Sunday, February 3, 2019

Can We Be Political in the Classroom?

Last Saturday I gave a talk at the APAC ELT Convention 2019 in Barcelona Thank you everybody for coming! :=)



I made a point that we are all political either by action or by inaction, and I promised I would share some resources to deal with current issues in the class and encourage students to participate. 


In the link (attention! it is case-sensitive and it is cc underline )




you will find three folders: 

General 

Name pairs - to be cut - Give a name or surname to each student at random so that they work with different partner each time - customize as you wish. [Idea taken from Mario Rinvolucri]
Pres. Card- sample of a card to fill in on the first day - swap with a partner and ask questions


International Days 


Worksheets - resources to be used  
November - Buy Nothing Day - [date changes every year] Relate to Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Blue Monday
December 10 -  International Human Rights Day - Declaration in plain language 
January - Martin Luther King Day 
March 8 - International Women's Day - 15-page file

  • 1 Class plan
  • 7 texts for reading comprehension / oral summary
  • 1 Videos online - Do Madonna's 10 minute speech if you can only do one
  • 5 page- MATCHING ACTIVITY to cut out - match headings and 13 microaggressions against women 
  • 1 other resources


Also, every five years there are European Parliamentary elections and, notwithstanding the importance of the decisions taken there, participation hit an all time low in 2014 with 43.8% in SPAIN.  I would like to share with you a series of activities I have used to teach the basics of the European Parliament and other institutions to raise awareness about the importance of participation in those elections.
Therefore, there is another folder to plan ahead for next May

European Union Election (2019-2024)

  • Resources - links to access materials
  • Europe & Me booklet - may be ordered from previous links in any language - useful to copy and enlarge summaries of EU countries map and of EU institutions. 
  • Quizzes and matching games about EU countries, institutions, history, how it is run, what MEPs do connected to online videos (see Resources)




Specially at intermediate and advanced levels, developing critical thinking skills makes classes more interesting, for you and your students. By critical thinking skills we understand: questioning, summarizing, discussing, researching and critical reflection.

There is no way to escape politics. Help your students decide whether they want to be political by action or by inaction. Enjoy the exchange! 


Thursday, January 31, 2019

Can we be Political in the Classroom? Critical Thinking Skills


Come to my talk at the APAC ELT Convention 2019 in Barcelona on
Saturday 2nd February 12.45  - Campus Ciutadella, Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Aula 40012 - 
See my next post for resources shared at the talk




“Man is by nature a political animal” said Aristotle. Everyone is political for action or for inaction. How can we bring political issues in the classroom without compromising our position as teachers and educators?



We usually encourage our students to participate in class and by that we mean: have a say, do your homework, ask questions. Anyone may participate, but most students often do not, because participation requires training.

Participation implies getting involved in the decision-making process and encourages a sense of personal and social responsibility. Those who are not interested or ignore issues are actually political in the sense that they let others choose the course of action and lead the group; in other words, non participants let participants decide.

Learn how you can encourage student participation and raise topics for discussion in the classroom by using International anniversaries like Human Rights Day, Women's Day, Martin Luther King’s Day or Buy Nothing Day.

Also, every five years there are European Parliament elections and, notwithstanding the importance of the decisions taken there, participation hit an all time low in 2014 with 43.8%.  I would like to share with you a series of activities I have used to teach the basics of the European Parliament and other institutions to raise awareness about the importance of participation in those elections.

Specially at intermediate and advanced levels, developing critical thinking skills makes classes more interesting, for you and for your students. By critical thinking skills we understand: questioning, summarizing, discussing, researching and critical reflection. I will share some tips.

There is no way to escape politics: would you like students to really participate? Come to my talk.