tips for the EvAU/EBAU writing task- redacción selectividad (EvAU)

If you are sitting the EvAU English exam in a few weeks, this video and the resources below may help you prepare for the writing task:

  1. Watch this video for an explanation of some ‘tips’ to write essays:

 

You can download the presentation I’ve used for the video here.

In the description of the video you can find a timeline of all the points mentioned. If you click on any of the times, it will take you straight to that section, so you can skip parts you may have seen or you may not find interesting.

If you need them, you can watch the video with subtitles in English. Click on the subtitles icon.

2. These are the 7 tips summarised (infographic):

Click/tap on the image to download the pdf file

3. If you want to make sure that have understood the tips, you can have a look at the sentences I’ve collected from year 2 Bachillerato students. Analyse them, and then fill in this Google Form to get feedback to your answers:

  • Click here to download the file with the sentences
  • Click here to open the Google form in a new tab

4. Linking words and signposting– essential to make your text easy to read, clear, cohesive (indicating the relation between ideas) and coherent (making sense):

5. These are the ‘scary mistakes‘ I refer to in the video: a series of grammatical mistakes which you shouldn’t be making at this level. Be very careful, and when you have finished writing your essay/email/…, re-read it to make sure you haven’t made any of them. They will make you look bad.

Click/tap on the screenshot to download the pdf file

6. WAGOLL: Would you like to know what a good writing task looks like? Click here to open the text, and click on the ThingLink below for an explanation of why it is a good piece of writing. That way, you can try to imitate the positive aspects.

Click/tap on the image to open an interactive document with explanations

Download the pdf file with the text here

7. News websites to widen your range of language/improve your vocabulary: The topics you will have to write about tend to involve social issues, current affairs…If you want to read/listen to news reports in English, you can use these websites:

  • El País in English (useful to be able to talk about Spanish issues in English)
  • BBC News (articles and videos)
  • CNN 10– news explained in 10 minutes, transcripts and captions (subtitles) available

8. Finally, if you want to practise your writing, you can find some possible writing topics below:

  1. Should remote learning be promoted by governments?
  2. Should students have to wear school uniforms?
  3. Should standardised testing (such as the EvAU) be abolished at the end of Bachillerato?
  4. Education should focus on Maths and Science rather than Music and Art.
  5. Should 16-year-olds be given the right to vote?
  6. Should takeaways/fast food shops near schools be banned?
  7. Should electric scooters and bikes be allowed on the pavement?
  8. Is human activity primarily responsible for global climate change?
  9. What was the effect of the lockdown on the environment and what does it tell us?
  10. Should animals be used for scientific testing and trials?
  11. Are social media positive for society?
  12. What is the effect of technology on people’s relationships?
  13. Young children should not be exposed to technology.
  14. Reality television has a negative effect on society. What’s your take on this?
  15. Discuss some of the ways in which travel and tourism are going to change after the coronavirus pandemic.

9. If you want to reinforce your grammar skills, you may also like this: exercises to revise key grammar points (Bachillerato)- useful to revise for the ‘rephrasing’ exercise.

 

Herramientas para la enseñanza online

Estas son algunas herramientas que pueden ser útiles para trabajar a distancia con el alumnado, así como para potenciar su aprendizaje autónomo:

Herramientas para comprobar la comprensión:

Herramientas de preguntas de opción múltiple

Ejemplos:

Para hacer clases online con los alumnos:

Herramientas para promover la producción/coproducción oral 

  • Flipgrid: para que los alumnos puedan grabar sus producciones orales. También permite que el profesor dé feedback a lo que los alumnos han colgado.

Resumen de uso básico de Flipgrid para enseñanza a distancia (pdf)

Consejo: si os interesa que los alumnos os envíen sus producciones, pero queréis que solo esté visible para el profesor/a, seleccionad la opción “moderar los posts antes de publicar”. Si nunca dais permiso para publicarlos, nunca serán visibles para nadie más que para vosotros.

Para grabar tutoriales:

  • Si vais a enviar algún material de trabajo a los alumnos y necesitáis dar alguna explicación de voz, quizá os venga bien la extensión para Google Chrome Talk and Comment. Permite grabar notas de voz, y genera automáticamente enlaces para compartir esa grabación, sin necesidad de tener que subirlo a ninguna nube ni repositorio. Rápida y efectiva. Una vez instalada la extensión, aparecerá un icono “flotante” en la pantalla de cualquier página web que estéis visitando. También se puede utilizar con tablets Android.

 

 

Para guiar la comprensión:

  • ejemplos:

WAGOLL (What a Good One Looks Like)- modelos a imitar, comentados:

WAGOLL para writing:

WAGOLL para mediación:

 

  • Edpuzzle- Bank of Mum and Dad– un ejemplo de que Edpuzzle no solo sirve para comprobar la comprensión, sino también para guiar y dar explicaciones adicionales, o explicar vocabulario difícil.

Para dar feedback a producciones:

 

Otros recursos:

Google Classroom:

Si tienes un iPad, aquí tienes algunas ideas para sacar el máximo partido al dispositivo para tus clases:

Recursos para alumnos:

WAGOLL- Onward review

Some days ago I shared my analysis of a review of the film Marriage Story, as an example of what a good review looks like. Today I am sharing a similar analysis of a review of Onward, the latest Pixar film. This instance is not a perfect one: it is a bit informal at times, and the conclusion is perhaps not as strong as it should be. The reason why I am using it is that it is shorter-and consequently closer in length to what students are expected to write in an exam; and also because it manages to include some useful, relevant vocabulary.

As with previous WAGOLLs (see Mary Poppins Returns and Marriage Story), click on the image below to open a ThingLink. There you will find links to dictionary definitions and tips on how to structure a review as well as voice comments.

You can read the original review here.

WAGOLL-writing film reviews: Marriage Story (C2)

If you want to see what a good example of what a film review looks like, you can have a look at this review of Marriage Story (2019) by Mark Kermode, a well-known British film critic. If you click on the images you will access ThingLink interactive images, which will help you understand the structure of the review,  and will provide further information on some of the vocabulary. You will also be able to listen to some voice comments. Please click on the images to access all the interactive features:

If you haven’t watched the film, the trailer can help you get a better idea of the main storyline:

C2 mediation in speech- Christmas in Spain

The mediation-in-speech paper in the EE.OO.II. in Aragón includes a cross-linguistic mediation task: students receive a text, infographic, chart…in Spanish, and they have to mediate it into the target language, in our case, English.

As we are dealing with Christmas-related topics these days in class, I thought of using two articles in Spanish around two controversial matters that have hit the headlines recently: the Nativity scene in Barcelona and the Christmas display in Vigo.

The context I provided students with is the following: These days you are hosting an Erasmus visit in your school. There are Greek, French and Turkish teachers in the group. The common language you are using is English. They have heard something about the news, but don’t really know what all the fuss is about, so they would like to know more about the subject. Help them understand what is happening, and what the controversy is all about. 

These are the CV descriptors I wanted to work on:

  • Relaying specific information in speech: Can explain (in Language B) the relevance of specific information found in a particular section of a long, complex text (written in Language A) (p.107).
  • Facilitating pluricultural space: Can mediate effectively and naturally between members of his/her own and other communities, taking account of socio-cultural and sociolinguistic differences (p. 123).

The strategies I imagined students should be using are:

  • streamlining a text
  • adapting language
  • linking to previous knowledge

Some possible language they can use can be found here.

After carrying out the tasks in class, I realised I could provide them with a WAGOLL (What a Good One Looks Like), a sample task which could work as a model for them to see what aspects they should have been concentrating on, and a possible mediation sample. That is why I came up with a Thinglink poster for the article on the nativity scene: First, I highlighted content and key words that I felt were relevant. Then, I took a screenshot of the text, which I uploaded to Thinglink. Then I added links with text comments, stressing what points were essential, and therefore should be mentioned, as well as some cultural points that may need explaining for the hearer to be able to get the full picture. Finally, on the microphone icon, I added a link to a recording of myself mediating the text.

 

Click on the image to open Thinglink (opens in a new tab)

Transcript of the recording here

To be honest, I am not sure this can be regarded as a ‘good’ mediation task. But hopefully, it will help students come to terms with the kind of strategies they should be using, and perhaps give them some idea of expressions they can use when faced with these tasks.

 

signposting language for essays

One of the most relevant aspects of the structure of an essay is signposting: giving clear indications about the content of your essay not just in the introduction, but in every section. Imagine you were giving indications to a driver to prevent them from getting lost: that is the function of signposting language. That way, your essay will be much easier to read, much clearer. Here you have a more detailed explanation.

IMG_4787

street signpost in Eton, Berkshire (England) [my own photograph]

You can find below some possible expressions you can use to that effect:

 

Screenshot 2019-11-30 at 18.17.28

Click on the image to download the file

You can also have a look at these links, especially the first one, a very thorough guide to academic writing:

As an exercise, you can read these two sample essays (argumentative and discursive).

Screenshot 2019-12-02 at 22.28.51

Can you highlight….?

  • any signposting language you can find.
  • the linking words you can find to join paragraphs and to join sentences within paragraphs.
  • WOW language (grammar and vocabulary which stand out as really good).
  • any other positive aspects that may call your attention. 

You can find below the same essays with some of these aspects highlighted:

Related posts:

 

WAGOLL- film review: Mary Poppins Returns

To model writing a film review, I wanted to show my students ‘what a good one looks like’ (WAGOLL). I decided to use this review for Mary Poppins Returns.  In this case, it may not have been the best review I could find, but it served the purpose of illustrating the typical structure of a review.

I also wanted to provide students with the same explanations I would give them if I was explaining the positive points of the review in class. Even if I did go through them during classroom instruction, having an online document allowed them to access the information again, or for the first time if they had been unable to attend that particular session.

That is why I decided to create a Pages document on my iPad. First, I annotated it (highlighting relevant keywords, or underlining structural elements); then, I took a screenshot of the document, to get an image file, and uploaded it to Thinglink (open link in new tab here). Thinglink allows you to create interactive, media-rich images and videos, by adding text, audio, video, and/or links to specific parts of the image.

On the left-hand side of the document, headings to the paragraphs were added: that way, students can check the structure of the review. On the right-hand side, audio comments for each of the paragraphs were included, with a view to providing further clarification, or the reasons why some language resources and expressions had been/can be used.

This was the annotated/enhanced review (click on the picture to access all the interactive features):