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?


Gender stereotypes in Education, Edpuzzle and Bloom’s Taxonomy.

This is one of the activities I’ve prepared for one of my courses at the CARLEE. We were discussing stereotypes (regional, national stereotypes, profession-related stereotypes), and then we moved on to gender stereotypes in the school context. We used this BBC news video as the basis for our next activity:

We saw different versions of the video, and discussed the possibilities of using either in a classroom context:

a. Video subtitled by the teacher (either completely, or modifying YouTube’s automatic captions):

b. “Purified” version: link to share the video, and the video alone (the video plays without any ads, pop-ups, inappropriate comments…):

I wanted teachers to create Edpuzzle quizzes from the original YouTube video, so I had asked them to bring a device, preferably a laptop. An Android tablet would do as well, or even an iPad as long as it had Puffin browser installed (Edpuzzle uses flash, that’s why you need to use Puffin instead of other browsers on iPad).

As you probably know, Edpuzzle is one of the tools typically associated with the flipped classroom model. We had used Edpuzzle before, mainly as students (I created the quiz, then my “students” watched the video at home, before starting a new unit). Now I wanted them to create their own questions for their students.

Some weeks ago Claire Manners reminded us that, when designing a CLIL unit, we should take into account Bloom’s taxonomy, and deal not just with LOTs (low-order thinking skills), but also with HOTs (high-order thinking skills). However, it seemed to me that typical Edpuzzle quiz questions tended to focus on LOTs (remembering the information that has just been mentioned, or understanding either the content, or not even that, simply testing listening comprehension):

So, this activity involved different processes, both technological and methodological: they had to create an Edpuzzle quiz…

In previous days, they had been assigned this Edpuzzle activity to model what they would have to do in class later:

Click on the image to watch the video quiz

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(This Monty Python sketch revolves around stereotypes about Scottish people). 

As you can see then, in this activity, the main tenets of our teaching at the CARLEE were put into practice:

  1. Integrating  content (methodology) and language. (if we’re training teachers in / for CLIL, it seems just logical).
  2. We were dealing with English for Specific Purposes (ESP for teaching).
  3. Metacognition and reflection on teaching-learning process.
  4. Using real materials and grading the tasks accordingly because this is what we believe should be done in bilingual education.
  5. No textbooks were involved.

Would teenagers benefit from a lie-in and a later start to school?

Would teenagers benefit from a lie-in and a later start to school? Where do you stand on this issue?

Why can’t teenagers get up in the morning? (From Trust Me, I’m a Doctor– BBC2):



Brexit and linguistic politeness- listening comprehension

Listen to this report related to British linguistic politeness and the effects it is having on international politics at the moment. Read through questions 1 to 7. Listen carefully and fill in the gaps with up to three words. You can listen to the whole recording twice.

Top 10 New Year’s resolutions- listening comprehension exercise

Listen to this extract and make notes of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions the radio hosts mention:

Then, listen again and pay attention to the way the female host reacts to each of the resolutions. Some of these expressions may be useful in an interaction, because they show interest in what the speaker is saying.

Key to answers


child left on school bus

Listen to this news item about a four-year-old boy who was left on a school bus. Without writing anything down, summarise the main event being described (1-2 sentences).

Then, listen again. You may take notes to answer these questions:
  • How far did the child walk on his own?
  • How does the boy usually go to school?
  • Where /when did the child get off the bus?
  • Who found the child?
  • How does the father feel about his son’s reaction?
  • What proposal does the child’s father make?
  • Have there been any consequences to the bus driver?
You can check your answers against the transcript.
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