Starting secondary school: icebreaker ideas

Starting secondary school can be a nerve-racking experience for students. These are some suggested activities you can use on the first day of your English/literacy classes with year 1 secondary students.

  • Shonny’s first day at secondary school: the day before (Newsround). This British girl describes her feelings when making the jump from primary to secondary school, something most of your students can relate to. You can download the worksheet with some questions based on the video, as well as the transcription.

As a follow-up, you can also use Shonny’s video describing her actual first day at school.

  • What to expect when you start high school (Newsround). Some year 7 students (11-12 year-olds) who have been in a secondary school in the UK for some weeks now are asked about how they feel now. Based on the questions the kids on the video are asked, you can ask these questions to your own students:

    • How do you feel on the first day of high school? (elicit adjectives from your students, and suggest synonyms using a thesaurus).
    • What is the hardest thing about starting school?

Further ideas: Secondary school struggles: captioned video and article

Screenshot 2019-09-04 at 16.18.16

  • Time-capsule: one of my favourite activities to start school. Ask students to answer these questions individually. Nobody else will read their answers unless they want to share anything with their classmates by reading them aloud. Then, a ‘digital time-capsule’ can be created, which can, in turn, become the first element in a digital portfolio. Their worksheets can be scanned and then uploaded, for example, to Seesaw. That way, they could also record their voice explaining some of their answers.

What I did back then was to scan all the answer sheets as pdf files that I have kept on my drive. The students I did this activity with are in their year 4 secondary this year: it would be a nice end-of-year giveaway to show them what their thoughts and hopes were on their first days at secondary school.

  • Finally, another possible nice activity is for students to write a letter to their future selves. The website https://www.futureme.org/ allows you to write text, and schedule it to be sent to your email inbox at a given point in the future. The letter can be scheduled, for example, for the last class of the year, and it can describe, for example, students’ expectations, hopes, fears, and/or resolutions. Then, by the end of the school year, they can check what they wrote in the letter against what actually happened.

Taller Edpuzzle- cómo comenzar a usarlo, ejemplos de preguntas y vídeos

En esta google site podéis encontrar los materiales que he preparado para el taller de Edpuzzle:

https://sites.google.com/view/talleredpuzzle/home

easy video tools for the language / CLIL classroom

This is a list of easy video tools I tend to use to prepare my classes and training sessions:

http://viewpure.com/ : Many times, YouTube videos include advertisements before (or even during) the video. Aside from being tiresome, they may sometimes be inappropriate for students.

To prevent ads from playing, copy the link to the video you want to share, then paste it on the search box. It will create a ‘purified’ link, sharing the video and the video alone.

On top of that, if you click on the settings button you can also select a start time and an end time; create customised links; or even, if necessary, create a password for the link.

https://www.clipconverter.cc/: To download YouTube videos (whole videos, or clips, selecting start and end times). It’s rather reliable. It doesn’t work with music videos, though.

Alternatively, you can follow this procedure: if you have a link like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRXFzM7-c8Y. Before “youtube” insert “ss”. So the result will be https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=gRXFzM7-c8Y. This will take you to a website that will allow you to download the video, even if it is a music one. Just bear in mind that it contains lots of advertising: this is exactly where you should click:

https://www.apowersoft.com/free-online-screen-recorder or https://screencast-o-matic.com/. There are some videos which are embedded on websites, and they can be rather tricky, time-consuming (or plain impossible) to download. What can be done is to record the part of the screen that we’re interested in, together with the sound coming from the computer (system sound). The free version leaves a watermark in the videos, but that’s fine with me.

  • Subtitles:

https://downsub.com/ Some YouTube videos contain subtitles (either uploaded subtitles or automatically generated). To download the subtitle file, copy and paste the link to video in the search box. Warning: the first and second time you click “download”, it will take you to different advertising websites. The third time you click will finally work.

If you’re happy with your subtitles, give the same name to both video and subtitle file, and keep them in the same folder. If you play the video with VLC player, it will play the video with the subtitles automatically. If not, you can always open VLC, then click on “subtitles”>subtitle track, and find the subtitle file you want.

If you want to edit your subtitles, or start subtitling from scratch, you can use one of these websites:

https://amara.org/en/: Copy and paste the YouTube link. If it already has some sort of subtitles, they will appear on Amara. Them, you can edit those subtitles if needed.

The result is a video which can be played with / without subtitles; a clickable transcription is also available below the video (if you click on it, it will take you to the point in the video where that sentence appears).

See an example here.

Another subtitling platform I really like is https://dotsub.com/. The process of subtitling feels natural to me. However, a downside now is that you can only transcribe videos on your connected YouTube or Vimeo accounts.

Finally, you can also try Kapwing. It’s a fast and easy way of subtitling, as it is basically designed for subtitling videos for social media. You can copy a YouTube video link, or upload a video file. Then, as you are transcribing, you can use sliders to select the start and end times. If you happen to have the subtitle file, you can upload it as well and edit it. The end result is a video with embedded subtitles.

You can find an example below (click on the picture):

Seesaw to give feedback and create tutorials

Seesaw allows students to create digital portfolios. It also allows both teachers (and students) to record videos giving explanations, feedback to students, to create tutorials…

Ideally, students should be registered with Seesaw to make the most of the platform; however, it can still be used without registering, as it allows you to share the videos you recorded with a link, embed code, or QR code without logging in.

Seesaw is freely available across all platforms, and can be used on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.

In these two videos I suggest possible uses of Seesaw’s functionalities (giving feedback to students’ writing tasks and recording tutorials):

Uso eficaz de recursos audiovisuales para el aprendizaje de idiomas

Aquí podéis encontrar la presentación que he preparado para la sesión “Uso eficaz de recursos audiovisuales para el aprendizaje de idiomas”, realizada en la EOI 1 de Zaragoza el 7 de Noviembre de 2018. Haced click en la primera imagen para acceder a ella.

En este vídeo está la presentación con el audio grabado durante la sesión:

Este es el resumen de las estrategias que podéis utilizar:

  • Apunta, registra en tu cuaderno / cuaderno digital. 
  • Busca expresiones desconocidas que puedan ser relevantes en el diccionario. 
  • Si escuchas la palabra / expresión, o la buscas en el diccionario—-> repítela (imita pronunciación, entonación)
  • Escucha…aunque no prestes atención.
  • Si puedes, escucha el mismo fragmento varias veces (seguidas + alejadas en el tiempo)—>recordar vocabulario
  • Si tienes memoria visual, intenta asociar imágenes a nuevo vocabulario. 
  • Intenta ir incorporando expresiones nuevas en tus redacciones / producciones orales. 
  • Elige material relacionado con el tema que estáis trabajando en clase.
  • Elige un fragmento de película / serie, y habla “solo”, grábate, o cuéntale a alguien en casa / amigo: describe qué ha pasado en el fragmento / noticia / ….

Películas para aprender inglés- Films to learn English

This is a completely subjective list of films that may be helpful to improve your level of English: whether because the actors and actresses’ accents are clear and nice (or I especially like them anyway), or because the subject matter of the film and the language involved is easy to understand.

The films selected are arranged in chronological order. The ones with this symbol next to the title are the ones I especially recommend in terms of language level and accent.

The Great Dictator (1940)

Rebecca (1940)

To Be or Not To Be (1942)

Roman Holiday (1953) [*****]

Sabrina (1954)

To Catch a Thief (1955)

Love in the Afternoon (1957)

Charade (1963)

Mary Poppins (1964)

My Fair Lady (1964)

Take the Money and Run (1969)

Radio Days (1987)

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Peter’s Friends (1992)

In the Name of the Father (1993)

The Remains of the Day (1993)

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) [*****]

Gattaca (1997)

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

The Full Monty (1997)

Shakespeare in Love (1998) [*****]

Notting Hill (1999)

The Sixth Sense (1999)

Billy Elliot (2000)

Moulin Rouge! (2001) [*****]

The Others (2001) [*****]

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) [*****]

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2002) (and the whole Harry Potter saga) [*****]

Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

V for Vendetta (2005)

Match Point (2005) [*****]

The Queen (2006)

The Prestige (2006)

Black Swan (2010)

The King’s Speech (2010) [*****]

(subtitled in English: http://dotsub.com/view/4a4e083a-f6cb-4db5-8554-91d4ffd1ec2b)

The Iron Lady (2011)

The Impossible (2012)

(subtitled in English: http://dotsub.com/view/4a5f5631-6a6a-4990-a103-6855ca346901)

Hitchcock (2012)

The Imitation Game (2014) [*****]

(subtitled in English: http://www.yourlocalcinema.com/imitationgame.html)

Hidden Figures (2015)

Suffragette (2015)

 

(First published October 2013, last update November 2018)

Películas para aprender francés- Films pour apprendre le français

Les quatre cent coups (1959)

Jules et Jim (1961)

Foutaises (1989): Court-métrage de Jean Pierre Jeunet, réalisateur de Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain, dont la première partie s’inspire de Foutaises.

jean-pierre-jeunet-foutaises

Sous-titrée français ici

Le dîner de cons (1998)

Bande annonce sous-titrée ici

Le fabuleux destin d’ Amélie Poulain (2001)

Les Choristes (2004)

Long Dimanche de Fiançailles (2004)

La môme (2007)

Odette Toulemonde (2007)

Bienvenue chez les ch’tis (2008)

Entre les Murs (2008)

Rien à déclarer (2010)

Le prénom (2012)

Intouchables (2012)

Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu? (2014)

Le Petit Prince (2015)

Plus d’info, et liens pour regarder des films:

(Publicado Abril 2013, última actualización Noviembre 2018)