Monthly Archives: September 2014


language skills


As we know there are four language skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. In my opinion each one is connected. When we plan an activity we usually practice more than one skill. I think that the students need to develop the four skills to have a communicative competence. They need to be able to communicate their ideas in the real world, not only in the classroom.

There are some great learning tools that help us with developing creative activities in our classes. Internet is full of puzzles, games, etc. I have discovered one interesting learning toll, it is voicethread, where students can share files, fotos, URL and videos.

In regard ot the activity that I have to give as an example. I will work with the unit 3 of the Four Corners Book. The topic of this unit is Food. First we will work with vocabulary, the students will read some recipies. What they have to do is a recipe at home and upload the video in voicethread.

About giving a grade in this activity I will use the following rubric:

GRAMMAR Grammar covered in class was used to communicate effectively A few minor diffilcuties using the grammar studied in class. Grammatical errors severely hampered communication.
VOCABULARY Vocabulary studied in class was used to express ideas eloquently. Some diffilcuties arose due to limited vocabulary. Communication was severely hamered due to lack of vocabulary.
FLUENCY Student communivate with fluency. Some effort to be fluent. Much effort was required to be fluent
PRONUNCIATION Student pronounces all words effortlessly, and with no errors. 3-5 mistakes in pronunciation. Occasionally rushes words that are difficult. 10 or more mistakes. Rushes and/or skims over many words that are difficult

Finally, I want to share a link that I found about speaking in class:






Vocaulary refers to words or multiword units (like idioms or phrasal verbs) that have a common meaning. The importance of vocabulary can’t be underestimate. Having an extend vocabulary helps us to communicate proficiently in English. Without a good knowledge of words and their meanings, the communication will be poorly undertstood. That is why teachers needs to use interactive tools to increase vocabulary in their students. Fortunately, nowdays students have multiple options to learn vocabulary such as puzzles, quizzes, flashcards, worksheets, concordancers, games, videos, etc., which also could be use online. These tools could be use to help them build a strong working vocabulary. Also, we need to consider the way of teaching vocabulary. It is important when we are working with new vocabulary to give it in context, to develop eliciting and recycling techniques. Students need to be involve in their learning process, so they need to be motivated to have an active role in the classroom and learning vocabulary is a good opportunity.

I made a game in Jeopardy with the vocabulary of the unit 1, 2 and 3. This is the link It really wasn’t easy to make it. I hope you like it

Also I found some interesting videos in you tube for learning vocabulary:

Finally I found other pages whith interesting activities to learn vocabulary:




How much grammar you need to know as a teacher?, how much grammar do students need to know? And how can students learn grammar without being bored? 

I think these questions are very important. In regard of how much grammar does a teacher need to know, I would say that he/she should have a wide English grammar knowledge.Of course, a teacher doesn’t know everything, but he/she is in front of a class and as a guide he/she needs to be able to teach and correct his/her students appropriately.

About the second question, I think that students need to achieve a certain knowledge of grammar because we need Grammar to make “meaning”. In other words grammar will function as a support, in order to communicate and express what they want to say or think and be understood by other people. In this case the objetive of teaching grammar of a second languaje would be that the student will be able to communicate fluently in L2 within any social context outside the classroom.

The last question is very important. I think as a teachers we need to motivate our students. I think a quote by Robert Capa will explain what I want to say: “If your pictures are not good enough is that you have not get close enough”. Let’s take this idea to our classes. We have to approach language, in order to teach our students a language that they can “explode”. Because our work in the classroom, is to teach the language. Not to encapsulate. Neither to crystallize it in a state of purity. But, on the contrary, try to understand the wealth of their senses and appropriate  it.

Check out this page of free language courses:

This is a link of an article that I found about teaching creatively: