Thursday, 24 December 2009

Hundreds of ways to wish a Merry Christmas!

Sometimes it seems that Christmas lessons in English as a foreign language run out of diversity, specially in Primary levels: every year the same vocabulary, the same Christmas Carols or the same Art activities such as the Christmas tree or the Christmas card.
Now I have just discovered two great lists of videos on Christmas, by Greedo, with such variety of songs, carols, ads ans stories that I can't help myself blogging them. I have found them on funpop, due to @The TheacherPage (Robert W. Hughes) who retweeted a post by @AuntyTech (Donna Baumbach) on Twitter:

101 Classic Christmas Videos online

Another big, big list of 101 Christmas Videos to Wathc and Enjoy

So, from now on, I 'm sure we won't run out of oral resources for our English lessons.

And with this short post, I send you my warmest wishes for a
And I hope that next year we'll meet here again -and I promise I'll try to post more than lately.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Your PLE

Presentation taken from Arran de pupitre blog by R. Barlam. Found in Twitter thanks to F. Esteve

Saturday, 31 October 2009

PLE as autonomous learning tools

I have found this presentation on Web Learning Remix blog by José Luis Cabello. PLE i a new quite new concept for me but I find it really interesting. In fact I am in the first steps trying to cross the road from blogs to PLEs as eportolios. I am fond of learning portfolios and I have experienced the power of blogs as learning tools and I will keep investigatin this new way.

Monday, 5 October 2009

World Teachers' Day!

Happy Teachers' Day!
Read here the information note about World Teachers' Day 2009.
I would like to highlight some principles in it. I just copy a paragraph because I totally agree with it and I don't have anything else to add:

"In our rapidly changing and interdependent world, teachers not only have to ensure that students acquire solid skills in basic subjects, but also that they become responsible local and global citizens, at ease with new technologies and able to make informed decisions about health, the environment and other challenges. Teachers play a leading role in giving students the knowledge, attitudes and values that help them understand the world and become agents of change."

So this is the great aim of the teacher's work: help students to become agents of change! It doesn't seem that it's going to be easy, but we have no excuse: it's simply our mission.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

European Day of Languages

Taking advantage of the European Day of Languages we can introduce the topic of language learning in our lessons. There are many resources for teachers on the web.
I have been browsing the web and these are some interesting resources that I have found and I share them with you here:

European Day of Languages - home
Some articles here
The National Centre for Languages- lots of resources for teachers of all levels
Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages- for planning
Council of Europe, Language policy division
Council of Europe, European Language Portfolio
European Commission, Multilingualism, Language Teaching

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Obama's back to school speeches

This year Obama has focused on students' responsibility in their learning success in his back to school speech. He has encouraged students to study hard and stay in school:

"Every single one of you has something you are good at.You have the responsibility to yourself to discover what that is , that’s the opportunity that education can provide" (...)"No one’s been born at being good at all things, you become good at things through hard work"
"Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I'm working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you've got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you." (...)

Let's hope that he doesn't forget the Government's responsibilities on education too.

Listen here to Obama's full back to school speech.

President Obama's Conversation with 9th Graders

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Six quick tips for new teachers

I have had blog holidays this summer and I haven't posted anything, so now, that summer is over and we are back to school, it's the right moment to start again. So, ready, steady, go!

This is the video I choose to start a new school year. It's about six short tips for teachers who start their career. It's a little old-fashioned but anyway I have loved two of the tips explained.

I especially agree with tips number two and three:
- Plan together with one or two teachers or even your whole grade level.
But I don't agree with the reason why we should do it. It's not only that you don't get so much stuff to do, but that you learn from all your colleagues. Team work in schools will devolop professional development of all teachers working in groups.

- Try to meet with a fellow teacher that has been teaching for five years or longer. That way you can meet with someone that has some experience.
I really feel it's the right thing to do for new teachers: try to meet a mentor, someone you can rely on and ask for help, opinion and advice. New teachers need the expertise of someone who has been working for a long time to make them think on all important aspects in teaching.

See you soon again, and happy new school year!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

If you were President...

...what would you do to improve schools?
Here you've got some interesting opinions.

Video taken from Classroom 2.0

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Key Data on Teaching Languages at School in Europe

I've been searching on Eurydice and I have found an interesting research on teaching langauges in Europe.

Key Data on Teaching Languages at School in Europe gives a wide vision of the role of languages in all compulsory education systems of European countries. It's a comparative study with 44 indicators structured into five parts: context, organisation, participation, teachers and teaching processing. It's a text full of figures with short and easy explanations of each indicator and that's why I strongly recommend it.
It's quite interesting to know the step where the other countries in Europe are to have a deepest criteria on the topic . It seems that Spain is in a good enough position in relation to the rest of the coutries, eg, we are the ones to offer foreign language learning at the earliest stage.
I have especially enjoyed the indicators related to the organisation: the teaching of two foreign languages, CLIL teaching, English as a mandatory language in 13 countries, regional languages included in many curricula. Enjoy it!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Council of Europe on ICT education

These days I've been following an exciting discussion on ICT in education on Twitter networking website. Read a summary of the discussion on InvesTICant by Isabel Ferrer Arabí. This discussion started after the Spanish government announced an ambitious plan to network all schools in the country. And this is definitely OK, but the problem arouse about how it was going to be developed. It seems now that the Spanish government has read all these opinions and some changes are being introduced to the plan -as for example,in relation to free software, according to this piece of news.

And, because of all that, I wondered what the Council of Europe could have said about this topic. And, of course, I have found some interesting Recommendations on ICT in education. So, here, I link three documents and highlight some ideas in relation to open-source software.

Recommendation 1586 (2002). The digital divide and education.

The Assembly recommends to join forces with other international bodies that are currently considering access to digital material on the Internet in order to establish the public service principle in the digital environment and in particular to develop norms for the use of such material for educational and other socially necessary purposes.

Recommendation 1836 (2008). Realising the full potential of e-learning for education and training.

E-learning can be a powerful means of creating open educational resources accessible to everybody, thus counteracting a society divided by unequal skill levels. In this regard, the Assembly calls on member parliaments to support the so-called “open-source” movement in software development and initiatives for open educational resources – freely accessible on the Internet – and to adopt measures to combat the digital divide in order to close the gap between those who have access to ICT and the acquisition of ICT skills and those who do not, thus ensuring digital literacy for all.

Doc. 11846. Realising the full potential of e-learning for education and training.

The Committee of Ministers also takes note of the Assembly’s recommendation to examine the standardisation of the technical infrastructure and software concerning e-learning, including free open-source software on the Internet, in order to facilitate their use and ensure their interoperability.

Although the open-source software is not the key concept in any of these documents, the fact is that it is considered in all of them as an important element when introducing ICT in all levels of educational systems.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Media literacy

Today I would like to recommend a short but interesting interview with Chirsta Pets, member of the European Parliament.
She defines what media literacy is and highlights some key factors to bare in mind:
- media education should help people to realise that personal information is public on social networking websites.
-media education should be a part of formal curriculum, a tool for lifelong learning and a compulsory part in teacher training courses.

Read here the complete interview.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Building a Europe for and with children

It's a long time since I posted on Council of Europe for the last time. So, let's go back to it again!

Building a Europe for and with children it's the project to strengthen work on the rights of the child.
We must work to stop children living in poverty and social exclusion. And education will always have a key role, although the main document of the programme doesn't seem to focus on education. We, as teachers, should be up-to-date in all kind of initiatives to be able to help our children, the ones we know and we meet everyday, to grow in an adequate standard of living, social protection, health and education (Strategy for 2009-2011)
The fact that the programme especially focuses on the rights of the children to be involved in decision making seems a quite new and interesting standpoint.

Read here the strategy for 2009-2011.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Web 2.0 is the future of Education

This is Steve Hargadon's presentation and talk. I have just started listening to it, and I feel it's great. I shall come back to it as soon as I can and I post it here in case you are interested in it too.

(And, don't panic! It seems very difficult but it isn't. Just keep listening and you will realise you are able to understand it.)

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Becoming a better teacher with technology.

This is another pretty interesting video to justify the integration of ICT in our teaching.
If our students are digital learners, how can we engage them without ICT?

Twitter in Plain English

Are you on Twitter?
As teachers we have to be up to date in new technologies, and Twitter is something to keep in mind too.
I just got started so I really don't know much about it. So, first of all, let's learn about it and then, we can think about applying Twitter to our lessons.
This is Twitter in Plain English.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009


Edupunk, a new standpoint to analyze elearning that I have just discovered on a post by Jordi Adell on Twitter.
Edupunk was firstly defined by Jim Goom in 2008 as an approach to teaching and learning practices that result from a do-it-yourself attitude (Wikipedia)

Edupunk is about ulearning (Martin Ebner, Graz University). It's about learner's autonomy, a learner's centered approach based on a personal learning enviroment or PLE where the learner can choose the tools to collaborate, communicate and learn (Steven Wheeler, Playmouth University).
Wheeler radicalizes his speech when he says that Virtual Learning Enviroments or VLEs stop learner's autonomy as they are controlled. While Ebner isn't as revolutionary as he tries to find a way to open VLE to free contents and tools.

It's curious to know about Edupunk when lots of teachers are just getting started in introducing VLE in their lessons.I like this new concept as it can be another point of view when checking our teaching basis and improving the VLE that we offer to our students.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

A video about the past?

I hope so...

Certainly not the best teaching strategies but anyway, a really funny video.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Do schools kill creativity? Sir Ken Robinson again.

At the very beginning of this blog, I posted a video of Sir Ken Robinson speech on creativity. Now I have found an interview with him on the same topic. I really love his ideas.
Do you agree with all these? Here you have some of Sir Ken Robinson's statements for you to think about:
The problem is that education systems need to be transformed.
Most education system confuse intelligence with academic ability

Part II

Sunday, 8 March 2009


Dear Andreia of ESL First Steps: THANK YOU VERY MUCH INDEED!

Teaching English to Primary Children has received the award "THIS BLOG IS A JEWEL"!
I am really grateful to Andreia who has given it to me! On this special day, 8th March, International Women's Day, I devote this award to all the women who are teachers and every day try to do their best to improve their pupil's education.

These are my eight things I would like to do before I die:
  1. Keep loving my family
  2. Be the best auntie
  3. Have a baby girl called Clara
  4. Keep learning
  5. Keep teaching
  6. Help the world achieving social justice
  7. Paint a picture
  8. Travel around the world

And these are the eight blogs I choose to give them the award "THIS BLOG IS A JEWEL"

Now, remember that you all have to write the eight things you would like to do and choose eight more blogs to give the award.

And again: Andreia, THANK YOU!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Be linguistically sustainable!


Article 4: Languages open up new horizons.
Therefore, let's open new horizons to our students!

Thanks to Helena Alvarado who has sent it to me.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

International Mother Language Day

21st February it's the International Mother Language Day launched by United Nations in 1999 and observed since 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

As an English teacher I love learning and teaching languages. Therefore, I have a special interest in developing in my students some language concern. I also try to work with them concepts as lifelong language learning.
I think that you may agree with this believes and so I have decided to share with you this websites that I have found and that I really like.

United Nations website
on International Mother Language Day

Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Education on Unesco website

Map of languages of instruction in Europe here

World Day of Social Justice

20 th February is the World Day of Social Justiced launched by United Nations. This year is going to be observed for the first time.
I have no doubt that education can also be a way to achieve social justice in our world.

Visit the web clicking here

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Congratulations, Mr President!

Will President Obama be a President for Peace?

Listen to his swearing:

The Oath of office for President
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. So, help me God".

Listen and read his Inauguration speech here

Sunday, 18 January 2009

DENIP: 30th January. School Day of Non-violence and Peace

DENIP: Working to promote a Culture and an independent, free and voluntary
Education for Non-violence and Peace from 1964.

It is celebrated on 30th January.
1. The "School Day of Non-violence and Peace" (DENIP), founded in 1964 and also known as World or International Day of Non-violence and Peace, is a pioneering, non-state, non-governmental, non-official, independent, free and voluntary initiative of Non-violent and Pacifying Education, which is now practised in schools all over the world and in which centres of education, teachers and students of all levels and from all countries are invited to take part.
2. It advocates a permanent education in and for harmony, tolerance, solidarity, respect for human rights, non-violence and peace.
3. It is observed on January 30 or thereabouts every year, on the anniversary of the death of Mahatma Gandhi. In countries with a Southern Hemisphere school calendar, it can be observed on March 30 or thereabouts.
4. Its basic message is: "Universal Love, Non-violence and Peace. Universal Love is better than egoism, Non-violence is better than violence, amd Peace is better than war".
5. The method of teaching this activity of education in values should be one of experiences and it can be freely applied in each centre of education according to its own teaching style.
6. Friends of DENIP are those persons who, by accepting the spiritual, individual and social supremacy of universal love, non-violence, tolerance, solidarity, respect for human rights and peace above their opposites, advocate the diffusion of the principles which inspired the day.
Llorenç Vidal. Founder of DENIP

Visit DENIP website.

Peace eduaction programme


I think Peace and Human Rights have to be core contents in our teaching. Here you've some resources for the integration of peace education in your teaching.

UNESCO Culture of Peace: Because the year 2000 is the International Year for the Culture of Peace (UN Doc A/RES/52/15) and the period 2001-2010 is the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (UN Doc A/RES/53/25), there is no better time to join the global movement to educate for a sustainable culture of peace.

"A culture of peace will be achieved when citizens of the world understand global problems, have the skills to resolve conflicts and struggle for justice non-violently, live by international standards of human rights and equity, appreciate cultural diversity, and respect the Earth and each other. Such learning can only be achieved with systematic education for peace." -Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education

Visit the UN website for peace education

Friday, 2 January 2009


Daniel Barenboim has said at the New Year's Day concert in Vienna:

"We hope 2009 will be a year of peace in the world and of human justice in the Middle East."

I hope so too!