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: https://c1coursebymf2018.wordpress.com/women-were-learning-about/wangari-maathai/

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News, about teachers & Eval Cont

Dear students,

As you know I’m on a sick leave and Albert is your new substitute teacher. We are in touch and I’ m really happy and relieved he is in charge now. I hope you all enjoy your time together. About how long this will be, unfortunately, I can’t tell. The doctor decides that. So we all need to be flexible and make the most of anything and everything! But here’s an idea that might help us all, about Eval. Cont.: as you know, E.C. in our course is not about passing or failing exams but about getting ticks for work done and shared or handed in. You always need to use our feedback for overcoming mistakes and other improvements, by using your LoM, and this is why the teacher gives you your checked work back and keeps a copy. We will see later on how many ticks you need to pass your 5 subjects evaluated in the term, but I would like to consider flexibility with people more or less attending class or following the course to compensate the fact that you had no teacher for a month, and that always has all sorts of onsequences. We might then require ticks as explained in my notes on Eval Cont for a month or two. So work hard and joyfully, learn as much as you can, and we’ll talk about this later on.

Make a list of who handed in which writings to me, and the orals you shared and were ready to share (pending). And then keep a record of your work with Alberto. He & I also have our notes on this.

Thanks, Alberto, for all! 😍👐🏾🤸🏽‍♀️👍

Big hug to all!

A Feminist Halloween!

This is an audio from the Talking People Podcast. I hope you enjoy it!

Happy Halloween!!!


Blog for C1.1s!

Dear C1.1s!

I was impressed when I got your 17 email addresses. Thanks, Mel! Thanks, dear all! ❤

I thought that was well worth a blog of your own, so that’s what I have just created. It’s here: https://20192020c11studentsblog.school.blog/ And this is the banner I did for you. But you can create more banners, of course! Can you explain the items? 😀 Enjoy!

News & About Migraines

Dear students,

Today I sent the info I got from my GP about my sick leave. He’s given me another two weeks. I hope it’s the last but I’m not sure… 😥

I do hope you get a substitute teacher, but as you already know, if you browse this blog or read the C1 Resorce Pack, you’ll get plenty of ideas & materials to use your English every day, which is a must in the life of an advanced independent & resorceful lifelong learner! 😍

I do miss being healthy and being in class with you all, for all the good things we share in that special space! 🥰

I’ll try to upload more materials or answer questions if no teacher is sent. If a techer is sent, please tell this person I’m more than willing to assist him or her in any way. Do help her/him, too, sharing your work & ideas!

I’m sending you all my best wishes!




About my migraine: I got my first migraine when I was 7. The pain sped up my small skull as I squatted to pick my comic book. I fainted. It was the only time in my life I’ve fainted! I never had that kind of pain again in my life. But later on we all guessed it could have been my first migraine! I was told I was given a shot that day. When I woke up I was very hungry!, gobbled up a very long French bread sandwich, and was back to normal!

Last year I was really happy. After my menopause I just had to take my migraine meds once every two months or a bit more often, and consequently suffered no pain — it was controlled and kind of dying out!

The neurologist has now confirmed two important pieces of information. One is that my migraine is genetic. The other, that it’s becoming chronic relates to the fact that my sleep routine was broken. I think stress can also claim its toll. I’ll be requesting protection in terms of working shifts, because we have very positive legislation. Let’s hope for the best!

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.

Black out – please, post your sentences!

Antonio C1.2 had this word in his Spring story.

To blackout – can be a verb, yes! https://educalingo.com/es/dic-en/blackout#conjugacion

But because to say “I blackouted” is kind of awkward, we can also say “I had a black out”

Have you ever had a blackout?

Your Videos: Ana’s Celebration of Learning Oral (May 2019)

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: https://englishspeakingwomenwriters.wordpress.com/learn-about-women-writers-learn-to-write-beginnings-endings/ (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!