viernes, 27 de diciembre de 2013

Farewell 2013...

In just a few days another year will be over. A year which has been great for some people and not so great for others... A year that has seen the accomplishement of projects, the realization of dreams and a lot of errors that are such a defining element in the life of us humans: after all, that's how we learn, through trial and error. ...

Let's now turn our eyes, minds and hearts towards the year that's about to start.... let's be energetic, positive, hopeful, and let's make a wonderful 2014, shall we?

miércoles, 13 de noviembre de 2013

So proud...

I'm so proud of my almost already former students... They created their blogs because they had to but now that it is no longer a requirement they keep publishing wonderful material....

And continue sharing your wisdom and experiences!!

domingo, 3 de noviembre de 2013

Mixed feelings

I have mixed feelings... 

This week  it will be my last class with a group of students I have come to love...

 On the one hand, I'm extremely happy for and proud of them!!

On the other hand, I'll miss them a lot... we've had wonderful classes together!

I wish you the very best in all your future endeavors... May life bring you fulfilled dreams, exciting challenges, endless hope and lots of love! You deserve it!

And let's share one more quote...

lunes, 21 de octubre de 2013

Multiple intelligences

The theory of multiple intelligences was proposed by Howard Gardner in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences as a model of intelligence that differentiates it into specific (primarily sensory) "modalities", rather than seeing it as dominated by a single general ability. Gardner articulated seven criteria for a behavior to be considered an intelligence. These were that the intelligences showed: potential for brain isolation by brain damage, place in evolutionary history, presence of core operations, susceptibility to encoding (symbolic expression), a distinct developmental progression, the existence of savants, prodigies and other exceptional people, and support from experimental psychology and psychometric findings.
Gardner chose eight abilities that he held to meet these criteria: musical - rhythmic, visual - spatial, verbal - linguistic, logical - mathematical, bodily - kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. He later suggested that existential and moral intelligence may also be worthy of inclusion.Although the distinction between intelligences has been set out in great detail, Gardner opposes the idea of labelling learners to a specific intelligence. Each of us possess a unique blend of all the intelligences. Gardner firmly maintains that his theory of multiple intelligences should "empower learners", not restrict them to one modality of learning.  Source: Wikipedia

miércoles, 16 de octubre de 2013

Dictionary Day

Today is a special day, a day to honour an invaluable tool...

It is a good opportunity to work with dictionaries in class to teach our students how to use them: you can prepare games and challenges, for example.

The date was chosen to honour Noah Webster, who put together the first dictionary of the English language... it took him 27 years to write it!

lunes, 14 de octubre de 2013

jueves, 10 de octubre de 2013

Getting ready for exams

That time of sitting for exams is upon students once again. If you are a student and you are about to start getting ready for exams, then this article is for you.

How to study for exams… some tips

1.       Create a timetable. Budget your time wisely to ensure that you cover all the topics covered in the exam. Remember to take regular breaks and get out and exercise.

2.       Rewrite your notes to aid memory. Rewriting your notes is great if you're a kinesthetic learner. Mind mapping is the most effective way of doing this. Also, when you re-write something, you will probably think about what you are writing, what it's about, and why you wrote it down. Most importantly, it refreshes your memory. If you took notes a month ago and just found out that those notes will be relevant in your exam, rewriting them will remind you of them when you need it for your exam.

3.       Find the right hours. Don't study when you're really tired. It's better to get a good night's sleep after studying for a short time, than to push on at two in the morning. You won't remember much and you're likely to see a performance drop the next day.

4.       Don't cram. Cramming the night before is proven to be ineffective, because you're taking in so much information at once that it's impossible to memorize it at all — in fact, you'll hardly retain anything. I know it's been preached to you many times before, but it's true: Studying before and going over it multiple times really is the best way to learn the material. This is especially true with things like history and theoretical subjects.

5.       Different subjects call for different studying. If it's math you're studying for, work on the problems. Don't just read over it like you would for a history class, because you can actually do math, but you can seldom do history. Working problems out will help burn them into your mind, and remember: if you can't solve the problem before the exam, you won't be able to solve it on the exam either. For subjects based on calculations, it is important to do questions because this is essentially how you are going to be tested.

6.       If you are studying for a more social subject, re-read your notes, or re-write them! Make sure you know what you're talking about(rather than just memorizing your notes)!
Don't simply copy your notes over and over again. This tends to lean towards memorizing the exact wording of your notes instead of the actual concepts. Instead, read and think about the contents of your notes (such as think of examples), and then re-word them.

7.      Choose good surroundings. How do you study best? In your PJ's and your favorite t-shirt? With music or without? In your room or outside? You probably won't be able to study effectively with distractions like family members and outside noises. Some strategies for managing your surroundings include:

Make sure you are studying in a clean, quiet and orderly room. This may necessitate leaving your house. Public libraries are usually a good option. Be aware that food is likely not allowed and you will be expected to keep the silence.
Studying in a dark room is not recommended. Add lamps at night, or in the daytime, open the window coverings(open the window a little, too). People tend to study and focus better in a brighter, oxygenated room with little noise.

Turn the TV off, more often than not. Some people like to have the TV on quietly in the background. This can cut both ways in that it can distract you from time to time, but also can help you to continue studying. It may be beneficial to begin studying with the TV on in the background, and then turning it off once you're under way. The combination of visual and audio stimuli will likely reduce your studying performance, as it makes it more difficult for your brain to prioritize information acquisition (rapidly swapping attention between studying and watching TV).

Music's effect on memory performance varies between individuals. Some studies have found music to aid the memory performance of individuals with ADD/ADHD, while reducing it in individuals without the disorder. Music can be motivating (making studying more enjoyable) while still detracting from memory performance. You must determine whether you're better off with or without it. If you cannot bring yourself to study without music, it may be worth the minor negative effect it can have on memory.

8.       Take breaks. You need some time to have fun and it is better to revise when you are feeling relaxed than to exhaust yourself studying all day! The only caveat is, you need to avoid procrastination.

9.       Plan ahead. Always create a plan before you start studying. Remember that this plan has to be achievable. If 3 out of 5 lessons are easy and can be finished fast, finish them first, so you can spend quality time on the difficult lessons without fretting. Small tricks like these will help you complete your portions quickly.

10.   Review your notes. When you are finished studying one page of your notes, before you move on to the next page, ask yourself questions relating to the material on that page to see if you have remembered what you just studied. It also helps to say the answers to your questions out loud as if you were trying to explain it to someone else.

11.   Ask for help. If you need help, ask someone who is good at these subjects. Friends, family, teachers are all good options. If you don't understand what the person helping you is communicating, don't be afraid to ask them to elaborate.

12.   Be prepared on the big day. On the day of your exam, look at your notes before the exam so that the information is still fresh in your head. Get plenty of rest the night before. Children in elementary school require on average 10-11 hours of sleep for optimal performance, while adolescents in high school require between 8-9.5 hours of sleep on average. Poor sleep has been found to accumulate (referred to as "Sleep debt"); in order to make up for prolonged poor sleep habits, several weeks of daily optimal sleep may be required to return to optimal performance.
·         Eat a balanced breakfast full of lean protein, vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. A sample breakfast might include a spinach omelet with smoked salmon, whole wheat toast, and a banana.
·         Get to the exam room with time to spare. Give yourself at least five or 10 minutes to gather your thoughts before starting the exam. That means being in the exam room five to 10 minutes before the exam starts.


miércoles, 9 de octubre de 2013

Special Talent

Watch this video with the testimony of several people who have been disgnosed with dyslexia... It's inspiring! They first describe all the obstacles they have had to overcome and then they highlight the positive characteristics that come along with it!

More about dyslexia...

Dyslexia is a commonly misunderstood condition. It is of the utmost importance that teachers learn more about it.

Here there's another interesting video to understand dyslexia better:

domingo, 6 de octubre de 2013

Some possible benefits of speaking two languages....

We all know that speaking more than one language has several advantages: it is easier to communicate with people from different countries, it is easier to travel, it is easier to get a job (and a well paid one at that), etc.

But there are other benefits that one may have not thought of and which are very interesting indeed. Take a look at the following report.

For those who still haven't dared to get immersed in the language learning world, maybe now there are even more reasons! What do you think?

domingo, 29 de septiembre de 2013

Finding out about dyslexia

Yesterday we started finding out about ADHD. Another problem that is more common than one tends to think is dyslexia. 

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke gives the following definition for dyslexia:

"Dyslexia is a brain-based type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person's ability to read. These individuals typically read at levels significantly lower than expected despite having normal intelligence. Although the disorder varies from person to person, common characteristics among people with dyslexia are difficulty with spelling, phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds), and/or rapid visual-verbal responding." 

If you share the interest for this disorder, watch this video to find out more about it...

Also, take a look at this picture, comparing a nonimpaired brain with a dyslexic one...

For more information click here

sábado, 28 de septiembre de 2013

Let's find out more about ADHD

As teachers, as parents, as friends, as humans, it is useful to try to understand this condition better...

sábado, 21 de septiembre de 2013

Great news...

I'm very happy and proud to share my students' blogs... As the above picture says, it is safe to say that the students have surpassed the teacher... well done!

miércoles, 18 de septiembre de 2013

How to face life...

In the same way in which there are people who are negative, and who like to complain about everything, there are people who spread joy and energy... Which would you like to be?...

martes, 17 de septiembre de 2013

English Spelling...

Ghoti is a constructed word used to illustrate irregularities in English spelling. It is a respelling of the word fishi.e., it is supposed to be pronounced /ˈfɪʃ/. It comprises these phonemes:
An early known published reference is in 1874, citing an 1855 letter that credits ghoti to one William Ollier Jr (born 1824). Ghoti is often cited to support the English spelling reform, and is often attributed to George Bernard Shaw, a supporter of this cause. However, the word does not appear in Shaw's writings, and a biography of Shaw attributes it instead to an anonymous spelling reformer. Similar constructed words exist that demonstrate English idiosyncrasies, but ghoti is the most widely recognized. Linguists have pointed out that the location of the letters in the constructed word is inconsistent with how those letters would be pronounced in those placements, and that the expected pronunciation in English would be "goaty". For instance, the letters "gh" cannot be pronounced /f/ at the beginning of a syllable, and the letters "ti" cannot be pronounced /ʃ/ at the end of a syllable

Happy Day!!

For all those in the teaching profession... Enjoy your day!!

Only those of us who have ever taught are trully aware of everything that is implied in the teaching job.... All that is invisible behind what is visible.... So, for all that effort, time, energy, sacrifice, patience....

lunes, 16 de septiembre de 2013

domingo, 15 de septiembre de 2013


It has happened to all of us: things are going great in a class when suddenly an unexpected event jeopardizes the success of our lesson... What should we do?

The answer, of course, is to adapt to what has happened... We have to use our intuition, resort to our previous experiences and "pull a bunny out of a hat"...

But that's ok, is it not? That is an important part of what teaching is all about! So let's enjoy it!

This article appeared in The Telegraph... What do you think?

Translation table explaining the truth behind British politeness becomes internet hit

The British trait of being too polite to speak one's mind has led to a table translating numerous hollow English phrases becoming an internet hit.

Rushing to get to the church on time: Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral - I see myself as the Hugh Grant character in Four Weddings and a Funeral
Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral is the epitome of British politeness Photo: REX FEATURES
The table sheds light on just how difficult it can be for a foreigner to understand what the British really mean when they're speaking – especially for those take every word at face value.
Phrases that prove the trickiest to decipher include 'you must come for dinner', which foreigners tend to take as a direct invitation, but is actually said out of politeness by many Britons and often does not result in an invite.
The table also reveals that when a person from Britain begins a sentence "with the greatest respect ...', they actually mean 'I think you are an idiot'.
I hear what you say I disagree and do not want to discuss it further He accepts my point of view 
With the greatest respect You are an idiot He is listening to me 
That's not bad That's good That's poor 
That is a very brave proposal You are insane He thinks I have courage 
Quite good A bit disappointing Quite good 
I would suggest Do it or be prepared to justify yourself Think about the idea, but do what you like 
Oh, incidentally/ by the way The primary purpose of our discussion is That is not very important 
I was a bit disappointed that I am annoyed that It doesn't really matter 
Very interesting That is clearly nonsense They are impressed 
I'll bear it in mind I've forgotten it already They will probably do it
I'm sure it's my fault It's your fault Why do they think it was their fault? 
You must come for dinner It's not an invitation, I'm just being polite I will get an invitation soon 
I almost agree I don't agree at all He's not far from agreement 
I only have a few minor comments Please rewrite completely He has found a few typos 
Could we consider some other options I don't like your idea They have not yet decided 
The table points out that when Britons say 'I'm sure it's my fault', it actually means 'it's your fault'.


As the famous phrase "Food for the Soul" suggests, it can be very enriching to dwell on some thoughts.... Let's share...

Welcome to English, English!!

The purpose of this blog is to share anything related to English that may be of interest for people who are learning English, or who are teaching English or who simply like English….

If you are within any of those groups, we expect your visits, comments, suggestions and contributions!