New Teaching/Learning Project!

Next Oct 2022 I’ll be starting a new adventure! Giving workshops for Advanced in Fuengirola/Las Lagunas, once a week, a two-hour session, and then guidelines for some audio and language work with original materials, so you can come to the workshop to share the fruits of your joyful labor!

On this website you’ll find all the information, in downloadable docs and video format too.

Old students can form a special group with 12 members and get a the special price of 53 euros a month (four workshops). Regular workshops will be with up to 8 students for 80 euros a month.

Join us, and have fun while learning, using your English and developing your amazing human intelligence! Pre-registration from April to June (send an email on Sign up) Go to

Room, by Emma Donoghue


This is the reading project for C1.2’s this year. Here is an example of personal work after reading the novel.

Unbowed, a memoir by Wangari Maathai

In case you did not discover my blog with examples on how to work with books so you can improve your English, work with all of your skills, and bring things to share in class! ❤

Language Learning from Reading

In course 2018-19, as now we have two years to reach the advanced level (C1.1 and C1.2), we’ll be using classroom time to read this amazing autobio or memoir (reading aloud + language and pronunciation questions).

I prepared a handout on STAPLE FOODS because here you will learn some useful vocabulary for Food.

My language work on chapter 1 (maps, pronunciation, certain excerpts / topics):

Check out our Visual Dictionary Blog, where I’ll be posting staple foods.

Mark I’ll be updating this post to include all of my work on this book: Go to our 2018-19 course blog for more work I shared on this autobio:

View original post

The Rebecca Solnit Project for C1.2’s

Dear C1.2’s,

Today I bumped into Almudena at hospital. It was so good to see her in spite of the fact we were both ill!! ❤

Well, I’ve had a look at some material we did not work on together last year, and fixed it further and I think you might want to use it these days to do some reading, language work and listening, until we meet again and decide on stuff. Please, feel free to request or suggest whatever. I’m doing tons of resting and relaxing, but I can also “practice working” for a few hours a day! So this is precisely what I’m doing now!

Have a look! Of course, feel free to work on whatever it is you want to do. Just don’t NOT work on your English. English is part of our everyday lives at the advanced level, right? ❤

Hugs for all!

Evaluación Continua (EC) for C1’1s

Dear all,

We never got the chance to have our session on questions about this, so I don’t know how you’re doing. Do post on this here, if you like. In case it’s of use, here is a proposal. Until we meet again, and while there is no substitute teacher (if there is, you can tell her/him about this plan, too), here is what you can work on:

October. The Ngozi Adichie Project

Skills involved: Listening / Reading / Speaking / Writing / Mediation

Find the talk here (listening) + get a copy of the printed essay (it’s just about 6 euros and you won’t regret it!)

Watch the TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists, 20 minutes, a must watch to develop a feminist intelligence! Watch it several times till you get used to Nigerian accent (you will!) and so you can take notes. Don’t read the transcript or the printed essay (or not at the same time) until you have watched it enough times so you can give your ear a chance to learn to listen! Then you can combine both.

After all your listening and reading work, consider highlighting/underlining (reading) and note-taking (listening):

  • questions of useful language to improve your wordings in English (how you explain things, for instance) and
  • your favorite quotes and passages: the question of ideas that can help you think better, more kindly, being less unfair to others. Try to see if you can relate Ngozi’s examples or anecdotes to your own experience, too.

You can also do some research on Ngozi’s bio and work.

What to hand in so I can learn about your work:

Reading. Listening. Writing. You need to hand in a text on how you worked on this project (in one single piece of paper, with relevant info on the top right-hand corner of page 1!) Extension: from half a page to two pages. Format: a log, a diary, a report with sections, a comic, you name it!

Writing. A personal commentary on a quote or passage you choose to comment (about 200 words, without counting the quote or passage, which you need to cite with the page number or minute in the video and preferably copy for me to read without having to look for it)

Speaking. What to share in class: A 3-4 minute presentation on Ngozi and this work of hers. If you can’t share it in class, record it in an mp3 file, but don’t record it until you have practiced it and remember NEVER PRACTICE SPEAKING EXERCISES WITH NARRATIVES, JUST WITH OUTLINES, because if you practice with a narrative you won’t be practicing speaking, just reading aloud, which is a different kind of exercise (a good exercise, yes, but called “Reading Aloud”, not “Speaking”! 😀 )

I’m giving you the outline, to help:

  • Ngozi: bio
  • [WSABF – form: the talk & the essay] – skippable
  • content: Summary or Retelling (Mediation)
  • My personal opinion (what I learned)

As an example, here is what I prepared to do my own OP and other written work:

Can you do all the other things we were meant to be doing? Of course!

  • Watch the Friends TV Series (episodes 1-3 season 1 at least) and jot down UL to share later in class, so we can put together a podcast episode, too! Yes!
  • Read the C1 Resource Pack, so you can learn about our methodology! YES YES YES!!!
  • Keep a listening log and a reading log? Yes!

Absent again

Dear all,

Oxygen at the A&E!
Migraines can be hell-on-Earth! After getting oxygen & some shots at the emergency ward (A&E)

I’m in hospital. They’re trying to stop this 6-week migraine 😰😱🤯 and today we’ve made some progress! 👍 It’s my first hour with no pain. 🥳😍

I won’t be there next Monday and Tuesday. And probably Wednesday and Thursday, too, BUT

you’ll get an email from the School confirming my absence if that is the case, AND

you don’t need me all the time, so please, consider meeting in class to read together the C1 Resource Pack — it’s precious for your learning — and comment and prepare questions, for instance. Ana, the janitor, can open the room for you.

I hope to be in tip top form the following Monday.

Hopefully, you will have been using your English like merry maniacs and I’ll be celebrating your progress as I listen to you all and answer your questions.

Have a lovely bilingual week!


Absence and reminder

Dear students,

I regret to inform that I won’t be able to make it to class today. 😥

For the past 6 weeks I’ve been suffering a very painful migraine crisis. Today the doctor’s given me a new treatment, so I need to rest and see how I feel — and not drive along the very dangerous A7 and get killed!!! ☺️

I’ll be there next Monday! 😍💕💜🧡💕 I’m determined to recover!! 🏋️‍♀️💃🏽🤸🏽‍♀️👐🏾😍

Please, read the C1 Resource Pack and collect Useful Language from TV series to share in class! Oh, and listen to my selected podcast episodes on a post below, or learn one of the stories or poems! YOU NEED TO BECOME INDEPENDENT & RESOURCEFUL LIFELONG LEARNERS & that takes some training!


REMEMBER you can use the classroom You can also collect your checked work. C1.2s, it’s in the light green folder.

For C1.2s on December Teamwork Project & Proposal of Oral Mediation Task for October

As I think that my proposal on the Employability project did not go down well, I’ve designed the following Writing Workshop on Jazz, by Toni Morrison to work on in November so that you can share your teamwork projects in December. Please, have a quick look asap so you can bring this issue up in class this week! ❤
Check this out: (first download)
And we can come back to the world of employment after the winter holidays.

As you well know, I get nervous when I see people don’t find the time to work on their orals at home, particularly to overcome fossilized mistakes under the level, so supposing you are not into preparing your individual OPs on your summer or any other topic of your choice, my proposal is you work on this challenging 4-minute talk by taking notes so we can create its transcript (please, don’t cheat, we’ll work together in class, too). This talk uses vocabulary for many of the topics you are required to speak about in certificate tests, and includes the crosscurricular subject of Education for Equality: Federica bianco on How we use astrophysics to study earthbound problems. Furthermore, it’s about science and technology, and creative human minds!

Collective LoM for C1.1s – Writing Task 1

Please, copy and paste this post in a word doc and when you adapt it to your needs (you can move the items to other more convenient categories, if you like),print it. Include it in your Learning File. Post your answer to questions here, or volunteer them in class.

Keep my comments in mind when you speak or write, so you can avoid making these mistakes. If you order these mistakes in your own categories, please, share. You can post that here, or share in class (mini OPs).

Thanks to Ana, Marsha, Yani, Melania, Pilar, Marta, María, Rocío Difita, Francisco, Charlotte, Carmen, Maite?, Ruth, CAL: David, Alicia, Rocío for your mistakes! (16 students) They’ve inspired/informed this post!

Resources for your LoM: apart from using my podcast for L&R to gain fluency and accuracy (see previous post, please, Listening Log and my audios), you can browse this page to see if you find notes that help you understand some of the mistakes you make. If you do, please, share in class, tell us about it!

Collective LoM for Writing Task 1

Language Questions

  • the dream of my whole life : find other ways of expressing this
  • Compare: “And therefore I felt frustrated” with “so it was frustrating”. Register: when would you use which?
  • What’s a mistake and what’s an error, do you know?

General Tips

  • Keyboard: Find where the apostrophe is! Most people use the wrong symbol.
  • Word order is very important in English (syntax). Try to notice my corrections on this. For instance, we never say: I like very much this. The Object (this) is more important than the intensity (very much), so we say: I like THIS very much.
  • Notice my corrections on paragraphing. It’s important. (Creating paragraphs, how we group things in a text. this relates to logical progression, transitions and connectors.)
  • Learn to use the dash. Notice how we use it when you read.
  • Capitalization: remember which words are capitalized in English! Which?
  • Please, do not hyphenate at the end of the line. Check this out:
  • About comparing your English to your classmates’ (always in the worst way possible, to disempower yourself and feed your fears and complexes!). Please, don’t do that! It’s loveless for everybody. It’s embarrassing. Enjoy the fact that people have different levels and learn to learn from all of them! Use them as inspiration for reaching for the moon!


  • English-speaking countries – English speakers: what’s the difference?
  • English people or English-speakers? What’s the difference?
  • I’ve never been to AN English-speaking country.
  • to get better and better in my English (informal) – to improve my English (standard, semiformal, formal)
  • to speak English perfectly/very well (not “talk” or “to speak perfectly English”). We never “talk a language”, we “speak it”. We can talk (hold a conversation) in a certain language, though.
  • I like talking. I like speaking English. When people speak too fast… Tell me, dear students, what’s the meaning of these sentences and can we use “speak” or “talk” in all?
  • I got my B1 level CERTIFICATE.
  • at the EOI (pronounced in Spanish) language school (not “at the EOI”) – the EOI school is a state-run language school in British English and a public language school in US American English, but these don’t exist in those countries. I think we’re the only country offering free language education to adults! Academy is not a good word for “academia”. It’s safer to say “a private language school”. The Academy Awards are the Oscars!
  • To achieve my goals, to reach my goals, to fulfill my goals (not “to get“)
  • My main ambition is to BE ABLE TO speak with native people / hold conversations with native people. (Why can’t we use “can” or say “to achieve to speak“?)
  • CLAUSES (RELATIVE CL., NON-DEFINING). This is my last year studying my degree at university, that WHICH means I have used English a lot… Can you explain my correction in class?
  • ADVERBS. I can easily remember words I use but I tend to forget words I don’t use! (Surprise, surprise! Why is that?)
  • Sounding more English: replace “So I can learn English properly” with “So I can become a profiecient user of English, while enjoying my learning and without being crushed by the pressure of exams!”
  • Sounding more English. I tried to get my certificate at Trinity: I signed up for the C1 examination at Trinity.
  • One of my strengths is I’m a very hard-working person! Another strength of mine would be I never give up! One of my biggest weaknesses is I’m afraid of speaking in public


  • But all we did in those days, or But all we used to do in those days, But all we would do in those days – speaking about the past
  • C1 item!!! If I lose my job, it drives me crazy to think I (no podría) feed my children. How do you say “no podría”?
  • Connectors: On a more personal note (instead of “Moreover” when you are actually going to change the subject to a more personal comment or event). Also, “On a different note” when changing the subject.
  • Connectors. Be careful with using “Furthermore“. Someone is writing about why she decided to become a bilingual primary teacher and later she says: Furthermore, The fact is almost all of our schools are bilingual today/nowadays.
  • Tenses: compare the use of the PAST SIMPLE and the PRESENT PERFECT, and share your examples in class: let’s analyze these in class: e.g. I didn’t live /she never lived in any English-speaking country – I haven’t lived in any English-speaking country – I have never lived in any English-speaking country – Never (in my life) have a Iived in an English-speaking country!
  • What’s the difference between: I never traveled abroad? and I’ve never travelled abroad? / I’ve never traveled abroad?
  • Tenses: I have been to York – He ido a York, He estado en York
  • have been TO (not: have been in)
  • I have been to York last year – definite time in past requires a Past Simple. I WENT to York last year / I spent time in York last year.
  • the UK, the USA, Britain, British, US American, American from the USA
  • At present, I feel I am out of practice and need to focus on my English again. You learn a langauge to speak it and if you don’t use it, it goes rusty!
  • My weaknesses are my lack of time and my being tired most of the time (my job and family life is demanding!)

Expressing emphasis. C1 language function!

  • EVEN. Where to place “even”: Even I EVEN had to teach Science…
    even I even failed English!
  • STILL. I still have a long way to go.


  • Words. Persistent (better than “constant” for most cases)
  • Verb phrases. SET TO DO sth: I always try to succeed in what I set to do! I never give up!
  • Verbs we mix up! KNOW/LEARN ABOUT. I was able to learn about her way of life (not “to know her way of life”)
  • being positive“, “my being positive” This last one is a C1 item (not “my positivism“)
  • I made this decision not only because English is the universal language a lingua franca in the world / spoken all over the world.
  • C1 item: I hope THERE comes the time when I’ll be able to understand everybody!
  • FALSE FRIENDS: I have facilities????? Check this dictionary entry:
    Say: I am good at English, or I have a facility for languages.

Sounding more English

  • USE OF BE/HAS. Until today, I did not have any problem in relation to this topic Until today that has always been very helpful (positive approach).
  • Range. I have low self-esteem. Also, My self-esteem is fragile.
  • Likewise, I have brown hair – My hair is brown.
  • to get a better world to make the world a better place (to live)


  • the school year 2019-20 school year.
  • I was JUST a child with only six years six-year-old child.

MORPHOLOGY (correct form or combination of words)

  • UNDER-THE-LEVEL-MISTAKES! Agreement in frequently used verbal phrases: I have been studied studyING. How can you learn to check your verbs are right?
  • Agreement is key: S + V (in number: they are, he is, they have, she has; we don’t, she doesn’t, they do), so be careful with your ending s. Can you share some examples of this? And within the verbal phrase (sintagma verbal): Examples in the present perfect continuous: I have been listening to this song all day! He has been waiting for us for ages! Examples in the passive: I was mugged the other day! It was so scary! We were told you were in Paris. Would you like to improve your use of the passive?: listen & repeat to my 6 episodes on this! Episode 1 (then scroll down and you’ll find the rest)
  • UNDER-THE-LEVEL-MISTAKES! Agreement and number in partitive structures: ONE of my strengthS IS (Not “one of my strength” and not “One of my strengths ARE)
  • Problems with OTHER, ANOTHER and the like? Check my notes here:

At last I’m over!!! A three days’ work! I hope you have a look and I hope we can go through your questions based on this list in class!

L&R: Start your Listening Log now!

Prepare your Template for the Listening Log and start keeping a record of your listening work. Here’s some help!

Consolidate your grammar by listening and repeating to these episodes a few times in the week (2 hours daily, finding little moments in the day, combined with watching TV series, videos on the net, listening to radio programs/podcasts….) Get organized and jot this work down in your Listening Log, to hand in at the end of the month if you wish to qualify for E.C. We will notice your English (spoken, written) improves and consolidates as you use it with us!

There are many more audio materials on my podcast, the Talking People Podcast, for your perusal. Feel free to take advantage of this great resource to help you impove your FLUENCY AND ACCURACY when speaking English!

C1.2s, Writing Workshop

Beginnings and endings. Learning to write, and developing creativity and a feminist intelligence!

Learning & Speaking about Poems

C1.2s, today:

Apart from you reading your writing tasks, we’ll do this other thing:

Today we’ll do some L&R with Wild Geese by Mary Oliver and There Is No Life or Death, by Mina Loy, and then we’ll talk about the poems. You need to learn one by ear by heart for next week!

15 poems to choose from here: Learn as many as you like and share in class! You can also present your views on them, or tell us about the author! (OPs)