FisHProyect or My POdCast...

viernes, 5 de diciembre de 2008

PODCAST: Fish, Life under the sea.

Intended Students:

This podcast was created to be used with a group of 45 Chilean students, whose first language is Spanish, and who are in 6th grade of middle school. At this level, they have one year of learning English; they are familiarized with the sounds; the spelling ; and some basic vocabulary. These students belong to different social backgrounds, but they share, as most of kids, a clear interest in technology. At this stage of their learning they are ready to work with some grammatical construction, verbs and start to develop some creative writing.


For "The Vertebrates series" the objectives are the following:

Language: Learn comparative structures (, bigger, smalest,etc ), recognize vocabulary related with vertebrates animals ( fur, scales, eggs, cold blood, fins, etc), learn positive and negative structures (Have, Don´t have)

Content: Learn about vertebrates animals, their main characteristics and the differences between different species.

For " Fish: life under the sea" podcast the objectives are the following:

Language: Learn vocabulary related with fish structures ( fins, scales, cold blood, gills), positive and negative structures (have and don´t have)

Content: Become familiar with the diferent parts of fish, discriminate between fish and other species.

This series has taken vertebrate animals as a path to learn language. Mainly because, this topic has a direct relation with contents that the students are revising in other subject, at that level. In this way, this series tries to intergrate contents between different areas of learning.

Elements that make this podcast comprehensible:

This podcast is presented in a multimodality way; attached to the speaking text, are the written words and videos related with them. The series has been thought to be interconnected; vocabulary items are used repeatedly in the different podcast; comparisons between different species relate one with another, and reinforce the contents.

Strategies that based this podcast:

Teaching language through content: This podcast takes the fish as a topic to achieve language learning goals.

Lesson should include the four modes: In the podcast we can experience read and listening. The activities that go next to the podcast; as write sentences; or discuss about the differences between groups of animals, include speaking and writing.

Lessons should have meaning and purpose for learners now: The idea to present a vertebrate animals series is to work with something that is relevant with what the students are doing in other subject, work with something that they know is important for them to learn about.

REFLECTION 6: If only she knew...

miércoles, 26 de noviembre de 2008

It has been very difficult for me to find a situation to critizise. Mainly, because I think that Mrs. Rose is doing a great job with the children she teaches, I have seen everyday how she works and how the students have been proggressing in their learning. It is also true, that the situation which she has to face is not very easy; students from differentes cultures, ages and educational levels.

If I had to make any kind of suggestion to this class. I´d say that Mrs. Rose has to pay more attention in the integration of the different groups that exist in this class. In this clasroom is very common to see students get together with the people of their own country, and speak in their L1.

We have learnt that the acquisition of a language happens in social interaction. In this classroom, you can see a lot of division between the students. This can be explained, because the class is new and the students know each other just since September. Maybe, their are just living a proccess of adjustment. Even though, I think that the teacher can develop some activities to promote the cohesion of the group.

For this purpose I have chosen some sites that can help:

REFLECTION 5; Response to a question about English teaching.

lunes, 24 de noviembre de 2008

My answer in Judi´s site:

I was wondering how I can help the parents of my ELLs to bridge their own fear of learning English? Any suggestions?


There´s no doubt that parents are essential in their children development. Because of this, create in them a good disposition to learn and to help their children with their English is important. In order to do this I´d try to create activities in which students ask their parents for information ( ex. family recipes, family trees, stories) To make parents feel part of the proccess of learning their children are living can result as a motivating activity for them, and can trigger their interest for English.

I recommend you this site, in it you can find more tips to involve parents in the learning of English.

About my answer:

I think that my answer is based on what we saw in classes about the TIPS (Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork). We´ve learnt that the role of parents is important in children education, and that we ,as teachers, must be willing to create links between the students´homes and the school. We have also learnt ,that it is important to take into account our students´ first culture and first language.

Reflection 4: Podcasting my way to mastery of English

domingo, 23 de noviembre de 2008

I´ve always believed that a teacher must be someone with some manage of cultural issues a little higher than the common people. We need to be able to talk about almost any topic. I have chosen three topics that are very interesting for me, personally. But I think that the three are related with my students´ interests in Chile. The first is:

These days, the discussion about technology; the latest gadgets, the fight between the companies for the control of the market and the appearence of new uses for internet has turned into material for daily conversation. Everybody seems interested in this topic. This site provides interesting and updated information about technology.

Some videos to check:,938-page,1-bid,0/video.html,840-page,1-bid,0/video.html,952-page,1-bid,0/video.html

The second site I´ve chosen, is related with one of the topics that I like most; and that kids mostly want to learn about, specially teenagers. Music, I think that this site, is the main source of pop music in the world:

In the videos section, we can find information about what the magazine is publishing every month, in the words of its authors.

Some videos to check:

Last but not least, there is a site related with my favorite sport: soccer! I have found a great webpage with good videos about soccer. This site contains information about the UEFA tournament which is the most popular soccer competition around the world.

Some videos to check:

I´ll check these sites every week, because for me is important to be updated in these topics. I think they can work as a listening practice for me. Anyway, I think that from these pages I can find videos to be used in my teaching. All the pages have great quality in sound and image, and the topics are close to my students interests.

REFLECTION 3: A topic in language education that I want to know more about.

miércoles, 19 de noviembre de 2008

I´d like to know more about substitute teaching, some advices for this work ,and good strategies to work as a subtitute teacher. During these days in the high school, I´ve faced twice the situation of a substitute teacher in the classroom. These two teachers have shown me that trying to fill the space that another teacher has created is very difficult. In just some minutes the teacher has to stablish a good relation with the students.

This situation made me think about it. I´d like to know if there´s any special place or program to train substitutes teachers. This dimension of the teaching job called my attention also because is common in my country that teachers works as substitutes in the begining of their careers.

Talking with Mrs. Right, the ESL teacher in the school, she told me that here in Spokane substitute teachers need to have a teacher certificate, but that´s not true for all the states in the U.S. In other states, this kind of teachers just need to had finished high school. The situation is similar in my country. there´s no special preparation for substitutes.

Here are some sites related with the teaching as a substitute. I´ve learned through this site three things that a substitute teacher needs to have; they have to be creative and be prepared to face any kind of classroom environment, they need information about almost any topic ,and from my search I can say that substitute teachers don´t have any special preparation. They are available just in the case of an emergency, they are not suppouse to be well prepared teachers.

I think that this kind of teachers need more preparation. The cases I saw here and my experience as a student in Chile tell me that, these characters are just in schools filling the schedule, just keeping the kids in the classroom.

REFLECTION 2: Websites that might help.

domingo, 16 de noviembre de 2008


“Shevchenko”, is one of the most advanced students in this ESL clasroom. I gave him that name because of the famous Ukranian soccer player. This student is a great fan of soccer as I do but I have to admit, that he knows more about European soccer than I. The other day, we started a conversation about soccer and he was so eager to speak. He shows fluency and accuracy in his words ,but most important he was motivated to speak.

Here in the U.S, soccer is not as important as it is in the rest of the world. Many of the students in ESL classrooms have as their favorite sport soccer. It is something that people from different countries share. I recommend teachers use this sport as a link between cultures.

About this particular student I´d suggested some soccer pages in English.,,12306,00.html

I think that these sites provide interesting reading for this student. Through this pages he can improve his reading skills. And maybe, he can create a kind of weekly paper to put in the classroom with soccer information. Why not?

REFLECTION 1: A case of effective language learning

jueves, 13 de noviembre de 2008

With a little help from my friends.

The second hour was about to begin and the room has already some visitors in it. In this ESL classroom the doors are open for anybody who wants to give some help. The students here are from different parts of the world, this is reflected in; different L1, cultural background, ages and English levels. The visitors in this clasroom are some American students from the same high scool.

The class starts, Ms. Ross gives the instructions: Students have to go to the bookcase, pick up a book and begin reading it. The visitors help students; Reading with them, helping them with the pronunciation of some words or just listening to these beginners English learners.

Then, the students have to write about what have they read. The information required was: Name of the book, what it was about, name of the author, what you liked about the book and who you read with.


The effectiveness of the activity was proved when Ms. Ross checked what the students have read. Everybody has something to say about their books.

I think that this activity is learner-centered. Students worked almost by themselves; They chose what to read (content meaningful for them), which is also motivating for them, and later develop the questions about the book. The teacher here is just an observer of what is happening in the classroom.

In this activity, we can also see the importance of social interaction in learning a language. The students have the opportunity to receive feedback from English speakers who were from their same level age, rather than just from the teacher. This activity was very personalized, each student can work with someone individually.