curso: IT IN THE ENGLISH AND CLIL CLASSROOM (SECONDARY)

El CARLEE organiza el curso “IT IN THE ENGLISH AND CLIL CLASSROOM (SECONDARY)”, dirigido a docentes de secundaria, EOI y educación de adultos especialistas de inglés o que imparten su área en lengua inglesa. En él se trabajarán formas prácticas de integrar los dispositivos móviles y las herramientas online en el aula de/ en lengua inglesa.

La inscripción se realiza a través de DOCEO, y estará abierta del 28 de marzo al 5 de abril. En este archivo se puede descargar la información completa.

#WomeninSTEM- Katherine Johnson (women at NASA)

This is the result of your hard work for our #WomeninSTEM project. Watch this video to find out about Katherine Johnson’s life, career and achievements, as well as about her colleague Mary Jackson:

How to improve your English (year 1)

Now that the second term is almost over, maybe we can have a look at this list of activities, apps and resources you can use to improve your English, and particularly some skills that might be more complicated to you. All my recommendations are free, or at least have some functionalities which are free.

Using a dictionary: 

At this level, you should really be using an English-English dictionary, and only use a Spanish-English dictionary from time to time.

NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, USE GOOGLE TRANSLATE!!!

These are my recommendations for online dictionaries:

  • Oxford dictionary: English-English dictionary, with definition and pronunciation of the word. You can also use the thesaurus, if you want to find synonyms (and you really should).

  • Cambridge dictionary: English-English, Spanish-English dictionary, with definitions, pronunciation of the words (British and American), and phonetic transcription.
  • Macmillan dictionary: English-English dictionary, with definition, pronunciation, and very good thesaurus.

Spelling: 

Spelling City– On this website you can create your lists of words you know you have to learn. They may come from our literacy classes, or from Social /Natural Science. Then, click on “play game”, and you can practise the words you wrote but playing games, not just memorising. It will be easier for you to remember both spelling and pronunciation.

Tutorial on how to register with Spelling City and create lists to play games.

In any case, reading is what is going to help you the most. (More about reading later)

Pronunciation:

  • For most words, go to any of the dictionaries I mentioned above.
  • For countries and place names, people, (and for all other words) you can visit this website: FORVO. Real native speakers (not computers) have recorded themselves pronouncing these words and names for you.

Type the word or name you need, then look it up:

Then you can choose if you want to listen to a British person pronouncing the word, or American, or Australian…

Grammar: 

Reading:

Apart from the books I recommended at Christmas, there are some books in English you can borrow from the school library. You have quite a few by Roald Dahl, for example. Please visit the library. You will get a Class Dojo point if you tell me examples of books in English you could borrow from the library (because you’ve had a look there).

Reading books, comics, articles online…is going to help you understand better, but it will also help you with your writing and spelling. 

Listening: 

In the English Department there are some films you can borrow, and that can help you improve your English. Please ask me.

You can also visit the British council Learn English section on listening. Choose exercises for A2 level, and if that’s too easy, take B1.

QR codes in the classroom

For the past few days I’ve been using QR codes in my lessons. They come in very handy when you need to share links, whether in the class or for home use.

QR codes are simply another way of representing a link to a website, video, sound clip, as well as text you input…anything that is hosted on the internet. Instead of providing your students with the usual link, you only share something like this:

qrcode

To convert a link into a QR code you simply need to use a QR code generator. There are plenty of free online generators, just google it and you will find lots.

Then, you need to install any free QR code reader app. Again, there’s a great variety of free readers for Android and iOs. You open the app, and point your device camera to the code. It scans the code and automatically takes you to the website. Much easier than having to type a URL.

You can print the codes you need for everyone to scan, either on a handout, or stick them on the wall…

I’ve been using it these days, for example, with my C1 group at the CARLEE, for reading comprehension exercises. Previously, we had listened to five restaurant reviews, and students had to take notes about what they heard. Now, they had to check the written reviews from Time Out London for the very same restaurants. But instead of printing the reviews, I just put the codes up on the wall, and they could stand up and scan them. Then, they read the reviews on their devices, and took notes as well, checking them against the previous radio reviews.

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I’ve also used it with my year 1 secondary students. We’re working on a project about relevant women in the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). We’ve selected five different women, and each group has to prepare either a video biography, the trailer for her biopic, or an interview with one of these women (more here). In order for them to have some background information, I have prepared a handout with some links they could visit in class, using as many devices as I could gather for them to use. But instead of plain old chunks of URLs, I have given them QR codes, to save time.

Our final products will be part of a whole-school project. Their videos and recordings will be visible to other students, parents, teachers…probably, they will be accessed through QR codes.

 

Poll 1BC- What was the best app?

Watch UK TV online

Gone are the days when you could watch BBC iPlayer online from outside the UK, and for free too (see how here). Watching UK TV on demand is getting harder and harder, ever since the new TV licence was introduced. However, you can still watch BBC and other UK channels live online, through these servers:

Along with that, you may check UK TV listings and times here, to know what and when to watch.

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