{November 27, 2013}   A menu for learning

This week I’m starting lessons with a new group and I thought of introducing the course in a different way. I thought of language as a complete meal, and so I designed my language learning menu based on a similar menu I was presented with during a conference on Spanish as a Foreign Language.

On the board, before my students arrived, I wrote my menu:


When my students arrived, I asked them what they thought about the menu I was presenting and told them to add any other “course” they considered worth including to personalize their menu/learning experience.

It was a nice, different way to start a first lesson with adults, with whom I like to set objectives for the course during the first lesson.

Do you use something like this in your first lessons? How do your menues look like? Are they easy to follow? What do they suggest for learning?


Today I was working with two of my students on routines and I asked them to simulate they were writing an entry on a blog about them. It looked like a good idea to make them express themselves freely about the things they do during the week, and when I saw the results I couldn’t have been prouder! And… As I couldn’t help thinking how wonderful the idea was, I decided to come back here to share my days with you.

As you may know, I’ve been working as an in-company language trainer for four years now, with some extra job done at schools lately. At the same time, I’m finishing my course of studies (four subjects to go!) and I’m married. You may be already thinking how I organize myself to do everything… Well, I think neither I know…

Weekdays are pretty busy for me. I start my day at 5:30 am and after a quick breakfast, I dash to the bus stop (except those days my husband goes to the office, he works from home frequently).

My lessons are scheduled weekly, so I know well in advance who I am going to be teaching and what to work with each student. Lessons are organized in such a way that sometimes I have several lessons in the same company, and sometimes I run from one company to another.
Lunch time varies, so I can eat some sandwiches or a full meal, but until it’s time for lunch I don’t know what I will do.

As I work as a coordinator at the institute I give lessons for, sometimes I go for some time to work there, preparing exams, updating the institute’s blog or getting materials ready to share with teachers.

When I arrive home, usually after 5 pm, I relax by watching some series with my husband, surfing the net, or reading. If I have classes at college, I may be getting home around 11 pm, what leaves almost no time for (home) life during the week.

I’m a strong believer that weekends are for relaxing, so except on those strange occasions where I have to correct exams, study for college or prepare very specific lessons, I try to do some housework and spend time with my husband and pets (I have a cat and a kitten). I love going to bed early so going out is an unknown activity lately, though I really enjoy inviting friends over for dinner and game nights.

I try to organize myself to spend my free time as quality time that I can profit from, and even my working hours I try to enjoy through the design of activities that are appealing not only to the students but to myself too. Some of my students require specific skills work in English, for example, speaking for presentations, so I try to provide interesting materials for them to learn and enjoy the lessons. I rarely have to design grammar lessons per sei, but when I do I really like them!

Note: I’m going over all that I wrote above and I still don’t know how I do it. The worst thing is, I don’t think my daily life looks as busy as I wrote, but those are all the things I do! (Wow)

Note 2: I believe this is one of the longest things I’ve ever written here, so it looks like I’m back!

{November 19, 2013}   Pinning here and there

Some time ago I started using Pinterest, a great tool to keep all your favourite websites at hand. Though I pin everything I found interesting, the main use I give to this social tool is to keep and share different teaching resources.

Come and join me! You can find different activities, crafts, bulletin board ideas and anything you need for your lessons

Some of my favourites (sorry for the TONS of links!):


{November 19, 2013}   The year I finally did it

2013 turned out to be a good year after all. I got my teaching degree (absolutely happy for it!) and yesterday I received a phone call from college, where I was asked to be one of the flag bearers because of my marks.

I am trying to come back, sooner than expected 😉

et cetera