Tuesday, 27 November 2012


We are glad to inform all of you that next January we will begin another interesting teacher training activity aimed at teachers of English and at those who teach their subjects through English.

This is the programme of this teacher training activity:


Teacher trainer: Neda Mirova. Traductora y experta en la enseñanza del inglés como segunda lengua.

24 de enero de 2013
• De 17:30 a 20:30: Listening
I speak English = I understand English? Integrating speaking and listening.
Music and language.

7 de febrero de 2013
• De 17:30 a 20:30: Reading.
Motivation and creation of target language reading habits.
Bottom-up and top-down approaches.
Using authentic materials in the classroom.

14 de febrero de 2013
• De 17:30 a 20:30: Writing
The process approach and the importance of writing for learners
Improving writing skills through meaningful tasks.

21 de febrero de 2013

• De 17:30 a 20:30: Interaction
Creating a culturally aware classroom
Stimulating the need to communicate as a way to integrate skills

6 de marzo de 2013
• De 17:30 a 20:30: Speaking
Acquiring and using a new language (*we will learn a new language in this
Working towards fluency at all levels.

We will keep on using the blog to share strategies, materials, lesson plans, etc...
Hope to see you again!

Thursday, 7 June 2012


This is Thomas´ slideshow on "Independence Day":

Activities - Diamond Jubilee

Hi everybody!
During the last session of the course on Wednesday 6 June, we ran a series of mini brainstorms inspired by slides 5-8 of my Diamond Jubilee slide show. Some of the ideas were directly related to the Monarchy, Royal Family and ongoing Jubilee celebration, whilst others were freer variations on the theme. All contributions were of course more than welcome.
Sorry to have taken so long to upload them, but here they are finally. Better late than never...I hope you get a chance to use them and enjoy them with your classes. I certainly enjoyed reading them and have added a couple of my own.
Don't forget the time capsule idea. See http://www.jubileetimecapsule.org/


  • British end of year party - bring sweets, crisps, soft drinks, bake a cake with parents;
  • Organise a parade - stalls, decorations, special clothes, food, dancing, maybe bring a favourite English song;
  • Prepare the classroom for a visit by the Queen with information on our customs – decorate with flags, bunting etc.;
  • Create and explain recipes; provide a list of necessary ingredients
  • Prepare typical English/British dishes;
  • Party Organisers - everything you need to organise a street party – food, drink, music, tables, list of guests;
  • A competition of some kind – maybe a quiz on knowledge of British customs or the Royal Family?


  • Choose 15 -20 photos, show them to the students and get them to order chronologically;
  • Vote for the best Queen/King;
  • Study the Royal Family history, perhaps a family tree;
  • The Queen’s biography: a simple PowerPoint with photos and texts selected by students;
  • School trips: students compile a history of all the places they have visited through their secondary education with photos and comments.

  • Organise a charity race to help “Save the Children”. A student may have as many sponsors as they wish and they pay 1 euro per km;
  • In groups, students choose one charity and brainstorm ways of helping it;
  • Choose a charity and collect money, food or clothes to send to them;
  • Charities debate: the school or class collects money, for example by selling crafts or doping sponsored races. Now the students must have a debate and decide which charity this money should go to.
  • Think of one cause which is not part of the Jubilee Trust and propose why it should be included;
  • Design an awareness-raising campaign with simple pictures and texts, encouraging people to help one of the charities;
  • Collect books and school material for poor countries – perhaps write a letter to the children explaining why we think this material may be useful or fun for them;
Culture and Heritage
  • Students have to compare their way of living (including gadgets, tools, games…) and that of their grandparents ;
  • Interview grandparents about their life as teenagers and report to the class in English about their findings; ideally they should write questions and carry out the interview in English, so perhaps interviewees could be any adults that speak English.


  • Students can prepare web quests with tasks about Commonwealth countries;
  • Look for info on Commonwealth countries on the Internet, draw a map, colour in the countries and name them, also perhaps collect information abut their population, capital cities, geographical features etc.
  • Ask students about countries which could be included in a Spanish Commonwealth!
  • Look at a blank map and mark the countries which belong to the Commonwealth (could add a competition element here – set a time limit etc.)
  • Find out as much as you can about a given country – individually or as a class project;
  • Give students a cut out of the 15 realms and a map and get them to stick countries in the correct place.


This is Neda´s slideshow on Queen´s Diamond Jubilee and Trooping the colour celebrations:

Activities Diamond Jubilee, brainstorming ideas from participants.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

Hi everyone,

This is the "central weekend"of the Jubilee celebrations with a lot going on everywhere. This article from the guardian (it's my preferred newspaper, as you have probably guessed) has a summary of activities going on these days, and for those who are not royalist, myself included, there are some ways to escape the madness!
Also, here you can read some thoughts on growing up during the reign of Queen Elizabet II by a few well-known writers who were all born in 1952 (the year she ascended to the throne).

See you on Wednesday!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Saint George's Day

Hi everybody,

Some days after my presentation I , at least, have decided to upload my work about Saint George. The first file is a PowerPoint presentation, which shows Saint George in two different ways. The second one is a series of exercises to put in practice what they have learnt and to find out searching in internet.

I hope you like them and find them useful.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

May Day activities

Hi, everybody!

In the last session I presented what I had done with my 1st ESO and 3rd ESO students about May Day. With the 1st ESO I focused on traditional celebrations on May Day, such as Jack in the Green, May Pole dancing, etc., whereas with the 3rd ESO students I introduced the more serious topic of International Workers' Day.

If you want to have a look at the activities, you have to click on the following links:

May Day 1st ESO 
This file was too big to upload, so I had to remove the videos linked to the photos on the fourth page.

May Day 3rd ESO

Hope you find them useful! See you next day!

Elena Luque (IES Maestro Eloy Vaquero, Montalbán)

Friday, 18 May 2012

Will you try SCD with your students?

It was a great laugh dancing Strip the Willow.  I can't claim that I taught it as such (thanks Youtube!), but I enjoyed dancing with you all and I think we all had a lot of fun - this is a "celebrations" course after all. My legs were actually sore the day after - it is supposed to be one of the best forms of exercise apparently...
Has it encouraged you to try it out with students? I've definitely been bitten by the bug and will have another go at it with some classes, although not sure about Strip the Willow with 3 year olds!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Scottish dances and Famous Sports in Britain

This is Neda's slideshow on Scottish Country Dancing and Famous Sports in Britain:

Talking about Scottish Dances, we learnt it ... by doing!!
We really enjoyed dancing "Strip the Willow"

Sports in Britain
Links: Scottish Country Dancing and Sports in Britain

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Get your dancing shoes on for tomorrow

Hi everyone,

Tomorrow we are going to talk about Famous Sports in Britain and Scottish Country Dancing. I have to admit that I am no expert but I'm going to a Scottish wedding next year and there is going to be dancing so I need to start learning. And of course the best way of learning is by....DOING! So, we´ll have a go at dancing Strip the Willow. If you want a preview, there are many videos you can watch, like this one which I think is a fair representation of what our version may look like in the best of cases!

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

St. George's Day

At the beginning of the school year, we decided that April was going to be the "month of English language and culture" in our school (IES Santos Isasa - Montoro). We had exhibitions, lectures given by our language assistant, sport competitions, a typical English breakfast and even a karaoke contest. First, we put up some decorations (two big clocks that represent the Big Ben and the London Eye, striking the English time, and garlands with the English red rose and St. George's flag).

                                         Click on the picture

One of the activities in which all the students in the school took part was called "The most beautiful words in English". The students put up a piece of paper with their favourite words in English. You have the typical words, like "freedom", "peace", etc. but also some unexpected words like "moustache", "disappointment", "never mind" or "myself". (see pictures above).

On the 23rd of April I did the following activity with my 3rd of ESO students. I asked them why April 23rd was a special day and everybody knew about Shakespeare's and Cervantes' death, but few knew about St. George and the legend. I had found a text with one of the versions of St. George's legend on this website, and although it was a bit long and complicated I decided to use it, so that they could learn about the knight and the dragon. I shortened and simplified the text a little bit and after pre-teaching some vocabulary and showing some pictures, I divided the class in several groups and I gave them the story cut in several paragraphs.

The task involved reading the paragraphs to unjumble the story.
After that, we read the story together and the students asked and answer questions about the legend.

Once everybody knew about St. George, I asked them to think and come up with some ideas about how to explain St. George's legend to younger students (1st ESO). This is what one of the groups suggested:
  • They prepared a short, easy to understand power point presentation.

  • They acted out the legend. We had St. George, the dragon, a princess and the speaker. The speaker explained that if the audience wanted St. George to save the princess, they had to answer some questions correctly. In the end, that was what happened and St. George slayed the dragon.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

May Day and St. George´s Day - links and afterthoughts

Hi everyone,
Great to share ideas with you all again yesterday, shame we didn´t get time to do any singing but maybe some dancing next time (Scottish Dancing is my next session)...?
I thought I´d point out a couple of links which I thought may be of interest (as usual I will attach the full list of links separately).
Firstly, here is an article on the three traditions of May Day form The Guardian. I think that International Worker´s Day is a good chance to raise all kinds of issues with our students related to human rights. The BBC has some lesson plans  on a wide variety of subjects which come under the umbrella of Citizenship (a subject taught in British schools) - just click on one of the headings on the main page and it will take you to a page with a lesson plan and some other online activities, such as animations, photo stories etc...
You can also watch a short video on the history of Labour Day (USA) here.
If you´d like to introduce St. George to your students, I have included a couple of links to videos in my list and  here is a site which offers the possibility to download visuals for teaching the Dragon Legend (good for younger students).
Enjoy the holiday and see you in May.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

How much of a May Day rebel are you?

Hi, in preparation for our next chat, I found this Quiz which I´d like to encourage you to do, if you have a spare minute. We can talk about the outcome on Wednesday! No cheating, please ; )


4TH ESO (Timing: 1 session)


BREAKING THE ICE: To begin the lesson I am going to play a joke on them telling them that there’s a new Educational Reform by which this year course is going to finish on 31st July for those students who get bad marks in more than two subjects. 


calendar                    errands                    forget                   kick                      luck           
       moved                noon             pranks                refused                weather


 Fill in the blanks with the following words.

April Fool’s Day

There are many different opinions on how April Fool's Day came about. Some people think it started in the year 1582 in France with the reclaim of the ____________ under Charles IX. 

Others believe it started when the date of New Year's Day was changed from April 1st to January 1st. The original New Year's Day was March 25th but since Holy Week is celebrated starting on March 25th, New Year's Day was _____________to be celebrated on April 1st. Then they changed New Year's Day from April 1st to January 1st when France reclaimed the new calendar. However, most people would either _______________ about New Year's Day being moved to January 1st or ______________ to celebrate it on the new date and therefore would get ______________ and jokes played on them and were called Fools.
Another theory as to how April Fool's Day came about is that with Spring starting in March , the______________ played “pranks” on us by changing from warm to cold and from sunny to snowing.

There is a superstition that states that everyone who is playing pranks on others must be done playing jokes and pranks by _____________ on April 1st. If they do not go by this rule, they will have bad ______________ for many years to come. In the early history of April Fool's Day it was a tradition to send people on impossible_______________ and for some to place “_______________ me” signs on others backs as a joke.

Answer these questions:
1.      When did they change the original New Year’s Day?
2.      Why did they change New Year’s Day from April 1 to January 1st?
3.      Who did people call `fools´?
4.      According to the superstition, what happens to people who do not follow the pranks rule?
5.  Do you have a similar celebration in your country? When is it celebrated?
6.  What's the name used in your country for the 'fools' ?

To show the importance of this celebration, let’s see some examples of pranks in cartoons, ads and newspapers (in activity 3).
After watching these videos we aske them if they have seen something similar on Spanish TV, newspapers...


Say if these news are true or false. Why do you think it is true/false?

  1. Pi 
    The Alabama State Legislature has voted to change the value of pi (3.1415926…) to the more 'Biblical' 3.0.
  2.  Cleaning The Internet
    The internet will be shut down over April 1 so that robots can crawl along it cleaning out dead sites.

  1.  Panda Dung Is Secret To Most Expensive Tea
      The world's most expensive tea - which is fertilised with panda dung   
           is set to go on sale for about £130 a cup.

  1. Mammoth Task: Plan To Clone Ice Age Beast
      South Korean and Russian scientists have vowed to work together in  
      an attempt to clone a woolly mammoth from remains found in Siberia.

  1. Longest jail sentence.
      The longest jail sentence passed was in the United States - 10,000      
      years for a triple murder.
  1. Patrick Moore
    The hugely respected astronomer Patrick Moore has announced on BBC that a planetary alignment will reduce Earth's gravity temporarily, causing   people to feel a floating sensation during 20 minutes on 21st December 2012.


Answer these questions:
  1. What’s John doing upstairs?
  2. Where is she going to put the mentos?
  3. Why doesn’t she put the mentos in the coke?
  4. What’s going to happen when John opens the cap?
  5. What has she done with the strings?


April Fool’s Day

There are many different opinions on how April Fool's Day came about. Some people think it started in the year 1582 in France with the reclaim of the calendar under Charles IX. 

Others believe it started when the date of New Year's Day was changed from April 1st to January 1st. The original New Year's Day was March 25th but since Holy Week is celebrated starting on March 25th, New Year's Day was moved to be celebrated on April 1st. Then they changed New Year's Day from April 1st to January 1st when France reclaimed the new calendar. However, most people would either forget about New Year's Day being moved to January 1st or refused to celebrate it on the new date and therefore would get pranks and jokes played on them and were called Fools.
Another theory as to how April Fool's Day came about is that with Spring starting in March , the weather played “pranks” on us by changing from warm to cold and from sunny to snowing.

There is a superstition that states that everyone who is playing pranks on others must be done playing jokes and pranks by noon on April 1st. If they do not go by this rule, they will have bad luck for many years to come. In the early history of April Fool's Day it was a tradition to send people on impossible errands and for some to place “kick me” signs on others backs as a joke. 

1. F  2. F   3. T  4. T  5. T  6. F

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Celebrating Easter

On March 30th I celebrated Easter with my 2nd ESO students. I organised an Easter competition which consisted of five tasks leading to a final one. They were all focused on vocabulary and culture, including a word search puzzle, an Easter scramble and even an egg hunt!
In a previous session we divided the group into six teams of four people each and I asked them to bring a computer and headphones for the competition. They also did a quiz online in order to discover their Easter IQ (http://holidays.quiz.kaboose.com/81-what-s-your-easter-iq).
These are some photos taken on the day of the competition. The winners got a basket full of Easter eggs and bunnies! And the rest of the class tried the typical Easter jelly beans and small chocolate eggs. It was great fun!

Friday, 30 March 2012


With this craft to celebrate Easter in class, we wanted to make the traditional Eggs but in a different way. English, Art, collaborative tasks, foreign Festivals, Environment, creativity... All these things were present here. The students had to use recycled materials to design their Easter eggs; we did an exhibition at school with all the works; we sent the eggs to different European Schools as presents for our Comenius partners.

Thursday, 22 March 2012


Following the programme of the course "Learning and Teaching English celebrations", last wednesday, Neda Milenova, teacher trainer and translator, told us about Easter in Britain.  

Neda presented its origin as well as unknown customs and traditions that take place in Britain during Easter.  

We did different and interesting activities, some of them in small groups and in an interactive way, discusing them and adding new ideas and ways to adapt the activities to the students´age. We even had a little contest with prizes: Chocolate eggs!!

At the end of the session three of the participants gave talks about the celebration we dealt with in the previous session and that they carried out with their students, about Saint Patrick's Day. 

Next 18th april we will talk about  the Olympic games and the Fifth of May. 
Don´t skip the class!!

This is the presentation on Easter by Neda :

EASTER Handout (by Neda)

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Saint Patrick´s Day at CC Séneca

Here is the presentation we couldn´t see last Wednesday. It was made by Charo and Juan Antonio, teachers at CC Séneca:

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Saint Patrick's Day

Hello everyone!

This is how my students dealt with Saint Patrick's Day celebration.

2nd ESO.
They didn't know much about this celebration so I decided to prepare a very simple powerpoint about Irish symbols.

A wish for Saint Patrick's Day.
Students drew shamrocks and cut them out. They wrote a wish on each shamrock and made posters with all their shamrocks and wishes.

4th ESO.
In my opinion the videos in Walter's presentation were very useful. So I used them in class and I prepared some questions to check my students' comprehension.


After they were talking about the celebration and all of them shared their ideas.

Monday, 12 March 2012

April Fool's Day - Some Ideas

Last week Thomas explained to us how Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and April Fool’s Day. Then in groups we discussed how to deal with these festivities in our classes. We chose April Fool’s Day instead of St. Patrick’s Day since none of us had ever considered the possibility of using the festivity in our lessons. Our group came up with the following ideas:

Tell the students that the government has announced the timetables are going to change so that from Easter on they are going to have lessons in the morning and the afternoon, after a short break for lunch. Preferably, the Head would announce that, to lend credibility to our story.
After a few moments of panic (allow the students to scream for a minute!) we tell them it’s a joke, because it´s April Fool’s Day. We show a short video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6SLgQeGoIs) that explains the celebration, and we ask the students to connect it to the Spanish “Día de los Inocentes” (28th December)

We give the students some “stories” to read. They have to guess which ones are real, authentic stories and which ones are fake. Then they have to explain why they think so.
(see Document 1)

Since students usually like to write bizarre stories, we ask them to make up their own ones. They should take care that what they write has at least the appearance of truth, so that the story could be considered a “genuine” one and then fool others. To make it a bit more complicated they have to include in their text 5 words that they have taken out of a bag (at random)

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Saint Patrick's Day

I have been looking for some videos to work St.Patrick with my primary students.
Maybe you are interested too.

Pancake Day and Carnival

Hi everybody.
Here you have a short explanation about how I worked Pancake Day, and carnival with my Primary students.
  • 3rd cycle (2 sessions)
  • 1st session
    Brainstorming about words related to carnival (costumes, mask, parade, party, fun, clown...)
    Explain them a little bit about carnival in different places and divide the class in two groups.
    Show them both presentations and one group works about Mardi Gras and the other about Shrove Tuesday-Pancake Day.

    They prepare an Open Office Presentation.
    Ask them to bring yellow plasticine, a plastic pan and a mask for next day.
  • 2nd session
    They work in pairs sharing what they have found about carnival for about ten minutes,.
    Show them some presentations.
    Now that all of them know what Pancake Day is, we are going to celebrate a Pancake race.
    They prepare their plasticine pancakes. 
    They wear their mask and HAVE FUN!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Missing information in the slideshow

I'm not sure why but some things didn't come through on the slide show I posted. Here are the missing links:

I look foward to hearing from everyone!


April Fool's Day

Friday, 2 March 2012

Pancake Day

Hello everyone! Have a look at my 3º ESO students making and eating American pancakes in class. We had a great time.

But first they learnt about Shrove Tuesday and some tradtions, for example, Pancake Races in Olney.

They also learnt how to make American pancakes easily.

Next Wednesday I'll show you some of the activities I prepared to do in class before actually making pancakes.

Pancake Day traditions

Pancake Races
American Pancake recipe

See you then.

Elena Sánchez from IES Averroes.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Hi everybody it´s Walter

I hope you all are able to put some of the material in the presentations to good use!  As you all know the next presentation is next week and I would like to hear some feedback about the last presentation so that I can incorporate it into the next.  I hope your ¨bridge¨ is going well!  

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pancake Day

Today, 21st february, it is celebrated Pancake Day.
Here you are some webs with information and resources for your students:

- Pancake Day activities for kids
- Pancake Day: Recipe Ideas
- Teaching ideas for Pancake Day
- Pancake Day: Quiz, games, etc...

Pancake Day Race 2012

Monday, 20 February 2012

My Valentine´s Activities

First of all, I want to congratulate Neda for her great ideas. In case you found my activities interesting and useful, here you have the links to the best stories of our 4th year of ESO students and the game for the 3rd year of ESO students, My better Half.
See you soon.


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Hi from Neda

I really enjoyed meeting you all yesterday and sharing ideas! Please feel free to let me know any comments about the session - any feedback is greatly appreciated... I look forward to seeing you in March and talking about Easter.


Following the programme of the course "Learning and Teaching English celebrations", yesterday Neda Milenova, teacher trainer and translator, talked about Pancake Day (that is celebrated on 21st february this year) and also about the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens.
Neda presented different and interesting activities as well as useful resources to teach students the origin and customs in the UK related to these festivities. Most of them were done in small groups in an interactive way, discusing them and adding new ideas and ways to adapt the activities to the students´age.

At the end of the session two of the participants gave talks about the celebration we dealt with in the previous session and that they have already carried on with their students, about Saint Valentine´s Day. Their presentations/materials are uploaded to the blog for this course that will be made public at the end of this activity.

Next 7th march we will talk about Saint Patrick Day and April fools´ Day. Don´t skip the class!!

This is the presentation by Neda on Charles Dickens and Pancake Day:

Pancake Day Quiz
- Pancake Day lyrics (gaps) 
- Shrove Tuesday Links 

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Love, love, love...

"Love looks not with the eyes,
But with the mind." Shakespeare - Midsummer Night's Dream
Isn't it beautiful? Even if you don't like Valentine's Day, I hope you enjoy Shakespeare's words.
I have chosen this celebration because it is a universal topic and it's really motivating for our teenagers. They are willing to talk about their personal experiences and this way, they have the opportunity to develop and improve their oral skills.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Hello, this is just to check that I can edit on the blog. This is the teachers´B2 group for tomorrow.

Speed dating
View more documents from tjermon585.

Thursday, 9 February 2012


Hello. This is Sole Rallo This is just to see if it works.I'll be showing my materials on Valentines next Wednesday. Best regards. Sole

Monday, 6 February 2012


As it was established in the programme of the course "Learning and Teaching English celebrations", on 8th february we dealt with "Saint Valentine's Day and "Mardi Gras".

The speaker, Thomas Walter Steele, one of the language assistants in the School of Languages in Córdoba, focused on different activities (pre-, during and post-activities) to teach English to our students through the cultural aspects of these celebrations.

The importance of input a student receives, the kind of activities more suitable for each stage and the intention of personalization (or reinforcement) in the post-activities were some of the issues we dealt with during this session of the course. 

Presentation by Thomas:

Other materials and documents: