Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category


free ebook! Stories from My Teacher… (at last!, we made it!)

February 2, 2015

Our first ebook, in case you are into stories told by teachers in class! 🙂 ❤

Stories from My Teacher. On the English Language, Lifelong Learning & Our r.evoL.ution!




July 2, 2013


Asun (2 stories so far), Rosa, Ana, and Helena are intending to write stories as Guest Teachers for this little ebook project! So their names will be on the cover. We would be publishing it in October 2013. If any English-speaker wants to help with the proofreading, let us know!

One of Asun’s stories



Putting together my first e-book of stories as an English teacher!!

I’m collecting (selecting, writing down, proofreading…) stories and idea-stories I’ve been telling people in class in these last year! Thanks to the eCampus I had till this last year!, where I wrote follow-up stuff on things that came up in class!

(From this year, I have Language Misperceptions, Don’t Buy Exams, So here’s a story about love, and The Casino Story... I’ll review these and see if I remember more… If you do, let me know! Oh, I’m improving these days Cruelty to Animals, too)

It would be downloadable for free but also with the request that if people like it they bought it for one euro.

I’ve designed the cover! Do you like it? 🙂


Shipping and Transport, an Intermedio 2 interactive presentation!

June 6, 2013

Thanks, Roberto, and thanks to the students in his group, for taking part!


An interaction (a friend’ll visit Madrid) with teacher’s comments!

May 28, 2013

With all my love, as usual, and hoping you’ll all enjoy it. If you find it useful for learning English, remember to share the link. In this way, people will see that it is possible to learn languages in public/state-run adult language schools! In defense of public education!

* defense or defense?


Updated Pages

May 21, 2013

I have tried to update the following Pages (right-hand column):

  • Avanzado 2
  • Intermedio 2
  • Learn 2 Learn
  • Topics
  • Music

(For Avanzado 2’s who are still looking for the Sample C1 Exam, it’s not here, it won’t be here. It’s where we say in class, ok? I can write the path again on the whiteboard. Just ask.)

I’m really bad at using blogs. Kind of hopeless. All this should be easier. The tags, I think, and the categories… those are the keys, I think. Mine are in a total chaos!

But just imagine we’re hit by a meteor!!! I mean, I can’t possibly spend more time working on this blog. Time flies!! (Demented laughter)


(I should really stop watching documentaries…)


Timed Speaking Activities

May 20, 2013

this week in class, at Plenary. You can do any of the activities we worked on throughout the course, both in the oral presentation (monolog) or interaction (dialog) format. You can also do the ones I designed for you. These two will be announced on the whiteboard, both for Avanzado and Intermedio students:

1. Two English-speaking friends of yours are coming to Madrid for a visit. Draft a plan for their one-week stay. Mention:

  • things you can do together
  • food and drinks
  • souvenirs or things to take back to remember the trip

2. Your (adult language) School is going to publish the end-of-course issue of its English magazine. Plan what needs to be in it. Mention:

  • Events, stories… to include (things happening in the School, in the city/town, abroad)
  • Sections (and fundraising, if relevant)
  • Contributors (people who could write the pieces)


May 18, 2013

Avanzados: Just published the Key of the Practice Test we did at the Advanced Level (C1)

It’s NOT here. It’s on talkingpeople!


A video on World Book Day (Av 2&co)

May 17, 2013

Our second 5-minute video on the School’s YouTube channel!

I learned so much!!! I’ve learned to edit videos with iMovie!!!

If anyone wants any changes, I can download it and fix things, so just let me know.


Photos of World Book Day (at the EOI where I earn my living)

May 14, 2013

worldbookday2013On World Book Day there were two groups where we took pics: one Intermedio 2 and one Avanzado 2 group. The quality is not good — they’re pixeled and blurry. But I’ve sent out the bunch to a group of people in each group, hoping they’ll forward them to more people.

Here’s my question: if I distort them further, by turning them into watercolors, do you think we could send them to the School’s website and so that I could post them here and publish them on

World Book Day

A HUGE THANK YOU TO JUANCAR EINSTEIN WHO TODAY GAVE A TALK ON EINSTEIN AND ALLOWED US TO VIDEOSHOOT IT!!! The School where we meet has created this year a YouTube channel and it’s almost empty, so this is a great present for us all!

IF ANYONE WERE WILLING TO ALLOW US TO VIDEOSHOOT, PLEASE, TELL ME. So far, I’ve arranged to bring the video recorder next Tuesday, but I can bring it any other day. Just let me know!


When’s our last lesson together?

May 13, 2013

On the 27th and 28th of May. Then Exam Month begins for teachers, who will be giving the Written (Reading, Listening, Writing) and the Oral exams to everybody in all the levels.

In our last lesson together we can review Exam Strategies, if you need that, and mostly check you’ve got the right attitude to overcome the obstacle and even enjoy it! Most importantly, I hope people will  speak at plenary (instead of in small groups, so I can also listen/hear and spare the eavesdropping part!), tell us whatever they wish, their life stories, or develop topics we’ve been learning to tackle, whatever. (I’ll bring an audiovisual as a contingency plan, anyway.)

tumblr_m7kwwpmvL61ruy8aco1_500If you can’t control your fear and wish to insist in brainwashing yourself into failure (read Don’t buy exams, if you haven’t), please, don’t count on me for that, and spare us all of that kind of session. We’re lovable people who support you. Why should you do that to anyone? And me as a teacher, well, I’ve worked for your learning, so hearing it all about How you are going to fail, how little you learned or studied, and the like makes me sick and — more dangerously — furious. I’m a professional: I don’t need your final mark to know if you have reached a level, for the case of the people whose work and progress I’ve witnessed.

So please don’t come to me with Self-destructive stories or ideas. When I get pissed off, I start getting ideas about how pacifism is actually an option! 😀

So let’s celebrate… (not a party, no!!!, ugh!) knowledge!!!, the wonderful learning year we spent together! Celebrate by showing all you learned!  (Well, I had to try! 😀 My ideal final lesson is me sitting and just listening to students do things!)



May 9, 2013



9 de Mayo: Huelga General de estudiantes, profes, madres y padres contra la LOMCE y los recortes (y todo el cúmulo de cosas pendientes, precarias, que razones, ¡nos sobran!)


Marea Verde Madrid

Texto del Sindicato de Estudiantes, que sirve a todo el mundo:
9mayo“La Comunidad Educativa (profesoras y profesores, padres y madres, estudiantes, personal de servicios y administración, Movimientos de Renovación Pedagógica) de todo el Estado, desde la Educación Infantil hasta la Universidad, estamos en HUELGA GENERAL el día 9 de mayo, y te llamamos a apoyarla, como ciudadan@ y vecin@.

Nos manifestaremos por la tarde, a las 18,30h desde Neptuno al MEC, en Madrid, para decir a este gobierno que no le va a ser fácil sacar este engendro de ley adelante.”

No nos mires, ¡únete!, que los derechos conseguidos por la lucha social, si no se defienden, ¡nos los quitan!


Next week: Celebrating World Book Day

May 1, 2013

Next May 6 and 7, after this week’s 3-day holiday, we’ll celebrate World Book Day. Here is all the info on the raffle: May 6 & 7 Raffle (2 pdf pages)

I’ll bring varied podcast episodes / the episode “To belong” of the Baby Human Geniuses in Diapers documentary, for the first half of the lesson, for we’re done with unit 6, right?

Avanzado 2 Martes englishlings!, please remind me of giving you the stapled paper copies! Remember I’ll be on a strike on May 9!

Have a lovely 3-day holiday! 🙂
(In Spanish we call them “puentes”, “bridges”, when they connect with the weekend, but if you say “I’m on a bridge” English-speakers will never ever guess what you mean! :D)

Mentioned before…


About May 9 – for Avanzado 2

April 30, 2013

Last week I found out in class that trade unions are calling for a strike on May 9. For the past 15 years I’ve supported them all, but the other day in class, because we had scheduled taking a C1 Practice Test on that day and it’s my last strike in Madrid, I thought I might just forget about it.

But I can’t. It’s my last chance to formally protest, and I should stick to that! I wish I could take it differently. I did try. But I can’t.


Tomorrow I’ll tell the people coming to class. The good news: I’ve found a way for Avanzado 2 Martes students to take the test on that day anyway! Can you guess?!


About EOI & Cambridge language exams in Madrid (Autonomous Community)

April 27, 2013

The EOI Intermedio exam is equivalent to the Cambridge PET exam. They’re both testing a B1 (CEFR) level exam. Scenario in June: If you failed your exams at EOI after having followed the school learning year and after having used a B2 level textbook, the problem is obviously the EOI exam, so you might want to try taking the equivalent Cambridge exam if you NEED the certificate. Some people in class have taken it recently and passed it! 🙂
The EOI Avanzado exam is equivalent to the Cambridge FCE exam. They’re both testing a B2 (CEFR) level. Scenario in June: If you failed your exams at EOI after having followed the school learning year and after having used a C1!! level textbook, the problem is obviously the EOI exam, so you might want to try taking the equivalent Cambridge exam if you NEED the certificate. I mean, don’t quit!

Why am I saying this? Because since 2009 EOI legislation and rules are upsetting all the system, presumably because the political intention is to close down EOI schools, to profit private language teaching schools. Certificate Exams have been targeted, of course: the four tests used to be evaluated individually and you had to get a 60% of correct answers to pass each. If you did pass the four, you got your certificate. If you failed one, or two… you could take the test of that part again in September. Considering the complete tests in June last two days, this was a relief, and fair. Nowadays failing one part in June involves having to take the four parts again in September. However, the new regulations impose, against all informed criteria, a very negative thing: The percentage of correct answers you need to have in each individual part is the same, a 60%, not less (not a 30 or 40%, which would be understandable, to make sure the person had a mininum skill in each of the 4 skills), which means examinees are subject to a DOUBLE evaluation system which no educational body ever requires or imposes. Let me illustrate with a typical case: Say you have a total of 78/100, a 78%. Well, if you have a 14/25 in one of the four parts, instead of a 15/25 (the 60%), which is the pass mark, you will fail even if your total is between 60 and 99/100!! Consequently, you’ll have to take the complete exam in September!!! Does that 1 point out of 100 mean the person has not achieved the tested level? No way. We could even consider a 10 point margin. Some schools do not publish the marks people get in their Written Part (Reading, Listening, Writing Tests) just in case they can avoid these cases: the case where the person has one 14/25 or two, or one 13/25, and could get a good mark in the Speaking Test, provided, of course the total is above the 60%. Because flunking people in this case would pose an ethical problem, and in terms of respecting the law, this measure can be defended, for very obviously they wouldn’t be giving a certificate to someone who does not deserve it.

The question is, How can a student feel when after learning he or she can’t pass an exam which is even under his or her actual level considering Intermedio 2, Avanzado 2 students use higher level textbooks because a B2 can be achieved in 4 years and 6 is far too many? Why don’t the authorities improve this situation? It’d be enough to ask for a min. 30% in each one of the four parts and a 60% in the four together. Well, informed analyses point to the fact that free adult language education in Spain is bound to extinction. Spain is the only EC country offering this amazing service, so for the past 10 years, politicians have been meddling with the law to prepare things for future privatization. A clear event hinting as this is that EOI language teachers are not called EOI language teachers anymore in recent legislation, but just “language teachers”. The idea is that when EOI close, if the authorities manage it, they’ll transfer these civil servants in secondary schools.

EOI = Escuela Oficial de Idiomas, State-run Adult Language Education in Spain


*ECUS Educational Development
*International House Madrid
British Council Madrid
Cambridge Schools Centre Madrid
Centro de Idiomas Universidad Carlos III  sólo estudiantes
Centro Superior de Idiomas Modernos Universidad Complutense sólo estudiantes
CESMA Business School

2013 DATES for EXAMS given by the BRITISH COUNCIL in MADRID: For PET (B1), for FCE (B2), for CAE (C1). Remember other places above also give them, and that you can also take online exams.

NOTICE that TAKING those EXAMS COSTS between 200-300 euros, approx., and that nowadays, what used to be free language course at EOIs cost 300 euros.

REMEMBER SOMETHING IMPORTANT FOR ANY TEST TAKEN ANYWHERE: You cannot bring your phone or any other electronic devices to your desk in the exam. Your centre will tell you where to put them during the exam.

At the end of each paper (e.g. the Writing paper, the Reading paper, etc.), the invigilator will tell you to stop writing. You must stop immediately.


MisUsing Democracy

April 23, 2013




HAY QUE RESPETAR LAS LEYES QUE NOS PROTEGEN (no sólo las que protegen la propiedad…)


Si no, al final los centros van a tener que publicar las convocatorias con códigos y no con nombres.

La comodidad de no molestarse en anotar algo no debería tener un precio tan alto.

Que “todo el mundo lo haga” no es razón racional! Que no haya dinero para infos en internet protegidas no implica que debamos pagar ningún precio respecto a nuestra información personal. Y el desconocimiento de la ley no exime de su cumplimiento!


The Beauty Myth – audio excerpt + transcript

April 19, 2013

The Beauty Myth. How Images of Beauty Are Used against Women, by Naomi Wolf (1990). Here is an two-page excerpt from one of the books we will have on the raffle in class on May 6 & 7, World Book Day! Advanced level, C1.


Announcement (reminder)

April 14, 2013

TEACHER’S ABSENCES: CONFIRMATION: dear all, I’ll be missing our lovely lessons together 😀 on Thursday April 11 and also next Monday April 15 (this one’s because the neurologist wants to see me).


Announcements – Important!

April 11, 2013

TEACHER’S ABSENCES: CONFIRMATION: dear all, I’ll be missing our lovely lessons together 😀 on Thursday April 11 and also next Monday April 15 (this one’s because the neurologist wants to see me).  In case anyone goes to the school for their Writings, I keep the checked Writings in the first drawer, so you can ask the janitors to get them for you. If you are in no rush, see you next Tuesday and Wednesday, then. Keep working on your very entertaining textbook and/or the activities I suggest (like a monolog a week?!).

I hope you have a lovely weekend, and also that you enjoy your English! 🙂

Tomorrow Thursday I probably won’t be able to make it to work. This evening, as I left the school, a headache turned into a migraine, and for the past 6 hours I’ve been suffering excruciating pain! Right now the medication is finally starting to work, but this might be the beginning of a three-day war with my head!

I’ll CONFIRM this tomorrow at 15.00 pm by ringing the school and by posting here. PLEASE, don’t ring the school till 15.00 pm, because I won’t be back from the doctor till then. At that time, I’ll ring the school if I can’t go, and I’ll also post a confirmation here. I won’t ring the school if I CAN make it to work.

This announcement is just for this week. Next week I’ll be OK. It’s just a migraine crisis.

Apologies to my evening Intermedio 2 group

I’m very sorry I sounded as if I was telling you off. I didn’t mean to.

The truth is that I have worked hard to create a safe atmosphere in class and give you the materials and help you with developing the skills you need to feel confident to communicate, and we’re in April and it’s still really hard to develop an ordinary language lesson, which is — a lesson were as many people as we manage get the chance to speak at plenary and gets feedback. I’ve also recorded audios to help you. But each time we have Plenary speaking work it’s all about fear and fear and fear. Considering you’re not afraid of me, and considering most of you have improved your English in spite of this, my guess is you’re afraid of your classmates’ opinion of your English! If this were the case, please, be sensible and fight back, 😀 , work more on listening and repeating at home, so that you can feel more confident when you interact. You should all feel as part of a team, really, and you should not feel threatened by other classmates. If I’m wrong about this, then — why can’t you do the most logical thing to do in a language lesson, which is speak the language at Plenary? Please, accept my apologies but also mull over this, OK?

Over the weekend

Remember to use your textbook to learn English, and also my audios as support material.


About your recordings and my feedback

April 9, 2013

I have 25 recordings to go, still! Yes. I’m fast at doing some but really slow at doing others, like those where Avanzado 2 students speak fast and speak at the same time…

This figure doesn’t include the recordings we’re doing now after the spring holidays.

So bear with me.



Unit 6 – what we’ll do in class in next two weeks

April 3, 2013

Intermedio 2:

pages 86 & 87 (pages 3 and 4 in the unit) (as pages 1 & 2 deal with remarkable men instead of with remarkable people, I suggest you also read one of the stories on remarkable girls that we got from the pack of stories in I Am an Emotional Creature. Btw, history about men is history about Mankind, but now that we now more about the importance of language in our conceptual system progressist / sensitive people are using Humankind when wanting to refer to the whole group, not only men),
pages 90 and 91 (pages 7 & 8 in the unit) – more to come!

Avanzado 2:

pages 84 and 85 (Travel – first two in unit), pages 90 and 91 (Pets – 7 and 8 in unit, I recommend you do the Reading in the previous two pages to get vocabulary)


April is here! Two months left!

April 2, 2013

Dear students coming to our little state-run language school,

springIt’s April, and it’s May, and then June!!!, Exam Month for me (ugh! eek!) and when you will probably pass your final exam. (If you don’t, you’ll always have September, so move towards June with high hopes and a wise attitude: it’ll be your moment for Celebrating Knowledge!)

So — do as much as you can of unit 6 this month. Don’t do it all, select what is most useful. And considering the level is higher than the one you are required to have in your exams, skip whatever is harder. Ask me, in any case.

Remember to do your Writings too. One a month. I’m OK with two, but exceptionally. I get really dangerous if you make the same mistakes I corrected in previous work, so be careful: my new pair of Dr Martens have iron tips! For any extra writings, you need to talk to me.

Yes, we will work with the textbook, but this month I would like to listen to a monolog and a dialog or two interactions/dialogs in every lesson. This, done at Plenary, with my feedback which would be expanded to review language items, would take a minimum of half an hour. And if we have more performances than that, then that could become an hour! Then you would all be doing speaking exercises most of the days, and the rest would be for the textbook. Try to skip the listenings you think / see we’ll probably do in class. Ask me!

I’m still dealing with the requests of feedback and recordings, so please, bear with me.

I’ll be publishing more of your work: audios with transcripts and writings.


New episode to help Intermediate/Advanced students in conversations!

April 1, 2013

Just recorded a little episode (listen & repeat) which will be particularly useful to English learners who may have to take part in (timed or real) conversations with any of these communicative aims: Organizing Events, Helping People, and Pros & Cons on Options. I have to say I kind of improvised the collection of sentences. Any English learner out there, if you want me to record whatever, you can post your own collection! 🙂

dowhatyouwantThis episode is found on the Talking People website, too. If you ENTER and then click USEFUL LANGUAGE and then USEFUL LANGUAGE FOR CONVERSATIONS, there you’ll be!

If you have any ideas on how I can tidy up the site, they’ll be welcome, too. The site wasn’t thought out but built as my own work as an EFL teacher developed, this is, all inspired in students’ needs! Hopefully, when I move south I’ll have more free time!


BACK!!!! (bye bye spring hols! ♥)

March 31, 2013

Hiya, dear all! Just back from being locked up in nature due to non-stop rain! I couldn’t even go for a quick stroll!!!

ghoststoriesmarujamalloshirleymanginiBUT — I’ve been reading a bit: ghost stories by women writers (I’ll bring a few copies of this one for the end-of-course goodbye raffle! because they are GREAT and the weeny presentations of the authors are like pebbles shining in crystal clear river waters! 😀 !) and about the Spanish painter and revolutionary (!) Maruja Mallo and the Avant Garde in Spain (you’ve got to get a copy of her bio by this US American woman. In Spanish it’s published by Circe but it costs about 30 euros!! It’s originally in English, yes! BUT IT COSTS 70 EUROS!!!). Then I’ve done a bit of translating for social activism: on Feminist Curiosity (bits of the intro) by Cynthia Enloe (it’ll get published on Mujer Palabra, in Activismo – Pacifismo feminista). Finally, I’ve been doing some writing (a poem on friendship lost, which turned out to be feminist as an accident, 😀 , well, when you develop a feminist intelligence it’s like when you understand something: you cannot stop using that understanding!) and a new feminist postcard (you can color it: 1 pdf page: cartel_colorear. I’ll do it in English soon-ish) which I think will help humanity to overcome all the hurt patriarchal values have done to human intelligence!).

Yes! Yes! And done a bit of work for you! I’ve written 1,000 words on Mainstream or Alternative Medicine so that Avanzado 2 people can listen to an example of a monolog on that (I need to record the audio now).  Then, I’ve prepared two special speaking activities. (Btw, remember to bring the handout with Three Proposals.) Here’s one: Next Tuesday, when we’re back to school (eek!!!!!!!!) I’ll order 50 copies of this one-page handout for a Timed Speaking Activitiy in the Avanzado 2 groups! I’ll give it to people in our first lesson together and you’ll do the looking up stuff before the lesson when you’ll actually “improvise the interaction.”

I hope you’ll enjoy it, and I also FUCKING HOPE YOU WILL FOLLOW MY INSTRUCTIONS!!! 😀

TIMEDSPEAKINGACTIVITYFORAVANZADO2  (FIXED LINK) – traveling to Greece ♥, Iceland ♥♥ or Cyprus

Hope you all enjoy your Sunday and hope it’s not a Rainday! Next Monday I’ll try to send my feedback on the recordings I did not manage to finish working on last week!


Finished monologs! + Lesson Plans

March 10, 2013

I finally finished sending out recordings and feedback on your monologs (intermedio 2 and avanzado 2). To my knowledge, now I just have to work on the requested interactions.

Next week: bring textbook. We’ll check your work on unit 5 and every day listen to 2-6 people!


Donations for Talking Dictionaries!

March 6, 2013

33 hours left for Crowdfunding!!!

At Mujer Palabra we have donated 100$ to Living Languages (David Harrison and Anna Lazuli) so that they can continue sending researchers to document languages bound to extinction. In this case, it’s about Papua New Guinea, the place where a highest number of languages are spoken, 680 or so! — if my memory is working!

You should check out the Talking Dictionaries they already have on their site!

Here is a workshop I put together: On the importance of languages


Publishing your work on

March 3, 2013

Hopefully in this upcoming week I’ll be working on the talking people website, to publish: the minisagas people sent me, some of the Writings people sent in for publication, and some of the speaking performances. All of these, would appear linked on the Thanks! (Credits) section which I would start up for this 2012-13 Course, my last in public education in Madrid!

So if you have a contribution for this space (whichever, on TP we’re very open to all kinds of things), make sure you send it in this week. On Friday I’ll be celebrating March 8 at the demo! But after collecting your pieces this week and thinking about how to proceed, this is, on Sat and Sunday I’ll be doing that. Unless there’s loads and I need a couple of weekends! 🙂

Apart from that, remember to do your Writings. And that tomorrow we’re starting the Interactions (oral pair work).


Lesson Plans (all our work) – this week & next week

February 25, 2013

Speaking Tasks. This week it’ll be intensive speaking practice in class, and coming to Exam Area for a monologue, in pairs. More work, in case you finish this: Try to practice the interactions too. Also, there’s the speaking tasks in unit 5 for Avanzado 2 and if you are in Intermedio 2, you have the March speaking tasks (units 1-5, book a date if you didn’t). More?: if you worked on cloze tests, you could use those to put together a monologue on the topic: Smart Phones, Burning Calories (Intermedio 2), Climate Change (Avanzado 2) + use the news extracts (2009, with my transcript, remember?) to learn to tell about those pieces of news!

I’ve finished checking the Intermedio and Avanzado writings I was given in class. So this week I’ll start with those which were sent to me by email.

Oral recordings: today I started recording people. I’m giving them feedback on the spot, but if they send me an email (Group, Day, mon) I can forward their recording. And if I squeeze some time, I’ll try to do that with some more feedback. The thing is, you should all try to create a SPEAKING TASK file, where you could keep a FINAL version of your speaking activities (mons.), to listen to them again in May. If you send me this FINAL version, write this on the subject line: Group, Day, + mon – doublechecking.

New Podcast episodes for… we could use some of your speaking tasks as podcast episodes, if I get the time to create a podcast episode with each. Of course, I won’t do that without people’s permission.

About me checking some translations unrelated to this course: A couple of students kindly requested I give them feedback on a translation each did. I’ll try to do this next week. Bear with me — even though people think that checking a translation is something we can do in a few minutes, this is not so. It takes some more time! But I’ll do my best, as I said when the request was put forward! For me, this is the same case as when people send me their CVs/resumes, and grant applications. I do it, as you know — happy to put my English into extra support uses — because I care about your learning, but I wonder if I should do it, really. Anyway, so far this year this kind of favors are still under 10 people, so well… But considering it would be good to publish people’s work on the podcast I’m afraid I should start saying I can’t, because I can’t squeeze more time out of my very squeezed time!! 😀

Next week you can request time for practicing the Interactions or dialogues in class, but even if we start unit 6 (or Your questions on unit 5), you should come to Exam Area to do the Interaction with a classmate that is close to your list number.

Deadline for your Sample Exam Writing – Task 1 (from Educamadrid): 2nd week of March.

YOUR MARKS – for people who did not take the tests last week. Please, remember to give me the marks of your Reading and Listening Educamadrid tests


2013 Spirit Awards

February 24, 2013

Film Independent Spirit Awards

The Spirit Awards celebrates artist-driven filmmaking and recognizes the finest achievements of today’s independent filmmakers.

Hey, I just heard they said “two thousand thirteen” instead of “twenty thirteen.” So who’s hearing what where? 😀 Or better still, “Who’s saying what where?”

Read this article from The New Yorker, “Twenty Something” and from The Left Call, “The Year Is Twenty Thirteen…


Feb 23: Marea Ciudadana! (People flooding the streets!)

February 23, 2013

Edited for updating: 23,19:33

23F represented till today the date of the (failed) coup d’État we had in Spain just after 3 years of Democracy after the dictator’s death.

Today, 23F means to us it’s PEOPLE RECLAIMING DEMOCRACY.

In Spain, demonstrations happening in recent years have been called “mareas”, “tides (of people)” and have had people wearing different colors: green for education, white for healthcare, black wore by civil servants defending a service to society vs total support to private enterprises, orange to protect social servicesviolet for LGBTI and feminist movements (cutbacks in social advancements of this sort, including the right to have a abortion — it’s funny, even if violet appears on the news, they don’t mention the color! Ugh!), and yellow to defend true Justice… Recently, this has also included people attending places where people were going to be evicted from their homes, so… red to stop evictions. (They actually collected 1.5 million signatures which forces the Spanish Parliament to consider their proposal to solve this horrible problem.)

Reclaim democracy!

Saturday demonstrations in Madrid (Spain) in defence of public services (healthcare, education, justice), fighting for a truly participatory democracy, social and environmental justice (inc. civil disobedience against evictions!), and for transparency & honesty in economy and politics (no cutbacks! wrong debtors!):

23feb4 departure points — meet there and start march at 16:30h to Neptuno:

  • #23F Salida ruta Sol – Neptuno
  • #23F Salida ruta Colón – Neptuno
  • #23F Salida ruta Embajadores – Neptuno
  • #23F Puente Vallecas – Neptuno

Speaking Tasks for B2 level students!

February 8, 2013

Femen_anorexic_models_3I have finally finished a two-page list of Speaking Tasks. It’s useful for people using the mentioned textbook, but it might be useful for more people, to get some sort of idea of topics dealt with at this level.


For my Intermedio 2 students: these topics are B2 topics, and your exam will be a B1 exam, so this is kind of esquizo!!! Anyway, you will be picking one to do in March at Plenary. There are three types. Have a look. Please, spread the word, so students never checking this out and never looking at the Bulleting Board in class get the news! If you people don’t do this activity in March, I’ll quit. With this, I feel more like your mother!! EEK!!! (I’m a teacher in adult language education!!)


Feb Exam Format Practice: What we did & upcoming lessons

February 7, 2013

Edited for Avanzado 2 Martes on the 7th of February at 21:50

All students should PRINT the PAPER COPIES of the ONE & ONLY EXAM EXAMPLE WE HAVE at the EDUCAMADRID WEBSITE. + DOWNLOAD THE KEY of the Reading Test, too. (There WON’T be any CLASSROOM COPIES for this, I’m afraid, so that is why you need to plan in advance if you are going to ask a classmate for help.) At home, timing yourself, DO the READING TEST in the time you’ll actually have in your June exam (follow the info on my Pack if you find differences). Then check your work, write down your marks.
♥ Last, BRING the PAPER COPIES (including the checked Reading Test) to class on FEB 18 & 19. ♥


Monday Feb 4

Tuesday Feb 5

  • Intermedio 2: Read /red/ Exam Format Pack. And…? OMG! Can’t remember!
  • Avanzado 2: same as Mon group.

Wednesday Feb 6

  • Avanzado 2: repeated the first animal listening (because of my Big Woops) and we did the Burton listening, at an Advanced level (Longman New Proficiency Gold Exam Maximizer). Then we finished (?) reading the Pack. 
  • Intermedio 2: Finished reading Exam Format Pack and suggested people work on scenarios of communication problems during the speaking test. Used the Exam designed by teachers to practice Exam Format: Reading Comprehension 45min (there is a mistake in the marks for one of the tasks, it’s not 1, but I’m not sure it’s 2 – I’ll find out on Friday and remind me next week, OK?), checked it on the spot. (You should analyze your mistakes at home, and see if you understand why you made a mistake.) We did the Writing (150 words, 20 minutes) – I took it home.

Thursday Feb 7

  • Intermedio 2: same as Wed group + I have to give you the two cloze tests (homework for Week 3 Feb)
  • Avanzado 2: Read Writing Test in our Pack, and reviewed what’s important about Reviews, Proposals, Reports. Tried to do first a B2 and a C1 listenings from FCE and CAE, but failed once more due to technological problems. I’m very sorry about this. It seems something in the installation of Windows is not working properly, or the VCL needs updating or something. I or the machine have failed us almost every day in February, so I think I should go back to our old machine… 😦 Anyway, we managed to do to C1 listening on friendship (which is certainly hard), but I’m not happy about things (methodologically speaking) because I wanted to do with you the two B2 listenings first, to help you gain confidence. Now things have turned out to be worse for your confidence — which was noticeable when people talked about how difficult exams were. Your June exam is not hard, even if there are questions you may not get right. This happens in any exam. But it’s simply not hard. In EOI’s the percentage of people passing the B2 is the highest. The lowest percentage of pass marks happens at the A2 level (Básico 2). Your B2 exam is an Upper Intermediate exam and I’m sure most of you have achieved that level in the very many years you’ve been learning English: you are ready! So please, let’s see how you do when you take the “real” exam in Week 3 February. If you fail it, let’s worry then, but just for a couple of minutes. Then you’d just have to get to work.


Monday Feb 11

  • Avanzado 2:  a B2 and a C1 listenings from FCE and CAE. The only sample the authorities sent us in 2009 of Listening Task 3 + working on its transcript (vocabulary from the news)
  • Intermedio 2: Your questions about the Reading Comprehension: did you understand why you made a mistake? Exam designed by teachers: We’ll do the Listening Test, check it and analyze/analyse if the techniques worked and what you need to do to improve. Extra time?: Working on the comm. problem scenarios.

Tuesday Feb 12

  • Avanzado 2: the Burton listening (C1) and then the only sample the authorities sent us in 2009 of Listening Task 3 + working on its transcript (vocabulary from the news). OR (pending): the two B2 listenings (FCE).
  • Intermedio 2: Intermedio 2: Your questions about the Reading Comprehension: did you understand why you made a mistake? Exam designed by teachers: We’ll do the Listening Test, check it and analyze/analyse if the techniques worked and what you need to do to improve. Extra time?: Working on the comm. problem scenarios.

[13, 14 BREAK: V-girls: stories of girls around the world]


Monday Feb 18

Avanzado 2 and Intermedio 2The ONE AND ONLY TRUE EXAM we have to practice Exam Format! bring copies YOU PRINTED AT HOME + checked Reading Test + Paper copies of Listening. We’ll do the Listening, and then analyze the Reading Test you did at home, and check and analyze the Listening.

Tuesday Feb 19

Intermedio 2 and Avanzado 2: same as Monday group.


  • Then we’ll check the different cloze tests you did at home (Avanzado 2, 1, on environmental issues, Intermedio 2, 2 – smart phones and eating habits (?)) And then we’ll try to see what we can about about UNIT 5 – THE FEBRUARY UNIT. Next Friday I’ll be meeting my colleagues to see if we can select a few exercises from the second half of the book, so we can skip stuff, but use the most useful exercises, so that we can do intensive timed speaking activities in May + listenings, or readings, depending on your needs/questions.

Next week: Feb 13, 14 – Taking a break to open a space!

February 5, 2013

iamrisingA teacher (public/state-run adult language education) kindly scanned the stories we will read in class on Feb 13 and 14, because we will be rising to strive for a better world, without all that “invisible” violence against women. People who have the book or the script “I am an emotional creature” are welcome to bring it to class. The cut-n-paste work here comes from copies of the book. I will take 15 classroom copies (you cannot keep them, because I’ll be using them with the 4 groups) so that two people can share one, in case people don’t have their own copies. It’s 10 pages in all (5 sheets of paper if they’re printed on both sides).

EC1 + EC2 + EC3 + EC4 + EC5 + EC6 + EC7 + EC8 + EC9 + EC10

It seems Val, an English teacher who was a student of mine years ago, will visit the Intermedio 2 group on the 14th I think, to present One Billion Rising. This means we might have a guest speaker who won’t be charging anything for her contribution!


I Am Rising!

February 4, 2013




January 23, 2013

  • Feedback and Orals: By January 31 I’m going to delete the Oct-Dec recordings, to have a clean folder for February. I understand that the people whose recordings I have a) have received my feedback, or b) are not interested in getting personal feedback, for instance because I already gave it in class. Write to michelle AT and remember to type your group code on the subject line –at least, for instance, Intermedio 2 Martes, Avanzado 2 Lunes. If you have forgotten to send me an email so that I know which recording you need, please, do so by January 31. If it’s me who’s forgotten about you, my apologies and please, get in touch.
  • Writing Assignments: When I check your writings I often ask you to work on it to include my corrections and after considering my suggestions. Very few people show me the final piece. Is it because only those people complete this learning process or is it because you interrupt the learning process and quit? Learning to write is a process, too, and if you interrupt it, you are wasting your time, really.
  • Getting your work published: on Talking People there are two sections where your work can be published: orals over here, and writings over here. In this last section, you can also publish your collection of Useful Language from TV, or activities you may want to design for your classmates. Feel free to send me the final version of your writings, or the permission to publish your orals. For people with a passion for whichever topic, I should say that you can publish stuff in any of the other sections on Talking People: you can contribute to the Music section, for instance, to the Podcast selection, to People & Culture, Language Stories, whichever! You should write Av2 / In2 CONTRIBUTION FOR TP on the subject line of your email. Unless you tell me which name or nickname you want to have on the site, I’ll use your first name (not your family name).
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