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DIDACTIC UNIT: “TRAVELLING IS FUN”!
1. INTRODUCTION AND JUSTIFICATION:
The knowledge of foreign languages is, at present, fundamental due to its international
influence in terms of education, work , culture, tourism and technology among others.
Our society in Extremadura has increased its competition in order to access to the job
market where speaking foreign languages, may strongly increase our possibilities of
getting a well paid job, and also to be better prepared for the future. The Education
“Consejería” and the “Junta de Extremadura” have made many efforts to increase and
improve the quality of the foreign language education. In this sense, some educational
programs have been developed in order to get better prepared English teachers in terms
of linguistic level, lastest methodological approaches and teaching programs, but also the
last innovations in terms of resources and materials (including the New Technologies in
Foreign Language teaching) .
The present Didactic Unit develops the objectives, key competences, contents,
methodology and assessment criteria for the topic AT THE AIRPORT taking into account
the following legislation:
- The Organic Law 2/2006 of 23rd May about Education, (LOE).
- Royal Decree 1513/2006 of the 7th of December, in which the minimun contents
corresponding to primary education are stated.
− The Decree-Law 142/2007, of June 26th, in which the Primary Education Curriculum
of LOE is established.
THE AIRPORT is a fundamental tool for establishing relationships and fostering the
Education for the Consumer and recycling habits according to “Ecocentros”
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 3
The Didactic Unit was previously agreed upon in coordination with the Teaching Staff of
the 3rd cycle, which decided to organize a trip to “Talavera la Real Airport” at the end of
the term (links to other learning areas: Geography). As it’s the last unit in the
programming, it focusses more on the oral skills in order to revise most of the
vocabulary learned throughout the year.
Throughout this Unit we’ll try to cover de four linguistic skills (listening, speaking, reading
and writing), the cross curricular themes and Basic Competence closely related to this
Finally, it’s essential to show some points about this unit:
It’ll will take approximately a minimum of 9 sessions of teaching time.
This Didactic Unit has been designed for pupils in the 2nd year of the 3rd cycle of Primary
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 4
2.1. The stage:
Primary Education comprises six academic years and it’s organized into three cycles of
two years each.The present programme planning has been designed for pupils in the 1st
year of the 2nd Cycle.
2.2. The school:
The school is a public Primary centre located in a middle- class neighbourhood of a small
town with 200 pupils.There are approximately 20 students per class.
2.3. The students:
The pupils are 11 and 12 years old. According to Piaget, most children this age begin a
new period referred to as the concrete-operational stage in which they start becoming
less ego-centric and dependent on their parents and focus more on making friends of the
same age and sex. They now make decisions in groups and accept rules; they are more
autonomous and can represent aspects of reality more clearly.
Children at this age are naturally curious, love to play and use their imagination, are
comfortable with routines and enjoy as well as need repetition. Likewise, they also have
quite a short attention span and so need a variety of activities to maintain their attention
and motivation. They are not able to understand grammatical rules although they can
comprehend simple explanations about language, and are beginning to develop the
reading and writing skills in their own language. All these characteristics must be
considered when planning the activities which make up a course syllabus.
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Concrete operational stage
The Concrete operational stage is the third of four stages of cognitive development in
Piaget's theory. This stage, which follows the Preoperational stage, occurs between the
ages of 7 and 12 years and is characterized by the appropriate use of logic. Important
processes during this stage are:
Seriation—the ability to sort objects in an order according to size, shape, or any other
characteristic. For example, if given different-shaded objects they may make a color
Transitivity- The ability to recognize logical relationships among elements in a serial
order (for example, If A is taller than B, and B is taller than C, then A must be taller than
Classification—the ability to name and identify sets of objects according to appearance,
size or other characteristic, including the idea that one set of objects can include another.
Decentering—where the child takes into account multiple aspects of a problem to solve
it. For example, the child will no longer perceive an exceptionally wide but short cup to
contain less than a normally-wide, taller cup.
Reversibility—the child understands that numbers or objects can be changed, then
returned to their original state. For this reason, a child will be able to rapidly determine
that if 4+4 equals t, t−4 will equal 4, the original quantity.
Conservation—understanding that quantity, length or number of items is unrelated to the
arrangement or appearance of the object or items.
Elimination of Egocentrism—the ability to view things from another's perspective (even
if they think incorrectly). For instance, show a child a comic in which Jane puts a doll
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 6
under a box, leaves the room, and then Melissa moves the doll to a drawer, and Jane
comes back. A child in the concrete operations stage will say that Jane will still think it's
under the box even though the child knows it is in the drawer.
Children in this stage can, however, only solve problems that apply to actual (concrete)
objects or events, and not abstract concepts or hypothetical tasks.
- Use the language learnt throughout the year in a different context: the airport.
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- Recognise, name and talk about places in an airport: suitcase contents and personal
- Listen, read and act out oral exchanges about giving directions, security area,
boarding welcome and sales on board using politeness structures.
- Listen, read and understand specific information from a comic strip and airport
- Participate in songs, chants and games practising pronunciation, intonation, stress,
rhythm of different statements, and showing awareness of the sound-spelling
- Write simple texts about this topic with varied objectives and following models.
- Express oneself and interact orally in simple situations at an airport, using non verbal
communication and respectful attitude.
- Learn to use and value the new Technologies (the Internet, Pc and Interactive
Whiteboard...) as fundamental resources to communicate and obtain information and for
practising the linguistic skills.
- Value the Foreign Language and all languages in general as a great communication
tool among different people and cultures.
- Show an attitude of confidence in one’s own ability in the use of the foreign language.
- Identify aspects of phonetics, rhythm, accent and intonation, linguistic structures and
lexical aspects o and use them as basic elements of communication.
Block 1. Listen, speak and converse:
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- Listening to and understanding oral messages related to airport real-life situations by
using audio-visual and computerized tools in order to extract general and specific
- Spoken interactions in real or simulated situations by using verbal/ non verbal
- Interest in participating actively in songs, chants, games and dramatisations, following
- Appreciation of Foreign Language as an instrument of communication.
Block 2. Reading and Writing
- Reading and understanding texts (printed and digitalized) in order to use the information
in the development of different oral and written tasks: labelling, describing itineraries,
asking for info...
- Reading and writing texts related to airport situations such as flying tickets, notes, price
- Use of the Interactive Whiteboard to read/write information and use the Internet to book
- Interest in the presentation of written texts.
Block 3. Knowledge of the language.
3.1. Linguistic Knowledge:
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1. Identification of aspects of phonology, rhythm, stress, intonation of the Foreign
Language, and their use in the comprehension and production of short spoken texts.
2. Identification and use of previously-acquired vocabulary and structures with adequate
fluency and accuracy.
3. Interest in using the Foreign Language correctly in varied situations.
a) Basic vocabulary: Check in, information, gate, duty-free shop; map, sunglasses,
toothpaste, towel; belt, oxygen mask, life jacket.
b) Revision vocabulary: Restaurant, parking, toilets; go straight on, turn right/left;
jeans, shirt, hat,trainers; pizza,salad,coffee,coke,juice,water;colours;numbers;personal
details and alphabet.
c) Active language: Excuse me, where’s the...?/What’s in your suitcase? In my suitcase
I’ve got.../Have you got.....? Yes, I have/No, I haven’t./What’s your
name?/nationality?/Your ticket, please./ Here you are / Thank you/.Can I have (food) ,
please?/ How much is it? /It’s&...
d) Receptive language: Emergency rules(fasten, unfasten....)/arrivals/
e) Phonetics: Rhythm, intonation and stress of the ABC, words and sentences of the
3.2. Reflection on learning:
- Use of different procedures, audiovisual and computerized support for the acquisition of
new vocabulary and structures
- Use of graphic means for consultation of the time in different English- speaking
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- Cooperation in different groupings (team-work, in pairs) in order to achieve a common
-Effort to improve linguistic production and recognising errors as part of the learning
Block 4. Socio-cultural Aspects and Intercultural Awareness.
- Interest and receptive attitude in discovering information about people and culture where
the Foreign Language is spoken.
- Socialisation in surroundings that are different from their own : the airport.
- Respect for classmates in order to create a good social atmosphere in class.
- Interest in knowing the time in English-speaking countries.
- Respect for the rules governing conversations and the rules of security and good
5. CROSS-CURRICULAR TOPICS:
According to LOGSE, there are eight CROSS-CURRICULAR THEMES within the
curriculum, which are teaching contents that conform an important way to show our pupils
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 11
values in order to be prepared for the future within our society. For this unit the CCC work
Moral and Civic education: Using courtesy rules as a sign of fellowship to other people.
Health education: Following the established rules on the airport in order not to risk our
6. BASIC COMPETENCES:
The principal characteristics of the basic competences are:
−To promote the development of the capacities better than the assimilation of the
−The application character of the learning process: A competent person is one who is
capable of resolving problems related to his environment.
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− Dynamic character:They are developed in a progressive manner and in different
− Interdisciplinary character. They integrate various learnings from different disciplines.
The basic competences for this unit are:
Competence in Linguistic communication: Following instructions, asking and
Mathematical competence: Practicing numbers and additions to buy and give the
Knowledge and Interaction with the physical world: Recognizing different
Digital competence and Treatment of information: Using the Interactive White Board
to practice the linguistic structures of the unit, and the Internet to buy a flight ticket.
Social and Civic competence: Using good manners and respecting safety rules on the
Cultural and Artistic competence: Making a plane cabin,passport and ticket. Rhythm in
Learning to Learn Competence:Memorising a dialogue. Using a chart to organise
Personal Autonomy and Initiative: Showing respect towards others in cooperative
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In Primary Education, the educational objective of foreign languages is fundamentally
directed toward the learners’ acquisition of communicative competence with a basic
level sufficient for communication in common everyday activities and in situations related
to the interests and motivations of the students. This syllabus reflects and meets this
objective fully, and serves a bridge between what students have already learned in the
previous stages of Infant and Primary Education.
A. The teaching approaches and methodological principles:
In the last decades the teaching of Foreign Languages has changed from a grammar
approach to a communicative approach; in other words, from the teaching of grammar
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rules and vocabulary to the use of language with a communicative purpose in everyday
In this programming I’ve selected and put into practice a mixture with the most useful
ideas of the main Foreign Language teaching approaches: Communicative
approach,Linguistic approach, Direct method approach, Student based approach, Natural
Our methodology is based on a variety of methodological principles to take into
account in the class development:
- Active participation and collaboration of the pupils.
- A great variety of motivating activities and games to join the different intellects
(managing diversity) and ways of learning.
- Development of the four basic skills.
- Start with the pupil’s previous knowledge.
- Development of the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve autonomy in one’s own
- Development of strategies in the pupils to “learn how to learn” (great variety of
materials , sheets to reflect on their own work ...)
- Variety of classroom management (grouping and spaces).
- Use of audiovisual and computerised resources and formats :Pictures, video, and new
To summarise, we may say that throughout this programming our main aims are to create
a motivating atmosphere where pupils feel self-confident and may become more
autonomous in their daily performance. To do that we need to offer them topics,
vocabulary, grammar structures, but above all, a variety of activities according to their
interest, tastes and level.
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It’s also fundamental to speak in English as much as possible in every session by using
non verbal communication resources (gestures, pictures, flashcards...) as alternative
ways of teaching meaning. At the same time, we must involve our pupils in interesting
activities in order to keep the motivation towards the English language. In this sense,
Stephen Krashen claims that “if we are able to keep the motivation in the classroom
during the Learning-Teaching process, at least an 80% of our success will be achieved”.
B .Classroom management :
There are some factors we need to take into account while preparing or setting up the
different didactic units in order to improve our teaching more. Those factors are the
- Groupings: The teacher must be able to control the classroom arrangement and
organise pupils individually, in pairs, or in groups depending of the kind of activity.
- Space and time management: The space (circle, horseshoes, orderly or separate
tables...) and the time management are factors to bear in mind when setting up some
session with physical activities, controlled and guided tasks.
- Role of the teacher: According to the aims of the activity we, as teacher, may play
different roles such as organiser, prompter, participant, controller...etc.
- Cooperative or competitive activities: It’s essential to find a balance between
cooperative activities which foster social skills and competitive activities where they’ll
have to do their best.
C. Resources and materials:
The activities will be accompanied with varied amount of resources and material as a
great support to involve pupils un authentic real-life situations where they can pun into
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 16
practise the language items previously presented and practised. Among those resources
we may highlight and outline the following ones:
- Audio-visual material: flashcards, posters, drawings, audio recordings, videos, power
point presentation, new technologies supports such as the internet, jclic program but
above all, the interactive whiteboard and their endless applications.
- Realia: clothes, food, furniture...etc in order to make the activity more realistic and
- Recycling materials: our pupils could create their own resources related to the topic
by using recycling materials, likes clothing, funny faces, bins...etc
Evaluation is an instrument which guides us in our classroom behaviour,detecting
progress and learning difficulties,and helping to find appropriate ways to deal with the
specific needs of pupils.
On the one hand,it provides fundamental information related to pupils(if they are able to
reach the objectives established, knowledges, attitudes... ) and on the other hand, about
the learning- teaching process (objectives, contents,activities,methodology,
8.1. Assessment criteria:( According to Royal Decree 1513/2006 of the 7 th of
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 17
1. Participate in oral interaction such as dialogues, dramatisations, songs...etc, respecting
the basic norms of communication interchange.
2. Grasp the general meaning and specific information in oral and written text about
familiar topics with specific purpose.
3. Write sentences and short texts in everyday situations with a specific purpose, in both
paper and digital format.
4. Use and identify some aspects related to the Foreign Language such as phonetics,
rhythm, stress, accent, intonation...etc, in different communication contexts and
5. Value the Foreign Language as an instrument of communication and respect linguistic
and cultural diversity among English speaking countries.
6. Use some strategies to learn how to learn, such as accompanying songs with gestures,
searching and work on information related to the topics in different formats, or use games
and strategies to show pupils how learn and use the Foreign Language.
8.2. Assessment stages:
1. Initial assessment: at the beginning of the academic year and each of the didactic
order to establish an initial pupils’ English level, pupils’ previous knowledge related to the
topic, and also become aware of their individual ways of learning.
2. Formative assessment: throughout the progression of each didactic unit by means of
different evaluation procedures and tools such as periodical revision, oral behaviour
(listening and speaking), individual reading skills, in pairs and team-work...etc
3. Summative assessment: at the end of each didactic unit a final examination in order
to check pupils progress and teacher performance. This final control is mainly directed to
listening, reading and writing skills examination.
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8.3. Assessment instruments:
-Self-evaluation sheet (knowledge, participation, effort, cooperation...).
- Individual pupil assessment sheet.(Identifies, says, acts out, extracts information,
- Individual test at the end of each unit in order to know if pupils have reached the aims
- English portfolio: it’s a document promoted by the Council of Europe where pupils
and teachers may register their learning-teaching experiences. Their pedagogical
• Learn to learn in a reflexive way.
• Clarify the learning objectives and identify competences.
• Foster auto-evaluation and self responsibility.
The portfolio is composed by three mini-documents:
- Language passport: where pupils write their personal details, they also can update
their progress about language learning, and finally, they can inform and outline about
cultural and linguistic experiences.
- Language biography: it can be very useful to value their learning progress throughout
the different didactic units. It gives the chance of planning and reflecting about their
- Learning dossier: it’s similar to an English corner where pupils may the different
projects, related to four linguistic skills, worked on through the sessions.
*Learning-teaching process evaluation: Teacher’s evaluation of the unit.(objectives,
activities, materials, motivation...).
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 19
a/ Power point presentation: Watch and discuss about airport places . We’ll play a PP to
present the topic and the main vocabulary ( terminal, check point, airport signs...etc)
b/ Vocabulary Presentation. Pupils must be able to guess and find out airport places
when listening to different short descriptions we give them. i.e:
- “It’s a place where you can buy perfumes, chocolates and alcoholic drinks.”: DUTTY
- “People can have breakfast, lunch or dinner”: RESTAURANT
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 20
c/ Listening: Where am I?: pupils listen to different explanations about where passengers
are inside de terminal, then they have to write on a piece of paper the right places.
- “Hello daddy, I’m checking my luggage next to the terminal building”
a/ TPR Activities with directions: Perform the actions (turn right, turn left, go straight on...)
after listening to some instructions. Then, one pupil, blindfolded, follows the instructions of
his/her teacher in order to find the end of the maze.
b/ Follow instructions and find a place in the airport map: we’ll give our students a blank
airport map where, following teacher’s instructions, they mark the correct itinerary to
different airport places.
- “Get through the main airport door, go straight on, turn left on the third corridor and turn
right at the end of the security area. Where are you?”
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 21
c/ Short dialogues to ask for information: In pairs, pupils may put into practise the
vocabulary previously worked out (Excuse me,where’s the...please?/Turn right at the.../
d/ Creating our own passport and flying tickets: by using recycling materials (used
cardboard and paper), they have to make their own passports and flight tickets, filling in
the blanks with their personal details.
a/ Practice vocabulary. Order the steps to follow in an airport, in other words, they have to
order different sequences based on a time line, from the moment they arrive at the
airport till they are on board. i.e:
1) Walking to the gate.
2) Check the luggage.
3) Asking for check-in point.
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 22
4) Buying a perfume
5) Show your passport or ID
b/ Order the sentences in the dialogue: they have to read a disordered dialogue related to
the topic and they’ll number the clauses in the correct way, i.e:
A:Can I have your flight ticket, please?
B:How much is it?
A:Hello, good morning, how are you?
A:Can I have your passport, please?
B:Fine, thank you.
A:It’s $20. Cash or credit card?
B:Here you are.
B:Here you are.
A:Place your baggage here, please.
B:Credit card, please.
A:Thank you. Have a nice flight!
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 23
c/ Practice in pairs the pronunciation of the previous conversation and act out the
d/ Performing the dialogue and final filming.
a/ Plane Vocabulary such as door, cockpit, galley, toilet (engaged/vacancy), aisle, row,
line..etc The teacher hands out different pictures with the main places inside the plane;
pupils may number them after several oral descriptions.
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 24
b/ Using a blank aircraft’s map, the children have to listen and write where each place is
- ” The forward galley is located at the front of the aircraft, next to cockpit., the backward
toilet is just behind the row 31”
c/ Presentation of accommodation vocabulary ( turn left/right, go straight on, row 16 next
to the window/ aisle/ or in the middle...). By organising the classroom as the configuration
of a plane, the teacher shows them how flight attendants seat passengers. (Good
morning, your ticket and your passport please / Your seat is 4 on the right / Thanks /
Have a good trip).
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 25
d/ “Welcome on board” dialogue performance
A: Good afternoon sir/madam. Could you show me your flight ticket, please?
B: Yes, sure. Here you are.
A: Go straight on and your seat is on the 6th row by the window.
B: OK, thank you very much.
a/ Presentation of emergency demo vocabulary (seat belt, oxygen mask, life jacket,
safety card, emergency exit). Using the objects they have brought they have to guess
what can they be for in a plane.
b/ Realia creation. Giving the kids real emergency items photos, they will create similar
ones by means of recycling materials.
- Oxygen mask: allergy mask + plastic tube.
- Emergency life vest: reflective vest + 2 straws + 2 pieces of string.
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 26
c/ Actions presentation. The children will practice different actions, related to the
emergency demonstration (fasten, fit, tie, put on, take off,...), with the realia items they’ve
d/ Fill in the blanks. Pupils have to fill in the blanks of the safety instructions text. They
have to write the right word while listening to the sentences
a/ Video: Emergency demo. The teacher will show a video demonstration about safety
rules within the plane, so the kids see the flight attendant performance during the security
demo: body language, gestures, postural echo...
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 27
b/ Acting out as a flight attendant. The whole class, as a group, repeats the steward’s
performance using the safety items previously created. The teacher is the one giving the
c/ Safety demo dramatization. In groups of four (1 speaker and 3 attendants) we’ll
perform and record a real emergency demonstration.
NOTE: Children are asked to bring realia objects in order to use them in future sessions,
for example: packets of crisps, chocolate bars, plastic glasses, jars, toys food, ... etc.
a/ On Board Sales Vocabulary. The teacher sticks on the blackboard a poster price list.
Pupils have to cut out and stick all the items sold on board on the right place. They also
have to write how much would they cost.
b/ Purchase Dialogue. In pairs, the pupils practice the shopping dialogue using the items
A: Hello, anything to have, please?
B: Yes, can I have a blueberry muffin and cup of tea, please?
A: Here you are. Anything else?
B: No, it’s fine, thank you. How much is it, please’
A: It’s 5 pounds. Cash or credit card?
B: Cash, please.
A: Your change, thank you.
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 28
c/ Bar trolley creation. In order to make more real the last drama, we will divide the
students into 3 groups: one group will be in charge of setting up the bar trolley with, for
example, two big fridge boxes; the second group will be arranging the classroom
simulating an aircraft; the third group will clasify all the on board objects used on the
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 29
NOTE: Children performing flight attendant’s role, would be asked to come smartly
a/ Drama warm up. Before carrying out the dramatization, the teacher will play a video so
the children can notice a steward’s performance during sales on board moment.
b/ Dramatization test. The children are organised in different groups (flight attendant and
passengers) in order to put into practice the previous vocabulary.
c/ “Sales on Board” role play. Once the classroom and the pupils are ready, we’ll start
recording the different groups performance.
a/ Buying a flight ticket: we’ll take the children to them computer lab to carry out the
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 30
• To find a website where buying a flight ticket, filling in the blanks with their personal
details (name, surname, departure and arrival time...etc)
• “ Who wants to be a millionaire? ” game: we’ll share a worksheet with different
questions related to English spoken countries’ culture, geography and history. They
have to surf in the net in order to find the right answer between four options as in
the tv program.
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 31
POSSIBLE NNTT. INTERACTIVE WHITEBOARD AND THE INTERNET ACTIVITIES
On the interactive whiteboard, pupils do the following activities:
- Write the missing letters in words of places at the airport.
- Draw the itinerary: Read a route on a text and draw it on a captured airport map (inter
- Listen and draw: Listen to the times and draw the hands on captured clocks.
- Choose the pictures: Listen to a passenger at the customs control, click on the pictures
of clothes and put them into the suitcase.
- Buy a ticket by the Internet: Following the teacher’s instructions, pretend to buy a ticket
by means of the Internet, filling in the blanks with their corresponding personal details.
10. MANAGING DIVERSITY : Feed-back mechanismes:
• Reinforcement activities for pupils with learning difficulties.
- Word-tennis game: Pupil A “serves” by writing a word and pupil B answers back with
-The Simpsons’ game: Give instructions to find The Simpsons’ relatives on an airport map
- Buddy, the clock: In pairs, pupil A says a time and pupil B moves Buddy’s clock hands.
- Game: Noughts and crosses: by using nine sentence cards (fasten/unfasten your belt...)
- Board game:Using a dice and counters, try to get your purchase sooner than your
• Extension activities for faster and higher level pupils:
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 32
- Writing directions: Look at the route on a map and explain it in written form.
- What time is it in....?: Search information about the time in different English countries.
- Sticky dictation: A pupil reads a sentence from a post-it, runs to his/her partner and
- One minute contest: Write in one minute all the words you remember from the “demo”
- Write : Following a model, write a new comic .
What’s more, the teacher has prepared a bunch of funny extra reproducible sheets for
pupils once they are done with the class tasks.
- Cant, A. and Superfine, W (1997)Developing Resources for Primary. Richmond.
- Approaches and methods in Language Teaching. (1996) C.U.P.
- Harris, M and McCann, P (1994) Assessment. Heinemann
- Lewis, G (2004) The Internet and young learners. O.U.P.
Didactic Unit. PALE 2009 33