Developing self management in English class: part 2

Persistence, confidence, optimism and emotional intelligence. Useful qualities to have? They’re all outlined as part of the competencia personal, social y de aprender a aprender, one of the key competences in the new LOMLOE.

In part 1 of this two part series we broke down the key competence (I called it self management) and considered how to develop skills like planning, goal setting and reflection, which are all part of ‘learning to learn‘. Today we’re going to look at the four areas mentioned in the first sentence of this post. Let’s begin!

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LOMLOE: Creating Learning Experiences in the Primary Classroom

The new LOMLOE Education Law in Spain encourages our primary students to work towards participating in ‘situaciones de aprendizaje‘ or ‘learning situations‘ as projects at the end of course book chapters or curriculum sections in their language learning. But what are they and how can teachers set them up and use them in class? This blog post will take you through the essential elements to consider when implementing them.

First of all, let’s look at the wording of the law when it comes to creating ‘learning situations’. It asks our students to:

1. Take what they have learned in class with you and use it in a complex task to achieve an objective.

2. Use their comprehension, production, interaction and mediation skills.

3. Respond to a 21st century task that’s relevant to their interests or concerns.

4. Participate in a real or potential task.

5. Work with texts (oral, written and multimodal).

6. Do the task in order to progress with language and learn more about culture.

7. Reflect on the experience.

Let’s take a look at each point and break it down a little further.

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LOMLOE: developing the self management competence in English class

Happy New Year one and all! It’s a New year, with New Year’s Resolutions and a New Education Law: the LOMLOE!

Back in our first blog post on the new law, we considered how the LOMLOE sets out a ‘leaver profile’ which establishes the eight key competences that young people will need to make their way in life in personal, social and academic domains. The competences are to be developed across subject areas.

One of these eight competences is referred to as the competencia personal, social y de aprender a aprenderwhich I’m referring to as self management, as most of the descriptors outlined for this competence in the perfil de salida fall under the umbrella of self management, as we will see.

In this blog post, the first in a two part series, I’m going to:

  1. Have a look at the description of the competence in the law
  2. Consider what we can do in English class to develop the competence.

In post 2, I will continue with the second practical section, as there’s a lot we can do with our students.

Let’s begin!
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Building leadership qualities in teens: part 2

“A leader is someone who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”

Remember the difference between a boss and a leader; a boss says “Go!”, a leader says “Let’s Go!”

Welcome to part two of our blog post on developing leadership qualities in teens. In part 1 we looked at what in means to be a good leader and how our understanding of a good leader has changed over time. We considered how to examine the concept with our students such as by discussing, categorising or ranking desirable characteristics for leaders or by reading texts by people discussing their leadership experiences.

To this we could add a quick google of leadership quotes with our students: what do they mean, what qualities do they allude to and do we agree with them? The quotes at the start of this blog could be: has domain knowledge, leads by example, provides the tools to get the job done, gets involved / gets their hands dirty, doesn’t just sit back and order.

But of course teaching about a skill isn’t enough to develop it, and in our first post we moved onto practical ways to develop leadership, namely monitoring debates and giving and receiving feedback. In part 2, let’s continue with measures, strategies and activities we can use at both a school and class level to develop our students’ leadership.

Onwards!

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Christmas presents with a difference: a video lesson plan

Merry Christmas teachers! After what’s been another challenging term we’re entering the home straight and will soon be sending our students on their merry way for the holidays. Once end-of-term exams and report cards are out of the way, thoughts sometimes turn to a festive lesson or two. With that in mind I’ve prepared a video-based Christmas lesson as an ‘off the shelf’ option. A students’ worksheet is available here (Word format for editing) and there are some teacher’s notes and answers here.

The lesson is based on a 2020 Commercial from the American telecommunications company Xfinity and features Steve Carrell as Santa Claus. The video combines the themes of Christmas and the pandemic, both still relevant in 2021!

The video is humorous and vocabulary rich, both in terms of its Christmas vocabulary and the phrasal verbs and other idiomatic language in the script. There’s plenty to exploit and I think the topic also offers plenty of opportunities for the students to talk about their own experiences. This lesson plan is designed for students of a B2 level and above: why not give it a go?

 

Building leadership qualities in teens

Follow me, I know the way! 

In this two-part blog series, we’re going to talk about leadership.

But first, a bit of context. Giving centre stage to real world competencies (like leadership) is at the heart of Spain’s new educational law, the LOMLOE. However, the conversation around competence-based teaching and learning has been developing for quite some time. Pearson’s employability framework developed in 2019 is a useful resource for teachers looking for both research and practical guidance on teaching and assessing key competencies..

One of the competencies outlined by the framework is leadership: check out the full report if you’re feeling studious or the executive summary for an overview. And of course, keep reading this blog post in which we’ll look at how we can develop leadership in our teens. Let’s begin!

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Digital Literacy and LOMLOE

picture source: Gerd Altmann pixabay

It’s impossible to deny that the future is a digital. In the past we’ve been told that our students are “digital natives” and that they’re the ones who’ll be teaching us. In some respects this seem true. The reality, however, is that navigating the increasingly digital world we live in is littered with pitfalls and is far from second nature for our students. Digital literacy is a competence and it can and should be taught: certainly according to the new LOMLOE, where it given much increased prominence. In this blog post we’ll look at what it means according to the law, and how it can be developed.

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LOMLOE: Making our classroom an inclusive place to be

We all like to feel included. To feel that we belong, and that people care about us. To feel that we’re listened to and to feel that we’re represented. To feel that we have the same opportunities open to us that others have, regardless of our circumstances. And our students have a right to all these things.

Inclusion has been on the agenda in education for many years. Consider the names given to Educational laws and acts: The ‘No Child left behind Act’ (2001) and its successor the ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’ (2015) in the USA, or ‘Every Child Matters’ (2003) in the UK. The right to education of every child in accordance with the UN Convention was set out back in 1989 and Quality Education is the fourth of the 17 UN sustainable development goals.    

Inclusion in education is already well embedded here in Spain and is one of the five pillars of the new education law, the LOMLOE, which is coming into force.

In this blog post we’re going to look at what inclusion means and provide resources that will help us be inclusive in our teaching practice.

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Ensuring gender equality in school: LOMLOE

Link

The new education law

Spain’s new education law, the LOMLOE, brings the country in line with global views and goals regarding education and sustainability. The second focus of the law is:

Ensuring gender equality, preventing gender violence, respecting diversity and ensuring an inclusive and non-sexist education. 

This is directly linked to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, of which Spain is a proud member. Sustainable goals number 4 and 5 outline inclusive, quality education and gender equality. These are important goals for all nations of the world, and the best place to start these initiatives is in school. In this blog post, we’ll look at what we can do as teachers.

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Tackling Climate Change Head On

The climate crisis is real. Recent developments in government legislation with the introduction of the LOMLOE means it will now be compulsory for schools to tackle issues surrounding climate change: indeed, one of the five guiding principles is an increased focus on sustainable development and global citizenship. In today’s post we are going to look at the changes the law introduces and how you can adapt your classes to meet them.  

 What does the law say?

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