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.

materiales taller especificaciones y recursos para prueba writing B1 (4º ESO)

En este enlace podéis acceder a la presentación de la sesión:

Click en la imagen para ver la presentación

También podéis escuchar el audio:



Enlaces relacionados

signpost language (B1)

One of the most relevant aspects of the structure of an essay is signposting: giving clear indications about the content of your writing 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 text will be much easier to read, much clearer.

This is essential, even at intermediate levels (B1-B2). You can find ideas of signpost language in the document below:

Click on the screenshot to download the pdf file

mediation, spoken interaction and written production tasks about charities (C1)

The following tasks deal with the topic of charities, and they integrate mediation in speaking, spoken interaction and written production/interaction. They have been designed with groups of four students in mind, but can be carried out in pairs.

The context to the tasks is the following:

Your school is going to raise money for a charity by carrying out activities involving students and teaching staff. You have been appointed as class representatives, and have to decide which charity from the appeals your class group is going to support financially.  

  1. Mediation in speaking: 

Each team member will listen to a radio appeal for a charity. They will have to take notes, and then, with these notes, be able to relay that information to the rest of team members.

This first task has been designed bearing in mind the following descriptors from the Companion Volume:

  • NOTE-TAKING (LECTURES, SEMINARS, MEETINGS ETC.): Can select relevant, detailed information and arguments on complex, abstract topics from multiple spoken sources (e.g. lectures, podcasts, formal discussions and debates, interviews etc.), provided that standard language is delivered at normal speed in one of the range of accents familiar to the listener.
  • PROCESSING TEXT IN SPEECH: Can summarise clearly in well-structured speech (in Language B) the main points made in complex spoken and written texts (in Language A) in fields of specialisation other than his/her own, although he/she may occasionally check particular technical concepts.

Using cooperative learning mats, students are assigned a number in their group. Then, all the number 1 students get together in the same group; all the number 2, and so on, to listen to the same clip, using their headphones and a headphone splitter:

These are the instructions:

Listen and take notes about your charity. You can listen to it twice. You will then have to report back to your team. Take notes on:

• objectives/goals of the charity
• sample problem mentioned
• what the charity has done for the individual mentioned
• how the situation has improved after the charity’s action
• what the speaker is asking of the listener
• key words related to money and charities

INPUT- AUDIO CLIPS- Taken from BBC Radio 4 charity appeals

These appeals tend to be around 3’50”-4 minutes long, and they always have the same structure, which is ideal for students to listen to different appeals over the same amount of time, and be able to report back to their groups.

Mediation strategies to be used:

  • streamlining a text
  • simplifying language
  • adapting language

Here you can find useful language to relay the information you wrote down.

2. Spoken interaction:

Once all the members of the team have enough information about all four charities, everyone has to argue in favour of their charity. They will have to reach an agreement at the end of their discussion.

They can prepare for 2 minutes individually, and they will discuss their views for 7 minutes.

This is some language students can use to interact.

They can use talking sticks/talking chips, to help students share the same amount of talking time.

3. Follow-up- written production: Write a leaflet for the charity of your choice, to convince the rest of students to donate money. You can use Canva or Piktochart to create it. Please remember to use persuasive language:

Click on the image to open pdf file

talleres: Companion Volume y mediación/writing B1 4º ESO

El CARLEE organiza dos talleres relacionados con la prueba de certificación del nivel B1 de inglés/francés para alumnos de 4º de ESO que cursan estudios dentro del modelo BRIT-Aragón, aunque pueden ser de interés para todos los docentes de lengua extranjera en secundaria. Son los siguientes:

EL COMPANION VOLUME Y LAS TAREAS DE MEDIACIÓN EN SECUNDARIA (todos los idiomas) – 8 de enero 2020Contenidos:

  • Actualización del MCER: modos de comunicación, descriptores 
  • Mediación lingüística: oral, escrita/ interlingüística, intralingüística
  • Diseño de actividades de mediación en el aula de secundaria



  • Especificaciones de la prueba de writing: tipos de texto, duración
  • Descriptores de la rúbrica
  • Recursos para la preparación del alumnado en el aula y de manera autónoma
  • WAGOLL (What a Good One Looks Like)- ideas para dar feedback a las producciones y coproducciones de los alumnos.
Están dirigidos al profesorado de lengua extranjera.
En estos enlaces se puede encontrar la información completa: mediación / writing 
La inscripción comenzará el 12 de diciembre en DOCEO: mediación / writing

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.


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:


Tools to check whether language sounds natural or not, and to improve the level of a production

  • Dictionaries: some of the dictionaries I tend to recommend at B2 level and upwards are the Cambridge Dictionary (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/) and the Oxford Thesaurus (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/, choose ‘Thesaurus’ in the dropdown menu). Ideas on how to use a dictionary here to improve writing tasks here: https://natalialzam.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/how-to-improve-your-writing-tasks-b2-c1/  
  • Grammarly (https://www.grammarly.com):  Add-on which checks for spelling mistakes, and suggests possible grammar mistakes through Artificial Intelligence. Its suggestions tend to be accurate/useful. 
  • Fraze.it (https://fraze.it): A database of online newspapers and magazines which may come in handy when trying to make sure that a given collocation sounds natural. Type your collocation into the search box, and if it can find those words, it will yield real examples where this expression appears. Once there, you can also click for more context. If your collocation exists, you will find a list of examples; if it does not, or is not very frequent, no or very few examples will appear.
  • Flax (http://flax.nzdl.org/greenstone3/flax?a=fp&sa=collAbout&c=collocations): enter a word, and how words form into collocational patterns will be revealed by looking across different academic and social corpora.

The following links provide further ideas and resources on how to check whether the language produced sounds natural, or to widen the range of vocabulary used to meet the requirements of B2-C1-C2 levels: