Mistake spotting- let’s go…

Lucas P. & Carolina M. nos envían estas fotos de la caja de un juguete infantil:

WhatsApp-Image-20160601 WhatsApp-Image-20160601 (1)_


Probablemente, quien diseñó el embalaje está mezclando frases del tipo “Let’s go to the park” / “Let’s go to the beach” con “Let’s go shopping”, que no lleva preposición “to”. Well spotted!!

English around you: T-shirts

There’s something about messages in English on T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, tote bags…that fascinates me. And I really believe you can use them in the English classroom. I love, for instance, puns and plays on words on T-shirts, like the ones I used for my #CLILphonetics courses some months ago (see below). The first examples are puns based on sounds and pronunciation; the last ones are related to semantics and double meanings.

Some months ago, I also found my friend Iván L.V. wearing this smashing sweatshirt:



On the other hand, you may also use T-shirts to help students spot mistakes. While browsing around in Zaragoza some weeks ago, I came across these T-shirts:

IMG_6542 IMG_6595

You will be able to spot the mistakes very easily. In the first case, there’s a pronunciation issue: you shouldn’t say “*an unicorn”, because you only use “an” before a vowel sound, and /ˈjuː.nɪ.kɔːn/ does not begin with a vowel sound, but with a semi-vowel. In the second case, the agreement between the plural subject (things) and the 3rd person singular verb (*happens) is not right (it should be “strange things happen”).

We might encourage our students to try and spot mistakes they might see in clothes, stickers, ads…Or maybe just find something that strikes them, to increase their awareness of English as a language that surrounds them!


Vuelta al cole

Para comenzar este nuevo curso, comparto con vosotros este video de Kid President, una charla que pretende motivarnos a los profesores para empezar el curso con energías (en inglés, se pueden activar subtítulos en inglés):

 [H/T to R.S]

Aunque habrá quien lo tome más bien así:

pinceladas positivas UK

Me copio descaradamente de la entrada de mi compañera Silvia Hernández en su blog https://convivencia.wordpress.com, y comparto algunas fotos que hice estas vacaciones en la pequeña localidad medieval de Rye (Reino Unido), que parecen compartir ese espíritu de psicología positiva, o al menos, de pequeños detalles bonitos (click en las fotos para ampliar):


Wish Street

Wish Street

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade


Happiness Lies Within

En la ventana, una nueva versión de

En la ventana, una nueva versión de “El Grito” de Munch

¿Cuánto sabes del Reino Unido?

En el Reino Unido, todo el que no sea ciudadano de la Unión Europea y quiera solicitar la ciudadanía o residencia permanente debe superar un examen de inglés ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), o superar el test “Life in the UK”. El test hace preguntas sobre costumbres locales, tradiciones del Reino Unido, y leyes y sistemas políticos del país. (Ver fuente)

La página permite realizar un test de prueba, una especie de mock exam, para ver si el candidato está preparado para enfrentarse al test auténtico. En él hay preguntas sobre historia, política, literatura, personalidades británicas…Podéis hacerlo como curiosidad, o con vuestros alumnos, para ver cuánto saben de cultura británica, y poder trabajar aquellos aspectos más desconocidos o curiosos.


(Gracias a P.A por la idea)

Red Nose Day 2015 in the classroom

Comic relief is a British charity created in 1985 by British comedians. Their aim is to raise money for people in need, both in the UK and abroad, through entertainment and comedy.

Every two years, they hold a big event which takes place nationwide: Red Nose Day (RND). Apart from a big telethon on BBC, and a series of shows, the whole country is invited to take part, by doing something funny for money, either at home, school, or at work. These may include wearing a red nose (hence the name), or simply coming up with something silly / funny that you wouldn’t normally do, and then get sponsored for doing so.


Click on the picture to watch the sketch “Mr. Bean’s Red Nose Day” subtitled in English. It gives an idea of what RND is about.

Over the years, such comedians as Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie (House M.D.), or Ricky Gervais (The Office), among many others, have contributed to the shows. This year’s Red Nose Day was on Friday, March 13th.

Many of the materials they produce can be used in the classroom, either in isolation, as a part of a unit about RND, or to raise awareness about social issues and poverty…

If you’d like to see how it works:

(to download the video and English subtitles, you may use http://keepvid.com/, for example. Copy the youtube link, and then download both the video file and the .srt file. Then, if you give the same name to both the video and the subtitle file, and you play the video with VLC player, the subtitles will play automatically, and you won’t depend on -sometimes unrealiable-internet connections).

Sometimes, artists record covers of oldies especially for the occasion, as One Direction did two years ago:

One Direction: One Way or Another (Comic Relief 2013)

(if you use Musixmatch you will get the subtitles for the song)

If you’d like to see how some schools in the UK have participated, you may have a look at, for example, Buxton School in Leytonstone, London.

Pupils of Buxton School in Leytonstone dress in red for Red Nose Day


Alternatively, you may also have a look at the official RND / Comic Relief twitter accounts

How could you use Red Nose Day in your classroom / in your school? Would you wear your red nose for school?