Messages for People

Outing to celebrate your achievement & Recalling Generation 1 & 2

Today quite a few people dropped by to say hello or have a look at their exam, and then we went out for dinner together. We missed the people who did not make it to this outing, so let me send them a big hug from us all. We hope you have a wonderful bilingual summer! 😀 ❤ It’s been a pleasure to meet you all, and have the chance to work with you. This third generation has had amazing results, really. So thanks for that! It will also be inspiring for newcomers!

I’d like to dedicate this post to you three generations of C1’s here because each and every year has been intense and fruitful in many ways.

The First Generation, where less people followed the course, was full of people who loved learning English with freedom, so perhaps that explains why they felt at ease with the methodology and made the most of it. I’d like to share here the videos I was allowed to shoot:

The first C1 video was by Rocío, a journalist, and she gave us this precious present:

Paco’s was the second video-donor! 😀 His English was amazing anyway, and he loved music and is a talented DJ. In case it helps other people, he failed the listening test in June but of course passed it in September. Here, he’s reading his favorite chapter of the Alexie Diary… because I asked people to read this book and share their highlights.

This year, small groups worked on an OP based on work listening to the news, for December. We have the video recording of an OP on Science, and I’m sure you will be surprised, interested and enjoy it a lot!

Miguel, a most passionate learner, allowed us to publish two of his amazing OPs:

Paqui, who loves books, prepared this power point presentation she used in class to celebrate World Book Day.

Paqui, Noelia, Marisol and María del Mar learned a poem for one of our assignments.

The Second Generation had a majority who had a lot of pressure to get their certificate for work reasons or because it was their second year taking the course, and this put a lot of pressure in replicating the methodology of Exam Culture. But we all worked really hard and people contributed amazing work. Here are the OPs we recorded.

Poetry: Silvia read a powerful poem by Ghada Al Atrash, “Imagine”, which I also posted on our blog English Women Writers…

And Natalia, also a music teacher in secondary, learned a complex poem, putting together this amazing OP: The Owl and the Pussy-cat.

Andrés, another secondary teacher, helped us conmemorate November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women.

Yolanda H, whose English was really good already, and in spite of that kept following the course, shared with us one of the assignments I suggested based on listening work on the news:

And here is an unprecendente project: the second generation of C1’s worked on Herstory and Feminist Analysis. Their research and analysis was impressive, I did suffer lots editing their video work for zillions of hours, to try and help many of them with fossilized mistakes and grammar mistakes. In any case, they all got their certificates except one who unfortunately decided not to take the September writing test, and that was mostly for their very hard work that year.

The other two feminist intelligence OPs were very interesting, too. I’m sure you will enjoy them:

They contributed more work: audios and writings you’ll find on Talking People.

What about yours? I need to finish some pending videos. And then I’ll post about you all! 🙂

So if you hear people say public language education is no good, remember these people and your own experience. The fact is language learning never ends, and that’s why this course makes the point of helping people broaden their resourcefulness on how to learn, how to use your English in various ways with all kinds of materials! Language learning depends an 80% on the learner. No teacher or course can teach, really. Language is very complex. But teachers and courses can offer some precious support, provided the person does love using the language and learning of course!

Hope you enjoy your summer! ❤


(edited) Speaking/Listening Practice

Some pronunciation/listening tips

Notice step 3. You can also do that for recapitulation, or when you have not interacted much because you cannot come up with comments or questions to what your classmate said.

Make sure you make questions, follow-up questions, or “need-more-info” questions. Show you care about what the person is saying, that you are following.

This one’s easy, but THINK as you listen.

Practice language you need for interactions. Remember you’ve also got my podcast (the Useful Language segment).

This one’s fun! But avoid “screwed” and “fucked” in exams, even if it’s an informal interaction. Well, it’s just an idea!

Notice transitions & signal words, how they organize their text, how they introduce questions to allow us to follow, not only the vocabulary on travel, I mean!

Openings, then beginning a point and ending it. Always clear: but you need to see the structure in your outline, of course, that’s what the outline is for. Extras: transitions for moving on: connecting previous to subsequent.

Enjoy your weekend, listening and repeating and imagining scenarios for interactions, and speaking about topics. Practice introducing topics/points “About my second point, …” (it’s like how we start paragraphs)

Today and why I kept mixing up Luz’s name

Well, today was a very intense lesson. Fortunately, we had tons of work to do, to avoid getting sad about what will probably be a good-bye for most. ❤

We did not manage to read from the amazing book I brought, but we’re used to that by now, hahaha… tons of things to do every day, and doing what we can. That’s life — about doing what we can, with all our heart-mind!

Well, at the end of the lesson I understood Karen’s concern. I couldn’t at first, but there was a plan!!

So suddenly Ana appeared with bags and I was totally lost. I thought pops the people who behaved badly with me were trying to say they were sorry, in a weird and inappropiate way! 😀 But that was not the case, of course. It was you all, dear students! ❤ I try to discourage people from giving me presents, because I’m very shy for this kind of thing, but your love was so beautiful and strong. I do appreciate ❤

So I’d like to share with you my thoughts on why I kept mixing up Luz’s name with Lucía.

Sometimes the reason why we make mistakes is that we feel insecure. In my case here, I didn’t want to hurt Luz, because she said she hated being called a different name. So I was afraid of making the mistake. Very much afraid. And of course, when we fear, it’s more likely we don’t perform as well as when we don’t feel fear. So when we fear, we keep making the same mistake, and that leads to you making the mistake more often than not making, which means, consolidating the production of the mistake, which leads to fossilization. I have to say I fought fossilization at least, because I got it right quite a few times. I didn’t keep statistics, of course, but I’d say I said “Luz” more times than “Lucía”, but I did not manage not to make the mistake, like today (mentally very tired), because I feared so much making it. When I was not fearing, I got it right. That I know, I’ve observed it. Our self is a great source of information to learn about mental processes!

Fear, like guilt, are no good company. When we feel like that, decisions should be avoided. And then, it’s always good to fight patriarchal values, and find the true valuable things in life, our true interests in life, against all odds. Constructive thoughts, ideas, attitudes. Being constructive is a most revolutionary tool to change the world for the better.

Understanding mistakes is like a universe. Mistakes have their place, we need to learn from them, use them for positive things, and keep them in their place, a not-that-important place in terms of how much we allow them to make us suffer.

So well, as an expert in making mistakes, hahaha, I would like to encourage you to fight them constructively, and keep them in their pigeonhole. Not to let the fear of making mistakes spoil your ability to be curious about things, to experience and do things with confidence, joyfully! Life is short, we’re very lucky to lead the lives we lead, considering the world, and we have an ethical duty, I believe, to make the most of life, to reach for the moon from our small lives in this crazy violent human world.

Thanks so much for this year. Plus, it’s amazing 22 people are coming in June. I hope you enjoy the tests, and well, don’t worry about the results. It’s not the time to think about that. It’s the time to focus on the tasks!

Fuck exams! (Demented laughter!)

Comparing Novels and Movies

In about an hour, you’ll be able to watch this very useful video, with Desi’s performance, comparing Pay It Forward, the novel, to the movie version. I included five cards at the end with tips on how to do this kind of assignment, but the example you can learn most of is Desi’s work, really! Notice how well she uses relative clauses, to include background info on things she mentions. And the other points I comment. ❤

About our last lesson together!

Just finished my plan. Have a look! My plan had been to devote the whole lesson to this, but then we had to move speaking performances to Wednesday, so you all will probably just get to read one of your stories, but it’s OK. Unless people booking for Wed. can come the previous Mon. and do it, so we get more time for this! ❤

c1_project_readingGNSFRG (1 Word page)

Today’s lesson & Plans for next week (the last!)

Today we had to rearrange plans, but we’re experts in that, so it was OK!

I gave some feedback, based on writing I checked, on the differences between B2 and C1 sentence structure or wording, thanks to work by Encarni, Gema and Marina. I forgot to ask Luz to show you all her Writing File, which is great!

We just had one exam practice performance, by Marina and Sonia. I really congratulate Marina for the progress she’s made this year! You did good work with the task, and you did not make many mistakes. You need to be more confident, less hesistant, but that’ll come if you keep working, strengthening your connection to the language. Sonia also did great work with her assignment, and she would certainly pass a C1 test. Still, keep the good work up!

I gave Karen, Lucía and Sergio my pending feedback. But I can’t tell you about it now, because I’m so tired and I’ve got so much to do! Excuse me!

I addressed the questions Soluna posed, and we analyzed a bit what happened in Soluna & Lorena’s performance, and it felt weird because none of you, dear women, came to class today. So — we considered what we can do when our role is mostly ask and the other person’s role is mostly to explain. I wonder if any of you can post ideas we mentioned or that you have as comments to this post! We mentioned: recaps at the end to allow the person speaking less to balance the amount of language offered, expaning points in questions by making personal comments or telling anecdotes (travel agency: questions, long answers, final explanation by customer on how happy she is because she booked that package holiday, for she loves the country, she’s read so much about it and … and they were saving for this for years! and so on).

Ideas for scenarios you could encounter while taking a speaking test:

Particularly the following pages:

bullet Check out Useful Language for Conversations/Interactions + Communicative Strategies with audios
bullet Developing Communicative Strategies for various scenarios: Questions to help you find scenarios to develop useful language to overcome problems while communicating.
bullet Communicative Strategies: What’s the word for…?
bullet Beginning Dialogues
bullet Oral Textual Awareness & Communicative Strategies + Tips for Speaking Tests (madrid)

Orals: Karen and Lucía explained why they were sad I was taking Sergio away, so I suggested Romina take her oral with Mario. This means Dessi and Isabel would be together without Romina. I really think they’ll enjoy it. But — next Monday I’ll confirm things.

I’d like to comment something I told Germán, because I’ve witnessed his progress since 2013-14, when we met in NI (Intermediate). His work in this course has been extraordinary and his progress since we met, too. Now I know better because when we met in 2013 as he was so silent but did exercises so well, including speaking, of course (we used a textbook), I thought perhaps he already had a good level. Now I think you’ve made the most of your time with us. You’ve always worked really hard at home. I’ve seen traces of what I teach in your work throughout this year. Once you get your certificate, I think you’ll be free to make a more intimate emotional connection and enjoy the language even more! Well, I could be wrong, perhaps you already have it! It’s just an impression.

Some homework:

Read my Lexical Creativity workshop so that we can create words next Monday!

Read Fundraising – Crowdfunding before Wednesday next week, please. It’s here:

I mentioned I thought you underused my materials, too.

Plans for next week – updated!!


  • I’ll bring the summonings to orals that will be published on the Department’s Board and in class. That’ll be it!
  • We’ll do a listening activity Maria José designed.
  • We’ll have two oral exam practice performances: Cristina and Clara and Dessi and Romina.
  • We’ll make up words! So please, read my lexical creativy workshop, all of it. And then small groups in class will use the affixes worksheets to review morphology and make up words. You can also use other wordformation resources to create words. This is such a beautiful workshop! I hope you can read it and read the work students did some years ago. And of course, if we manage to devote some time to this, I’d like you all to post here the words you created. I’d copy them some day on


  • We’ll have three speaking test practice performances: Dolores, Marta and Cristina R.; Isabel and Germán; Gema and Encarni.
  • And then… I’ll speak about this book and each person will read one of the one-page stories! Then I’ll give away 4 books. I’ll present the book and then you can write a name on a piece of paper so that person gets it! I’ll see who has more votes and then we’ll give it to him or her.

Image result for good night stories for rebel girls
Image result for good night stories for rebel girlsImage result for good night stories for rebel girls

I’d be grateful if some of you allowed me to videoshoot your reading aloud. If you encountered a word you did not know how to pronounce, it would be OK to ask and I’d say it and then you could simply read the sentence again with the word. I also think we should try to take photos next week for the photo collage for this banner. But perhaps you could do that later. Whatever! But remember to send me the pics!

This book costs 20 euros, and I’ll be buying it with next year’s budget for our school. I want to buy three copies in English and one in Spanish, the languages the book is in. I’m telling you this in case you wish to collect 1 euro from different people and buy one, which you could all sign for our Biblioteca Desarrollando Inteligencia Feminista! but please, don’t feel obliged! I’m just asking in case you want to do that! 😀

Diary for May 15, International CO Day! (nothing to do, though!)

Today it felt really good to have some time to get a feel of your psychological emotional state in the face of the end of course and exam month. Thanks! I’m so happy the Lorena-alarm was not our Lorena! ❤ Phew! My mind was blown to pieces! I couldn’t understand a thing! This comes from students not informing of their level or group! So now I’ll try to solve the other crisis! My adorable other Lorena must be wondering who Soluna is! 😀

We reviewed what June 8 will be like, and I could see the group is offering mutual support, so I hope everybody can feel confident on what is to come and on our performance! I reminded students of some key things they should bear in mind while doing the Reading, Listening and Writing test. We can talk some about this as you find your questions and also your suggestions.

So we couldn’t do Functional Translation and unfortunately Soluna left and I hadn’t realized, so we had to move her and Lorena’s performance to some other day.

I was very happy to learn that you had all considered coming to our dinner party. Now I can tell teachers C1’s did consider, but decided not to join us because it was a bit too dear! See? I suppose it was a coincidence but my Básicos are not coming either so it’s like I had not told my groups or something! 😀 Not that anything would happen to me, really. My colleagues are adorable! But because I’m so anti-socializing people could consider I had a role there! 😀 AnywayS!

We had a speaking test practice session with Luz and Germán and it was really good. I gave them a souvenir too.

I recommended EM-PHANATICALLY (lexical creativity) total exposure to the language from now on, diversifying the kinds of oral texts, and also some time every day to listen to my Useful Language episodes at the Talking People Podcast (another path is to go to TP – enter – Useful Language, where the transcripts are), so you can improve your fluency and accuracy, particularly for conversations!

I asked people to consider allowing me to videoshoot their performance, particularly the conversations, because we have no sample of that and it would be helpful for other students.

People booked for their performances, and also registered for the June oral. Unregistered people can also do this next Wednesday. Then, I hope I can give the Head of Studies the summonings on Friday, instead of waiting till next day.

I suspect the HoS will be publishing dates tomorrow. In any case, if your Written part is on Juen 8 (right?), the oral would be on the following Monday, but she needs to confirm this first, so this info is not official yet.

Plans for next day are: first oral practice (we have some people there) and then Functional Translation, but I’d also like to read the intro to the lexical creativity workshop so that the following week you can start creating words (Monday) in small groups. I’d also like to do Maria José’s listening activity, but I suppose that needs to move to next week now. I’m sorry! ❤

Finally, please, keep in touch with worries and joys, because I need that kind of communication to avoid worrying when I get panicky emails, OK?

We also talked about going out for a drink, Publicación de Notas y Revisión, and about next Friday, the climax of our celebrations around our 25th anniversary. I hope you can join us before the dinner party, at our School. There’ll be so many things going on! You can take part in any of them.

And help me with the lesson plans, because this month your needs are a priority.

Romina, here is the link to some examples of how I learn vocabulary when I read (the C1 Resource Pack has examples too).

From this page: doc: Chapter 1 (Resource): How to work on the vocabulary of the first three chapters: OITNB_chapter 01 (4 pdf pages)

When I find some time, I’ll include that on this blog I created precisely for that kind of work: learning language from reading:

I welcome contributions, for once you’re in outspace without a teacher! 😀

Last, some LANGUAGE IN THE NEWS, in case you are listening to the news, but don’t forget to listen to panels, interviews, on the radio:

Sobre las PUCs

A ver si podéis postear el link a este post en vuestro grupo whatsapp porque hay gente muy perdida, y a ver si podéis preguntar en clase o en este blog y no individualmente,  porque la info exámenes la doy a todo el mundo por igual.

Primero: tenemos una página aquí con info de fechas de escrito y link a Guía, ademas del diario de toda la práctica que hemos hecho para examen. Está arriba en EXAM TRAINING.

  • CERTIFICAR EN JUNIO. El C1 tiene una prueba terminal de certificación (PUC) en junio, con la posibilidad de recuperar destrezas sueltas que se pudieran haber suspendido en junio en septiembre, tras los meses de verano.
  • El C1 además ofrece la posibilidad de repetir curso una vez.
  • OTRAS POSIBILIDADES DE CERTIFICAR. Y suponiendo que no se quiera o pueda, el certificado de C1 se puede conseguir en la enseñanza privada que celebra exámenes trimestrales de nivel para certificar.

PUCS NO ES EVALUACIÓN EN CURSO C1. Las autoridades publican una Guía para las pruebas, que quien pudo leyó en marzo aunque era la Guía del curso anterior, porque en marzo iniciamos nuestro mes de EXAM TRAINING, que no fue poneros yo exámenes (“evaluación” no significa sólo poner exámenes trimestrales; siempre os he dicho que las notas que me decíais eran sólo para saber, no servían para promocionar o certificar; está en nuestra programación, lo he explicado en clase, y está en la web donde os podíais descargar el C1 Pack y la programación:, porque las notas trimestrales que metemos en Séneca (2ªeval está aún en la pared al fondo de la clase) no son notas que sirvan para nada porque en los cursos de certificación la única NOTA es el Apto o No Apto de las pruebas de junio y septiembre y porque para saber si vais bien, tenéis mis correcciones y comentarios en el día a día, es decir, la Evaluación Continua que yo practico en este curso es a lo largo de todo el curso en función del trabajo que compartís o entregáis y no os sirve para certificar, y no influye: el Tribunal evalúa el ejercicio que hagáis ese día, como es lógico en este sistema.

El link a la Guía PUC está en la página que hemos ido haciendo de arriba llamada EXAM TRAINING, como la lista de todo lo que hemos hecho para entrenar en formato exámenes de avanzado.

Respecto a ORALES de ahora, los que estáis preparando por parejas no son examen, como expliqué en todos los espacios, físico y online. Son excusas para aprender más, ampliar vocabulario, reforzar estructuras, y demás. Son una práctica en tiempo real con compañía como la que tendréis en el oral.

A los ORALES PUC DE EXAMEN EN JUNIO se convoca en una fecha a todo el mundo (“convocatoria única”) y se forman las parejas en situ, se asigna hora y se hacen los orales. Sin embargo, como he explicado, el Departamento de Inglés de este centro ha determinado organizar los orales de presencial de una forma que ayude a que no se produzcan largas esperas en los pasillos, con el consecuente daño a quien espera y a la gente que está trabajando (tomando o dando exámenes) pues todo el mundo se ponía a hablar en los pasillos impidiendo la buena audición en las aulas.

Y por eso EN MAYO hacemos una lista con la gente que se va a presentar, puesta en parejas o tríos, y con una hora fija asignada, y luego a quienes no están listadas o listados, se les convoca en “convocatoria única” antes de estos orales, para ubicarlas en los espacios que haya, y si no hay espacio de tiempo, sumarlos a algunas parejas con hora ya. Por tanto, REGISTRO A ORAL de JUNIO es algo que haremos esta semana y hasta el lunes de la siguiente (EN TRES CLASES) (y no tiene nada que ver con las prácticas de ejercicio oral en formato examen que estáis haciendo), y es sólo que quien vaya a hacer el oral en junio me lo dice, y apunto a la persona para formar yo las parejas y asignarles hora, información que se publicará 15 días antes del oral, como establece la ley. Que consideremos vuestras preferencias de pareja o a veces de hora, no es una obligación, y sí es un apoyo para tranquilizaros. Cualquiera que se haya mirado la tabla de fechas de exámenes (escritos) que pegué además en nuestra página de arriba en MARZO (porque tanto la web del centro como yo hemos ido informando en blogs/webs también de toda la info según salía publicada) y se haya leído el asterisco, sabrá que los orales se pueden convocar antes o después del escrito pero que esa información la publica el centro, jefatura de estudios, en los tiempos que marca la ley.

Si tenéis preguntas o dudas, por favor, formuladmelas a mí, NO INDIVIDUALMENTE SINO EN CLASE O EN ESTE BLOG, por favor, y preferiblemente sin meter comentarios o juicios de valor autodestructivos (practicando el apoyo mutuo y autorespeto).

La irracionalidad agobia, ciertamente, porque estamos educadas y educados a ser autodestructivas por los valores imperantes en la sociedad. Así que os animo a conversar y racionalizar las cosas desde la empatía y el respeto a una misma/o y el resto. En realidad, esta PUC no tendría por qué agobiar porque son opciones que tenemos la suerte de tener, y que enriquecen nuestras vidas, y no condenas u obligaciones de la esclavitud, y nuestra sociedad nos ofrece vías múltiples además para perseguir ese interés como he mencionado arriba. Los nervios hasta cierto punto son normales. De lo que soy crítica es de que en lugar de controlarlos y apoyarse, dejéis que os y nos arrastren a la irracionalidad.

Repito lo de que las fechas de orales se sabrán cuando las publique en Tablón (y aviso en web) Jefatura de Estudios. Y obviamente, nos enteraremos todo el mundo y yo las postearé aquí también. Así pues, seguimos ayudándonos con información útil y relevante. Podéis confiar en que el profesorado del centro y su directiva tiene el proceso muy bien organizado y medido.

La fecha del escrito lleva publicada desde que salieron publicadas hace tiempo ya, y la tenéis arriba aquí, además, en foto del BOJAN y todo. Y la guía describe todo lo que necesitáis saber del examen (para el caso de que no vengáis a clase, o vuestra profe no explique bien las cosas), porque hay gente que se presenta por libre también, y en la pública se respeta que todo el mundo tiene derecho a información, la gente de presencial no tiene más derechos en este sentido, es sólo que recibe un curso que no realizan las personas que se presentan por libre. Por eso las autoridades publican ejemplos de exámenes pasados, también.

Espero que este post sirva para ayudar a que planteéis preguntas con libertad y para que podáis controlar el miedo irracional destructivo! 😀


Please, find some time to read my global assessment of levels and let me know what you think, if you kindly can.

Next week you will register for the June Orals. I’ll consider your preferences in terms of who with and do my best to make you all happy. The oral will be after the Written Exam and if Jefatura accepts our proposal, the info of the date will be published next Monday, and then when we finish our Registration to Oral sheet next week, they’ll publish the summoning times.

Mario will be summoned in “Convocatoria única” along with other absenteests/absentists unless he comes to class to register for the oral. I can’t accept registrations of people who do not come to me to register.

Remember to bring the Lexical Creativity workshop and the Functional Translation work next week, at least. Your LoM or “In class” list of items would be good for fitting comments here and there at plenary.

Remember to read the Guía before we part, to pose questions in class because I’m a more reliable source for answers than whatsapp groups, particularly if they panic. Don’t feel bad if I mention things like these because they occur. That’s why I mention them! 😀

About the adaptation for the listening exam, Karen, you will be doing your listening test at the same time as your classmates but in a different room, so we make sure have the perfect situation to take your test.

Please, keep practicing mutual support as you do, to help control fear, and overcome this terrible growth-preventer which is Exam Culture. Did you see the news today? About something our methodology works on? About the fact that the future (and this present time) is all about knowing how to learn? I suggested my School to get some of these books to have a look: In case you’re interested. If you find articles on this topic, please, share.

Remember the C1 Materials blog has articles and stuff, too, posted and on the pages. If you feel insecure with vocabulary in reading materials, use this blogs or any source of articles to do tons of reading (not tons of looking up words, although you can look up some; but find a balance in training for global understanding too)

Next Friday 19 the School will be open and offering all kinds of activities in the different classrooms. When the program is published, please, have a look in case you find any of those interesting. I do hpe that you can have a look at our 25 Anniversary Multimedia Magazine, which will be presented this day or possibly later on. The evening of May 19 we’ll also go out for dinner. I think none of you is coming, but if you were interested, you would have to bring 29 euros on Monday and give them to Ana.

Well, in general, make sure you check out Novedades on the School’s website hereon! There’s tons of info coming!

Have a wonderful ever-learning weekend! ❤

On the Tray with your checked work

Today I found C1 checked assignments in the tray for Básico checked assignments, and it seems people or somebody put them there by mistake, but I also presume the students might have understood they had to give it back to me, which is not the case. It’s for you, OK? When I asked you all to bring your “In class” notes I meant, to say out loud in class for plenary commentary, OK? Please, remember the trays are just for me handing you your work back, and that any new work should be left on my desk, not on the tray. Thanks! 🙂

Diary for Mon May 8 – wow!

Well, today it was amazing to see everybody in class, almost! It’s true all of the people coming have been following this course this year, some more regularly, some as they managed to fit it into their lives, but I haven’t seen all of you together since the beginning of the course! So thanks for coming! So there might be hope some day. Perhaps some day we’ll manage to have most people coming every day, regular work being fundamental for small groups and workshops and stuff.

So thanks for this present!

Today I finished giving out all the Speaking Tests of that year. And two groups have already booked dates for their performance. Come to me to book, after the lesson. We can have 4 groups every day.

We learned/learnt Mario will join us, and I reminded people we’ll be creating the pairs and groups of three next weekish, I believe, for final registration to the June orals.

When I asked, just 5 people had worked on transcriptions of the news extracts, so we had to make do and exploit the activity some other way. We did the oral transcription of the example (financial crisis) and reviewed some language questions, mostly to make our range richer and consider register.

Then we tackled the functional translation exercise and managed to do quite a few, with language work too as above.

Finally, I BEGGED people to transcribe a news item so that next day small groups can work together and interact on top of everything. After that lesson I’ll publish my transcription of all of the news items, OK?

And we agreed we would HAVE Romina’s OP at about 8.50 next day and Sergio’s would be before that.

I also gave back tons of written checked work and people handed in more work. Remember to check the tray next day.

I also asked for donations for our library, but I think people forgot, so please, remind me next day. I can bring the piggy bank and register next day for you all.

I reminded people to read this year’s Guía, because you would rather ask me than start up panicky messaging on your whatsapp group once the course is over! 😀

In case I forget, if you’ve read my notes on Dialogues, I’d like to do a listening/speaking activity on complaints for dialogues. I’ve got 19 copies, but I’ll risk it. 😀

Oh, I also borrowed Dessi’s mobile phone to take a picture of you all, well, a few, but then 3 more people arrived so we might try again next day. I recommend the two OPs we have, because one is on the language used in the news and the other on storytelling! ❤

See you soon!

For Dessi, Lucía & anyone interested!

What a spectacular day today! 🙂 ❤ I keep forgetting to tell you this, so here goes.

If you are wanting to keep in touch with some kind of activity that allows you to use your English in different ways, keeping your level up and furthering your learning, and you know that it’s unlikely you can attend a course regularly, I have two ideas that you might be interested in.

As the School has a Sts’ Association, you could create a C1 Working Group where you would agree on monthly projects (reading club, film club, TV series, documentaries…) and you would meet for instance once a month after having worked on the project, like collecting useful language from a movie, and then when gathering also discussing the movie and whatever! It would be like what we’re trying to do here, but free from pressure!

Then, I need help with Talking People and everything, really. You could also consider doing something like that but with me, for Talking People. I’d need people who could browse a section on the site and tell me what to delete or modify or add, and we could communicate by email and then meet every now and then to design plans. I’m considering developing more projects, publishing more stuff (I published Stories from my Teacher as an ebook) or getting published stuff (with the School, though now I want to take a break and come back to my world because I’ve worked far too many extra hours for this School and I really need to stop that), so it’s a universe!

And we could connect both, too! 😀 (orgasmic!)

Then of course, we could organize the amazing project of Guest Speakers: you could prepare an OP every year to bring to our C1 Course and that could be an excuse to teamwork or stuff.

Then, supposing you wanted to use any of the materials I would interested in exploiting in class, you could be in a project designing listening, reading exercises for C1 students. I mean for free, like I do too, I mean, just for keeping in touch with English and learning!

If you think you would be interested in doing any of this, then my proposal is you take your tests, and if you pass, you’ll always have this! 😀 ❤ A way of keeping learning but independently and keeping in touch with a kind of progressist academic world where the most important thing is actually learning, expanding your world, learning about our world, and using your English in various ways!

This is the 2017-18 blog I’m drafting these days to remember things I need to improve and stuff!

If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to post!

Work in class tomorrow – Exam Training Work + Language Awareness

In case you can print the first 4 pages. Don’t look at the two last ones!

I prepared this language awareness workshop to review the use of tenses for your speaking and writing work and so you can be aware of the mistakes you make and overcome them (remember this needs oral drilling and finding examples in use, sentences, we can repeat out loud, because theory is not enough, you need to automatize accurate production and that’s why we work with lists of useful language too). I hope it’s useful.

We’ll read it out loud at plenary and you’ll discuss the examples and do the language awareness work in small groups, so you can also practice real communication for learning purposes.

C1spring_tenses01_reading (6 word pages)

If people have prepared oral work, they’re welcome to share it in class.

I’ll also bring your Writing Assignments, but my priority is we review these questions before handing them back to you. Then, we we move on to analyzing this work, we’ll continue reviewing language questions you need to master. But tenses comes first.

Lesson Plans for Monday

Dear all,

Just confirm that, yes, I won’t be able to bring your evaluated work + my collection of mistakes you all made for the Monday lesson. I’m doubtful I’ll manage to have it all ready for Wednesday, actually, so it’s likely we hold this Writing Test Workshop after the spring hol, after all!

So — what’s still on is:

Everybody speaks about a piece of news (or analysis) they read or listened to, to practice retelling and also interactions, if we are lucky and people have questions, comments or start up conversations on that news item.

After this, which will take up at least an hour, I suppose, probably more, we’ll do one of the listening tests I designed.

Then on Wednesday we’ll continue with past official exams given here or in other communities.

Remember to listen to English, work on your list of mistakes, your lists of useful language, your writing file, your speaking file, any of the wonderful how-to’s we have to use our English for conscious learning too!

Have a lovely bilingual weekend! ❤

Some feedback. February Writing Assignment (& Language Wkshp 4 April)

Please, whenever you have the time, supposing you are not following this blog regularly, list what’s in the posts that you need to work on, and bring to class, or ask your classmates, and remind me! The language workshops depend on your initiative mostly.

Language Workshop to put together!

(Do you have enough info from learning from your mistakes, or the work you did in your assignments to make requests or share what you learned/learnt?) I’d like to hold some language workshops in April, OK? So give this some thought, please!

DUE TO: For the language workshops, we need people to gather examples of their use of “due to” and bring to class so we can hold a language workshop on this and related connectors.

There are more and more destinations that are now being classified as ecotourist DUE TO their biodiversity (NOUN PHRASE) and BECAUSE they implement (S + V) sustainable development policies.
(Original: due to their activities and biodiversity)

Useful Language for topics like employment, tourism, economy…

To qualify as an eco-destination / as an eco-friendly location, a certain place should consider sustainable development, in terms of environmentally-friendly measures but also encouraging respect for the local population and its culture and lifestyles.
(Original: To be considered as ecotourism,)

Obviously, Spain is undergoing a severe economic crisis and regular and quality jobs are hard to find, or even non-existing! In any case, the questions would be, Is employment under substandard conditions better than nothing? / Is working in substandard conditions better than nothing?
(Original: It is obvious that Spain is in crisis and there are not many chances to get a job in no substandard condition. In any case, is this kind of employment better than nothing?)

Temporary low-paid jobs
Season work – high season / peak tourist season, low-season, off-seasons, off-season periods, timing your trip to avoid…,

Reading Articles (informative, magazines)

Please, read and work on this article (useful language):

Your LoMs should have a section for grammar mistakes you really need to overcome and avoid, like misplacing words like “still”, “also”, “usually”, “always”, or confusing “used to (do sth)” with “usually (do sth)”
You should also have notes on textual matters, like how to end a piece, depending on the kind of format. Can you brainstorm on this and list a few examples and bring to class or post here? e.g. I suggested Sonia end her piece (US) / should end her piece (UK) on Ecotourism with a question that would connect the topic she developed to where she lives. Her article is informative, with headings. She presents a definition and the benefits of this kind of tourism in general and then tackles the question of the principles underlying this activity to end her piece with an example of countries who are good eco-destinations. There is something missing. A true ending. If one cannot include a new paragraph to assess the information presented before, one can certainly include a question pointing to subsequent reflections, and it is always helpful to use our own reality to make that connection, e.g. Will Costa del Sol manage to face the challenge?

Today’s Talk

Thanks for coming!

I thought nobody was going to come, and that would have been such a sad thing to do to  school projects like this, really. Also, we should really pay attention to constructive analysis that allow us to improve our living together, right? And it was our Grand Opening, you know, as people who have a groundbreaking feminist Coeducación project with followers in so many different places ( ❤ ), not only the beginning of our celebration of the 25th anniversary. Our second celebration will be on the 25th of April, same time, same place, but this time with Eulàlia Lledó Cunill, one of the most knowledgable people in this country when it comes to language and the r-evoLution feminism is bringing about on this planet! Love and language, as our Head of Studies pointed out in her intro. Two BIG topics where every single person can contribute to positive change. Empowering subjects, because they allow us to feel we can achieve change, as we exist and use our very lives for that, not weapons or destructive ideas, attitudes, words, actions.

So a big relief to find that almost 100 people attended. The head counted you all! And we were surprised to see so many adult men coming, too (not because they were accompanying a woman they loved, I mean! 😀 ) ❤

Any thoughts to share? ❤

Reminder next Monday / next week

Dear all,

I hope you’re enjoying your use of English!

This is just to remind you that next week we’ll just have the Monday lesson, for I’ll be going on strike on March 8, to join the International Women’s Strike. The Monday lesson is important because it’s our intro to Exam Format Training month, so I hope you can all make it to class if you want to learn about this issue.

What you need to do/bring:

  • Please, read the last diary or the Guía because next Monday you can pose your questions on that Guía PUC. (See post below on this.) We’ll check the Junta’s website and the School’s website as part of resources with info on exams, and go through how Announcement Boards operate in June!
  • Bring the “Some Extras” section of the C1 Resource Pack, because we will have a look at the materials it contains about the PUC exams, to prepare our Exam Format Training this month, which will be focused on taking Reading and Listening C1 tests not so much to test your level as to get acquainted with formats and test if you are good at the skills (techniques and strategies) you’ve been working on as you followed this course. (The C1 Resource Pack this month will be a valuable resource, too.)

This month we will also consider some Speaking and Writing points addressed throughout this course, as revision, and I’ll introduce dialogues and you’ll practice the theory (but it’s all in the Pack, too and Focused Dialogue Practice comes in our last month together).

Because we’ll be taking sample tests all the time, you will be freer to decide what your work will be like at home, so consider this:

You need to work out a learning plan to be clear about what you wish to suggest and ask, make sure you know what you want to work on and that you find the time you need to do so. Ingredients: audios on news and interviews, tidying up your Speaking File and Writing File, to review things you learned/learnt, list your reading and useful language work, consider your List of Mistakes and what support you need for overcoming them.

Last, about your work outside the classroom and sharing your work, in class or on this blog, I’ll try and explain why we have a course blog, too, in case it helps. But if you’ve been following this blog there won’t be much new! 🙂

Have a lovely weekend and see you (on) Monday!

Questionnaire assessing teacher’s work (dedicated to the 40%)

I had a glance (because I took home the batch of papers by mistake), and felt happy to read your Evaluación al profesorado. As I kept reading, I found something that upset me. Let me share the journey!

But first of all, what’s most important:

Thanks for your Evaluation, everybody’s. ❤ It’s quite encouraging! And a relief, for its one of the things we teachers look forward to and fear (considering that this kind of thing in public education does not threaten our employment, meaning, it’s just simply for our information). About feedback on improvable things, thanks. I’ll take it into account.

(But don’t forget the main problem here is the student’s lack of time, not so much the lack of effort on the part of the teacher. In any case, we’re always eager to help.) Just remember what I always say: if you want to do something, just do it, or let me know, or ask us in class.

Refuting a point in Evaluación al profesorado. A little mistaken perception, in my view, or simply unfair or uninformed, is the following: should I really devote more time to “preparing the lessons”? Isn’t my work on this good enough? How can that be improved? How would you know that I need to prepare lessons more or better? I am interested in all the answers to these questions, or other comments, so you can leave it with Ana and it can be anonymous, of course.

Considering I work really hard for the C1 course (it seems it’s really hard to understand that women know well how to do their jobs when they don’t obey the Exam Culture mandate), this piece of criticism really hurt because it’s a 40% that believes that — 6 people/15 (And within this, a 20%, 2 of these people, believes I really need to prepare my lessons better. It shocks me — how can they feel they can assess this point in such way?

Let me explain: teachers are paid to devote 10 hours a week to working at home, that add to the hours they have to spend at school. Well, I devote much more to preparing and managing learning in C1 courses and lessons. I’m not that incompetent. I spent the summer writing out how you should be learning this year, to put a related example. You’re lucky because you’ve got it all written down, and if you miss lessons, you can still learn to learn in this course. This blog is totally out of my timetable, too. It’s Must material for this course, too. And it’s extra support to your two weekly lessons, it helps you if you miss lessons, helps peole keep in touch. Just imagine you only had our actual lessons. In this course you’re getting extra support all the time thanks to the internet. That’s related to preparation of the lessons. And it’s a precious present. Here I word our shared experiences, I keep a diary!! Do you know how many hours that takes, and mental effort? And how crucial it is to preparing lessons? Perhaps the problem is you are not doing your part and that I have to intervene far too much. This blog is full of info and resources (tons of hours behind that, to prepare that) people saying I don’t prepare my lessons well or enough obviously don’t appreciate or use.

Doesn’t it show I spend ZILLIONS OF HOURS preparing your lessons? Teachers laughed when I told them this morning why I was upset. All teachers know that teaching without a textbook takes much longer in preparation than using a textbook, that’s why it’s not common to find this kind of courses! They laughed because it was unbelievable!

Hours trying to figure out how to move on considering all the work people can’t do, and that I have to make up for? Because this course is about you doing, sharing things in class, and working together.

I thought I had managed to explain the attitude in independent and resourceful lifelong learning in the C1 Resource Pack. This course is about learning that. If people want to do reading comprehension exercises, that kind of work, there are tons of textbooks, websites, with exercises including exams. That’s not the aim of this course: we have one year to do what is supposed to be done in two, and the effort needs to last. You are not appreciating I prepare my lessons because your idea about what class should be about is traditional, and unfitting to what we’re doing here. Isn’t it obvious that I’m offering quality teaching and learning spaces and experiences? As a teacher I’m a facilitator of learning, not someone who improvises senselessley, undiscernenly. When I improvise, it’s all within a framework I have actually laid out before your eyes in various places, including class.

Have you read the C1 Resource Pack? Not even marketing works with women authors! The Pack systematizes — makes a very practical guide — 28 years of communicative teaching experience — in the setting of a country obsessed with a very narrow interpretation of evaluation and learning, that of “Exams” and Exam Culture (the murderer of curiosity and self-confidence, of teamwork, of community, as some people mentioned in our talk on Iceland). You are lucky to have this Resource Pack (and for free!).

So what’s your understanding of your role as a learner in interactive courses where we don’t have a textbook so you can choose topics and materials and share your world? Don’t I suggest sources, give guidelines for learning, try to coordinate your participation, encourage you to bring your world to class, to teamwork, don’t I design activities for you, based on what’s going on outside the classroom, in the world? Don’t I adapt to you, all the time, and follow the plans I annouce?

If you can’t see this, it’s OK, but you are wrong. I suggest you open your mind to this kind of learning, because it’s meaningful, communicative, and very rich and effective, long-lasting, at least it lasts more than exam training.

Do you know how many hours it takes a teacher to prepare courses and lesson that are FLEXIBLE and allow students’ freedom to select topics and offer contributions? If you want to do exercises, the internet is full of that. Training in exam format is included in this course, as you should know, in the month of March, because training in exam format just takes doing a few exercises in that format. If you want to believe private courses that charge you 100-300 euros a month for 6-8 months of exam training, well… the fact is exam training just takes doing few exercises, and that’s something you can do on your own, too. The harder thing is LEARNING ENGLISH at the advanced level. It’s funny how people tend to agree when it comes to criticizing the education system but then how very few people consider alternatives and are capable of enjoying them, of using them to further their knowledge and sharpen their skills.

Dear students in the 40% who believe I don’t prepare my lessons well or enough, please, reconsider. What you tell us teachers is not accurate in this point.

The May 68 movement expressed it very clearly: We have the systems we generate, meaning, what most people believe rules. I’m very fortunate to have a precious 60% thinking I do prepare my lessons well, very lucky to have a 60% understanding this, because it’s not a kind of understanding that prevails in society, so good at harming good things and considering bad things inevitable.

If someone did not fill out/in the Evaluación al profesorado, you can ask me for the sheet next day, because DOFEI has extended the deadline. I promise I won’t have a look! 😀 DOFEI will analyze all the sheets and hand me the final report.

Well, for a good rest now! I refuse to prepare anything else for you this week! 😀 I hope the 60% will also make the most of what is probably proper learning for the 40% who can’t see how hard their teacher works for them: Exam Training Month next March! 😀

Enjoy your free time and your English! ❤

Radio interviews: TreTalk “podcast”

In case you want to listen to radio interviews.

Remember I suggest reading and listening materials at C1 Materials, so you are free to pick the topics you are more interested in, supposing you don’t have time to do all the listening and reading I do to prepare lessons for this course!

Today! & pending checked work

Today sts arranged to meet at Miramar Mall, where the movie theater is, by seven. I’ll be there at that time, too.

Yesterday I finished checking the work you people handed in in paper. (Everything is in the cardboard box.) But I haven’t finished checking the work I was sent by email, so my apologies for that. I’ll solve that this week for sure, so if you see that you did not get my reply at the end of this week, please, remind me by email, or bring that work to class. Thanks!

The head of studies asked me to please ask you if you would be so kind as to take a pic tonight and send it to her, for the website, to illustrate we do interesting stuff, like go to Hidden Figures! 😀 We’ve got a new school website and they are requesting that to everybody. If you don’t want to appear on a pic, I suggest you pose looking at the movie poster, so that nobody’s face is shown. But I suppose you’ll be OK about it, because these days people simply take pics and post them everywhere, right? 😀 Well, I’ll be too shy to ask, but I’ll do my best, this evening! Help me if you can! 🙂 ❤

Important! “Hidden Figures” – outing next Wed?

Dear all,

I know I posted our lesson plans for next week but…

Next Wednesday at 19.15, for 4 euros 40 cents, we could buy a ticket for Hidden Figures (read about the women the movie talks about), the movie Lucía recommended, and watch it all together.

But I wouldn’t want to do this if few people want to come, because the lesson is for everybody who plans to come! (I’m very “apretá” for things like this, sorry!) So my question is — can you discuss it on whatsapp and tell me on Monday if you’d like to go to the cinema? Thanks!

If we did, I think we should decide to do some follow-up activity, like talk about the movie while having a drink, after the movie! But if that were not convenient for you, please, think about what we could do, based on this movie, so we go ahead and do it! ❤

Oral Presentations on the Reading Projects

Here is our latest info on Reading Groups and the dates they booked to present their work in class. More info on this project on our Reading Projects !! page above.


  • OP DATE FEB 15. Dolores and Germán will work on High Fidelity. There is a screenplay and a movie too.
  • OP DATE: FEB 20. Karen, Lucía and Sergio will work on the screenplay The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – the can also use the movie/film in their project.
  • OP DATE: FEB 22. Isabel and Marta will work on Orange Is the New Black. My work on this in case it helps in some way!
  • OP DATE: MARCH 6. Clara, Mª José (pending), Marina, Emilia, Dessi, Cristina B, Soluna (pending) will work on Pay It Forward. The movie is different in some ways to the novel, and can also be used in the project.
  • OP DATE: MARCH 15: Sonia, Gema, Encarni, Luz and Lorena with the Alexie Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. I have Smoke Signals, a related movie for this project and the screenplay in book format.

Diary for Wed Feb 1 – Small Groups & How to Work with our Edited Videos

Yesterday, before the class split up in small groups, considering I had just published a new edited video (on the EOI Teacher Sharing C1 Work Vimeo Channel, not the EFL LEARNERS SPEAKING ENGLISH YouTube Channel (EOI Fuengirola), which includes many more, on the C1 playlist – make sure you have a look!) I explained how you could be working with the video I edit for students. Here is a summary:

Watching videos where ANY student speaks and the teacher has included written corrections on the mistakes this person makes, is a very POSITIVE exercise you can do because:

  • We learn to monitor our production by monitoring other people’s production, in other words, we learn to listen to ourselves as we speak (in order to fix the mistakes we know we made) by listening to other people and noticing their mistakes. Like everything in life, learning this is a process that requires training. Learning to listen to yourself allows you to fix mistakes you might make which you can recognize, and this chance allows you to be more confident when you are nervous and you have to speak in public (at work, in any social situation, in exams).
  • This exercise helps you to understand how to work positively with mistakes, and informs your list, as mistakes are not only made by the person giving the presentation, but shared by most students.
  • It also gives you ideas on how to address different topics, and can help you put together lists of Useful Language for those topics.
  • Oftentimes, it helps you understand how important structure is, to allow people to follow what you say. How repeating things in other words is very natural and important. All that kind of stuff.

I reminded people about the posts on this blog, and listed the latest. About indirect speech, and indirect questions, here is what I have on the TP podcast, 3 wonderful episodes that will improve or consolidate your fluency and accuracy while helping you review one of the most important language functions.

For about half an hour or a bit more small groups checked the collocation worksheets: some people checked both worksheets, some checked one. I wonder if people shared their favorites, or selected UL to master the use of some of those collocations! I hope you can all tell me in class! If you didn’t do it, do it now. Select a few, visualize a context where to use them, and say them out loud every now and then! Then share in class! You can even record them for your Speaking File.

I would like to ask you, Have you found the Key to these exercises on the internet? Or should I copy the key of these two on the blog? Or can we have a plenary just to double-check your work?

Next, small groups worked on their Reading Project. I’ll update this page to include the dates they booked. If someone’s info is missing, please, send it to me by email if you cannot make it to class, OK? I’m including Marta and Isabel today too.

Fire Drill: I explained what might happen next week, so students know how to behave in a fire emergency and how we should evacuate the building. If you’re coming to class next week and you missed this lesson please, ask in your whatsapp group!

Work Back to You: Some people got their checked work from the cardboard box and some people handed in their January Writing.

And Marta borrowed Orange Is the New Black. Borrowers, remember I don’t keep a list, so it’s important things come back to me at some point, OK? No rush, but please, don’t forget!

Some homework: watch & learn!

Better late than never! Here is Gema’s work with my language notes. Please, use it to work on your Lists of Mistakes, but also in your UL to improve your language range! Thanks, Gema!

Oh, remember that when you work on listening and speaking, you are also working on improving your writing!