Category Archives: Personal

Reflections on a Course: Post 1 (Week 2)

When teachers start to think on their next school year, there are a couple of things that quickly come to their minds: What to do and how to do it.

There are many ways to find how. Nowadays, we can find resources and ideas in a massive list of sources: Doing searches in search engines (google and many other), following tweets related to ELT, or ELT blogs. We can also follow curated sites ELT-related (Through, for example, or referitories.

Workshops give us ideas on methodology and innovative approaches… experienced teacher trainers and colleagues provide with lots of fresh ideas on how to achieve our goals and how to do it in a motivating way…

But all these ideas, suggestions, tools and experiences would probably be worthless if we did not know why, where, and when to use them. That cannot be achieved if we don’t know what we want to achieve, what we want our students to learn.

Those so called didactic goals have dramatically evolved along the years. Time ago we had many professionals whose main goal was to ensure that students can take in as much grammar as possible… I suffered that in my childhood French lessons. later on, we moved into reading… we wanted our students to be able to read English texts… big deal! When it came to speaking, many of those students were not able to ask how to get to the nearest tube station in London.

Fortunately, things evolved and teachers began to realise that the only way to say that students succeed in learning a language is when they are able to use it in a communicative way. Most (I repeat… “most”, not “all”) teachers try to elicit our students speaking and listening abilities… and that has become a key element in the goals of today’s ELT.

In order to establish clear outlines about the previously mentioned “WHAT”, once we assume this communicative approach is paramount, we must be able to establish those goals, those objectives that will allow us to set the pace for a proficient achievement in our students’ learning process.

The ABCD model has turned out to be a good example of how to set those objectives as we prepare our schedule for our groups. The guidelines and information we find in Penn State Learning Design Community Hub page give us a clear overview of this approach on the Audience, Behaviour, Condition and Degree elements that make up for the ABCD Objective definition methodology.

We must also consider the adoption of the “Competential” approach used by many other colleagues. It is really valid when it comes to establishing communicative goals, as it sets the objectives that define the skills and abilities a student must achieve when he/she becomes competent in the use of a foreign language. The competential approach could be very well related to the establishment of degrees of linguistic skills by language users as seen in CEFR in Europe or ILR in the U.S.

What, how… interrogative elements for a single answer… our students’ success.

photo credit: Foxtongue via photopin cc

Reflection… Still so much to do!

This article from la Vanguardia dwells on the permanent issue of using English in the classroom… why should it still be an issue? If we deprive our students of one of the possibilities to increase their imput of English language (In most cases the most relevant), what are our expectations as professionals? I still learn about cases where the teacher constantly uses his/her native language to teach… English. Sometimes they justify themselves by saying many/some/most/a few students do not understand… and they will stay like that if we don’t give them the chance to get in contact with the language!!! And even though those students had those problems of understanding… what about the rest of the class who eventually understands what the teacher is saying. I don’t understand what process these pseudoprofessionals have undergone which does not let them see the plain truth: Oral imput is paramount in the communicative language acquisition process. Of course I say “communicative”! If we only try to teach them how to differenciate past perfect from simple past and how to say all irregular verbs by heart (nice drill to help them find their way in the middle of London), then why bother?

Still so much to do!!!

Have a nice summer!!

Posting will become scarce in the following weeks… summetime has come!
Here’s my last post, just to show you that we still must work really hard if we want this country of ours to show some reasonable level in the use of English… and still harder if we want it to show some style and good taste!!
Bon estiu!!




Time to say your thoughts instead of writing them down. AudioBoo has been created for users to create short audioclips and publish them online… brief thoughts and ideas to share with the rest of the world, or the rest of our classmates! Our Batxillerat/K12 students can register with their Tweeter accounts, and share thoughts about what they see in a given outdoors route, or what they watch on the TV/Listen to on the radio regarding some specific event, conflict or any other piece of news.



Incredible website to enrich writing skills, even for those who want to go further into writing full length stories. Protagonize is meant for those who want to write a story and want to share it with the rest of the world, or just with a tiny bunch.

Collaborative stories have room here… start with an introduction and a first chapter, decide if this chapter can also be modified, invite people to a private writing party or just leave it open to everyone. people participating in the creative process can add their own chapters and maybe edit and modify the others… give instructions on what you want the other people (your pupils?) to do, or let their imagination wander free.


A  very clear interface, maybe not very catchy for primary education, where you choose the kind of text you want to write. You can add an introduction where you can let out an idea of the story you are writing, or maybe the instructions for participants.


Decide wheter the story you are about to start is going to be your own individual work (students could create their own accounts and therefore work on their stories on their own), or you want to start a collaborative story, whereby a group of people/pupils will collaborate in the creative process chapter after chapter.


If you prefer to play as you write, if you want to create an adventure, click on Addventure and start a story which will branch out into different plots which will take the reader into different developments of the story…  probably extra work,  but extremely catchy and motivating!! Your pupils can make groups and each of these groups can create a development of the story you create, or each student of the group can develop the story they have begun cooperatively in a different way.

What are you waiting for? Sign up and start writing!!!

Back again… and some news

After a long while… I’m back. I’ll try to fill you with my thoughts and feelings again, and also with some tips and links for my fellow teachers.
These up here are my daughters… my two eldest ones, considering the next one will be another GIRL!!! Coming in february, and all of us eager to see her among us (well, in fact, she’s already “among” my wife Anna).