Using and creating news in the classroom-spotting fake news

News can be very useful in the classroom, as they provide real language input, a connection to the real world, and, in the case of videos, they tend to be short enough to be listened to more than once. However, you can also create your own news, or even fake news (to discuss how easy it is to create and spread fake news on social media). Here are some of the resources that may be used:

News creators:

  • Read Write Think- Printing Press– online tool to create a newspaper: The interactive Printing Press is designed to assist students in creating newspapers, brochures, and flyers. Teachers and students can choose from several templates to publish class newspapers, informational brochures, and flyers announcing class events.
  • write a headline, description, and pick a background picture- there you have your fake breaking news!


self-grading google forms

Self-grading google forms might be a useful resource to check students’ understanding and progress, as well as to provide them with extra input or independent opportunities of exposure to the language. Here’s how to create one:

Open your Google Drive, then click on “new”. Scroll down to “more”, then choose “google forms”.

On your new form, click on the wheel (settings), then on “quizzes”, and toggle “Make this a quiz”.

If you want to share your form, you can do it by emailing it, sharing the link (long or shortened link), or embedding it on your websites / blogs. For this last option, my advice would be to both embed it and copy the link, as sometimes, embedded forms may be tricky to use on mobile devices.

Some examples of self-grading google forms for different skills:

Can parents take their children on holiday during term time?

We’ve been discussing this case, which hit the headlines in the UK some months ago (click on the picture to watch the video with subtitles):

(Toggle transcript viewer, or click on CC for subtitles)

The case reached the Supreme Court, and this was the result:

(Read transcript here)

Over to you:

  • What are your views on this? Is it reasonable / unreasonable for parents to take their children on holiday when they’re supposed to be attending school?
  • Do you know of any cases where this happens? Does it tend to be justified?
  • What is the effect of such holidays on students? On their classmates? On their teachers?


Sábado metodológico CARLEE: neurociencia y multilingüismo

El CARLEE oferta esta actividad de formación, de enfoque práctico, en la que se darán apuntes de cómo las aportaciones de la investigación sobre neurociencia pueden contribuir en la enseñanza y el aprendizaje de / en lenguas extranjeras. Se celebrará el sábado, 14 de Abril, de 9 a 14 horas, en el CIFE Juan de Lanuza (Zaragoza). 

La sesión correrá a cargo de Jon Andoni Duñabeitia, profesor director e investigador principal del grupo de Lingüística Aplicada a la Enseñanza de la Lenguas Extranjeras de la Facultad de Lenguas y Educación, Universidad Nebrija (Madrid). Maestro, psicopedagogo y doctor en Psicología por la Universidad de La Laguna, experto en ciencia cognitiva y psicolingüística.

La inscripción se realiza en DOCEO, del 22 de Marzo al 4 de Abril.

En este enlace se puede consultar la información completa.

CLIL classroom language- blog

Con frecuencia, muchos de los docentes que trabajamos en la enseñanza de / en lenguas extranjeras no sabemos cómo dar algunas instrucciones dentro del contexto de la clase, o a lo mejor lo que decimos es gramaticalmente correcto, pero no suena natural…

Hace un tiempo, a través del blog del CARLEE, os pedimos que plantearais vuestras dudas. Aún podéis hacerlo, accediendo al botón que veréis en el menú derecho del blog:

El “Departamento de inglés” del CARLEE, con la ayuda de las Erasmus interns británicas que hemos tenido hasta el momento, hemos ido contestando a esas preguntas en forma de blog, para que cualquier docente que trabaje en lengua inglesa pueda consultarlo. Podéis visitarlo en esta dirección:

No solo se trabajan instrucciones de lenguaje de aula: también se intenta buscar los equivalentes (dentro de lo posible) de cargos dentro de los centros educativos, niveles, sistemas de organización del centro…Además de la explicación, una hablante nativa pronuncia esos términos, para dar un modelo correcto de pronunciación.

Pensamos que puede resultar útil a todo tipo de docentes, en programas bilingües en lengua inglesa o no bilingües, candidatos a oposiciones en lengua inglesa…Os animamos a visitarlo.

Plickers- how to use them

In these short tutorials you can find the essential steps on how to start using Plickers in your classes, to ask multiple choice or true / false questions to your students. You can ask those questions to check previous knowledge, understanding, do a flash class poll…Teachers need a mobile device to scan students (not even an internet connection), but students only need the paper cards freely available from the Plickers website to be scanned.

Remember to scan your students’ cards holding your mobile device in portrait mode, not in landscape, or else it will read all the answers wrong! Remind students to be careful not to cover the code with their fingers while holding their cards. Other than that, Plickers is both teacher and student-friendly, free, and really motivating!


Sia- Everyday is Christmas

Australian singer-songwriter Sia has released an album called ‘Everyday is Christmas’, with 10 brand new songs about the holiday season. The tone of the songs ranges from festive to the one in Sia’s best-known ballads.

I feel some of the songs in the album could be used in a classroom context, replacing other classics teachers themselves might be tired of using year after year. The videos for three of the songs can also be attractive to young children, as they use claymation.

In any case, here’s a playlist with Christmas-related songs, as well as Sia’s full album: