Msg to students! Please read (edited)

Dear students, I’m still working on Writings to publish and on audios to turn into videos with your pics. This last mission is really time-consuming but it is certainly worth it! Soon-ish I’ll be publishing these videos: A trip, another Book Review on One Crazy Summer (MJ’s, 5B), another childhood memory (Sergio’s, 5CAL). Pending is still the audiobook by 5CAL, but that requires quite a lot of time and I haven’t managed to get that sort of time-chunk yet! And I also think I couldn’t publish it all, so I need to check things first.


  • Please, DO send in for publication your audios/videos on the novel or your trips or childhood memories! Just think: in time, it’ll make you have sweet memories you can share! 🙂
  • If you can send me material for a GLOSSARY on One Crazy Summer, I’d appreciate that. (You can post the words here, too!)
  • About the CAL Project on Useful Language, to my knowledge there is only one person with that in mind. Shall we quit this project or should I insist?


As you know, the authorities are introducing “semipresencial” courses (this year our school offered 1st grade) and we teachers have a few ideas of what this is going to lead to, basically cutting down on teachers. Teachers have a lot of questions, starting with “Isn’t ‘That’s English’ enough?”, “Why are they doing this if half of the people who apply for our face-to-face courses cannot join, and online courses have no demand?”. Personally, I suspect the plan is to make us teachers in public education tools for correcting certificate exams and to have people paying for language courses in private language schools. I can imagine they can imagine a world where there are no more (public education) teachers, and that’s why I came up with the writing assignment I posted yesterday.

Actually, I’m somewhat dispirited when I think of this (but I do cheer up eventually!), and this means you don’t get enough motivation to work joyfully, as usual, all the time.

By the way, it also disheartens teachers to see that even if they work hard for your learning, people keep not following the course. The absenteeism but also how little use of English people do at home in my Monday groups manage to do (enjoying listening to English every day in various ways, enjoying the writing missions in their Before, reading the amazing texts in the textbook, practicing/practising L&R and putting mons together for their Speaking File…) makes me feel low at times. This doesn’t mean they won’t pass their exams, of course, but it does mean that they’re not using this course to learn.

Fortunately, in the Tuesday groups (5CAL and 5B), although people are also busy and short of time, the group dynamics is better and they manage to work more at home. (Group dynamics helps or hampers learning, that’s so true!) There’s less absenteeism, but the most important thing is their (indiv. and joint) eagerness to follow this little course — it’s like the individual eagerness the Mondays following the course show, yes (but you see, yesterday I had 5 people in 5A and another 5 in 3C! And what are the implications? Next day there’ll be people not having done their work at home, and blah blah blah — because on top of everything, even though I spent hours jotting down on this blog all we do, people come to class without having checked first what they need to bring to class when they come back).

So everything around us (policies, people’s behavior/behaviour in courses) points to the fact that teachers are not considered valuable, really. Reality in this area is kind of disheartening. And the fact remains that we teachers are very valuable — key in helping people learn to learn and learn to think and communicate…

Anyway, thanks to the people who come to class and follow this course. We teachers also need this actual positive feedback.


Lately I’m noticing people are not in the habit of listening to podcasts at home. In Y5 you should be listening to radio programs/programmes also because this is of paramount importance for your Listening Test. I would like everybody to pay attention to my tips on textual structures in radio programs/programmes, OK? I started doing this in Exam Month Practice, and I’ve actually been doing this since the beginning of the course, but I know it’s hard to understand because people cannot think of a recording as a text. Anyway, yesterday I started helping students learn about the structure in interview radio programs and that’s what I’ll be up to today, too. (Btw, 5A’s, I know why I ran out of time: I always forget your lesson lasts 15 minutes less!! 🙂

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