Archive for the ‘TV Series’ Category


C1 Resource Pack!!

January 10, 2017

I just published / I’ve just published my notes to help advanced students learn to learn to become independent and resourcesful lifelong learners!

Check it all out on!

Direct link


Perceptions! (30 Rock)

January 10, 2013

30rockI can’t find info to learn which episode it is where the main character of this TV series (30 Rock), Liz Lemon (the brown-haired woman on the banner), is invited to an Old High School Students’ Ball, or something like that — the typical event they organize in the USA, d’you know what kind? And as I walked back home from the subway station I blushed because all of a sudden I realized I had told you (Int 2) this same story for the second time, right? 😀 Oh my! People, just tell me — hey, we know that one! 😀

It’s about perceptions: what’s your image of yourself when you were a teenager? Does your perception match people’s perception? (feel free to comment)

Well, imagine you got it totally wrong (que te equivocas de parte a parte), and it turns out people’s perception was/were the opposite of what you thought! That’s what happens to Liz Lemon in this episode. And as I watched it I found out — my partner was watching it with me, so he guessed! — that THAT must’ve been my own case, too!! The case being, that Liz Lemon thinks she was a shy intimidated girl and it turns out to be that everybody was afraid of her! 😀 😀 😀 So my partner’s guess was that my high school teachers did not make me change my desk so that I’d be sitting facing the blackboard, just like everybody else, because they thought it’d be more sensible not to get into trouble with me!!! 😀 😀 😀 For me it’s hilarious because I swear I would’ve never EVER imagined that anybody would be afraid of me!

(I mean, I stopped beating kids up during the break when I was 16! And I just kicked a teacher once and threatened another once, too… but… oh-oh…!) 😀 2 + 2 are not always 4!


Telling stories – Using the Mentalist

January 8, 2013

mentalist2x5Here is the link to the narration of episode 2, Season 5 of The Mentalist, possibly my favo(u)rite (except for how the victim gets/is murdered!)! I actually wrote a poem based on the final scene!  If you read my first post on story-telling, this’ll be a good follow-up. Read it — notice the tenses, especially, the fact that the present tenses are used for dramatic effect. Then, orally, re-word the narration (a bit, all of it, whatever!) switching to the past tenses and see how it feels and what needs to change and the kinds of changes that take place. Then come to class and tell us about it!


Words on TV series & movies

December 14, 2012

Can you give examples of uses of the words in BLOCK letters?

Words tend to have different meanings depending on context, so the best way to learn them is to learn how to use them, this is, collecting sentences where they are used.

LAME is like “pathetic”  – (attempts) – like “weak”
but also like “lousy” as in “a lousy film/joke” (louse, lice – piojos). Here “lousy” is like “shitty”.

Political speeches in the USA can be really CORNY. Why is that?

How GROSS! – How revolting, disgusting! (puke, puke)

GROSS violations of human rights –  flagrantes violaciones de los derechos
Someone is totally GROSS – hortera, basta/o

that is a GROSS UNDERSTATEMENT – quedarse muy corta / corto

Mission: find “that’s the UNDERSTATEMENT of the year!” when you listen to English (movies, TV series) and tell us about its context in class


Activities scheduled for our last December week together!

December 4, 2012

Dear people,

here is a one-page pdf file so you can have a look at what I’m scheduling. If you have any feedback for changes in this, please, let me know by December 10 or 11. Then I would edit this plan, and post the final version. If I haven’t posted anything by December 12, then that means this plan is on! Make sure you collect Useful Language from your materials, to share in class in these lessons.

December_Last_Week (1 page, pdf file)


Click on the photos to get somewhere

Alexie's novelhimym-copia-150x150Friends


Example of an Oral Presentation on Modern Family

November 22, 2012

This adorable group of three decided to be really creative! They pretended they were conducting a radio program called “Deconstructing Series”, to present their work on “Modern Family”. It was amazing.

I was also exploring movie editing, so you’ll see my written comments appear when they make a mistake. If you check out that Reproduction Channel (Avanzado) you’ll find many other examples. We also did most of the videos in the Básico channel (the ones labelled Básico 1 are ours).

This is the link to the YouTube Channel: Scrolling down a bit you’ll find its 6 reproduction channels.


Booking a date for the Dec OP’s

November 18, 2012

To Michelle’s students – Dear all,

You should start thinking about what you want to share with us in class, in terms of the language you picked up while watching TV series (the listening exercise, not a reading exercise!) and your thoughts, useful language learned/learnt, fav passages, a book review to read out or research on the Sherman Alexie novel. You should also consider talking to other people in class, in case you want to do some teamwork on any of these two projects. I’m very open to the kinds of things you can do — the most important thing is that you learn English and about English-speakers or their cultures, on your own or in the good company of other people in class!

If you want to do some work on your own, think of 5 minutes, though we can negociate for more time. Teamwork could get 15-20 minutes depending on needs. You can post your ideas here, if you like.

Here are some examples of activities by Avanzado 2 students:

Considering working on the textbook takes so much time, you can also record your Useful language and/or send me your selected sentences so we can put together a podcast episode. In previous courses, people sent me their selected language and I created a new segment on the Talking People Podcast called “Everyday Language” (Incidentally, “every day” as an adverbial (time phrase, complemento circunstancial de tiempo) is in two words; and “everyday” in one word operates like adjectives (it’s a modifier that goes before the modified word). We got to episode 4.

I need to know who needs how much time when because 1) I need to plan the lessons allowing time for that, 2) because if nobody is going to do anything then I’ll try to book ONE only lesson where you can just put up your hands and share your weeny bits! 😛 If nobody says anything in class or by email, I’ll understand we should just stick to the textbook, OK?

Have a lovely week!

PS: Browse below! There are some amazing audios / audiovisuals!


Fernandooooo, I heard it, I heard it! :D

November 10, 2012

In a TV series just now! “I was grounded”, yes! 😀 Your association was perfect. It’s in the same semantic field as “to be told off”.

  • “I was told off”, Me regañaron.
  • “I was grounded”, Me castigaron. (Although it’s a very specific form of punished — read below, people)

I’m really happy to learn this word. Thanks! You might have kind of unearthed it in your memory bank, have you? Now I wonder if it’s just used in the USA… Anyway, people, looking it up I just found this interesting explanation: Grounding (punishment), on the wikipedia.


OPs by Intermedio 2 people!!

October 30, 2012

Today in the Tuesday Intermedio 2 group I got amazing news! I’m really happy about this! Apart from using their textbook audios, they’ve been listening to podcast episodes and/or watching their weekly episode of a TV series! YOU’RE GOING TO LEARN TO SPEAK!!

Please, post here if I forgot someone or got something wrong…

Esther has been watching Friends, and picking up lots of language! She did what I asked you to do: she didn’t use the subtitles; instead, she watched the same episode three times, and felt quite confident of having understood the story! Congratualtions. Well done! (Eva, it might be boring, ok, I do understand, but consider you are learning one of the most demanding things we can learn, intellectually speaking, a language!, and that you are able to do that by using enjoyable materials. Plus, repetition brings automatization in our production). So we talked about having some time in class, so that people can find other people interested in working in the same TV series. We’ll do that next week, then.
Eva has been watching quite a few episodes of Adorable Little Liar! (Did I get that right?) and she and Laura came to tell me that they might be putting together an OP for December!
Ana is watching Desperate Housewives! And jotting down language desperately!! (Don’t worry about jotting things down, Ana, people, we want to hear you saying the sentences, not reading them!)
And the three adorable teenagers in the back row (Eva, Marta and Laura – did I get your name right? Please, tell me I did!! Pleeeeease!) and Irene and Beatriz up front want to read the Alexie novel (which Avanzado 2 is reading). This means I might be ordering a few more books (though, people, Avanzado 2 students have donated two copies to the School Library, so if you like, in November you’ll be able to borrow it), so if you think you want a copy (it’s €5.50, well, the order for Avanzado 2 had 50 books, so they didn’t charge me the shipping cost, just the VAT, which was 0.30). These readers will do this just for the kicks, but they are welcome to prepare an OP for March or April, if they like.
Then, I don’t know if I got this right: Roberto and Juan Carlos (anyone else?) are using the Dialogs in the ESL Podcast, and they might prepare a few to act out in class! Some have even given a try to the English Café (but as you know, I recommend this segment to Avanzado 2 people).

THAT’S THE SPIRIT, people! Keep it up! Language learning is hard work, but it’s also enjoyable! And you will get amazing rewards when you see that you can actually communicate naturally, spontaneously, and that people can understand what you say!


December Oral Presentations (OPs) for Avanzado 2

October 19, 2012

Materials: the Sherman Alexie novel and your TV series episodes.

Mission for the novel (delivery of books scheduled for November 1): I recommend you read it a couple of times — the first with your heart (emotional reading), this is, without stopping to look up words in the dictionary, and the second focusing on language, this is 1) looking up the most important words, 2) underlining Useful Language (for your own personal use), 3) selecting passages you love, and/or passages that are good material as Useful Language. In December, you will share your “Useful Language” and your passages in small groups and/or at Plenary. Here are two links to work by Avanzado 2 students on this novel:

Mission based on the episodes of a TV series you picked: find people in class who have chosen the same TV series. Ask me for 20 minutes of time in class to get together with them in November and see if you can form a team to prepare an OP based on that TV series. You can do whatever you like, the “minimum” being that you share some Useful Language you were able to understand (without doing any reading!!). Here is an example, at the Talking People Podcast: Everyday Language 1, (there are up to 4). Over here, on this blog, there are ideas about how to work with TV series (first paragraph on this page: At the Students’ Corner of EOI Getafe you will find examples of OPs by students, too. Here’s the link: Some are videos and some are texts they prepared. Actually, a group of students who liked theater decided to give their OP the format of acting out three scenes in one of the episodes of Big Bang! You must watch it! It’s fun.

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