World Englishes


This is just a short post to show you this small presentation to introduce the topic World Englishes.

As  a complement we have this no-preparation role play about the same topic.




It’s been a long time since I last published an activity here. But here we are again. I don’t remember how many times I’ve taught or shown the US electoral system to my students. It’s complicated and different from ours in Spain. Of course, what happens in the USA affects the whole world and it’s important for us. If we combine these two factors, we have a reason to talk about it in class.

I found this video on the facebook group Cosas que encuentro para clase and I decided to exploit it for my lesson this evening. Here are the instructions.

LEVEL: b2 and above

TIME: 45 minutes

MATERIALS: video and cards.


  1. Elicit from your students any information they know about the US elections and what they know about their candidates.
  2. Play the video and explain that they have to pay attention because they have to answer some questions afterwards.
  3. Form groups of 4 people. One of them is the moderator of the game and will have the sheet with the answers. The other 3 are the players.
  4. Give each group a set of cards and give each moderator the answersheet.
  5. Each group has to put their stack of cards facing down on the desk. In turns, players take a card, if they know the answer, they keep it, if they don’t, the next player can try to guess, and the next if necessary. If nobody guesses, the moderator keeps the card.
  6. The moderator decides if the answer is right or wrong.
  7. The student with more cards at the end wins.

Here you can find the video and download the cards and the answersheet.

What makes a good life?

I came across this Ted Video this morning and decided to prepare a class activity about it. The topic is ideal for my group of teachers and non-teachers who attend a B2 speaking course.


LEVEL: B2 and above

AGES: 16 and above

TIME: 90 minutes approx

MATERIALS: youtube video projected in class

GROUPING: pairs, small groups and whole class

You can download the lesson plan here or read it below.


a) Pre-watching (15 minutes)

Ask students these questions. They should answer in small groups, then do some whole group feedback. I suggest you form the groups attending to age. Answers might vary according to life experience.

  1. What keeps us healthy and happy trough life? 
  2. If you were going to invest in your future self, where would you put your time and your energy?
  3. What are your most important goals in life?

b) Watch until minute 1:17. (5 minutes)

4. Ask this question and get whole class feedback: Are you surprised with what is said in the video?

c) Now watch until 1:57. (20 minutes)

5. Ask this question: How can we analyse the entire life of somebody? (whole class question)

6. Ask them to work in the groups you organised during the prewatching. They have 10 minutes to design a plan to study 100 people lives, from their childhood till they die. They also have to focus on their level of happiness.

7. Choose a spokesperson per group and ask them to explain their conclusions.

d) Watch until minute 6:01 (15 minutes)

8. Before watching, ask them to gather as many details as possible about how the project is conducted.

9. What did they find out about these people?

10. What lessons do you think they’ve learnt from this study?

e) Watch until the end. (25 minutes)

11.Discuss these questions in groups:

    1. What is the lesson they learnt? Give as many details as possible
    2. Do you agree with this lesson?
    3. What’s the effect of long-lasting and close relationships in our lives?

12. Now you know the secret, what can you do to achieve a better life? Design a plan. 


Christmas Report

20131212-104402.jpgI don’t like giving homework for holidays, but I think it’s necessary that students do things constantly so that their linguistic competence improves more and more. That’s why I’ve thought of this simple report. The only thing they have to do is writing down whatever they do in English: watching a film, reading the news, listening to a podcast, etc.

My aim with this small record is that they become aware of what they have done and what they could have done. I hope it works that way.

You can download the Christmas report here.

Zen Christmas

This year I decided to repeat this activity I had done three years ago (explained here). This is what I wrote in that article:

Some days later I came accross this beautiful article thanks to my friend Laura Martín. The article appeared in the blog Zen Habits and talks about how much money we spend on Christmas presents and gives advice on how we could share costless things with our beloved ones. And I thought, why don’t we have our zen presents in class? And so this activity was born.
Continue reading

Natasha Bedingfield: Unwritten

Whenever I hear this song I say to myself, I have to do something with it, after a lot of thinking, here is the activity I designed:

Time: 30 minutes

Skills: Listening, reading, speaking, writing. Students are encouraged to listen to a song, read its lyrcis, write and speak about it. They are forced to think in English and speak about feelings.

Level: Upper-Intermediate to Advanced

Aim: To analyse the meaning of the song and to write some creative lines.

Contents: Expressing your opinion, talking about feelings.


  • Students watch the videoclip of the song Unwritten, by Natasha Bedingfield. If we have time, we can share with them what the Wikipedia says about this song.
  • We tell them to pay attention to what happens there and at the end we ask them what they saw. If they don’t know what to say, we can tell them to say what they think that happened in the lift, and where it takes everyone.
  • Then we give them the lyrics and ask them the meaning of the song. If they don’t know what to say, we can use the ideas given at Blurt It. They have to write a few lines about it and then share them with their classmates.
  • When they’re finished, we’ll point out these lines taken from the song:

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in

  • We share with them this idea: It’s clear that feeling the rain on your skin is something that can make you feel alive.
  • Now it’s their time to share with the whole class those things that make them feel alive.

These kinds of activities are sometimes risky, so we have to think it twice before using it with a group that’s not cohesive enough or with people afraid to talk about feelings.


These notes contain some extracts from the website Blurt It and the lyrics to the song, together with the questions students have to answer.