WhatsApp chat group insulting students lands teachers in trouble

Read this piece of news about a group of teachers who expressed their true opinions about their students and their families in a whatsapp group (in a non-PC way), and were caught red-handed, after the comments in the group were leaked to the educational authorities.

Then, discuss:

  • To what extent is whatsapp a private tool? Are opinions and comments on whatsapp within the public or the private sphere?
  • Are the measures taken appropriate for their action?
  • What would happen if students’ comments about their teachers on their whatsapp groups were read? What about parents’ comments about teachers, or their children’s schoolmates?

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?

Driverless cars in the UK

Desde Enero de 2015, en cuatro ciudades de Reino Unido se van a llevar a cabo “experimentos” con coches sin conductor. Esta podría ser una buena excusa para hablar de la la seguridad vial, tecnología, de hasta qué punto la ciencia ficción imita a la realidad (o viceversa)…

How would you feel about driverless cars in Spain?

driverless cars

http://watchinenglish.blogspot.com.es/2014/09/uk-to-allow-driverless-cars-in-january.html (subtitulado en inglés)

(BBC, 30/07/14)

Más información sobre el tema:

Teaching tip: Are the texts too difficult? You may simplify them somehow using http://rewordify.com/

Debate- ¿Deberían votar los jóvenes 16-18 años?

Con motivo del referéndum de independencia de Escocia, estos días se está llevando a cabo otro debate paralelo: ¿Deberían tener derecho al voto los jóvenes a partir de 16 años? Oyendo un phone-in esta mañana en BBC radio London, se me ha ocurrido que este podría ser un buen debate para el aula: animarles a argumentar por equipos por qué o por qué no se les debería conceder ese derecho; ventajas y desventajas; consecuencias; hasta qué punto se sienten los jóvenes parte de la vida política…He aquí algunas ideas que os podrían servir como punto de partida:

Otros debates recientes en el programa incluyen, por ejemplo, ¿se deberían prohibir el uso de teléfonos móviles a los peatones?