play the track below and in the second dialogue you can listen to a girl introducing herself using a wide range of vocabulary and expressions.


Some of you may have watched a popular musical TV show called The Voice. Contestants try to show the best of them in just one minute and a half song to get chosen by one of the coaches. They also make a short introduction of themselves at the beginning. Watch the American version below:


Ok, you can listen to Nathalie singing and the coaches' response.
Prepare your one minute presentation with the help of Emir and the expressions studied in your book


Unfortunately in English there are some things that you just have to learn. Verb patterns are one of them. Some verbs are followed by the gerund (-ing form). Some verbs are followed by the infinitive (to + verb).
Verb patterns are always difficult to master by English learners.
As everything else, it just needs practice.

Check the list here

Practice 1
Practice 2
Practice 3 
Practice 4

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


Surprise!!! It was all out of a sudden, but eventually we are going to have our English assistant this year too!!! And he will be helping you, APLE 1, with your English speaking skills.

Now you know something about him and I would like you to tell me what you've learnt from his talk in the VoiceThread below. Please listen to my VoiceThread and do as I tell you.
For those who haven't used VoiceThread before, please follow the instructions below:


Instructions for using VoiceThread:

When you click on "Comment" you will be asked to sign in. Once you have signed in, you will be able to make your contribution. To comment click on the "comment" link. There you will have the choice of either recording your voice (microphone icon), typing your words (letter "A" icon), or using a web camera (camera icon). This time you will be using the mic. If you are happy with your recording, be sure to save. If not, hit cancel and you may re-record as many times as you wish. Please no inappropriate commenting.


Thursday, 27 September 2012


After a couple of failed attemps, I've made up my mind and eventually this year we'll be watching "How I Met Your Mother", which is great fun and easy to understand. If some of you have already watched some episodes, I'm sure you didn't watch it in English, so this time you will appreciate the difference. Watching a TV series on a regular basis will help you improve your vocabulary and your listening and speaking skills without noticing.

However, you'll have to do something in return. Every week one of you will be in charge of presenting the vocabulary and idiomatic expressions for two of the episodes. 
To make things easier for you, here you have the site with the subtitles so that you can extract the list of words before the viewing. If you prefer, you can also read the script for each episode here, under VO.
Bring your vocabulary lists in your USB in a doc file so that I can keep and upload for everybody to revise. Try to focus on colloquial expressions and words that appear several times along the episode. Do not make a long list of words. One side of a sheet will be enough. I'll find the way to ask you the expressions and words learnt.
I hope you all enjoy it, learn new words and expressions and improve your listening and speaking skills. 

For those who don't know anything about this sitcom, here you have a show overview:

How I Met Your Mother is a comedy about Ted and how he fell in love. It all starts when Ted's best friend, Marshall, drops the bombshell that he's going to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Lily, a kindergarten teacher. At that moment, Ted realizes that he had better get a move on if he too hopes to find true love. Helping him in his quest is Barney, a friend with endless, sometimes outrageous (escandalosas) opinions, a penchant (tendencia) for suits and a foolproof (infalible) way to meet women. When Ted meets Robin, he's sure it's love at first sight, but destiny may have something else in store. The series is narrated through flashbacks from the future.

Vocabulary and Expressions for each episode:

Episode 1: Pilot (Original Airdate: September 19th, 2005)

Episode 2: Purple Giraffe (Original Airdate: September 26th, 2005)

Episode 3: Sweet Tase of Liberty  (Original Airdate: October 3rd, 2005)

Sunday, 23 September 2012


The popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Twitter more than quadrupled from 2005 to 2012. Many users say the sites are good for our society, but others state that the dangers of social media are far worse than the benefits.

Some social media cartoons to make you smile.

Watch the following video about a recent event you might have heard about related to the wrong use of a social site. You can turn the subtitles on the second time you watch it.

Answer the following questions:
Where....?  When....?  What.....?   Why......?

Now listen to the following extract about cyberbullying and fill in the gaps below:


Now it's time to express your opinion. Send me a one minute commentary about the pros and cons of social networking. Just click on the SendVoiceMail tag on the right side of this blog and record your voice. Don't forget your mail and name and surname.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


I'd like to welcome you, APLE students to the new subject and to this blog, where you will find resources, videos and activities along the year. What's more, here you will find your homework and different assignments with a deadline. I hope you enjoy the subject and improve your English skils.

Below you will find a video where someone very special welcomes students to the new school year. This video was subtittled by other APLE students like you a couple of years ago.

Friday, 25 May 2012


The school year is getting to its end and it's time to prove how much you've learnt.

As part of your speaking marks for this final term you must have a conversation with your teacher. I know!! Oral exams are always irritating and stressful for you. So to make things easier, I am sharing with you some of the questions in the exam in the following document. Remember that they refer to contents studied this year, so you are expected to produce the language learnt orally.

The oral exams will take place on June 4th and June 11th.

Monday, 14 May 2012


Notice that Discussion Essays follow a fixed structure. The following example can help you organize your essay.

Try the wheel game to practise connectors to improve your writing skills.

Choose one of the following topics and write a discussion essay about it (100-120 words) here.

Deadline: Friday 18th

1. Are we too dependent on computers?
2. Are actors and professional athletes paid too much?
3. Are there benefits to attending a single-sex school?
4. Is the Internet a better invention than books?

Friday, 4 May 2012



For all of you who enjoyed reading Divergent and are eager to read the second book in the trilogy, I've got good news!!!  It's already been realeased!  You can order it now and read it during the summer.  You can check Veronica Roth's site for updates and details.   

              Anyway if you want a preview you can listen to the first five minutes of it.


Here is the collection of the valedictorian speeches written by students who are graduating this year. I would like to thank all those who took part in reading their speeches in front of other students and teachers. I'm sure everyone benefited from the experience. 
I published them because they are really worth reading and sharing experiences and feelings is always rewarding. Good luck to you all!

Open publication - Free publishing - More esl

This is the collection of speeches by former students.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


Let's practise what you've learnt about conditional clauses by writing an 80-100 word essay about one of the following prompts. Do it here and don't forget to include your names. Do not copy from the Internet.

Deadline: Friday 11th

Friday, 6 April 2012


The end of the school year is getting closer for you and hopefully your time as secondary students is also coming to an end. From now on you will be starting a much more exciting period in your lives. You will step into the world to forge your own paths in life, which I am sure you will find, however difficult you might find it now.

However, before that, I would like to set one final assignment, which definitely will have an important weight in your final grades.

You have to write and give your Valedictorian or Graduation Speeches! 

The term Valedictorian is an anglicized derivation of the Latin vale dicere ("to say farewell"), which is basically what you will be doing.

Let me give you a few hints to make the task easier.

A Valedictorian or Graduation Speech is a closing or farewell statement or address delivered at a graduation ceremony. Its aim is to thank, exalt, stimulate to action, motivate, to affect and touch, even to raise to a higher emotional level, and finally to say farewell. You do most of these by reflecting on the past years and putting special emphasis on some events, especially meaningful for you.

You could think of how you felt when you were the new freshmen at the school and how you feel now that you are about to leave. You could write about any anecdotes or memories you have of all these years and give advice to the newcomers who will read your letters.

As you see, writing your speech is not difficult. I am sure ideas will start flowing in easily. Be sharp and short: no more than 3-6 minutes is enough for delivering your valedictorian speech topics.

Anyway, here is a skeleton and structure to use.

  • You will upload your first drafts in the wiki by April 16th.
  • Redrafting will be possible until April 20th.
  • Speeches will be given on April 27th and May 4th.
Remember to use rich language and structures, be yourselves and most of all, do not use a translator or copy from the Internet.

Surprise everyone by dressing up for the occassion. It will add up to your marks. "Suit up!"

You can watch and listen to some speeches delivered by some well-known people.

Here is the speech given by Shakira at Oxford University.

Here you have Lady Gaga and Oprah Winfrey at Harvard University.

And last Bill Gates also at Harvard.

I hope these examples come in useful for your assignment.

Monday, 26 March 2012


You are in the third term now and it's time to try and do your best in the school year. Being the writing the most difficult part in the university entrance exam and the heaviest weighed, you need to do some more practice to improve your written skills. 

This time I want you to choose one of the following prompts and write 100-120 words about it. Do not use translators, do not copy your writing from the Internet; by now you should have enough vocabulary and no grammar obstacles to make your writing flow. Try to impress the reader, that is, me, by making a good job out of it.

You'll be doing this assignment during Easter holidays, so you need to type your essays in this pad
Deadline: Sunday 8th April