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domingo, 25 de noviembre de 2012

International Day against Gender Violence [Trifles?]

Today is International Day against Gender Violence. First of all, I would like to recommend you a short story, Trifles by Susan Glaspell, where there is  reference to gender violence. We don't read about bartering because it was probably too much to say at the beginning of the 20th century. By clicking on the title you have access to the full  text. The main topics you will find on the text are:

  • social class differences
  • the importance of giving relevance to women's opinions
  • isolation in Northamerican rural areas
  • the topic and law and justice
The feminine characters are: Mrs. Peters, Mrs. Hale and Minnie Wright, who used to be "Minnie Fosters, one of the town girls singing in the choir".
Trifles is a one-act play where the main conflict is the class on the way of looking at things and details between men and women. 
What is the general mood/tone of the play?
It is mainly sad because of the topic of death. Nevertheless, Glaspell used a real murder to express the importance of women's opinions and active participation in society. This is why the mood changes into positive when the two women, distant because of their social status, end up linked by the empathy shown towards Minnie as a woman. 
You will find the images of the rocking chair, the preserves, the apron, the quilt, (have in mind the quilting has always been related to American women's way of narrating their lives), the birdcage and the death bird.

In relation to quilting, Philomela, having being raped  by her brother-in-law, Thereus, and having his tongue cut by him, quils and embroiders what happened to her, so Progne, her sister, finds out. You can read the whole myth in Metamorphosis VI.

Do some men still think that Helène Cixous's Binary thought should still be applied.


Other texts in the layout of songs in Spanish are the following:
  • Un extraño en mi bañera by Ana Belén
  • Malo by Bebe
  • Amor Cobarde by Marta Sánchez.
Thanks to a friend of mine I have taken part in the following campaign: Una foto contra el matón (a pic against the bully). Speak up and join us 

Tasks for secondary students:

Task 1: Listen and reflect on this song:

Task 2: Thanks to my 2.0 friend, Ana, from Close your books, we are going to read the following storybook by Rosalind P. Penfold published in Dragonslippers. 

Teaching English by Fran | International Women's Day
Teaching English by Fran | Mother's Day

Good Time [Weekends]

Weekends are shorts. I read last week that weekdays go that way, Mooooonday, Tueessssdddayy, Weeeedneessday, Thruuuuuusssday and Friday, Sat, Sun. We normally do our favourite things at weekends. We hang out with our friends, go to the cinema (to spend a fortune, lately), read in bed with the short sunspells that enter through your window, walk your dogs by the beach, short naps after a nice meal. Weekends are mostly to have a good time.
This weekend, I have had the chance to visit Oli Novembre's oil mill, their fields with 2,500 olive trees with a Majorcan variety of olive, the Arbequina. This is what it can be read in the dictionary about it "The name comes from the town of Arbeca; however, this variety is said to be actually originally from Palestine.
As well as being a table olive, it is used to produce a highly valued olive oil. Generally, arbequina-based olive oils are more buttery, with a slightly peppery finish.
Arbequina olives have one of the highest concentration of oil and are therefore mostly used for olive oil production. Harvesting is easy since the trees are typically low to the ground and allow for easy hand picking".
Don't hesitate to visit Oli November's web page if you want to know more about "green gold".

Woah-oh-oh-oh,  It's always a good time, Woah-oh-oh-oh,
It's always a good time...   Woke up on the right side of the ­­­_____,
What's up with this spring song inside my head?
Hands up if you're down to___   ____   ____
Cuz it's always a good time.

Slept in all my ______ like I didn't care,  Hopped into a cab, take me anywhere,
I'm in if you're down to get down tonight,  Cuz it's always a good time.

Good morning and good night,  I wake up at twilight,
It's ____ be alright, We don't even have to try,
It's always a good time...


Feet down, dropped my _____ in the pool again,
Checked out of my_____ , hit the ATM,
Let's hang out if you're down to get down tonight,
Cuz it's always a good time... 

Activities proposed by Salvador F. 

-1- Complete the gaps.
-2- Find three verbs in past simple.
-3- Find one use of get.

Guillermo F. has also thought about the song. It's poppy and cheesy enough for everybody. Here you are his proposal:

1.Find three mistakes.

Woke up on the left side of the bed,
What's up with this spring song inside my head?
Hands up if you're up to get down tonight,
Cuz it's always a bored time.

Slept in all my clothes like I did care,
Hopped into a cab, take me wherever,
I'm in if you're down to get down tonight,
Cuz it's always a bored time.

2.Listen to the song and write the missing words.

Good …….. and good …….,
I wake up at twilight,
It's gonna be alright,
We don't even have to ……..,
It's ……… a good time...

Slept in all my ………. like I didn't care,
Hopped into a …….., take me anywhere,
I'm in if you're down to ………. down tonight,
Cuz it's always a good ……... .

3.What Do You feel when you listen this song?     


Gonna:going to(voy a…)

Have you had a good time over the weekend?

Teaching English by Fran | Stand by Me
Teaching English by Fran | Burns Night 

sábado, 24 de noviembre de 2012

I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing

Through the centuries, the human race has been fascinated with the concept of Armageddon. During that time, the word has been separated from its original biblical context. The true meaning of Armageddon has been replaced by the secular concept of humanity destroying itself. The word is now synonymous with nuclear war, natural disasters, impact from a comet or an asteroid, and any number of creatively conjured existential threats. Yet, the 
Bible doesn’t connect a single one of these events with Armageddon.

I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing by Aerosmith

Activities: (by Jaume V.)

  1. Listen to the song and put one word in each gap.

I could stay awake just to hear your _________,
Watch you __________ while you are sleeping,
While you are far away and dreaming,
I could spend my life in this sweet ___________,
I could stay lost in this moment forever,
Where a moment spent with you is a moment I _________,,


I don't want to close my
_________, I don't want to fall asleep,
Cause I miss you baby, and I don't want to
_________ a thing,
Cause even when I dream of you, the
_________ dream will never do,
I still miss you baby and I don't want to
_________ a thing

Lying close to you feeling your _________ beating,
And I wondering what you are _________,
Wondering if it's me you are _________,
Then I kiss your eyes and thank god we're _________,
I just want to stay with you in this moment forever and forever and ever.


And I don't want to miss one _________,
I don't want to miss one _________,
I just want to be with you right here with you,
Just like this, I just want to hold you close,
I feel your _________ so close to mine
And just stay here in this moment,
For all of the rest of time.

  1. Find and correct the mistakes in the following sentences.

a. I could stay awake just hear you breathing.

b. I could spend my live in these sweet surrender.

c. I don't want to close the eyes, I don't want to fall sleep.

d. And I wondering what you is dreaming, wondering if that is me you are seeing.

  1. Mark each sentence depending on the tense used.
I could stay awake just to hear your breathing,
Watch you smile while you are sleeping,
While you are far away and dreaming,
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender,
I could stay lost in this moment forever,
Where a moment spent with you is a moment I treasure.

Present simple tense
Present continuous tense
Past simple tense

e. g. I could stay awake.

  1. True/False answers:

-          Both lovers don’t want to fall sleep. (True/False)

-          She is seeing his boyfriend while he is sleeping. (True/False)

-          This song is a dream story of someone who has fallen in love. (True/False)

-          He doesn’t want to miss one kiss and he doesn’t want to miss one smile. (True/False)

I hope you don't wanna miss a thing at my classes.

Teaching English by Fran | Because of You
Teaching English by Fran | Count on Me

jueves, 22 de noviembre de 2012


On Thanksgiving, many Americans gather with their family around the table and enjoy a turkey meal and many other tasty dishes, as their ancestors did centuries ago. 

Task 1: After watching the video, answer the following questions:

1. When was the First Thanksgiving and what did their first meal consist of?
2. In 1777, the thirteen colonies celebrated 
   their Thanksgiving to commemorate the   
   victory at Saratoga; over whom was their triumph? 
3. What did Sarah Josepha Hale do for a living?
4. When was Thanksgiving national day set on 
   the 4th Thursday in November?
5. What's the name of the department store 
   which organizes New York's Thanksgiving 

Task 2: Relative clauses

Wampanoag tribe who taught them about fishing, planting and hunting.
Abraham Lincoln, who saw the unifying potential of the holiday.

Task 3: Past simple
You can do the following activity done by Isabel Pérez.

To honour Sarah J. Hale, who believed in Thanksgiving as a national day to join American people, here you are her most famous nursery rhyme

Mary had a little lamb its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.
It followed her to school one day, which was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play, to see a lamb at school.
And so the teacher turned it out, but still it lingered near,
And waited patiently about till Mary did appear.
"Why does the lamb love Mary so?" the eager children cry;
"Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know" the teacher did reply.

Happy Thanksgiving Day

Teaching English by Fran | 4th of July
Teaching English by Fran | Halloween 

domingo, 18 de noviembre de 2012

She Wolf

The question of gender in English is not complicated; however, we cannot say that there is no gender distinction. Sometimes it is as easy as placing she- before the name, as in the title of the song, She-wolf

Some professions mark a difference between the masculine and the femenine, such as waiter/waitress or  actor/actress , both of them using the latin suffix -trix. There was a debate among American actresses who want to avoid sex discrimination, saying that if English has not gender marking difference, they should be called actors too.

There is also the common French diminute suffix which has feminine connotations or little one -ette, as in kitchenette  or cigarette from cigar.

As the song is about a she-wolf, I am teaching my students some animal names which have a feminine form.


A shot in the dark
A past, lost in space
Where do I start?
The past, and the chase?
You hunted me down
Like a wolf, a predator
I felt like a deer in love lights

You loved me and I froze in time
Hungry for that flesh of mine
But I can't compete with a she wolf who has brought me to my knees
What do you see in those yellow eyes
Cause I'm falling to pieces

I'm falling to pieces ( x 4 )
Falling to pieces
I'm falling to pieces
Falling to pieces

Exercices by Laura A.

1.Write the missing words. Use these words and put the verbs in past simple if it is necessary.
                     Hunt  ,  hungry ,  compete  , shot  ,  pieces
-_______  for  that  flesh of mine.
-I’m falling to _______.
-A _______ in the dark.
-You ______ me down.
-I can’t ________ with her.

2.Put the following  words in the correct order to make questions.

-I falling am pieces to.
-You do see that in what those eyes yellow.
-Like wolf I, predator a.

Frozen--- congelado
Hunt--- cazar
Shot--- disparo
Chase--- caza
Knees--- rodillas

How to use present continuous:
Subject + to be + verb + ing + complement
                 I am fall + ing to pieces

Nowadays monsters, vampires, werewolves are a trend. Let me know if you find a she-wolf on your way.

Teaching English by Fran | Wide Awake
Teaching English by Fran | All Around the World

miércoles, 14 de noviembre de 2012

Wide Awake

It's time to fly away to an enchanted world: fairies, magic butterflies, trees that speaks wait for us. But, beware, there are also minotaurs, creepy crawly creatures and a prince charming. To see all these and more you should be Wide Awake.
My proposal is why don't you write your own short story. You can hand it whenever you want during this year. Of course, you must start with "Once upon a time". 

Isa B. has worked on the song and this is what she proposes:

Wide Awake

(Timing 1:29)
1.-Fill the blanks with the words in brackets:


I'm wide awake (x 3) 

 Yeah, I _____ in the dark 
 I was _____ hard 
 With an open heart I'm wide awake 
 How did I read the _____ so wrong
 I'm wide _____ And now it's clear to me 
 That everything you see A
in't always what it seems 
 I'm wide awake Yeah, I was _____ for so long

I wish I knew then; _______________ What I know now:_______________

Wouldn't dive in:_________________ Wouldn't bow down:_____________
Gravity hurts:___________________  You made it so sweet:___________
Till I woke up on the concrete:_____________

3.-Sing along(surprise gift):

Falling from cloud 
Crashing from the high 
I'm letting go tonight 
(Yeah I'm) Falling from cloud

4.-Put in order the next setences:

I'm wide awake 
And landed on my feet 
Picked up every piece
I'm wide awake 
Not losing any sleep 
Need nothing to complete myself - nooohooo

Remember to be wide awake and be participative in class!

Teaching English by Fran | Because of You
Teaching English by Fran | Movember

lunes, 12 de noviembre de 2012


Once more, Bruno Mars. This time his Grenade.  Teenagers rule. This is their music space where they can listen to their favourite songs as well as learning some English. The idea is that they can prepare the lyrics, by giving them a proper layout so there are no so much chorus repetition. Then they decide on two activities to do over the song and finally they supply their classmates with a glossary of new words and a refreshment on any grammar points already studied in class.

The debate is the following: What would you able to do for someone's else? For a member of your family, a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or an unknown person. Please think about that and share it with me in class or by comment

Grenade by Bruno Mars

Alfonso C. has thought that you may like to fill in the gaps with these  missing words: Go, flames, understand, anything, car, numb, blade, same, open,

Easy come, easy ___________ That's just how you live, oh
Take, take, take it all But you never give
Should've known you was trouble From the first kiss
Had your eyes wide open Why were they  ___________ ?
(You are supposed to translate this first paragraph in the song)

Gave you all I had
And you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, you did

To give me all your love
Is all I ever asked 'cause
What you don't understand is

I'd catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a  ___________  for ya
I'd jump in front of a train for ya
You know I'd do anything for ya

Oh oh, I would go through all of this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for you, baby
But you won't do the  ___________  [Chorus]

No, no no

Black, black, black and blue Beat me 'til I'm  ___________ 
Tell the devil I said "hey" When you get back to where you're from

Mad woman, bad woman That's just what you are
Yeah, you'll smile in my face Then rip the brakes out my  ___________ .


If my body was on fire Oh, you'd watch me burn  ___________  in flames
You said you loved me, you're a liar
'Cause you never, ever, ever did baby


Juan Carlos A. has chosen the same song. His work in on a ppp.

What would you do for a classmate? Would you catch a Grenade for him/her?

Teaching English by Fran | Count on Me
Teaching English by Fran | Sound of Music

domingo, 11 de noviembre de 2012

Remembrance Day

On 11/11 @ 11.00 an important event took place in the world: the signing of the Armistice, the end of the most cruel things in the world, war. Here you are a presentation on the topic: Remembrance day

View more presentations from franmcamacho

You can also listen to it while following the lyrics:

On your maypole green
See the winding morris men
Angry Alfie, Bill and Ken
Waving hankies, sticks and books
All the earthen roofs

Standing at the crease
The batsman takes a look around
The boys are fielding on home ground
The steeple sharp against the blue
When I think of you

Sam and Andy , Jack and John
Charlie, Martin, Jamie, Ron
Harry, Stephen, Will and Don
Matthew, Michael. 

On and on

We will remember them (x 3) (twice) [Chorus]

Time has slipped away
The Summer sky to Autumn yields
A haze of smoke across the fields
Let's sup and fight another round
And walk the stublbed ground

When November brings
The poppies on Remembrance Day
When the vicar comes to say
Lest we forget our sons  + [Chorus] (x 4)

Remember those who deceased on any war conflict on Remembrance Day. (link to a crossword game)

Teaching English by Fran | Memorial Day
Teaching English by Fran | Greek Independence Day and Greek Easter

sábado, 10 de noviembre de 2012

Because of You

Because of You is about not repeating the same mistakes. As parents, we don't think of our children when we are fighting. Children should not be exposed to certain types of conversations. Where is the limit?

Kelly Clarkson was an American Pop Idol's winner. Since then her career is going on and on and she is even a member of some charities, such as March for Babies, where funds are collected to improve health of new-born prematurely, Houses of Hopes, where orphanages are being built in Southern Africa or Save the Children

Personally, I support Movember to raise awareness and funds for male cancer research. Don't forget to visit our space and support us on the following link http://es.movember.com/team/922961. In my school we are going to do some handicrafts and the money collected will go to the Capuchinos' refectory, where people in need go to pick up some food every day.

Because Of You

Elisabeth V. has done the following two activities:

I will not make the same ________  that you did 
I will not let myself cause my heart so much misery 
I will not _____  the way you did 
You fell so hard 
I've learned the hard way, to _____ let it get that far 

Because of you 
I never stray too far from the sidewalk 
_______ of you 
I learned to play on the safe side 
So I don't get hurt 
Because of you 
I find it hard to trust 
Not only me, but ________ around me 
Because of you 
I am afraid 

I lose my way 
And it's not too long ______ you point it out 
I cannot cry 
Because I know that's weakness in your eyes 
I'm forced to fake a smile, a laugh 
Everyday day of my life 
My ______ can't possibly break 
When it wasn't even whole to start with 


I watched you die 
I heard you cry 
Every night in your ______ 
I was so young 
You should have known _______ than to lean on me 
You never thought of anyone else 
You just saw your pain 
And now I cry 
In the middle of the night 
For the same damn thing 


Because of you  (x 2)
1.Put the missing words.

2. Ordered the following sentences:

- my /of / everyday / life.

- play / learned / to / I / on / side / safe / the.

- fell / you / hard / so .

Remember I do everything because of you. 

Teaching English by Fran | Count on Me
Teaching English by Fran | Save the World

jueves, 8 de noviembre de 2012

Count On Me

Today's song is about friendship. We all have seen some posters with clown images and maxims by Rabindranath Tagore about friendship and when we can count on a friend. Bruno Mars's Count On Me is about friends in need. 
Daniel M. wants to share his choice with the following tasks:

1. Complete the sentences with the words or contractions you hear.

-_ you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea
-I’ll sail the world to find _
-If you _ find yourself lost in the dark and you can’t see
-I’_ be the light to guide you
-Find out what we’_ made of
-When we are __ to help our friends in need.

[Minute 0:04-0:36]

2. Listen the chorus and write in your notebook if  your friends have ever helped you in a troublesome situation.
[Minute 0:37-0:59]

3. Identify the tenses of the following verbs of each sentence.

-I’ll be there.

-I can count on you.

-Because that’s what friends are supposed to do.

-You’ll always have my shoulder when you cry.

The following glossary can help you with the understanding of the song:

-Stuck: Atascado, a la deriva.
-Sail: Navegar.
-Guide: Guiar.
-Tossin’: Sacudir
-Turnin’: Voltear, girar.
-Fall asleep: conciliar el sueño.
-Beside: Sinónimo de next to, (al lado).
-‘Cause=Because: Porque.
-Tenses: Tiempo verbal.
-Chorus: Estribillo

Teaching English by Fran | Stand By Me
Teaching English by Fran | Save The World