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?


April Fools’s Day resources

Yesterday and today we have been centring our activities around the celebration of April Fools Day, which took place on April 1st. Here you may find the resources we used, as well as some extra ones.

April Fools classroom ideas (Edutopia)

Vocabulary to talk about April Fools Day:


Flying Penguins (BBC, 2008):

Spaghetti Harvest (BBC, 1957):

Kahoot about the video

Find someone who activity: with hoaxes taken / adapted from The top 100 April Fools Hoaxes of all time.

10 amazing practical jokes (Quirkology):

Tell the hoaxes and the true stories apart: 

Google Play for pets:

Hallmark-E, your emotional assistant:

Whopper toothpaste:

Lexus Valet Lane:

Virgin trains Tick Ink:

Honda Horn Emojis:

Google Gnome:

Self-driving car planning your vacation:

Why doesn’t America read anymore? 

IKEA transforming their in-store playground, Småland, in favor of sitting pods and tablets.

T-Mobile Onesie

Google wind:

Gmail motion:

Youtube is shutting down:

Gmail Blue:

Jameson Irish Whisky:

Quilted Northern (toilet paper)- Usit app:

This is, in fact, the only video which is NOT a hoax:

#WomeninSTEM- Hedy Lamarr

This is the result of your hard work for our #WomeninSTEM project. Watch these videos to find out about Hedy Lamarr’s life, career and achievements:

weather videos and forecasts

You can watch these videos / listen to the forecasts to practise the vocabulary related to the weather (and to enjoy them, of course).

[You can watch these videos with subtitles in English. If you watch them on Vimeo, click on the “CC” button. If you watch them on Youtube, go to settings (little wheel on the lower right corner) and then choose subtitles> English via dotsub]

M11-U2: It’s just good manners

This week, we’re discussing manners and politeness. If  you couldn’t attend the session, please find below the materials we’ve used:


Listen to this clip from a BBC radio show discussing the reasons why British politeness rules may be playing a crucial role in the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

WRITING: Download the writing tasks here. You have to choose ONLY ONE of these two options.


Brits are well-known for their well-established rules of politeness. Watch this ad for Heathrow airport starring Stephen Fry, who is the next best thing to an Academy of the English Language. Watch it without the subtitles first. Then, if you feel you need to read the whole text to help you remember interesting vocabulary, you may click on “CC” to play it with subtitles in English.

Pay attention to his intonation, enunciation and perfect Received Pronunciation (the cultured British standard of pronunciation). You may also concentrate on the many chunks of language that make you look good in an English exam (both for speaking and writing tests) that he uses :

  •  let me be the first to
  • bear in mind
  • if the queue should move
  • we do love

He uses some other interesting expressions (a staggering 91%; in the strongest possible terms; call for desperate measures…), o informal British expressions that do not tend to come up in textbooks, but in everyday usage (bit nippy out).

Together with this video, you may also watch these clips from the British TV show “Very British Problems” (also a book and Twitter account). They discuss different situations British people from all walks of life may encounter, and how they tend to react to them because of their culture and upbringing. Focus on the language they use to express their actual meaning (it will be very useful for you):

“British” to actual meaning dictionary: examples of the “Doublespeak” mentioned in the video (what you say and what you actually mean). Again, the “British” versions might come in extremely handy for you.


Even if it’s just to yourself, try to explain aloud using your own words any of the situations described by any of the videos, and how they compare to what an average Spanish person (or people in your country) would do.

M5-U1: Multiculturalism and Globalisation

  • Speaking activities: click here to download
  • Writing assignment- you may choose ONE of these: either p.15, exercise 6, p.17, ex.8. or p.18, ex.6
  • Extra listening practice:

If the world were 100 people (some facts and figures):

Multiculturalism in food: 

You may watch this promotional video about Borough Market, one of the oldest and largest food markets in London, and probably the most renowned food market in Britain. There you might find stalls offering cuisine samples from all over the world. Try to take short notes of the different opinions reasons to visit the market expressed in the video.

You may also watch this British Council Learn English video about the market, which includes some self-check exercises.

#LondonIsOpen campaign: 

Sadiq Khan, the current and first Muslim mayor of London, has launched a campaign to emphasise that London is open and welcoming, no matter what happens after Brexit. You may watch some videos that show how multicultural London is here.