Monday, 9 December 2013


Last year I wrote a post about coding and asked some of you if you would be interested in taking this subject were it to be taught at your High School. Obama himself has made a recent call on the importance of learning to code for American students and for America itself. Watch the video below:


Well, now it seems that what we thought as a long term future subject may not be so and that education authorities in Spain are along the same lines and techonological high schools might be in the lead in this subject. I can't read more... 
Anyway, if you are interested, I got an invitation from Khan Academy (I guess you're familiar with the site; you don't know what you're missing, otherwise) to take one hour lesson on coding I'm sharing with you. It all seems to be part of a movement to get people of all ages to give coding a try:

Welcome to our Hour of Code!: Pamela welcomes you to our programming community here.  

I still haven't given it a go, but some of you may be interested and can devote some time during the holidays. I hope some of you, girls, find it interesting too, since we're dealing with gender gap and women don't seem to be so fond of computer science.

As Sal Khan, Founder of Khan Academy, says: "you'll be part of creating our technology future, not just living in it! If you can type, you can code!" and who knows... I may even get a greeting card soon...    Start coding your holiday card

Saturday, 7 December 2013


As you all know by now, Nelson Mandela died on December 5th. He was a man that really made a difference.

Obama pays tribute to him in the following public announcement:

 Let's pay tribute by doing some activities about him.

The three assignments are due on December 13th.

First, watch the speech by Obama and send me a Speakpipe with the main headlines in it.

Second, do the following listening activity in your virtual classroom so that I get your grades for your final marks this term.

Watch and listen to the poem “His Day is Done: A Tribute Poem for Nelson Mandela by Maya Angelou,” which was produced by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs in December 2013.

Third, watch the video about Mandela's story in your virtual classroom and answer the questions below it. 

The listening assignments will help you upgrade your grades for the listening skill this term.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013


After learning about Malala Yousasfai, we'll go deeper into the issue of gender gap in the following days.

"The first step to solving a problem is recognizing there is one"

In a powerful video project, Brown University (New England) student Emma Hall asked some of her classmates to read out statements generated by Google autofill searches for phrases like "women want" and "men should." Some of the examples? "Women want money" and "men should be able to hit women."

Watch what they came up with:

In groups you're going to do some research on Gender Gap in the world in aspects such as education, politics, economy, science, society....

Below you have different links to focus your study on. Try to get the most important information to later present to the rest of the groups what you learnt.


Watch the video by the World Economic Forum and comment on the initiatives they're carrying out to try to close the Gender Gap.



  • Gender Pay Gap: Study the following infographic and draw conclusions to share with the whole class. You can do further research.

The surprising truth about gender pay gap
Explore more infographics like this one on  Visually.


  • The Gender Gap in Computer Science. Study the infographic below and explain the reason for the gap and the latest tendency.
Closing The Gender Gap In Computer Science
Source: Best Computer Science Schools


  • Watch the video below with a summary of the report carried out by the World Economic Forum on Global Gender Gap and share what you understood. Don't forget to mention the reasons why Gender Gap does not benefit any country.

  • Are men and women planets apart? Study the infographic below and share your findings with the class:

Are Men & Women Still Planets Apart?
Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


Last October was International Day of the Girl, and The Daily Show was able to interview Malala Yousafzai, a courageous young advocate for girls’ education from Pakistan’s Swat Valley. 

But first, let's remember her story.

Study this interactive timeline and get the information needed to retell her story.

Watch the following video about the story of Malala Yousafzai:

Last year, Malala was targeted and shot by radical Taliban militants while on her school bus. She was a youth blogger for the BBC advocating girls education in her native Pakistan, and continued to go to school despite a Taliban ban outlawing women’s education. Malala made a full recovery, and has since used her newfound fame to highlight the discrimination that girls often face when seeking an education in the developing world, and why girls’ education is so essential to the health of a society. 

Because of her courage in the face of great opposition, Mala was nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Although she didn't win the prize, she continues to speak out and raise money to promote education, despite renewed death threats against her...

At least one group was pleased with the decision not to reward her with the Nobel Prize. Find out more.
Let's do some reading aloud about her story.
Now you can watch the amazing interview. Take some notes for later discussion.

She spoke at the UN Youth Assembly on her 16th birthday.

Watch her speech and do the following taks: 
  • Send me an oral report with the best headlines in it. 

Answer the following questions in your report:

  • What were the Taliban's two goals in attacking Malala? How have their actions toward these goals backfired?
  • What role has technology played in Malala’s crusade?
  • What are the characteristics of a hero? Is Malala Yousafzai a hero? Find adjectives to describe her.
  • Malala's story teaches us that one person can make a big difference. In your own words, explian how Malala has made a difference in the world.
Deadline: 23rd November 

Despite the importance of the subject, let's finish the post with a smile. 

Watch the following short film "Pipas" (sunflower seeds) awarded with the best screenplay and best director in the 9th edtion of Notodofilmfest 

How does the video relate to the education gender gap topic?


You've just presented your gap year ideas orally in class and I think you did a good job out of it!! Below you have the projects devised for the Gap Year Project. Review the presentations and cast your vote for the best Gap Year Experience in your opinion.
Take into account the presentation and the viability of the project, but also your personal preferences for a gap year.

Write the title for each the presentation. Needless to say, you can't vote for your own presentation...


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

ESL NewsPaper 2013

ESL students in the 4th year write news reports from photo prompts in groups and this is the result: the third edition of ESL NewsPaper.

Well done, everyone!

Sunday, 20 October 2013


Now that you have given your opinion about the influence of the Internet on languages, I would like you to watch this video where David Crystal, a well-known professor of linguistics and important editor for Cambridge University Press, proves his theory on a BBC programme called "It's Only a Theory", his theory being: "Texting is good for the English language". 

Take note of his arguments to prove his theory and send me a SpeakPipe with the main arguments in his theory. Do you think he made his point?

Deadline: Tuesday 29th

It is a fact that texting has become a new genre of  communication. 

Check the periodic table of texting below:

Try the matching exercise below and learn some of the most common texting abbreviations.

Now try translating the following text messages into common language.

This is part of an essay written by a Scottish 13-year-old secondary school pupil. Work in pairs reading the texting and ‘translating’ it into English.

"My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we used 2 go 2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 :- @ kds FTF. ILNY, its gr8. Bt my Ps wr so {:-/ BC o 9/11 tht thay dcdd 2 stay in SCO & spnd 2 wks up N. Up N, WUCIWUG -- 0. I ws vvv brd in MON. 0 bt baas & ^^"

Make your own dialogues in this site with the help of this other site and send me the screenshot.

Look at the infographic below and try to get the information needed to answer these questions:

  • How many mobile phones are there in the world?
  • Which country has the highest number of phone subscribers?
  • Who holds the record for the fastest typing on a phone?
  • What did she type?
  • How fast can you type it?

Finally, a couple of jokes:

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Internet Influence on Language

"To Google" has become a universally understood verb and many countries are developing their own internet slang. But is the web changing language and is everyone up to speed? The Internet's impact on society in general and on language in particular has raised opposing standpoints. Listen to the article and try to fill in the blanks in the activity in your course. You needn't send me any results. They will automatically appear in your grade chart.

I'm displaying the activity here in case some of you have some connection difficulties and need to do it in the blog and send me the results. Deadline: Thrusday 10th

Now I would like to know your opinion about the matter. You can do some research to try to answer these questions accurately: What do you think of the impact of Internet and mobile messaging on language? Language itself changes slowly but, do you think the internet has speeded up the process of those changes so you notice them more quickly? Do you think those changes are for the better or for the worse? Has the language you used on the Internet influenced your academic written language? Being English the lingua franca on the Internet, do you think there is a new linguistic imperealism that leads to the destruction of other languages or cultures? Do you ever use English in your social web interactions? ...

Deadline: Wednesday 16th

Tuesday, 1 October 2013


As Problem-Based learning in the English as a Second Language classroom, you are going to work in the project designed below. You should do some research work, define your task, discard irrelevant information and get the valuable one, digest it and present it to your classmates in the most attractive and explanatory way you can find.

Jose, Ricardo, Irene, Isaac
Wednesday 30th
Zoraida, Carmen, Lucia, Laura
Monday 21st
Paola, Laura, Nora, Miriam
Monday 28th
Sergio, Ivan, Maria, Manuel
Monday 21st
Ines, Guillermo, Paula
Monday 28th

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


As an ESL teacher, I'd like to raise awareness of the need to learn one or more foreign languages. Language ability brings more than just economic benefits. It encourages us to become more open to others, their cultures and attitudes, and people who can communicate confidently with those of other cultures are likely to be more tolerant. And if that was not enough, studies have been showing that speaking several languages is one of the best exercises your brain can get. Even up to postponing the onset of Alzheimer's by 4 to 5 years.

At the initiative of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, the European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on 26th September. You can surf the web for some fun and facts.

Listen to the following track by and try to fill in the gaps below:

Start by doing this test to self-evaluate your language skills according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Now let's check if your guess was right!

Whatever your result was, we should admit Spaniards have always had difficulties in learning foreign languages, especially English. Just notice the role our politicians still play at International Meetings where they can hardly communicate with their colleages. However, Chancellor Merkel is fluent in Russian and English; Russian President Vladmir Putin speaks English, German and French and France's President François Holland gets by in English. David Cameron and Barack Obama, on the other hand, are not fluent in any foreign languages. Check this for celebrities speaking other languages.

Send me a voicemail explaining your view on this matter: Why do you think Spain struggles with English? You may do some research to support your opinion. Don't hesitate to blame whoever or whatever and suggest some ideas to improve our proficiency in English. On the contrary, do you think this is not true any more?

Deadline: Saturday 28th

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


I'd like to welcome you all back and to start this new school year, first of all, I'd like to ask you why. Why learn a 2nd or a 3rd language? You may or may not have your own reasons but below you have a video from ABC news that talks about the advantages of being bilingual or learning another language.

Let's watch it and comment later on.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

But the main reason for you to be eager to learn English should be so as not to sound like our dearest mayor "Ana Bottle" during her speech to the IOC.

Now study one of the following infographics and prepare a short talk based on it:

Monolingual VS Bilingual

how to learn english

Monday, 16 September 2013


Check the file to learn about grading criteria this year.

Sunday, 23 June 2013


APLE 1 After so many projects and assignments with the APLE 1 group, I've decided to share their final assignment: "A year in review" where they shared their feelings and experiences along this school year. I hope you return in a few years to this "envelope" you created and "open it" to listen to how you felt when you were 17.

Great party, by the way!!


The Year in Review by Ana C., Ana Z. and Carmen

The Year in Review by Inés and Lorena

The Year in Review by Irene G., Irene M. and Irene B.

The Year in Review by Laura D. and Daniel

The Year in Review by Lucía

The Year in Review by Manuel and María

The Year in Review by Nora, Laura L. and Paola

The Year in Review by Paula and Guillermo


The Year in Review by Zoraida, Sara and Miriam

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


As the school year gets to an end, I would like to publish and share some of my students' work along the year, which I'm most proud of. It's what students get to do rather than what a teacher does in a lesson that really matters to me.

1st ESO

This year I had a very enthusiastic group of students who got engaged in several proyects.

They created a town brochure on Glogster.

They worked on a project about their families with Brainshark

They wrote a story about a holiday with Storybird

And they created their own comic strips among other activities. Well done, guys!

3rd ESO

They created their self-portraits on Eduglogster

They wrote survivor stories and created a Brainshark presentation


They wrote about their lifestyles and created short books on Storybird

This is the 3rd edition of ESL NewsPaper by 4th year students:

They wrote their own life stories
They did some research through the Internet about Extraordinary People with Disabilities and created a ThingLink Proyect:

Wednesday, 5 June 2013


As agreed, we are all celebrating the end of the school year for APLE1 next Friday 14th! Don't miss it!

I'm sure everything will turn out great and you'll know how to behave. Remember we are at the school and there might be some other less lucky students next door...

Please, have a look at what others are bringing to the party and make your own contribution:

powered by tricider

Saturday, 1 June 2013


Well, you've come a long way to get to the last assingment of the year!!! 
You might remember how appalled I was by the huge number of students I had sitting in front of me, expecting me to tell them how much English they would learn along the year, how fun the lessons would be, the high grades I would give them... but, instead, I told them they should be abosultely sure that they wanted to take this subject, that they were willing to speak English in class, that they would follow the lesson in English.... and I managed to persuade three students to opt for another subject. However,  three other new students (Paola, Nora & Laura) came in their place. So I still got stuck with the same number of students.

Well, let me first tell you that, against all odds, teaching APLE 1  has been one of the most rewarding working experiences of the year. Despite the number, despite all my "stop spEAKING SPANISH!!!!", despite all your complaints.... I must reckon most of you were committed to the subject, engaged well in the different class situations and responded heartily to all my proposals, which, to my mind, made the lessons progress in a good mood. I truly think that you have really improved your oral skills. I think you can understand and communicate more and better than before. I hope I have convinced you that the only way to success is practice or in Picasso's words: "Action is the foundational key to all success".

Here is some advice that might help you be happy:


Below you can fin a jukebox with important tips of wisdom for school and life.

Now as your final assingment, I would like you to look at this year in review and leave partying thoughts and words of wisdom for those to come and also leave your footprint forever.

What are your best memories of this school year? Describe them in detail to help you picture those moments when you open this letter in the future.

What did you struggle with? What were the hard parts of the school year for you, in or out of school? Where are you with those issues now?

What advice do you want to give your future self? Why?

What do you hope you never forget about this time in your life? Why?

Is there something else you’d like to put in this envelope as a memory of this time, or as a present for your future self? What? Why?

What would be some helpful tips you could pass on to the new students?
I would really appreciate your suggestions for next year. Just imagine I am the new English teacher who is coming to our school next year, have never taught APLE, and am a bit lost about it. What ideas and suggestions would you tell her for next year?

You've got a 3 minute recording span in SpeakPipe. Use it up, please. Keep in mind I might publish your comments, so you are not to comment on any teachers, but can comment on what you learnt in your different classes.