Friday, 21 September 2018

Cambridge English Qualifications for young learners

                                                                       Also published on csantaanaenglish.wordpress.com
Children between the ages of 6 and 12 can take the Pre A1 Starters, A1 Movers and A2 Flyers exams to develop their language skills in a fun, practical and progressive way.

 A boy holding his Cambridge English: starters certificate

Pre A1 Starters, formerly known as Cambridge English: Starters (YLE Starters), is one of  Cambridge English Qualifications. It is the start of a child’s language learning journey.

Pre A1 Starters test format (2018 update)
english-and-i-blog3

A1 Movers is the next step in a child’s English language learning. A1 Movers can help the student: understand basic instructions or take part in simple conversations and complete basic forms and write notes, including times, dates and places.

A1 Movers test format (2018 update)

A2 Flyers is the third of these fun activity-based English tests for children. The tests are written around familiar topics and focus on the skills needed to communicate effectively in English through listening, speaking, reading and writing. With the A2 Flyers tests, the student will be able to: understand simple written English, communicate in familiar situations and use basic phrases and expressions and interact with English speakers who talk slowly and clearly.

A2 Flyers test format (2018 update)

A girl holding her Cambridge English: Flyers certificate

Monday, 3 September 2018

Acquiring Vocabulary for Young Learners

Also published on csantaanaenglish.wordpress.com
If learning English seems very challenging, break it down into smaller tasks. For example, your child/student shouldn’t try to learn lots of new words in one go. Instead, they should focus on learning a few new words every week. They will be much more likely to remember them!
Here are some ideas you can try at home or at school. 

Free vocabulary picture books and lists

Use these books and lists to encourage young learners to speak, read and write in English
Download Cambridge English Assessment free Pre A1 StartersA1 Movers and A2 Flyers Word List Picture Books.
Download Cambridge English Assessment free vocabulary lists for A2 Key for Schools and B1 Preliminary for Schools.

Learning tips for young learners

Playing fun games

Try learning vocabulary and playing fun games at the same time! For example, you could use the words in the free picture books and vocabulary lists to play Charades or Pictionary.
Look at the vocabulary pictures together. For example, here’s a picture called At the doctor’s. Try using a mixture of closed questions, which assess quick factual knowledge (e.g. Where is the doctor?), and open questions, which assess reasoning (e.g. Why do you think the doctor is looking surprised?).

A busy doctor's waiting room.

Talk about the pictures.

If you are a parent or a teacher, find time to sit with your children and look at the book. Talk together about what you see. The ‘Let’s talk!’ questions on the picture pages give ideas of what you can talk about. Try and help your children to move from one-word answers to longer answers.

Find words in the pictures.

There is lots of action in the pictures. Ask your children to talk about what they see. Can they tell stories about the people in the pictures? They can then begin to use the words for a real purpose.
See if the children want to test your English too! What can they ask you to find in the pictures?

Always use the words in context and help young learners develop short responses into longer phrases and sentences
For more information about Pre A1 Starters, A1 Movers and A2 Flyers and for preparation materials, visit:
cambridgeenglish.org/starters
cambridgeenglish.org/movers
cambridgeenglish.org/flyers 

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Digital Citizenship

Also published on csantaanaenglish.wordpress.com
The topic of digital citizenship is certainly gaining momentum around the world. Whether it is called digital citizenship, digital wellness or digital ethics the issues are the same: how should we act when we are online, and what should be taught to the next generation. Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool, it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology.
As teachers, we know the value of good citizenship in the classroom and school community. But today, students need to be good citizens in the digital world as well. Their digital behaviour has a big impact on themselves and others, and what makes good or bad digital citizenship may not always be clear.
One of the first agreements that needs to be made is that preparing students to be literate digital citizens is everyone’s responsibility. Teachers, administrators, parents, and students all play a role.
What can all teachers do in their classrooms to help shape responsible students? (Select all that apply.) From Google for Education “Create Safe, Responsible Digital Citizens”
  • Show students how to create strong passwords
  • Provide opportunities for students to practice good behaviour
  • Create a safe environment for talking about digital citizenship topics
  • Integrate digital citizenship lessons in class.
You should have selected all of them because these are the four pillars to learn Digital Citizenship.
Several organizations have developed support materials and full curricula that can be used when planning instruction. For instance, Common Sense Media’s K-12 Scope and Sequence provides lesson plans, activities, and assessments.
Vicki Davis in an article on Edutopia presents “What Your Students Really Need to Know About Digital Citizenship”. She wants her students to know the “9 Key Ps” of digital citizenship, but for my purpose and for my students I will take into account only these seven Ps extracted from the above-mentioned article:
1. Passwords: Do students know how to create a secure password? Do they know that email and online banking should have a higher level of security and never use the same passwords as other sites?
2. Private information:  Do students know how to protect details like their address, email, and phone number? She recommends the Common Sense Media curriculum on this.
3. Personal information: While this information (like the number of brothers and sisters you have or your favourite food) can’t be used to identify you, you still need to choose who you will share it with.
4. Photographs: Are students aware that some private details (like license plates or street signs) may show up in photographs, and that they may not want to post those pictures? Do they know how to turn off a geotagging feature? Do they know that some facial recognition software can find them by inserting their latitude and longitude in the picture—even if they aren’t tagged?
5. Property: Do students understand copyright, Creative Commons, and how to generate a license for their own work? Some students will search Google Images and copy anything they see, assuming they have the rights.
6. Permission: Do students know how to get permission for work they use and do they know how to cite it?
7. Protection: Do students understand what viruses, malware, phishing, ransomware, and identity theft are, and how these things work?
Digital citizenship is a topic that we need to address more carefully and thoroughly in our schools. Our students must be aware of what they should and shouldn’t be doing, with the goal of keeping themselves safe online.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

What are our students writing on Kidblog?

Kidblog is designed for primary and secondary teachers who want to provide each student with an individual blog. Students publish posts and participate in academic discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs and user accounts. Learn more from Kidblog for easy and safe e-portfolios
Here is why my students blog…
  1. Promotes collaboration
  2. Establishes a home-school connection
  3. Improves writing and digital literacy
  4. Showcases student accomplishments
  5. Gives students a voice
  6. Teachers digital citizenship
  7. Gives students a global and authentic audience
  8. Creates a digital portfolio
  9. Is cross-curricular
  10. Develops critical thinking skills

Here are some of our primary students' blogs ...

New blog for Primary 6th grade:

New blog for Primary 5th grade:





Students' Blogs from last years:



Primary 6th 2014-2015


Friday, 7 July 2017

Using DUOLINGO as a Fun Summer Assignment

Duolingo is the world's largest online language learning platform. Duolingo for Schools is a platform created exclusively for educators, allowing them to access and keep track of each learner’s Duolingo progress.
Why don't use this amazing tool for our students in order to brush up and keep up their English language this summer? 
Duolingo turns language learning into a game to make it more fun and ef­ective. Students can learn languages for free while earning points for correct answers, racing against the clock, and leveling up. 





With this aim our student "play and learn" with this app that runs on every device, from smartphones to desktop computers (browsers Chrome, Firefox ...), including Android tablets, Chromebooks and Ipads.




Duolingo for Schools allows teachers to track their students’ language learning in one place, and gives them special access to parental controls and Duolingo activities designed specifically for the classroom. Teachers can also activate classroom-exclusive lessons specially tailored for students, based on the average student level of that class.

Happy Summer days always learning !!!!!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Project Based Learning and skillful thinking strategies

In this Project that is dedicated to Living Beings, we have implemented several thinking tools and strategies for learning, among others:
Sequence Chain
This detail-oriented graphic organiser helps students strengthen writing skills by identifying important story elements (key characters, setting, and chain of events) and write the important events sequentially. We have implemented this graphic organiser to develop two animal’s life sequences:
·         The Life cycle of an Animal. Depict a life cycle as a process: the series of changes in the life of an animal. 6º grade
·         Food Change. The sequence of who eats whom in a biological community. Beginning with plant-life, and ending with animal life. Primary 4th and 6th grade.

Parts-Whole Relationships
This strategy engages students in exploring the relationships between the parts and the whole of objects, stories, societies, ideas, etc. Students examine how parts contribute to the whole and how each part functions. They learn that objects can be easily taken apart and put back together again, while other objects cannot be taken apart and reassembled without damaging them. Removing one or more parts will usually change how the object functions. Primary4th grade

Open Compare and contrast
This strategy takes students beyond a simple list of similarities and differences.
It requires students to find similarities and differences and then to:
·         Categorise them
·         Assess their significance
·         Look for patterns among them
·         Interpret, evaluate, and draw conclusions
Students select their own factors to consider. As a result, class-wide sharing
results in many factors being considered and discussed.
The completed graphic organiser can be used as a planner for writing. Primary 3er grade



Friday, 5 May 2017

The Interactive performance of “Gulliver” English Theatre

The Interactive performance of  “Gulliver” was acted out last Thursday on Youth Centre (Casa de la Joventut). Both teachers and students fully enjoyed the play about the exciting adventures captured in the wonderful book by Jonathan Swift entitled “Gulliver’s Travels”.


As it is customary, “el Departament de Joventud de l’Ajuntament de la Pobla Llarga” Youth Department of Pobla Llarga organises theatre sessions for schools. The play is prepared in advance in class with didactic material, with audios of the songs, structures and expressions more frequently used, specific vocabulary of the work, physical activity and theatre scenes. We put language into context. All this with an approach based on communication, which aims to encourage students, involving them in dialogues, conversations, songs, etc., and other forms of communication.

After the performance, the students interviewed the actors asking about the play, how they prepare it, how many performances they do, their experiences on the stage, etc.