Tuesday, 26 March 2013


The ECML is a Council of Europe institution based in Graz, Austria. In cooperation with the Language Policy Division of the Council the Centre functions as a catalyst for reform in the teaching and learning of languages.  The ECML is undoubtedly a reference point for all who are interested in excellence in language education. 

From these lines I would like to recommend a kit of CLIL units that has been the fruitful outcome of the CONBAT project   (CONTENT BASED TEACHING + PLURILINGUAL/CULTURAL AWARENESS). 

The units have been developed in English, French and Spanish and are aimed at Primary and Secondary levels. Each of the units has got detailed information about the author(s), target group, subjects, aims, competences, timing and needed resources. There are materials for teachers and for students in both pdf and Word formats. You can access the units from here.

Allow me to end this entry by giving you a piece of advice: scroll down the ECML home page till you get to the bottom, click on "register" and spend a couple of minutes to fill in the requested information because registering will give you free access to loads of interesting publications related to key language issues. The book of the month, "A Framework of Reference for Pluralistic Approaches", offers  a very powerful description of reference descriptors, attitudes, competences and resources that can be developed by pluralistic approaches. 

In my view, the sections on culture and attitudes come at just the right time for our seminar sessions which now  are being focused on CLIL planning with the 4Cs. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

eTwinning: a platform for teachers to develop collaborative projects in Europe

Today I'd like to remind all of you of the unique opportunity to be part of the most exciting learning community in Europe. The eTwinning Portal  allows you to do so as it provides online tools for teachers to find partners, set up projects, share ideas, exchange best practices and start working together.
The benefits of eTwinning are many, among which I'd personally remark the impact on students' learning. No doubt it is a rewarding experience for teachers too. However, it is not the purpose of these few lines to describe the innumerable advantages of getting involved in an eTwinning project  but to congratulate the winners of the National Awards 2013 and to provide you with the links to the projects corresponding to Secondary level: 

The project  Addressing the energy crunch, every little action counts focuses on energy and sustainability. (14-16 years) (Different subjects)

The Bermuda Triangle is a project in which students find out interesting facts about unusual events, objects, phenomena in their countries. The incentive for this is the mystery of Bermuda Triangle. (12-16 years) (Different subjects)

Picture yourself : taking pictures as a starting point, the students write and interact about teenage related topics: their lifestyles, their background and environments, their icons, their worries and concerns. The idea is to share their experiences with other European teenagers while improving their English and reinforcing their ICT skills. (16-19 years) (English, Citizenship, Tutorials)

Triangles Explorers is a Maths project . The students  learn about the triangle as a geometric shape. They  use Geogebra, ICT program, to find geometrical forms and construct them in class. Simultaneously, they use the English language to communicate and learn Maths and Maths language. (16-19 years)
Maths is B.E.A.U.  (that is, Beautiful, Easy, Amusing and Useful) is another Maths project that allows students  to explore together new ways to communicate Mathematics and to develop new teaching methods. The idea is to motivate students with everyday-life contexts and also to look for contexts that are experientially real for the students and can be used as starting points for progressive mathematization. (16-19 years)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013


The collaboration in a Comenius Regio Project between nine bilingual schools from Huelva and eight from Bournemouth has resulted in the development of thirty-two units on Science for both Primary and Secondary levels.

Each of the units includes a General Planning, Teacher's Guide and Resources.

As we agreed  in our last seminar session, on March 19th our  group work will focus on  analyzing how to plan a CLIL unit successfully by keeping in mind  both language objectives and subject objectives. Apart from analyzing the units we are using in our CLIL contexts in the Basque Country, we will take the opportunity of exploiting some of the units elaborated by Huelva and Bournemouth bilingual schools.

You can access the units from here

Tuesday, 5 March 2013


                                                                    UN Women

UN Women is the  new United Nations agency whose mission is to empower women and girls around the world. This year, International Women's Day will focus on ending violence against women, which is a top priority for UN Women. They believe in the power of music to change the world and so does Beth Blatt, who   wrote the lyrics, inspired by the incredible stories of women UN Women have helped. She  asked Graham Lyle ("What's Love Got To Do With It," etc.) to write the music, and he partnered with Somalian-British singer-songwriter Fahan Hassan.         

One Woman was the grand finale of the UN Women  launch ceremony on International Women's Day, 2010

Three years later, "One Woman" is ready. On March 8th -- International Women's Day -- they will release the song which  is aimed at  touching  the hearts of people everywhere. 25 internationally-acclaimed artists have taken part in the recording of the song. 

They sing for these women:
  • Cathy Eatock is an aboriginal woman and survivor of child sexual assault who pressed charges against her assailant despite resistance from her own community.
  • Mayerlis Angarita, a survivor of the armed conflict in Colombia, is using the power of words and the recovery of collective memory as a healing mechanism for the ravages of conflict and as a tool to raise awareness of women's rights.
  • After being attacked with a knife by in-laws, Shehnaz Bano filed a case under India's Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act -- a move that allowed her to escape the spiral of dowry-related abuse and likely saved her life.

You can read about these courageous women if you enter the  (s)heroes  page  at the top of the screen (just below the title "One woman")  and you can watch some video clips with the artists' views on women's  rights by clicking on the   artists page. 

Apart from enjoying the song you can check how much  you know about   some facts on violence against women by taking the SAY NO QUIZ .  (What's more, every point you score counts towards the Say NO action counter.). 

Therefore, why not buy a song, take a quiz or donate  a tweet  if these simple 
actions can help improve women's lives all around the world?