See you later... alligator.

Post image for See you later, alligator! (Do you know what comes next?)
The Frog and Snail Society
 I need a break, I need to rest for a while. It has been a long, tiring, intensive course with many things happening in my life, both personal and professional. The summer holidays are now beginning and I won't be writing so often (once every three days). I'm going to spend more time with my family, resting and reading (for pleasure and also with a professional purpose) . 
Since this is an educational blog, if I have something interesting to produce at a professional level, I will write it down; if not, I won't write in three weeks' time or so until I start my cultural trip to Montreal and New York, of which I hope I can write you about. I think education is what teachers do to show you what you cannot see; well, in this case I will try to make you see it.
I wanted to thank all my students who have actually visited this blog, made use of it, left comments, used its links... This is for you. Also to those people who have visited it accidentally and stayed for a while and never came back. I would like to thank my friends who are using this blog to review their English. To you all, thank you. 
See you later alligator!!!


How to organize your work to pass in September

Free Notebook Clipart
Well, we have finished evaluating just this morning and you will see the results of your work of the year tomorrow. Some of you have passed and will rest a little; some have failed some school subjects and will have to work further during the summer. 
For those of you who are in the first or second course of ESO, have failed English and have a 3 or 4 in June you have many chances to pass in September if you work hard during the summer, I wanted to give you some recommendations that I hope you will follow:

  • Ask someone who has passed English (with a 7 at least) for their notebooks and complete yours.
  • The exam is mainly based on Grammar and Vocabulary, so I recommend you to take out these parts to study them in depth.
  • Review your grammar and redo the exercises we have done in class from the book, workbook or even the exams you have copied in class.
  • After studying the vocabulary, try to make associations or meaning related groups and write sentences with the new vocabulary; try not to learn them English-Spanish or viceversa!!
  • Read the texts we have worked in class from the book or workbook and review the wh-words or question words so that you know exactly what we are asking you. Besides, you can read my blog, this will also increase your reading competence.
  • You know this blog is an open channel with my students or other learners of English, therefore, feel free to ask in your comments whatever you want, I will try to answer as soon as possible, but remember that I am on holidays!!
For those of you who are in 1st of Bachillerato, you know already what you have to do; this blog is also open to you if you want to leave any comments, questions or doubts.

Good summer to you all!!


Beginning the summer holidays...

The summer holidays are here!!! Even though many of you will be resting yourselves right now, the human being gets tired of everything (I think that is why our civilization has developed so far...) Therefore, although I know that these days you are all doing what Bruno Mars in his The Lazy Song, I'm going to leave you some recommendations to keep up with English during the holidays:

  • Follow me in the blog, of course!!! (Even though I may be off  for some days, I need a  rest after the course). I will be posting if it is possible from Canada and New York and will be telling you what I see, so you review your English and increase your culture!!
  • Listen to songs in English reading the lyrics at the same time. I know you like Maxima FM a lot, but they don't play much music in English, try others such as Kiss FM and Los Cuarenta.
  • Try to watch the TV in English, it is possible now with the TDT; it is difficult at the beginning, but try to stay at least 15 minutes, then you will start getting used to it, maybe watch a TV series you have already watched?
  • Many tourists come to where you live or the beach you go to, it is a good idea to meet new people and practice your English at the same time.
  • On the internet, you can play funny and interesting games (grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation...) at ESL Games World.
I'm sure there are many other things you can do - read books in English (comics if you prefer) or practice the exercises we have seen in class- but I think this is enough;  if you have interesting ideas,
 leave them in a comment!


Ending the course

Present from my class.
This year I have started teaching in a new high school, not that it is new for everybody but it was for me. I was given a tutorship of a 1st ESO course and I was a bit nervous because it was a long time since I wasn't. It has been a long and hard course, many have needed a lot of help and I have done my best.
They are great little people, who will become great adults, each of them is special for one reason or the other and we have learnt a lot together about English and English culture, about adult life and  also about blogging, some of them are followers of this blog, they have learnt to leave their comments... some of them are also bloggers themselves (you can have a look at their blogs if you find them in the members of this blog).

Today, when I came to my class, they were hiding because they had this surprise prepared for me!! You can see in the photo, they offered me a nice, elegant clutch bag  and a poster of a mixture of their photos and a group photo of the class.

I wanted to thank my students, and their families; studying in a public school may be difficult but it gets easier if we work together, the families and the professionals.

Do any of  my students want to leave any comments? Any teachers? Parents? Please do!!!


What to do during the summer holidays?


Summer holidays are about to start!!! those that have studied and passed will have many hours to enjoy doing what they like best doing during their free time. Those that have failed any school subjects will have to study but there are still a lot of hours left to do what you prefer. If you are lucky enough, you will go on holidays to the to the beach or the mountain, but if you are not, if you have to stay here with the high temperatures we have... there are some options of things to do at home:

If you have to review English, the best way is to make new foreign friends and practise with them, but if you are too shy or not that lucky you can practise a lot through this blog, especifically from Resources for my students.

Do you have any other ideas? What do you like doing in your free time? 
Leave your comments and tell us.


Bend it like Beckham: Watching a film in class.

 I want to recommend this film for educational purposes, Bend it like Beckham is a film which came out in the year 2002 by the female British director Gurinder Chadha. This film won some minor awards and was nominated for Best Film (musical or comedy) in the Golden Globes of the following year. Gurinder Chadha is of Indian origin and that background also appears in the film.

What is the plot of the film?
Jess (Parminder Nagra), a Hindi girl who lives with her parents and elder sister in London, loves playing football and is very good at it. During the process of engagement of her sister, her dream of becoming a professional footballer  (just like her admired Beckham) is about to be fulfillled. In the way, she finds problems because of the traditions and customs her family has about what a girl should be and act like. She finds herself in the middle of two worlds, her family's and the one her new friend Jules (Keira Knightley) and her trainer  (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) represent.

Why in a class?
There are many reasons to watch this film in a class, first of all, it is funny, students laugh while watching it, there's a love story and there is football too!! Also, the setting is London!! Besides, it is a good way to open up discussions about some topics we may come across in our classes, like:
  1. Cultural contrasts.
  2. Masculine and feminine roles in society.
  3. Discrimination.
  4. Parents-children relationships.
  5. Effort enhancing.
  6. Homosexuality.
  7. Inmmigration.
Watching it in English?
I think that this film can be watched by students from 1st of ESO to 2nd of Bachillerato (if we had the time!!)  . Watching it in English in lower courses would be difficult because of the Hindi (especially) and British accents. With lower courses I recommend watching it in Spanish and may be taking only two or three scenes in English to work deeper with.

Have you seen this film? At school? Did you like it? Do you agree with me?
Leave your comments!!!


Modal auxiliaries for my 1st of Bachillerato

My students of 1st of Bachillerato are ending the year with modal auxiliary verbs, so let's review what modal verbs are. They have special characteristics:

  • They always have the same form, no matter the subject of the sentence.
  • They work as auxiliary verbs, that is, they make their own negative (by adding "not") and interrogative form (through subject-verb inversion) without any other auxiliary verb.
  • They are defective verbs, that is, they do not have all the tenses.
  • They are always followed by another verb in the infinitive without "to". Modal verbs add some meaning to the verbs that goes after them. We can see this special meaning which corresponds to the different modals in the chart below:
 Meaning... in the
 Present time
 Past time
 Future time
 can (can't)
could (couldn't)
was/were(n't) able to 
 will be able to
 can (n't)
may (not)
 was/were(n't) allowed to
will be allowed to 
ought (not) to 

have to 
need to
 had to
will have to 

 don't/doesn't have to
don't need to
 didn't have to
didn't need to
 won't have to 
won't need to

 (positive) must

(negative) can't

You can practice modals in many pages, here are some:
- A funny game at ESL Games World.

You may find many more in the internet but I think these are enough!! I hope you still work a little, it's just two weeks to go, one final effort!!!
Tell me if you liked/used this post by leaving comments!!!


If I were president, I would...

This week we have had our local elections in the class of 4th of ESO. First, all my students wrote a composition with the title "If I were president, I would..." Then, I corrected them; all of my students had very good ideas to overcome the crisis we are in, a bit populist and inmature but very well organised. We set a date for the election and they prepared themselves to give a speech and persuade the rest of their mates to vote for them.
Picture of Manuel's poster.
Many rhetorical devices were used, such as repetition and parallelisms, just like in real political speeches!!! They enjoyed very much their mates oral expositions and I really liked this activity because it fosters speaking in public and, as they were really into getting the votes, they became less anxious about their English and more aware of what communication is all about.
Montse's presentation.
All of them had great ideas and exposed them in a fantastic way, that is why I wanted to thank them, not only for this activity, but for the amazing course that we have had together. I hope next year we are together again. So thank you: Marina, Antonio, María José, Miguel, Ana, Anabel, Francisco Javier, Ángela, Alba, Beatriz, Montse, Javier and Manuel.
If you want to see how I have treated the conditionals in the blog in other ways, check the following:

You can also leave your comments, you know I love them!!!



In just two days, we will have loads of football on TV, why? Well, it's the European Football Championship that takes place every four years. This year, it is played in Poland and Ukraine, countries which I would love to visit, especially Poland. Spain is supposed to win, it is the World's Champion and every one expects them to win.
One of the Spanish songs to support the team is called "No hay dos sin tres!" which means literally "there are not two without a third!". The song is sung by three famous singers in Spain: David Bisbal, Cali&ElDandee, you can listen to it here.
Spain is in Group 3 and will be playing for sure on the following dates:

  • 10th June against Italy.
  • 14th June against the Irish Republic.
  • 18th June against Croatia.
If you want to see the complete calendar or more information, you have it on UEFA Euro 2012. I hope Spain gets to play the final match and wins on the 1st of July!!!
If you want to learn more about the difference between football and soccer...

Which country do you think will win this year??
Leave your support for our Spanish team comments !!!


Amor deliria nervosa

What if love were a disease?
I have finished reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver, a young writer from New York, and I really liked it. Even though it is supposed to be  a young reader's book, it raises some questions that really made me think, such as love as an illness and the organization of society.

What is amor deliria nervosa?
The story takes place in a city of the USA, a country that found out that love is the worst illness and scientists have found a cure for it; therefore, all its people undergo a procedure to get cured when they are about to became adults. This creates a controlled society with no pain and almost no crimes. Nevertheless, nothing is perfect and there is a resistance of people who believe in love and have not undergone the procedure to be detached of their feelings.

What happens in the book?
Lena, the protagonist, is expecting her process of pairing (as there is no love, the government matches young people to provide for families) and the procedure for curing her willingly because her mother was infected with the illness and suffered a lot. During her evaluation process, there is a disruption and she meets Alex, unfortunately she falls in love with him. This leads to lots of adventures because their love is not only forbidden by their parents -as Romeo&Juliet's- but it is an institutionalised prohibition, by her family, the regulators and the police!! The only help they have is her best friend Hana and her cousin Gracie who has not spoken in years.

Why do I recommend this novel?
It is a well-constructed love story, it has friendship, hard family relationships and many adventures trying to get rid of the regulators and family and fight for their love. The novel ends when they are trying to get to the other side, the Wilds, where they will be able to live their love freely.

Have you read it? If you have, tell us your view in a comment!!!