European Survey on Language Competences (ESLC)

Lots of food for thought in this survey…

European Survey on Language Competences (ESLC)

Within the framework of the Special Eurobarometer 243 (64.3), Europeans and their languages (2006), 28,694 citizens of EU member states were asked about their experiences of and views on multilingualism. As for the everyday situation of following foreign programmes or films in their original version the data of this Eurobarometer show that in countries where subtitles are commonly used the vast majority of those polled prefer to watch foreign films and programmes in the original language. This is how 94% of Swedish and Danish and 93% of Finnish respondents answered. The Spanish, together with the French, Germans and Czechs, are among those who reject, with the highest average percentage (73%), the option of following foreign programmes and films in their original version with the help of subtitles. The study suggests that the use of subtitles can encourage and facilitate language learning.

Spanish students, who make up a sample of 2,950 individuals, are those who least practice English outside the classroom when talking with their families, listening to the radio, watching TV shows or movies in this language, or reading magazines, newspapers or books in English, and when travelling abroad.

Study on the Use of Subtitling (2011)

Centros acogida estancias profesionales 2015-2016

Resolución de 24 de marzo de 2015, de la Secretaría de Estado de Educación, Formación Profesional y Universidades, por la que se convocan plazas para centros educativos de Educación Infantil y Primaria, Enseñanza Secundaria, Formación Profesional o de Enseñanzas de Régimen Especial que deseen acoger, durante su estancia profesional, a un docente de Alemania, Austria, Bélgica, Francia, Italia, Países Bajos, el Reino Unido, la República de Irlanda o Suiza, para el curso 2015/2016.

Topic: school policies versus students’ appearance

This piece of news has hit the headlines recently: Emily Reay (17), a naturally red-head student has been barred from classes for being too ginger. For the last three years, she’s been dying her hair to get a more ‘vibrant colour’. She’s now been requested by her school to change her appearance, or else she will not be allowed to attend lessons.

She wonders “The school’s uniform policy clearly states no unnatural hair colours, like blue or green. Is ginger not a natural hair colour?”

You may read the full story here:

Nice topic for a little speaking practice / debate / argumentative writing:

  • Are the teachers at the school being fair in this situation? Do you understand the school’s intention in doing so?
  • Should schools have a say in these matters (hair colour, tattoos, piercings…)?
  • To what extent can school policies have an effect on students’ appearance?

tips for English tests- talk at IES Miguel de Molinos

Os dejo la presentación de la sesión en el IES Miguel de Molinos (consejos para preparar exámenes por libre EE.OO.II., Cambridge…a partir de niveles B1). Gracias al centro por invitarme, y a los asistentes.


Os recomiendo también estos enlaces:


Estancias profesionales 2015-2016

Resolución de 9 de marzo de 2015, de la Secretaría de Estado de Educación, Formación Profesional y Universidades, por la que se convocan plazas de estancias profesionales en Alemania, Austria, Bélgica, Francia, Italia, el Reino Unido, la República de Irlanda y Suiza, para profesorado de lenguas extranjeras o profesorado de otras disciplinas que imparta clase en lengua extranjera perteneciente a los cuerpos de Maestros de Educación Infantil y Primaria, Profesores de Enseñanza Secundaria, Catedráticos de Enseñanza Secundaria, Profesores de Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas, Catedráticos de Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas, Profesores Técnicos de Formación Profesional, Profesores de Música y Artes Escénicas y Profesores de Artes Plásticas y Diseño, para el curso 2015/2016.

Shakespeare in the classroom

World Book and copyright day, as established by Unesco, is celebrated on April 23rd (except for the UK and Ireland, where it is celebrated on March 5th), in order to honour Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare, among other authors who died on that day. In actual fact, even though they are thought to have died on the same day (23rd April 1616), apparently it is not exactly so, due to the use of different calendars in England and Spain at the time. In any case, both writers are relevant enough to be given the status they deserve.

Plenty of events are taking place in Spain this year to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the publication of the second part of Don Quixote. For English teachers, this April event is a good an excuse as any other to work on many aspects of English culture and literary heritage related to the figure of the Bard.


Shakespeare and the English language:

Shakespeare contributed some newly-coined terms and expressions to the English language, at a crucial moment in its history:

Other versions of the same (more colourful):

These quotes are also discussed in “Shakespeare and the History of English  ” (Open University):

(Subtitled in English:

Some of these expressions might be familiar to students. If that is not case, at least, they may find them funny:

and another from The Big Bang Theory:

  • Off with his head! (from Henry IV and Richard III) as referenced in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland:

(subtitled in

  • Fair play / foul play, as used in sports
  • Come What May: an original love song written for the film Moulin Rouge, featured in two climatic moments of the film

As an activity, students may guess, for example, what the expressions mean, in what contexts they might be used…To find examples of how they’re used in printed media, you may search for them in

Theatre in Elizabethan times:

Theatres tended to be built on the outskirts of cities, secluding the world of artists from the well-to-do. You might see on Google maps, for example, how both the Globe theatre and the Rose were set up in Bankside / South Bank of London, in a marginal area (at the time, not now!), separated from the City by the river.

  • Map of Shakespeare’s theatres (The Globe, The Rose):
Globe map

Click on the image to see the map

(subtitled in English:

N.B. I know it’s a blockbuster, filled with clichés and Hollywood stars to attract mass audiences, at the expense of being true to reality; and yet, it seems to me that it serves the purpose of illustrating Elizabethan theatre in a general way: the feel of the theatre, the fact that all parts (both male and female) were played by male actors who had to cross-dress in many occasions… It may also raise certain topics of discussion about the English language, for example: how American or Australian actors such as Gwyneth Paltrow or Geoffrey Rush got pitch-perfect British accents by employing voice coaches.

Shakespeare in contemporary popular culture

Many films are based (or loosely based) on Shakespeare’s plays:

Simba’s royal father is murdered by his evil uncle, who then takes his crown. Timon and Pumbaa can also be identified with the characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Also at:

Teenpic: A new kid (=Lucentio / Cameron James) must find a guy (Petruchio /Patrick Verona) to date the meanest girl in school (Katherine / Kat), the older sister of the girl he has a crush on (Bianca), who cannot date until her older sister does (source: imdb)

Another teenpic

Romantic comedy, rescued from a certain oblivion in the 1990s by Kenneth Branagh’s film version, which read the original text in a more contemporary light, by tackling issues of gender relations, homoeroticism, and even race relations. Interestingly enough, D. Pedro of Aragon was played by Denzel Washington.

The central, more powerful role that women allegedly assume in Branagh’s version is best exemplified, as Celestino Deleyto argues, in the opening scene of the film, where Beatrice’s (Emma Thompson) voice-over can be heard reciting a poem that in Shakespeare’s text only appeared marginally in the middle of the play:

(I just love Emma Thompson’s pronunciation)

Shakespeare’s works are quoted or referenced in other popular culture products, such as:

  • The Beatles– “I Am the Walrus”. John Lennon decided to include at the end of the song part of a BBC recording of King Lear, to be heard in the background of the fade-out for the song. If you listen from 3’50”, you might hear (faintly, I’ll admit) these lines from the play:

  • Shakespeare sketch (Hugh Laurie & Rowan Atkinson): sketch toying with the possibility that somebody else “edited” Shakespeare’s plays, namely Hamlet. Very good sketch for literacy / literature lessons: there is plenty of vocabulary about the theatre (soliloquy, the wings…), and it mentions the best-known parts of Shakespeare’s tragedy. High culture mixed with colloquial, contemporary English, and two of the funniest (maybe cleverest) writer-performers of our time (and their lovely accents, of course):
Click on the picture to watch video with subtitles in English

Click on the picture to watch video with subtitles in English

  • The Simpsons– season 13, ep. 14, “Tales of the Public Domain” (spoof of, among others, Hamlet):
Tales from the Public Domain

Click on the picture to watch the episode (subtitles in English)

(Hamlet’s spoof from 15’56”, some adult content)

  • The Simpsons– season 19, ep. 8 “Funeral for a Fiend” (Lisa outwits the Simpsons’ arch-enemy, Sideshow Bob, by showing her knowledge about Shakespeare, and Macbeth in particular)- from 8’45”.
Lisa Macbeth

Click on the picture to watch the episode (subtitles in English)

  • Reference to Othello in The Gilmore Girls (season 3, ep. 15, from 25′):
Click on the picture to watch the episode (subtitles in English)

click on the picture to watch the episode subtitled in English

Watch it subtitled in English:


Plan lector- Espacios de lectura

Dentro del curso online “Espacios de lectura” del INTEF (también en Aularagón) podéis encontrar el enlace al pinterest del mismo nombre, en el que encontraréis recursos, actividades, ideas…Recomendable si estáis redactando / modificando vuestro plan lector, queréis potenciar la biblioteca escolar, o simplemente trabajar más intensivamente la lectura en el centro.


Click en la imagen para ir a pinterest

12 lunas- Book club for teenagers

Desde el servicio de juventud del Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza organizan “La Primavera de 12 lunas”, el programa de ocio alternativo del servicio de voluntariado y juventud del Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza, para que los jóvenes tengan en las tardes y noches del fin de semana la posibilidad de descubrir una nueva ciudad, nuevas relaciones, nuevas opciones para expresarse, ser creativo, formarse y disfrutar de una forma saludable.

Entre esas actividades destacamos:

Interactive stories in English: Mediante juegos teatrales y técnicas de improvisación, 12 LUNAS recreará situaciones reales en idioma inglés que se pueden dar en tus futuros viajes al extranjero: En un aeropuerto, buscar piso y trabajo, ligar, hacer la compra, moverte en la ciudad… Utilizaremos la risa y los momentos cómicos para permitirte manejar situaciones cotidianas en lengua inglesa. (10 y 17 de Abril, de 19 a 21 horas, C.C. Estación del Norte)

Book Club 12 lunas (club de lectura en inglés): Si eres un apasionado de la lectura, si quieres mejorar tu inglés,… ¡¡No te lo pienses!! Formaremos un dinámico grupo de lectura y conversaremos en inglés con una tutora nativa que te descubrirá las claves de tus lecturas y que te guiará con el idioma. [5 sesiones (9,16,30 de abril – 7, 14 de mayo), de 19 a 20.30 horas, en la Biblioteca Municipal María Moliner (C/ S. Agustín, nº 1)]

Ver la información completa: (página 10)

(Gracias, N.P)


Preinscripción alumnos libres EOI Aragón

Para todos aquellos que estéis interesados: os recordamos que desde este curso, si queréis inscribiros en las pruebas de certificación de cualquier idioma y nivel (alumnos libres) de las EE.OO.II. de Aragón, debéis realizar preinscripción, del 7 al 13 de Abril. En este enlace tenéis un resumen del calendario de plazos, extraído de las instrucciones aparecidas en BOA.

Acceso a preinscripción:

Información EE.OO.II:

Tasas de matrícula

En el caso de la prueba de certificación de nivel intermedio para alumnos de centros bilingües o POLE, la matrícula se realiza directamente en sus centros, sin preinscripción, del 7 al 13 de Abril (BOA, punto cuarto, página 2)

Ayudas programa de inmersión lingüística en colonias de vacaciones – verano 2015

Resolución de 17 de marzo de 2015, de la Secretaría de Estado de Educación, Formación Profesional y Universidades, por la que se convocan ayudas para participar en un programa de inmersión lingüística en colonias de vacaciones para 2015, dirigidas a alumnos de 1º y 2º de ESO.

Plazo de presentación: quince días hábiles a partir del siguiente al de la publicación de esta resolución en el «Boletín Oficial del Estado» (publicado el 31 de marzo de 2015).