I know it has been a very very very long time and I want to say thank you to the over four thousand people who still come back to this place even though there is nothing new in it. It has been a time of really hard work, but I am glad that it is work that is well done and starts to be seen.

This week we are going to celebrate Halloween and this year my courses need lower levels, so I am going to use this great page by English Exercises to learn new vocabulary and practice. Before that we will warm up with a great picture exercise at ESOL Courses and this great quiz from the BBC.

I hope it helps! Leave your comments and tell me!


Book Day 2014

Today we are celebrating the International Book Day. My students know that it is so because we also commemorate the death date of two of the greatest writers of all times: William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes. We are also about to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth date and I came across this blog that shows how Shakespeare's Twitter would be today.
 I think that we have a lot of quotes and funny sentences that come from Shakespeare's works that fit into 140 characters, we can try and look for some. You can leave them in a comment and I will publish them in my Twitter account. 
Have you thought of any??If it is difficult for you to remember any, you can find Shakespeare's works online in English and in Spanish (for example, his sonnets). Have a look and choose your best!!!


Celebrating Easter in the first cycle of ESO

My first ESO students do not really know that Easter is not celebrated in all parts of the world in the same way. That is the reason why we are going to watch this great video to see the differences between Spain and the UK. Topics such as the Easter hunt, the Easter bunnies or the Easter eggs are unkown to our students, so we will be working on that through the use of different worksheets found in this page called Activity Village

I hope you all have a Happy Easter!!!


Learning about Jane Austen through the use of PBL

Jane Austen by people from 3rd ESO.
I have always loved the English language and especially reading in English; one of the things that normally stay out of the curricula is learning about literature in English and Project Based Learning offers us a great opportunity to learn about literature and keep track of the curricula at the same time.
My third of ESO students (congratulations to them) have been working for two weeks answering the question: What important literary figure is going to appear in 10 pounds notes from 2017? With a bit of motivation at the beginning and a good deal of work in investigation, writing and especially cooperation among themselves, we can see one of the examples of the great works they have done. For me, one of the most important things apart from the obvious is that they now know who Jane Austen is and what she is important for.

If you are a teacher and want to give an opportunity to this project, you can read it or download it at Scribd.
If you are one of my students, you can say what you liked about the project and what you did not like in a comment.


Present Perfect.

Last Wednesday, I wrote a post which contained a video, its title is  "Have you ever really loved a woman?" and I told you I would be writing on the present perfect soon, well, here it is. You can see the form of this tense in the picture above, it is really easy.
The use is said to be somewhat informal; basically, the action always starts in the past and has a strong relationship with the present, there are mainly three options:
  1. the action is not finished, example: I have lived in Málaga all my life.
  2. the action is finished but still has consequences in the present time, example: I have eaten too much. (My stomach aches).
  3. the action finished recently, this tense used in combination with the adverb "just", example: I have just written my last post on the blog.
One of the main differences with the simple past is the fact that we do not usually mention a given time with the present perfect and, also, the action may be repeated. We normally use the present perfect with the time phrases that start with for and since. It is important to remember that we often use "been" as the past participle of the verb "go" when we are talking about past experiences with the present perfect.

If you want to practice this tense, have a look at this pages:
I hope it helps, if you have any doubts remember you can always ask or comment!!


Have you ever really loved a woman? by Brian Adams

I know that Women's Day was just a few days ago and I wanted to post this video and song in which Brian Adams sings about how to love a woman and I agree with him on most of what he says (lyrics in English and Spanish). I also like this video because we can also see and listen to the wonderful Spanish guitar "maestro" Paco de Lucía (RIP). The video was recorded in Málaga, very near to where I live.
It also uses the structucture "Have you ever + past participle?" that we are currently learning at the 3rd of ESO, so I did not want to miss the opportunity to use it as a preamble for my next (and I hope it comes soon) post of Present Perfect.
You might think I am being lazy because I haven't been writing on the blog lately, but I do have been blogging, you can check my Spanish and teacher education topics at Formación docente (fuera de horario), my other blog.
Do you like the song? and what do you think of the video? 
Typical Spanish, isn't it?


A FOREIGNER IN AUSTRALIA by Fiona Smith (Ed. Burlington Books)

Burlington Books
This reader is a good way to get to know Australian major touristic highlights through the eyes of two youngsters, one of them Spanish. In the book, we learn about a new form of volunteer work called Wwoofing (this organization also exists in Spain) and, in this way, the two teenagers are able to discover different places and people.
Places so different as Ayers Rock or the Great Barrier Reef or the Daintree Forest and towns such as Seal Rocks or Byron Bay and then, the capital city, Melbourne; apart from the native people, the Aborigines. This is a very special trip for its protagonists, who at the end of the book, decide to go further in their relationship. Will you read their next adventures?

You can listen to all the chapters at Burlington Books website.

So, do you have any questions? Have you already finished reading it? Tell us, did you like it?


How to work on daily routines.

We are going to work on daily routines through these two videos, first we will watch the first and practice the vocabulary; we will also take the opportunity to make sentences and use the present simple tense. Then, we will watch the second one which is a short video about a girl's routine and we will try to write the sentences, maybe some other day we will use the Mozilla Popcorn Maker to write on top of the video what the girl does.

Some exercises to work daily routines and the present simple:

Did you like the activities proposed to practice the daily routines? What do you do in your classes?


Victoria Connelly's "A Weekend with Mr Darcy".

This is a great book to read during the holidays: nice, easy, comfortable and cozy if you are a fan of Jane Austen. This book is what they call "fan fiction", and this means that it is fiction based on the fiction of a very famous author, in this case Jane Austen which is one of the greatest female novelists in the United Kingdom. In this type of fiction, the novel recreates the characters or the places and what could have happened to them or has new characters who are fans of the books or the famous writer whose relationships depend on the fiction of the famous writer.
 This is the case of this book, it takes place during a Jane Austen weekend conference and two female characters who love Jane Austen's fiction and think about the world in terms of what  Austen's characters would do or say. Jane Austen is famous for being able to show how the society of her time (end of 18th century) acted and how the love relationships were established. She usually wrote happy endings though it took their time to the couple to eventually get to understand they were the right couple.
 Many films and books have been filmed and written after her work, to just get a glimpse of that, go to the Jane Austen Centre page. If you browse around the Austen world in the Internet, you find that there are still places in which there are recreations of the Regency period balls and manners, just have a look at the blog The Secret Dreamworld of a Jane Austen Fan. This is what Victoria Connelly also does in this novel, in fact, the book is part of a trilogy.
The truth is that, although I enjoyed the book, I do not think very highly of it, it is just (and that is a lot) a good romantic novel; the good thing is that I have started to feel like reading more of Jane Austen's novels (she only wrote six because she died very young), so I am going to start reading Persuasion.

Did you know Jane Austen? What do you think of "fan fiction"? Do you have a favourite writer or novel? Tell us about it!!!!