Friday, December 9, 2011

2nd BATXILLERAT - "Merchant of Venice" - Reading and film

We are going to read William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice in the abridged version retold by Victoria Spence published in BlackCat-VicensVives (ISBN 978-88-530-0315-7)

The reading plan is:

Jan 11th/12th - Chapter 1
Jan 18th/19th - Chapters 2-3
Jan 25th/26th - Chapters 4-5
Feb 1nd/2rd - Chapters 6-7
Feb 8th/9th - Chapters 8-9
Feb 15th/16th - chapter 10 and exit test
Jan 22/23th - Internet projects 1 and 2.

Here's a trailer of one of the 2004 movie version of Merchant of Venice.

You can download the Reading Circles (issued by Oxford University Press) sample workseets here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

2nd BATXILLERAT - Sexist words or sexist speakers?

I took these word clouds from Crystal Smith's blog (you can read the full article here). They show words found in boy's and girl's toys. Font size means the frequency with which each word appears throughout a number of toy adverts.

Cloud A:

Cloud B:

Which one would you say describes a male stereotype? Which one a female stereotype? Why?
Now, read the article and say whether you agree with the author.

2nd BATXILLERAT - Are you bilingual?

Read this article about bilingualism written by Jessica Marshall. Then you can drop a comment considering the following questions:

Can the things the author says apply to our country?
Are you an example of any of the cases discussed in the article?
Are you bilingual or monolingual? Do you feel you have an advantage over the counterpart?

Remember that you don't have to answer the questions one by one. In fact, they are a guideline for your comment.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Get Back In Your Book

Image borrowed from Lit for Kids
There we go again. Get ready to get back in your book one more time. Forget about the new collectables they bomb us on the TV because a new year does not mean a new life. Enjoy, study, and learn as much as you can.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Importance of Reading

Here's an excerpt of the article written by Bill Jenkins for The Science of Learning Blog:


Reading is a recent cultural invention. It is not a skill we are naturally programmed to develop like walking or vocalizing. It is a relatively recent development in human history estimated to be only about 6000 years old. The development of oral language in humans is believed to be nearly 300,000 years old. Oral language is thought to have co-developed with the use of tools as both require complex motor control.
To quote from the recent book Reading in the Brain (Dehaene, 2009): "At this very moment, your brain is accomplishing an amazing feat­—reading. Four or five times per second, your gaze stops just long enough to recognize one or two words.  You are, of course, unaware of this jerky intake of information. Only the sounds and meanings of the words reach your conscious mind.  But how can a few black marks projected onto your retina evoke an entire universe?"
In 2010, Stanislas Dehaene, et al. published a study which evaluated whether learning to read improves brain function, and also whether there are tradeoffs for such learning. In other words, does learning to read “occupy” a space in the brain that could or would be used for something else in our evolutionary past?
Dehaene and his research team have used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure how the brain responded to various stimuli, including spoken and written language, visual faces, houses, tools, and checkers in a group of literate and illiterate adults. Ten were illiterate, 22 learned to read as adults, and 31 learned to read as children.
In the end, their studies generated a number of fascinating conclusions. Literacy—no matter at what point in life the skill is acquired, in youth or as an adult—enhances brain response in three ways:
  1. It boosts the organization of the visual cortex. Located toward the back of the brain, this is the area that processes visual information.
  2. It allows the area of the brain responsible for spoken language—the planum temprale—to be activated by written sentences.
  3. It refines how the brain processes spoken language.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

School's Out For Summer

I hope you enjoy your holiday as much as I will. However, maybe you can find five minutes to watch this video. It's simply breathtaking.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

4th ESO - MSC computer assisted task: Unit 7

Taken from English Teacher blog

Go to the Macmillan Secondary Course web site, introduce your password and do these exercises:

Be going to 1
Be going to 2
Present Continuous for future arangements 2
First conditional 1
First conditional 2

Work adjectives
Personal qualities

Summer camp in Spain

Remember that you can use your book if you have any problems with the exercises. I'm sure you will find similar exercises there.

I will check your work on Wednesday, May 25th, 2011.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2nd BATXILLERAT - Michael Moore

A few years ago, I read the book Idiot Nation written by Michael Moore. I found the whole book really interesting, but I was delighted to hear someone say positive opinions about my profession. This is why I reproduce them here.

Just read the text and drop me a comment. Just tell me two things:
1. Can, in your view, any of Mr Moore's comments be applied in our country?
2. Do you agree with him?

Post your comments before May 20th, 2011.

OK, here it goes:

Sure, there are a lot of teachers who suck, and they’d be better suited to making telemarketing calls for Amway. But the vast majority are dedicated educators who have chosen a profession that pays them less than what some of their students earn selling Ecstasy, and for that sacrifice we seek to punish them. I don’t know about you, but I want the people who have the direct attention of my child more hours a day than I do treated with tender loving care. Those are my kids they’re preparing for this world, so why on earth would I want to piss them off?
You would think society’s attitude would be something like this:

Teachers, thank you so much for devoting your life to my child. Is there ANYTHING I can do to help you? Because you are helping my child –MY BABY – learn and grow. Not only will you be largely responsible for her ability to make a living, but your influence will greatly affect how she views the world, what she knows about other people in this world, and how she will feel about herself. I want her to believe she can attempt anything –that no doors are closed and that no dreams are too distant. I am entrusting the most valuable person in my life to you for seven hours each day. You are thus, one of the most important people in my life! Thank you.

No, instead, this is what teachers hear:
  • “You’ve got to wonder about teachers who claim to put the interests of children first –and then look to milk the system dry through wage hikes.” (New York Post, 12/26/00).
  • “Estimates of the number of bad teachers range from 5 percent to 18 percent of the 2.6 million total.” (Michael Chapman, Investor’s Business Daily, 9/21/98).
  • "Most education professionals belong to a closed community of devotees… who follow popular philosophies rather than research on what works.” (Douglas Carminen, quoted in the Montreal Gazette, 1/6/01).
  • “Teachers unions have gone to bat for felons and teachers who have had sex with students, as well as those who simply couldn’t teach.” (Peter Schweizen, National Review, 8/17/98).
What kind of priority do we place on education in America? Oh, it’s on the funding list –somewhere down between OSHA and meat inspectors. The person who cares for our child every day receives an average of $41,351 annually. A Congressman who cares only about which tobacco lobyyist is taking him to dinner tonight receives $145,100.
(Michael Moore. (2001). "Idiot Nation" in Stupid White Men. Penguin Books)

2nd BATXILLERAT - Trompe L'oeil

Watch this video:

Trompe L'oeil from Tyson James Dale on Vimeo.

Post a comment that includes the following information:

1. Did you like the film? Why?
2. Say which scene surprised you most.
3. Did the story make you laugh? Why?

Send your comments before May 20th, 2011.

Monday, April 11, 2011


This presentation contains the instructions for discussing and making a blog post about a piece of news.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

BATXILLERAT - Exploring Shakespeare's sonnet #18

In the presentation you can watch David Gilmour interpretation of SONNET 18, but if you need a change you can listen to Bryan Ferry's intepretation (this is an audio file).

If you need the handout associated to this activity, click here.

You may be interested in getting into metaphores. If so, you should have a look at this article from the Macmillan Dictionary Blog.

After we explored the contents of the poem, I asked my students to write their own versions of the first stanza. You can read them by clicking the COMMENTS link.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

4th ESO - What's this for?

We will use this activity to write some poems taking one of Philip Larkin's poems called Days.

View more presentations from Agusti’s Place.

Have a look at the commets to read some of my students poems.

Some other students included their work in the own blogs:
Andrea wrote about friends and home, Félix wrote a poem about dreams and Alberto made a poem about football.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2nd BATXILLERAT - University Access Exam

View more presentations from Agusti’s Place.

You can also find details about the exams at
Oficina d'Organització de Proves d'Accés a la Universitat
Via laietana, 33, 2n 1a
08003 Barcelona
tel: 93 552 69 80
fax: 93 552 69 83