My new blogs for

Course 2016-17

For Básico, same as below

For C1,

Course 2014-15

For Básico 1,

For the C1 level,

News – Blogging: Annual Report 2014

Still in use!


  • This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2014.
  • The busiest day of the year was June 1st with 303 views. The most popular post that day was WRITING FILE.
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Ver “I Semana Cultural Feminista (1): Nuestras invitadas” en YouTube

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25n canción teatro

Del CEIP Blas Infante, a través de la red DIF ❤💜❤

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25 nov en Fuengirola: ¡nos vemos!

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Colaboración Collage 25 años!

Queridas y queridos Old estudiantes,

he enviado a algunas personas este email, porque he pensado que podrían querer escribir, pero os lo copio por si más gente se apunta. Podéis entregarlo en el centro hasta diciembre 2016, o si queréis mi crítica, jajajaja, enviármelo y os comento qué tal lo veo, claramente no para que digáis lo que yo crea, sólo porque sé que escribir da inseguridad a la gente, y para que vayáis con más confianza.


He hablado con Albert, el secretario, para preguntar si podría
proponeros algo: que escribáis un texto en español sobre lo que ha
respresentado para vosotras estudiar en la Escuela de Idiomas. Puede ser un párrafo, puede ser más largo, lo que necesitéis y queráis. Toda colaboración se recogería en diciembre, para montar la revista Collage, 25 años de EOI Fuengirola, para su publicación online (con vídeos y todo, es multimedia) en primavera, creo.

Le he propuesto esta idea a todo el profesorado, porque más opiniones o textos sobre esto serían bienrecibido (si queréis hacerlo con más gente, también vale). Pero si nadie se apunta, y tras haberos oído expresar cosas en este sentido, creo que al menos estaría guay con las vuestras.

(Sólo for the flies: no habría que mencionar a profes en concreto.
Siento decirlo, sé que lo sabéis, era sólo for the flies!)😀

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Coeducación – Developing a feminist intelligence!

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free ebook: Stories from My Teacher

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!


Posted in Activism, Interesting, Language Questions, Life on the Net, Materials & Resources, Politics, Projects, Stories, Thoughts, Travel | 3 Comments


Aunque sea asombroso, ha habido gente de intermedio que no se fijó en la prueba PUC convocada a nivel de Comunidad Autónoma era por la mañana. Nos da mucha pena, pero los centros no podemos poner una PUC escrita fuera de cuando convoca la Junta.

Toda persona que haga pruebas en septiembre tiene que mirar sus notas en nuestro Tablón y/o internet (programa protegido para oficiales) el día 11, y venir a Revisión ese día a la hora señalada en el aula señalada para ver su parte no apta. Damos justificante igual. No vengáis a cualquier hora porque cada grupo tiene una hora, pero si os pasa algo y es posible atenderos con otro grupo lo haríamos.

Aunque sepáis que habéis aprobado mirad las actas con las notas, por si hubiera un error. Si no, podríamos llevarnos una mala sorpresa! Eek!

Los quintos han aprobado todo el mundo el Reading y el Listening, y no eran fáciles. Eran un B2, anyway. Así que felicidades y a por el oral! ❤

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About sex (video)

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African proverb…

I’m not much of a proverb person, but I do love this one… ❤


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El tren de la libertad. Yo decido. English subtitles (struggle for women’s rights in Spain)

This was one of the actions women organized to fight for respect. Here is an article which mentions it, along with other recent actions:

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A video on goals & some news

Hello everybody! I suppose most people won’t be checking this blog out anymore but for those who are still doing so, here goes…

First day with a connection to the internet again! 😀 I was checking out my eoi email account and found Sara‘s email (Y5B). She kindly sends a video you might all enjoy.

Hi Michelle! How is everything going? I’ve just seen a video that I really liked! Maybe you can post it on your blog. Bye, enjoy the summer.

More news: Carmen (Y5B) visited us in our new house (we’re still unpacking boxes!) to analyze the back and front yards in our new house, and the following day we were welcoming two students who started fixing the front yard! They did a fine job, and it was not easy. The creeper was all dry inside and wild and medusa-like outside. There was an oleander planted just by the water intake, which was not very clever! So it had to be uprooted! Also, Carmen brought us lots of plants! Incense, curry, mint, lavender, rosemary, spearmint, parsley… Amazing! ❤

Incense plant (two kinds) – very fragrant!


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About the C1 course

There’s hope! Some people did not come to confirm their registration, so there might be movement in the Waiting List next September! 🙂 ❤

I’ve been working on preparing the course, but I’m moving next week, so I’ll leave it here and do some more in August. Here is the first draft of what the course will be like, in case you’re interested or wish to discover some of the materials!

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Watch this video if you like beautiful things in life: it’s a dog or bitch playing with a bay bee! One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen!! ❤

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Estadísticas Aptos Junio (better late than never)

Y para que veáis el problema del absentismo en cifras y la alegría de Aptos, aunque creo que siempre deberíamos aspirar a mejorarla!

El resumen es: Ejercicios Aprobados sobre Ejercicios Presentados en JUNIO. S (son porcentajes normales, buenos. Yo venía de unos últimos años muy buenos en mi otra residencia, a pesar de la dificultad de las PUCs de B2, que eran B2+C1 reales. Pero finalmente teníamos de 82 a 94% de aptos totales (de 1 a 3 personas para septiembre, hablando siempre de gente presentada). Anyway, creo que estos resultados contrastados con las cifras generales están bien y que sumando la gente que apruebe en septiembre (que quedan con 1 o 2 destrezas, ¡y pueden!) se acercarán mucho. Y creo que estoy en la franja normal, del resto del profesorado. Esto lo digo por la gente que sin darle una oportunidad al curso se retiró a inicios del mismo alegando que mi método no le gustaba (soy crítica con este grupo, porque creo que sencillamente es una razón espejismo), y lo digo también por la gente que siguió el curso y felizmente aprendió, por lo que mayoritariamente han aprobado en junio.

3C – 11 de 14 (79%)
5CAL- 8 de 13 (62%)
5A – 9 de 13 (69%)
5B – 18 de 23 (78%)

ESTADÍSTICAS CURSO 2013_14 (1 pág. pdf)

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Herstories of Womankind

Finally worked it all out! For my C1 course next year! The first project I finish designing!

You can read the Welcome, and then the page called The Project!

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Vegetarian kids explain…

He speaks Portuguese, but the subtitles are in English. Really moving.

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Your feedback starting to come in!

Thanks! Wonderful!

Very useful and mostly encouraging! 🙂

It’s also important when you tell me what you would improve or what you didn’t like because then 1) I can do something to improve, or 2) I  realize I need to make people more aware of why I do certain things, or both!

Feel free to send me your emails! I’m finally replying to everybody.

Have a lovely summer! ❤

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Sci fi real life

Today I found out that an old school where I worked and became ill due to work reasons (mobbing) has wiped out the work hundreds of people did at the school throughout three years, I think. Because at that time I was using an elearning platform at, I could send an email to all of those students and this is what I did today. I’d like to share it with you because it’s important to know about real things, not only about what mediocre intelligences and manipulators want us to know and talk about. Life is hard and complicated because people cannot trust the use of intelligence, and decide to operate along the lines of mediocrity, which is always connected to some kind of violence or other. Fortunately, this does not usually happen in  intense degrees and that is why we get by — without reaching for happiness everywhere, but without getting too hurt. Anyway, here is the email I just sent out to the people I had the chance to work with from 2006 to 2010 I think.

“This must come to you as a surprise. I hope you are all in good health, and happy and involved and developing your intelligence to change the world! 🙂 ❤

I haven’t been using this elearning platform since I had to leave EOI Getafe for health reasons. I had to leave that school, and now that I’ve recovered I can say (before that I simply couldn’t believe it) that I had to leave because some permanent teachers in the school did not want me there and tried their hardest to hurt me. Fortunately, when I asked for help, I found a good person, an Inspector, who listened and analyzed the matter with rationality and wisedom, and I was granted a transfer to Leganés after my 4-6-month sick leave. After that, I even managed to leave Madrid, which was my dream before this mobbing experience, anyway, so today I can say, Hi, dear all, I survived! 😀 and now I’m safe and happy in a new lovely school where both teachers and students love me or don’t love me as it is usual in life! 😀

Anyway, one of the psychological traits of people who mob people and succeed to wipe them out of their workplace is that they need to wipe out any track of the mobbed person’s existence, and this is the only reason I can find (for What reason could there be to remove such a precious collective project?) for what EOI Getafe has done this year: they have created a new website, which is OK, of course, but in this new website, they have not linked to the old website, where over 300 students, and a group of 6-8 teachers worked for about 3 years, offering the world their quality work and also a fine example of how we can exploit the internet for educational purposes — while also using non-sexist language on top of it all. At the moment, it is as if all of us people taking part in that had never existed. And there is no technical or moral justification to do that.

Fortunately, I have a copy of the website, so when I retire I’ll copy all of your lovely writings onto! You must know that every year my students read your published work, and that they will continue doing so because I found that the Wayback machine is keeping a copy of the site they deleted. So here it is, in case you want to download your work in case the EOI Getafe board tells the Wayback machine that they are not allowed to offer a track of something that existed on the net.

Now I can imagine better what it has been like for women throughout History, and probably also for some men. We know women have been locked up for centuries, just being used and abused, and in most parts of the planet they still are. Well, wiped out of existence by mediocre people, with no intelligence or empathy, with no sense of dignity, not even professional. The internet is the only place were we are all managing to leave a track, and there are already a lot of people trying to work out how to erase our existence here too.

I have also visited the youtube channel where your performances were published. It’s been abandoned, but people keep watching your videos. I have a copy too and also show them to my students in class (DVD), because I always thought they would close that account. Anyway, if you know how to download youtube videos in case you don’t have a copy of your work, visit the eoi getafe channel and download it. I can also send it to you but not just now. I’m exhausted from a very intense year (yet again) and need a little break! My plan is that if they removed that resource too, I’d try to upload the videos again in a MF channel or something, but I’d rather have people’s permission for that, so I’m not sure I’d do it.

Last, thanks for all. Whenever I read your work or watch your videos or listen to you all I remember and learn more about meaningful and joyful learning, and feel inspired, and I know my students do too! So thanks for the sharing you did.”

A big big hug!

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Amnesty International collecting signatures to protect women’s rights to decide whether they wish to become mothers or not

España: La salud y la vida de las mujeres en peligro

El Anteproyecto de ley del aborto vulnera los derechos humanos y debe ser retirado

And if you wish to find out more about our Herstory of struggle for the respect to women’s rights in Spain since the dictatorship ended, you can read this:

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Lousy News

Although we teachers are literally exhausted, today we had another heavy and hectic day of work. As I was rushing into my classroom — where I was holding a meeting with teachers — and out, I could see a hive of students around one of the Announcement Boards and couldn’t understand why their faces looked so sad and disappointed, even upset!

Finally, when all of our meetings were over, I checked the board and saw that the final list of people getting a place in the C1 course had been published. ONLY 3, 4 of my Fifth Year students this year were in the list!! I could not believe it. I was so happy thinking that for the first time in my career I would be able to have quite a few of the same students I had had this year!

Well, I hope the lucky lot do come to class, and do take part in our first exploratory C1 course. And if they don’t I hope they leave a vacancy so we can call people in the Waiting List.

I also hope that my Fifth Year students remember that they passed (or will probably pass in September) because of what they learned, and keep using their English every day in good ways! DON’T STOP LISTENING TO ENGLISH, PLEASE.

And remember to apply for the C1 course next year 2015-16, too!

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Revisión & September

As you know, revisión is not about me explaining why someone failed an exercise, because we are in Evaluation Month, the course is over.

In Revisión, you have the right to see that your tests were checked and how they were evaluated in the different areas.

When you come to Revisión, I’ll give you a list of mistakes below the level, so you can compare it to your Writing and Speaking Evaluation Sheets.

If you have passed and you come to Revisión I’ll probably ask you to allow me to spend that time with the people who failed, who need silence to read the handouts and check their exams. I also have to say that in order to avoid a longer delay that the delays we had during the orals, when both examiners agreed the person had passed the speaking test, we did not waste time adding up all the numbers, for the only possible mark you can get is “Apto”. So I won’t have that info available for you. Just the totals of the other 3 skills.

If you have your PASEN code you will be able to check your marks online.

Then, to help you do some good learning during the summer, I’ll give you a handout called “How to work…” as a reminder of some of the keys things we learned this year, about learning! and with some resources.

Here is a copy of the two handouts I’ll be giving the people who failed any of the parts of the exam.


welcometoRevision (2 pages)

About September, all the info on this will be available in July (we’ll be updating it on June 30th). Notice that “El Escrito de las Pruebas Unificadas de Certificación Septiembre 2014” is on the first day of September, Intermedio in the morning, and Avanzado in the afternoon/evening, yes, weird but true. (We haven’t arranged those dates. Those are the dates the Junta has established.) Our dates will be those of the Orals. You will have to go to the School in July and check the English Department Announcement Board on the second floor to check when your Oral is. Check it carefully, OK? All the info will be very clearly presented.

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About to finish evaluating!

Tomorrow it’ll be our last day giving exams. I’m so exhausted and relieved I can’t believe it! 😀

I’m happy about the results this year. Also because I think that the few cases for September are good ideas, I mean, I do think they need to make an extra effort to achieve the level, and think that it’s not about doing course again, just pulling their shit together in the summer and consolidating the level. I think we teachers have worked well together, and evaluated the best way we could.

Anyway, I scheduled a post here where you will find the handouts I’ll be giving the people having to take a September re-sit in Revisión.

You can all drop by to say hello. (I don’t mean you can’t, just that I have hundreds of exams and looking for Apto exams is complicated, because I have just put aside the failed exercises.) I can also tell you what I remember, a general idea of how well you did. I’ve put aside the failed tests (just a few) but I’ll bring along all of the tests. I hope to see the people who failed one of the parts, to give them the handouts. You can all send me emails, too, if you like in the first week of July, to give me feedback on our course together or to say whatever.

I hope you have all learned that language learning is about loving the language and using it every day!

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Little hello and requests

I know some of you are nervous about the results, but please don’t send me emails about this topic. We’re working non-stop and many more hours than you can imagine and bearing a lot of tension, from all the exams we’re giving, because it’s our Evaluation Month.

Evaluation Month follows a process we should all respect, so that everybody gets the same info at the same time. What you did is done, so please, relax, and wait till next Monday when you’ll be able to find out if you passed or not — and what the problem was for the case of fail marks. If you failed any of the parts, remember you have 48 hours to file a complaint. Bring paper and a pen to Revisión, in case you find ground for a complaint, so you can jot down the relevant information.

Please, don’t come to Revisión if you didn’t fail. It’s not the right moment and it’s pointless. We’ve been giving you all of our attention during the course and working numerous (unpaid) hours, against popular belief I know. You have the right to do so, of course, but your only possible mark is “Apto” so there is no point. In any case, if you insist, I’ll tell you your numeric marks in Reading & Listening, and/or show how you your exam. I won’t tell you your numeric marks for the Speaking Test because when the examiners agreed the person had passed, to avoid longer delays those days we did not do the maths. Of course, you can ask me to do the maths in Revisión and I will.

Just remember Revisión is not to learn anything, just to check we proceeded like competent teachers and there are no injustices or mistakes in the evaluation of your work.

Enjoy your week! ❤

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Y5’s – Y5B, ¿falta de confianza? (con posdata)

En los orales de 5ºB me encontré con una sorpresa triste: hubo gente que se puso a hacer cosas que no habíamos dicho que había que hacer: además de sembrar el pánico en lugar de confiar en una/o, en el curro del curso y en la profe, ponerse a ¡¿describir la foto?!

Por suerte las consecuencias de estos dos errores han sido notas más bajas (no necesariamente suspensos, y como todo el mundo tendrá Apto si aprueba, pues no lo notarán, por eso escribo esto ahora, por si encima se ponen a pensar que aprobaron gracias a hacer lo que no había que hacer, porque mirad quien asesora bien es vuestra profe, no el resto de la humanidad; que una cosa es tener mirada crítica y otra muy distinta ser carnaza para las “leyendas urbanas”), para el caso de que no se combinara con poor language range (esp. below below) y/o frequent mistakes (esp. below level).

Si en el oral hubiera que describir una foto, YO HABRÍA ENSEÑADO LA TÉCNICA DE ESE TIPO DE EJERCICIO. Que yo sepa, os he enseñado técnicas y estrategias para las 4 pruebas. Y la técnica desde luego no es el churro que os salió de descripción de foto, que ni se sabía de qué hablábais cuando eso hicisteis.

Las pequeñas fotos son (como expliqué cuando Sara lo preguntó y lo puse en el blog para aclarárselo a todo el mundo, además de ir diciéndolo en las clases. Pero estaba la gran pista del por defecto: que yo no os conté nunca cómo proceder para describir una foto cuando ésa es la misión), A GRAPHIC OUTLINE, so at a glance you can remember the points to talk about. Nothing to do with exams where pictures need to be talked about or described.

Por suerte, el profesorado y las tablas no penalizan eso mucho, aunque si el examen fuera de hecho Describir Foto sí penalizaría mucho no saber hacerlo.

Más: yo enseño esa técnica en Básico, porque los orales de Básico necesitan apoyo gráfico; no para Avanzado, donde la gente ya puede hablar solita de cosas.

En fin, creí que aunque la tarde iba a ser larga, dado el nivel del que sois capaz según mi criterio profesional el otro profe y yo íbamos a tener el placer de escuchar ejercicios a porrillo de notable y sobre, digamos, y nos vimos teniendo que analizar 8 casos tras la celebración y evaluación de los orales in situ, porque no estaba claro por el ejercicio realizado que hubieran logrado el nivel. Es decir, aprobó algún ejercicio más, tipo raspado.

Y para consolarme, me acordé de 5ºCAL, de sus orales. 5ºCAL tenía una presión como mínimo doble por sus circunstancias laborales, y pensé que habría casos para el análisis posterior porque con tanta presión la performance, si no se controla el miedo, es peor. Pero fue generalizado: apostaron por confiar, por hacer lo que estuvimos trabajando en clase todo el año, y cómo. Y es que no hay nada como estar todas las personas a lo mismo, y pensar y comunicarse constructivamente. Algún suspenso hay para septiembre, claro, pero podrán sacarlo entonces si hacen lo que tienen que hacer.

No se combate el sistema obedeciendo al sistema. El sistema de exámenes tal y como se ejecuta respecto a Obedezco al Miedo es anacrónico, aunque este tipo de examen que damos en EOI es mucho más comunicativo y puede hacerse sin obedecer al Miedo al Examen porque una persona puede centrarse perfectamente en la comunicación de la vida real. Obedecer al Miedo al Examen, darle prioridad a esto antes que a lo que sí habría que darle prioridad, es la regla nº1 para el fracaso (salvo para la gente muy competitiva, que es minoritaria en el mundo). No luchar por entender (y actuar en consecuencia) que el examen no tiene la importancia que tiene amar aprender, hacer las cosas lo mejor posible, confiar en nosotras/os y en el profesorado sería normal si no lo hubiéramos trabajado, porque la sociedad educa siempre mal, pero lo hemos trabajado.

Aprovecho para felicitar a la gente que controló (incluso más o menos) su miedo e hizo un buen ejercicio, o incluso mejoró su anterior trabajo.

Y envío un afectuoso saludo a Big J por su valor, por su lucha por controlar el miedo y superarse. Toda mi admiración.


Por cierto, hemos trabajado todo el año que el texto oral que dais en un examen tiene que ser autónomo y no depender de que el tribunal tenga que mirar la información de la tarea. No? Por eso hicisteis muy bien en general los inicios de los diálogos. Pues bien, esto también se hace en los exámenes de descripción de fotos. Tiene que ser una descripción que le sirviera, digamos, a personas ciegas. Y el tribunal mira la foto sólo para comprobar que es correcto lo que se dice, no para poder seguir la descripción.

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Interviewing a pacifist, by another pacifist

To my very missed friend, Hoowee, who I miss so much (It’s funny how when we are happy we remember the people we lost and miss) NB “funny” here means “strange”

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Y5’s, Y3’s: About your numeric results

On the day we publish your results, as you know, you’ll only be able to learn if you passed (Ejercicio Apto) or failed (No Apto). This is enough if you passed, but if you wish to know how many points you got per skill, you don’t need to go to Revisión. That’s for people who failed. But you have the right to come to me, so I can tell you your marks (speaking softly outside the Revisión classroom).

If you failed any of the parts, or one, you should come to Revisión, check your exam papers carefully, and tell me if we made an addition mistake (I can fix that on the spot) or write down (bring paper and a pen, just in case) any ground for a complaint (if you want the Department to check the exam), if you find ground for that.

I cannot “explain” anything in Revisión in connection to the exam, as you know, because you have access to the Exam Papers, where you will see the marks you got and the Hojas de Evaluación with a numeric table. (Observaciones is not as helpful.) But I’ll be happy to give you my professional opinion of how you should work over the summer to pass whatever in September, or — if I believe so — give you advice on proceeding in some other way.

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Mary Wollstonecraft

A radio program/programme on her

The first picture Opie painted of her, Mary Wollstonecraft in 1790–1, byJohn Opie


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Absentismo, evaluación y estadísticas (edited)

Quisiera ayudar a concienciar sobre el impacto del absentismo en la enseñanza pública no obligatoria de idiomas, ofreciendo los datos de mis grupos en el curso 2013-14 respecto a personas que se han presentado a las Pruebas Unificadas de Certificación ordinarias, o de junio 2014. Y quisiera animaros a ayudar a concienciar en lo siguiente: en la pública, todos los derechos y deberes están establecidos por ley y aunque es obligación del alumnado leerse las cosas que anunciamos en tablones y web, de estos derechos y deberes informamos en clase siempre. Las cuestiones administrativas están cubiertas por la labor de Secretaría, y ésta es la otra fuente de información y el profesorado no es quien debe informar de sus cuestiones. Como sabéis quienes habéis seguido el curso:

La gente absentista, tanto las personas que se apuntan a un curso presencial y nunca vienen, como quienes vinieron lo que pudieron y finalmente no se presentaron al examen porque “cayeron” durante el curso por las obligaciones que les surgieron, no pierde derecho a examen, pero no podemos comprender como no anulan hasta abril (este mes hay que confirmarlo en Secretaría porque yo no estoy segura de que sea abril, pero por ahí anda), para no perder 2 convocatorias a examen y por algo que perjudica a la pública, porque nos perjudica en las estadísticas de ejercicios aptos ya que la administración los cuenta como suspensos, y ésta y la sociedad atribuyen esos suspensos a la incompetencia del profesorado.

Fijaos en cómo afectaría el problema a nuestro caso:

3ºC: de 28 estudiantes que hay en lista, 9 son No Presentados. Aparte, anecdóticamente deciros que de los 19 Presentados, puedo decir que sólo 9 han seguido el curso con una mínima regularidad. Ha sido el curso donde más absentismo total y relativo ha sufrido. Y con todo, ¡cómo hemos sobrevivido a sus efectos! Por suerte, quienes no han seguido el curso al menos han ido haciendo bien dos partes, pues todo el mundo ha aprobado el listening y la inmensa mayoría el reading, que era difícil para el nivel. Respecto al writing, hay 4 casos para análisis a fondo por parte del tribunal, para así determinar si han logrado alcanzar el nivel o no, pues si lo hubieran logrado sería raspado. Casos raros: dos personas se marcharon y no hicieron el writing, así que son suspensos seguros globales.

5ºA: de 24 estudiantes en lista, 8 son No Presentados a examen y de estos 8, unos 4 o 6 podrían haber anulado las convocatorias para no perderlas y para no perjudicarnos apareciendo como ejercicios suspensos. De este grupo, el segundo peor en absentismo, quienes han seguido el curso con más o menos regularidad han sido 5!!! y con regularidad irregularidad 5 más. Por suerte, sólo una persona ha suspendido el reading, sólo una el listening, y los casos de writing para análisis más profundo son 4, pero hubo dos personas que se marcharon y no hicieron el writing, cosa que no puedo comprender, la verdad.

5ºB: de 31 estudiantes en lista, 7 son No Presentados y tengo que decir, agradecer, felicitar a este grupo porque los 24 restantes además de estar sacando excelentes resultados (cuando la dinámica de un grupo es buena, es lo que suele suceder, influye, vamos) han seguido el curso regularmente, aunque algunas personas hayan faltado por obligaciones varias. Y cómo lo he notado en el writing!! Cómo han mejorado algunas personas. Otras tenían ya un buen nivel, aunque creo que también han aprendido algo. El caso es que aquí, similarmente a 5ºA y 5ºCAL en reading y listening, todo el mundo aprobó el reading, y una persona suspendió el listening, pero no por falta de nivel de comprensión auditiva, o sea, aprobará en septiembre con alta probabilidad. Respecto al writing, el tribunal tiene que estudiar más a fondo dos casos, pero es posible que puedan alcanzar el apto. En cualquier caso, si no fuera así, mi opinión profesional es que lo aprobarían en septiembre si trabajan el listen-n-repeat para pulir errores fosilizados de gramática. O sea, por ahora los resultados son extraordinarios. Pero no se reflejaría así en las estadísticas.

5ºCAL: de los 24 estudiantes en lista, 11!! son No Presentados a examen. ¿No hubieran preferido guardarse dos convocatorias más para el futuro? ¿O, solidariamente, anular para no perjudicar en las estadísticas de aptos? Son profes de la pública también, por eso no lo entiendo. Con suerte, una persona de esta lista sí se presentaría en septiembre (es que se puso enferma), y con toda probabilidad aprobaría porque tiene el nivel. El grupo también tuvo una gran dinámica de trabajo como grupo, e individual, a pesar de las exigencias de su propio empleo de profes, y de hecho, siguieron el curso de manera óptima. Y se está notando: ningún suspenso en el reading, 1 en el listening (recuperable en septiembre con toda probabilidad) y tres casos de writing de nivel en duda, para un estudio más profundo por parte del tribunal.

Por eso os damos tanto la lata con el absentismo. Ayudadnos a mejorar. Aquí nadie criminaliza ni censura a quien se apunta un curso y desde el principio o luego no puede seguirlo. Cualquiera puede entender eso, y el profesorado desde luego. Lo que decimos es que ofrecemos soluciones y derechos diversos que no se usan, y se deberían usar, porque no usar esos derechos y soluciones cuando se puede es estar perjudicando innecesariamente la enseñanza pública, que es de calidad a pesar de los innumerables obstáculos y problemas que enfrenta. El profesorado trabaja muchas más horas de las que le son remuneradas, de hecho. Es bastante feo el estado de consideración del profesorado en este país, pienso.

Mis mejores deseos para el speaking. Sé que siempre se puede caer en esta prueba, pero que quedara un speaking para septiembre no sería trágico, pues de lo que se trataría es de pasarse el verano listening-n-repeating, and listening, and talking to your invisible friend, and then to anyone you manage to find!!

Y ánimo a quienes no se han presentado a que lo hagan en septiembre, claro, sobre todo si sí tienen el nivel B2 para Avanzado o el B1 para Intermedio. Por ellas y ellos y por nuestras estadísticas! 😀 ❤

Quisiera añadir otra cosa. Es normal que en Avanzado las estadísticas reales (no las que considera la administración y la sociedad) sean mejores que en Intermedio, porque la gente lleva más años aprendiendo y practicando y también viene (o se matriculan y no vienen) gente con el nivel ya. En esta región, tenemos un problema en Intermedio: como es un año y las certificaciones no caducan, viene a Intermedio gente que lleva siglos sin haber usado la lengua. Si en su día consiguieron un nivel adecuado real, consolidado, en tres meses de trabajo en el curso se ponen al día y siguen aprendiendo, pero si no fue así, ni lo consiguieron y/o y no siguen el curso (que un curso de idioma implica el triple de horas de clase en casa semanales; claro que mucha gente sólo lo hace si paga un pastón por el curso), no consiguen ponerse en órbita. A estos casos se suman personas que sí que vienen con un buen nivel para el curso o incluso superior. Y por eso es tan difícil dar Tercero. Por las grandes diferencias de nivel, al inicio de curso sobre todo. Por último, un factor exagerado: el currículo de contenidos gramáticos, digamos, para Tercero, para un año, es exagerado. Por eso seguir el curso no implica necesariamente conseguir superar los finales. O sea, no es necesariamente por lo que cree la administración y la sociedad, que el profesorado es incompetente. A ver si evolucionamos hacia sociedades más racionales y empíricas! 😀

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Fifthlings! Go for it all! Enjoy your Speaking Test!

Today I graded/checked the Reading & Listening Tests of my 3 groups of Y5.

In Y5A one person failed the Reading (I don’t know this person), and one the Listening.

In Y5B, nobody failed the Reading, and one person failed the Listening Test (for being nervous, and not because this person did not have the level. Actually, this person has a C1 level. So I’m not worried at all, I know she’ll pass it in September, and I hope she’ll come to Revisión so we can talk about working strategies.)

In Y5CAL nobody failed the Reading Test, and one person failed the Listening Test. (I’m sure this person will pass it in September, and hope to see her in Revisión.)

Now think about all you thought and heard about these tests and tell me… who was right?

For the people who are able to learn a lesson from this, mostly the people who have actually learned something from my course this year, I understand you realize I was right, and how wrong all the gossiping and self-destructive attitudes were. No wonder. There is nothing like listening to people who are knowledgable teachers (which doesn’t mean obeying, but just listening and thinking about it constructively) and how wrong gossips and urban legends were, and how useless and negative it is to allow irrational fear to pile up pressure on you. It’s never a good idea to disregard the use of intelligence. Fighting to overcome the negative things we have learned is a must. As the May 68 revolution stated, we create the systems that we have. That’s why it’s so important to chose developing our intelligence instead of chosing obeying destruction!

I hope you can improve your self-assessment skills after this little exercise.

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News from Hilal – a new center on nonviolence, from a feminist intelligence!

My sister-activist Hilal has sent out the following email, announcing she’s managed to make her dream real. Go for it, Hilal! Hopefully, this summer 2014 I’ll be preparing the video interview Mujer Palabra did to you in Madrid last 2013 summer to get it published at Conoce a… (Meet…) at! I’ll let you know! ❤ Best wishes and sweetest dreams coming true!

Dear friends,

This is Hulya and Hilal writing.

We haven’t been able to meet with some of you for a long time and we hope everything is all right in your lives.

We would like to tell you about a new development concerning both of us.

As all of you know we have been working on nonviolence since more or less 20 years and we all have been dreaming or dreamed about establishing a centre on nonviolence in Turkey since the beginning of this process. We had an opportunity to make it real in October last year. Accordingly, we started a process of negotiation to take on the responsibility of working in a nonviolence centre in Istanbul. Finally the process came to fruition in February this year. We’ve both started working in the Center at the beginning of March. Hilal moved from Spain to Turkey and Hulya from Izmir to Istanbul for this purpose.

Yes! We believe that we have taken an important step on the way to realising our dream!

We named our centre “Nonviolence Research Center”. Our office is at Cihangir, you can see the location on the attached pictures.

Let us give you a brief info about the Nonviolence Research Center.

The Center has started operating with short term financial support of International Center on Nonviolent Conflict and Nonviolent International. During this period we will be seeking other funding avenues to allow us to continue and become financially independent. We, at the same time, aim to establish an association in order to become a legal entity.

The main objective of the Center is to work on analysing, seeking alternatives to and elaborating on transforming the establishing role of violence as a means of domination upon our political, economical and social life in all its dimensions: structural, symbolic and physical.     

To this end we aim to produce publications, including translations; organize regular meetings under the main topic of “violence”, starting from autumn and carry on a research project about nonviolent action experiences in Turkey and the Middle East. In other words, we are aiming to produce reference materials on nonviolence and nonviolent action.

The other goal is to work on nonviolence and nonviolent direct action strategies. We aim to organize strategy trainings for groups, organizations and initiatives to analyse, evaluate, make short and long term planning, etc. regarding their field of activity.

Of course we want to collaborate with all of you whenever this may be possible.

Materials related to nonviolence and nonviolent action in Turkish and other regional languages will be available in our websites and at the office soon.

Our office is available for the other groups. Of course our friends are more than welcome for tea and coffee. 😉

At present, we are working on the Center’s website. It is under-construction but you can still visit it at: (English web site), (Turkish web site)

You can also subscribe to our newsletter through the web sites. If you want to receive it in English please subscribe here

We hope this opportunity gets you excited as much as it excites us and will be a successful initiative for a better future.    

We hope to see you soon!!!

Hilal and Hülya

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Keep it up, Thirdlings!!

As I only have one group of Y3’s I’ve been able to check/grade the Reading and Listening Tests. A very high percentage of people passed the Reading, and EVERYBODY passed the Listening! I was sure you’d pass the B1 Listening, considering our hard work on that and the fact that it could be heard /heerd/ three times instead of two. Well done! But I was not sure people would pass the Reading, because this was a hard B1 reading test.

Two examiners will be checking your Writings next. Well, if you fail, that’d be fine for the summer, because improving in writing is all about listening, too! I mean, all the textual structure stuff is in your textbooks and you would just need to read through, but your main work would be learning English, listening and listening, so you would avoid making grammar mistakes. If you failed because of your spelling, then you would need to read more and notice spelling.  Other reasons for failing could be making mistakes of the kind poor language range, no good textual structure… Anyway, my best wishes for the Writing too, to you all!

Meanwhile, go for the Speaking Test! Listen and repeat like maniacs, to improve your fluency and accuracy, and then try to practice the structure of mons and dials!

Best of luck! ❤

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Spain: European Elections & Podemos – in English

Hoping lots of small parties will destroy bipartidism and create new meaningFUL Parliaments where reps will have to collaborate and negociate. (I voted for Iniciativa Feminista. Hopefully, one day, it’ll also be part of those groups.)

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Maya Angelou, In the Valley of Humility

It’s from her collection of thoughts, Letter to My Daughter (2008), 1 page. I designed this reading exercise a few years ago but I have never actually done it in class. Yet! 🙂 I believe if we weren’t so afraid of mistakes, the world would be a better place! A more intelligent place! And much more fun! 🙂

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Maya Angelou, Still I Rise

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How to control fear, quote by Rosa Parks


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Well, today I said my goodbyes to Y5CAL and Y5B and tomorrow it’ll be Y5A and Y3C. Thanks for a wonderful year. I’m hopeful about your results, but, as you know, I don’t really care because I know (for the cases of those people whose English I know things about!) and then because I have never believed in exams. Actually, I’m critical of exams.crushexams I believe they help destroy a love for knowledge. But in this, exams operate like most people. Knowledge is not very much loved in our society. It’s undervalued, underestimated, underrated! Our society doesn’t believe we can grow in every way through learning. Most people think learning English is about learning to pass an exam in English, and most people are not aware of all the learning that happens in our minds when we learn a language, a most complex intellectual activity. I believe we’re beginning to change this, culturally speaking. And I have not noticed this lovelessness towards knowledge in class, so that is why I’m grateful. Interactive teachers mirror what they get! You have paid a lot of attention to me, so I’ve had the chance to be a better teacher! And you have taken part in the construction of the lessons! ❤ 🙂

As a teacher, the most valuable thing I might’ve helped you learn is that you cannot become a competent (and joyful) user of a language without establishing a personal and everyday relationship with listening to the language. I hope this course helped you develop the habit of listening to English every day. I believe English will allow you to grow in every sense, because through learning a language we learn about ourselves and others and the worlds we create in all kinds of ways. Human language is inextricably connected to human thought and human relationships. It’s hard of us to think something we have no words for, and then the language we use, the way we name, reflects the kind of relationships we have with people. The more you allow your language to develop, the more your intelligence (your heart-mind) develops and the more options you have, the freer you get, because the world expands.

These are my own thoughts. I am also interested in yours.

So once the Exam Experience is over, if you wish to send me an email assessing your learning this year, your personal learning and the learning in class, I’ll be very interested in reading it, and grateful, of course. (It goes without saying I understand you would do it from your total freedom, and not to manipulate or impress me or those horrible things they tell people they are doing when they try to analyze things and be honest.) I’m interested in knowing what helped you, what eased your path, in which ways, what moved you, what you learned, what you discovered about your own skills, what you missed, what you found useless or uninteresting, when or where you noticed progress, where you got stuck, what activities you enjoyed the most…

About not having enough time, well, you might leave that out. I do understand. (I had to quit my language learning this year because I could not get enough time. My French and German and Catalan listening courses! Hopefully, next year I’ll make sure I find the time I need for that.) But understanding is not finding it a good reason. We do what we can, and I respect that. But learning deserves more time, more passion, and should be seen as a priority. And then a great part of our learning can be integrated into our routines and make us feel good, interested, energetic, involved, connected on a daily basis. I believe this is urgent, both for our personal and social lives — we need to push learning/education further, make it more meaningful, more useful to change the world for the better, in spite of all the harm it always gets because education is such a powerful tool for social change.

So that is also why I find that students’ feedback is something I need to include in my research!

About the party, I will certainly feel very happy to welcome you to my new house, any of you in the 4 groups who wishes to drop by for a hello! I’m not sure when the house and we, its prospective dwellers, will be ready for organizing that, but we will, and I’ll let you know. We’ll move there in July, so perhaps August, September, October… We’ll keep in touch some way! 🙂

In any case, 😉 best of luck! ❤ 🙂


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Phew! At last!

I found how to fix a few thing on the new site for the CAL Project. Have a look now!

Here’s a nightmare poem on English pronunciation. Thanks to Rachel for reminding me of it nightmarish existence!! (Demented laughter)

Y5B’s, I’ll be interviewing you tomorrow while people practice the Speaking Test (kind of kidnapping some of you, so please, volunteer!)

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Last Exam Tips: relax & focus on/enjoy the tasks…

  • Pay attention to the teacher when she/he speaks.
  • Remember you’ve got all the exam info on the English Department Announcement Boards (2nd floor, in the corridor leading to the classrooms).
  • Bring your ID card, water/juice, tissue paper, A WATCH, two/four black/blue pens.
  • General. Fill in the personal info right away
  • General. Read the instructions CAREFULLY and check the EXAMPLE, which always clarifies.

JUNE is Exam Month. Keep silent at all times everywhere and your machines off while in classrooms and corridors.

  • Reading Test. When you read text, try to skim once or twice (fast, just to get the general idea of what the text is about). This will activate your background knowledge. Then you can start reading and solving the questions (scanning for answers as you try to understand the most). When filling in gaps, consider what comes before and after, too. Consider ideas (understanding the sentence) and also grammar (form).
  • Listening Test. You’ll have time to read the question fast while underlining a key word that will allow you to spot the sentence when you hear something about it. After each listening, if you have found some answers, you can just fill in the box of the ones you’re sure about.
  • Writing Test. Think before you write. Respect the word limit. Proofread your work carefully.
  • Speaking Test. Read the TWO tasks CAREFULLY till you are very clear about what you need to speak about. After that, the rest, if you manage to do work in the Lock-up. You might not, and it’s OK. The exam is mostly about improvising after spending a few minutes ordering ideas in an outline. The rest: Use the pics as inspiration for ideas for the monologue. (You don’t need to know all the vocabulary in the pics. It’s just to give you ideas for comparisons or changing topics/points.) You won’t have enough time to prepare the narrative of your monologue, so just create a quick mental outline of key words for your content structure. You need to think a few ideas for your dialogue, but know that you also need to listen to your partner and adapt the dialogue to what you both create — to the actual conversation you’re having. Remember it’s about communicating. And remember to listen to your partner, and also to yourself, in case you can self-correct a possible mistake!

We’ve worked very hard. You will all be fine, most probably. Trust your intelligence at all times and just use the techniques if they’re useful. You will actually be using and adapting them spontaneously without being aware of it — for the case of people who’ve been using them throughout the year. You’re far more knowledgeable and intelligent than you probably think!

If you choose to allow pressure and misery to build on, well, May the force be with you! I’m sorry I didn’t manage to make you trust yourself and me, really! But I did try my hardest! 😀 ❤

Enjoy your last week of class. Rest, relax, and come to the exam with joyful CURIOSITY. It’s a way to change the world for the better. And you’ll love this new experience!! 😀 ❤

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a tinybook of major events

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