A HANDBOOK OF GOOD
ICT TOOLS FOR TEACHING
TOOLS AND RESOURCES USED FOR DEVELOPING FOREIGN LANGUAGE
LEARNING WITH OTHER ICT TOOLS AND RESOURCES
APPLICATIONS USED FOR PRESENTATIONS
TOOLS USED FOR CV WRITING
COMMON TOOLS USED FOR EVALUATION AND BUSINESS ENGLISH
TEACHING BUSINESS ENGLISH
EXAMPLES OF GOOD PRACTICES
● Using the European Language Portfolio
● Bilingual Project at IES Santiago Apóstol
● Learning Communities (Interactive groups / Dialogic literary and artistic
One of the priorities addressed by the project is revising and strengthening the
professional profile of the teaching profession. As teachers, we have a need to be
well equipped and keep up-to-date with ICT tools and new technologies in order to
motivate and engage our students. The educational marketplace is undergoing a
transformation as there are more and more technological advances such as Internet
file-sharing, open educational resources, augmented reality, digital assessment
tools, etc. In order to keep up with these changes and exploiting them for our
students’ benefit, we need to acquire these competences to improve learning
outcomes. This is the reason why we want to improve our digital competence by
using innovative, student-centred pedagogical approaches, and implementing
assessment tools through which levels of competence can be effectively assessed
During the project the teachers of the participating schools worked jointly on creating
teaching materials for enhancing linguistic and intercultural competences with a
special focus on Business language. We also shared good practices of fostering
different skills with the aim of making our students independent language users by
the time they enter the world of work and equipping them with competences that can
serve as a basis for further development in the form of lifelong learning.
We embedded the use of technologies in our everyday practice as all the activities
were carried out with the help of ICT tools. Students and teachers alike have
developed through this as digital tools offer unprecedented opportunities to improve
quality and reduce barriers as well as enable learners to follow a flexible and
individualised learning path.
All the teachers participating in the KA2 project “YES for Future - Your
Entrepreneurial Skills” have recorded their work and experiences in this handbook
of good practices, which has been designed to provide other teachers with an
overview of a selection of free web tools, websites, and mobile apps with practical
examples that have utility in nearly every lower and upper secondary classroom as
well as methodologies, evaluation methods and teaching techniques. In each section
a variety of tools is presented as we all have different levels of access to computers
and tablets, different school web filtering policies, and different needs for our
students. The tools and resources that we have included in this handbook are the
ones that we have used with the participating students and in the professional
development workshops that we have conducted during the training events,
transnational meetings and student exchanges.
TOOLS AND RESOURCES USED FOR DEVELOPING FOREIGN LANGUAGE
It is a collaborative tool that allows users to have ongoing digital conversations built
from text, audio, and/or video comments added by participants around any content.
VoiceThread comments and conversations can be built around interesting images
and video content and serves educational purposes. You can actually hear the
voices or even see the faces of other participants, which makes it even a more
It is easy to use. Uploading content is as easy as adding attachments to email
messages. Adding text, audio, and/or video content is a matter of hitting one easy-to-
find record button
VoiceThread has a simple interface, which makes it an approachable tool regardless
of your experience with digital tools or the age level of the students that you’re
Users can work on VoiceThread presentations at any time — even if their “partners”
are unable to participate because they are in a different class period… or because
they are in a different country.
That is the good side of VoiceThread. However, unless you want to purchase and
account for educators or schools, which is not free of charge, the huge disadvantage
is the inability to allow multiple users to have simultaneous access to the same
account. As a result, every participant of an online class course must use a single
class account login.
New users can only create up to five VoiceThreads for free, only comment by
microphone or text and share your voice threads through a share link
In conclusion, VoiceThread is a good media collaborative tool for learning. For the
purpose of our project the advantages offered by the application outweigh the
disadvantages and has the potential to positively impact teaching and learning in an
online and traditional environment.
Voicethreads created by the Spanish students:
About their school
About their town
Voki is a free service which allows the user to create personalized, speaking avatars.
These avatars can be incorporated into a variety of online applications including
email, blogs, and personal profiles.
It is fun and engaging. All this serves a powerful motivator to pupils and it is one of
the most striking advantages of using Voki in the languages classroom. It also
makes it possible for the quieter pupils to make their presence felt and be heard. It
has often been the case that it is indeed these pupils who have produced the most
It can provide a fantastic way to assess the speaking skill and evidence of learning.
Pupils gain confidence in their speaking ability as a result of using Voki in this way.
Samples from students:
Voki by Manuel Mártinez Rojas
Voki by Juan Arias Preciados
Voki by Julián Nieto Espino
Voki by Alberto Navia Izquierdo
Listening skills practice-learn English Teens- British Council: Different graded
listenings with different types of activities.
Lyrics training: Site where you can find thousands of songs and lyrics to work with
Listening skill activities for the workplace.
Real English: Videos with activities. Real people, real English.
English feel good. Practice English with films. Activities are included.
OM video: Graded videos , from elementary to advanced.
Elllo: Elllo stands for English Listening Library Online. It offers free listening tests .
There are different activities on this site, all of them focus on listening skills. There
are “Views” ( audio Interviews), “Videos”, “Mixer” ( 6 speakers answering the same
questions), “New Center”( short news stories), “ Games”, “Scenes”, “Audio Notes”
(short explanation of interesting language). All the listening tasks include activities
and the option of showing the scripts.
www.esl_lab.com: This page offers general listening activities, quizzes, everyday
conversations with adult and children’s voices. All activities are graded from easy to
www.english4allages.com: It provides Resources for Teachers. You can design
interactive activities with flashcards and listening tests, etc.
Breaking News.: You can read and listen to different news graded from elementary
to advanced learners. Activities are included.
*European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe: Fact sheets
resources and publications in different languages ready to be used in class and a
wealth of materials that can be used to develop reading skills in foreign language.
(*To learn more about this resource watch the presentation given by Leena Hirvonen
during a Teach Meet session in the transnational meeting held in Slovenia in April,
http://www.grimmstories.com/: Classic stories by Grimm brothers in multiple
http://www.andersenstories.com/: Classic Andersen’s fairy tales in different
Linoit is a digital noticeboard through which you use “stickies” or post-it notes and
save them to a canvas. It is a tool for pre-writing skills and collecting ideas and can
also be used for collaboration between teachers, as an individual eportfolio, group
project for students or even as an online filing system to store your resources.
How to collaborate using Linoit
- Individuals have to sign into their linoit account.
- As the owner of a canvas, to share you have to first create a new group and
invite users (either by username or email address).
- Invites will be sent directly to new members.
- They can either access invite via their email or refresh when in Linoit.
- Groups can then collaborate on the same canvas.
- To share a canvas to an existing group, go to “My canvases”, copy and then
Piktochart is an infographic and presentation tool which allows you to turn simple
data into engaging infographics or posters with just a few clicks. Piktochart's custom
editor lets you do things like modify colour schemes and fonts, insert pre-loaded
graphics, icons and upload basic shapes and images. Its grid-lined templates also
make it easy to align graphical elements and resize images proportionally.
AnswerGarden is an easy free feedback tool to use in the classroom or at work as a
creative brainstorming tool. You can embed it on your website or blog to use it as a
poll or guestbook.
How to use AnswerGarden
You can ask questions, create quick warm-ups, pre-reading and post-reading
activities, what-do-you-know-about activities, current events, voting, create a class
graph, get-to-know-you activities, polls, check for understanding…
The students can also create their own answer gardens as part of presentations
made by themselves.
TitanPad is a nice online document tool for editing that helps you quickly collaborate
on text documents with your team.
You can import text file, HTML, Word, or RTF file formats. Also, you can download
the document as HTML, plain text, bookmark file, Microsoft Word and in more
To use this tool , no user registration is required. Just click on the “Create public pad
button” to get started. It will redirect you to a public pad where you can type anything
in the given field. You can import any text file, HTML, Word or RTF file and share the
pad by clicking on “Share this pad” button with your colleagues.
Easy online tool for writing poems with students or colleagues. Poems can be
created and shared with other users.
Other interesting tools and ideas for writing, publishing and making activities
for the classroom:
Vocabulary practice game
Learning from books and films:
Webpages for news or texts:
Other good pages, general ESL resources:
www.isabelperez.com: This is a site where you can find resources to practice all the
skills. Very interesting and useful
www.eslflow.com: web page with lesson plans.
www.bogglesworld.esl.com Worksheets, flashcards, lesson plans, songs, articles
and plenty of activities for teaching ESL.
www.teach-this.com: Very similar to Bogglesworld. Here, you can find useful
worksheets, resources , games and teaching ideas for ESL.
www.michellehenry: Useful webpage where you can find resources to practice with
your students the different skills.
LEARNING WITH OTHER ICT TOOLS AND RESOURCES IN DIFFERENT
It is a great tool that you can use for different purposes. Actually it is like being in a
virtual class environment that enables the teacher to monitor their student’s work.
Teachers can do lots of things with it: sending assignments, posting announcements,
email students individually or as groups, track when students turn in their
assignments, share due dates with mentors. You can even flip the classroom.
In terms of developing writing skills, it is very useful as students can work
collaboratively in google docs as you can comment and send them feedback on their
writing. The students can also use add-ons to highlight text or use an online
dictionary, for example. Teachers can create rubrics using these add-ons to assess
the students’ pieces of writing and students can create their own digital portfolios
Finally, as a teacher, you can collaborate with other teachers by letting your
students interact with other students from other classrooms or schools by creating a
group project in the form of an email exchange project between two schools.
Classroom from the teacher’s perspective
Classroom from the student’s perspective
It is an application used to develop augmented reality which has become a good
option for developing this technology quickly and easily. It has a drag and drop
interface which allows you to link to social media very easily.
When you scan an image with Layar you need to tap your screen to alert it to scan.
The nice bit is that you can see it actually mapping the image.
An example of how to use Layar can be seen in the video created by Juan
Fernández de Vega for the Teach Meet held in Slovenia, April 2015:
Watch it on YouTube
It is a very interesting tool to make mathematics more visual. GeoGebra is dynamic
mathematics software for all levels of education that brings together geometry,
algebra, spreadsheets, graphing, statistics and calculus in one easy-to-use package,
so it can be used for drawing, calculating and analysing, it works offline too
Watch an example: http://www.geogebra.org/b/UC0oddls#material/2645917
provided by Terhi Raittila during the transnational meeting in Slovenia, April 2016.
APPLICATIONS USED FOR PRESENTATIONS
Padlet is a versatile, easy to use tool for teachers, ideal tool to use with students in
class. Some features are:
Very easy to use and has a user friendly interface
It is web based and does not require any software installation
It allows you to easily add notes, text, images, videos, and drawings to your wall
You can also add word documents from computer to your Padlet wall
Padlet provides a wide variety of layouts to choose from
Padlet works across multiple devices including mobile phones
Any Padlet wall you create can be embedded into your blog or website.
It enhances collaborative work. Multiple people can post to the same wall at the
Any Padlet wall can be exported in a variety of formats including, PDF, image,CSV,
or Excel. It is completely free
Samples from the students:
Other applications of padlet in the classroom:
Brainstorming tool. Create a Padlet wall for the whole class where they can collect
and share ideas about a given topic.
Students can use it as portfolio where they display their best work.
You can use the classroom Padlet wall to post assignments and homework
reminders to students.
Use it as a book review page where students post reviews of the books they read
Classroom Padlet wall can be used as an open space where students engage in
group discussions and interactive exchange of ideas.
Students can use Padlet for sharing their reflections or group discussion on what
they have learned and what they need help with.
Prezi is a popular alternative to the traditional PowerPoint presentation. It is a visual
learning tool which allows you to create maps of texts, images, videos, graphics,
etc… and present them in a nonlinear way.
You can import pictures, maps and PDFs and use them as a canvas. It is a visual
learning tool which allows you to create maps of texts, images, videos, graphics,
etc… and present them in a nonlinear way.
Your Prezi can be kept in the public domain and therefore accessed by your
students on the Internet. At home, they can navigate the Prezi themselves, observe
connections of ideas and visualise concepts.
It is a great tool for interactive classroom sessions or group projects. Students can
cooperate in real time with up to ten others, in the classroom or at home, to
brainstorm and build a presentation on one shared virtual whiteboard.
Prezi offers a free educational subscription (simply use an email address that clearly
belongs to your educational institution). The tutorials on the website are clear and
easy to follow. The best way to learn about Prezi, though, is to have a go at creating
a presentation yourself.
Example of prezi presentations created by the student about their national labour
markets and successful entrepreneurs presented during the student exchange
meeting in Hungary, November 2015:
Watch the presentations here
TOOLS USED FOR CV WRITING
Writing a resume was part of the tasks our students had to complete within the
project. Considering they were developing employability skills and the fact that a
resume is our main presentation letter if we are looking for a job, they opted for two
main tools from a variety of them: Genially and Europass Curriculum Vitae.
An online CV is the perfect tool for this because it can be accessed from anywhere
with a simple click on a link. One of the biggest advantages of having a CV stored in
the cloud is that the changes you make will automatically update (the link stays the
same) for everyone who look at it a second time without you needing to send a link
Many of our students opted for this tool to create an interactive CV as they consider
it is important to show information off in a way that is visually attractive.The digital
world offers endless possibilities to search for work and we need to be able to take
full advantage of it.
Genially enables you to create a series of CV templates which are completely
modifiable and free. You can find them under the category ‘CV’ once you have
started a session in Genially. You can add images, docs, and links to web pages, or
you can give additional information through videos. This option is especially great
for illustrating your job experience and educational background, skills, or social
media profiles in an original way.
You can edit the text and images background colours, information in the tags, and
info about your name or anything else you want to change, and can also change the
effects for each element, resizing bars and shapes to highlight your skills and
strengths. See some CVs designed by the students:
EUROPASS CURRICULUM VITAE
It is one of the five documents that make your skills and qualifications clearly
understood in Europe. It is in free access and can be used by anybody, irrespective
of their nationality or country of residence.
The Europass Curriculum Vitae can be completed:
● Online. Go to the Europass online editor to complete your CV. You can then
download the file or send it to your e-mail account.. It is important to always
save your Europass Curriculum Vitae in XML or PDF-XML format on your
computer. You will then be able to upload the file to the editor for update.
● Offline. Download the Europass CV template, instructions and examples. You
can then use this information to generate your CV on your computer.
Some samples from students:
COMMON TOOLS USED FOR EVALUATION AND BUSINESS ENGLISH
It is an easy tool that lets you quickly create a survey or assessment and then send it
to students, parents, teachers or staff. Answers will be automatically tracked in a
separate spreadsheet. Because forms are filled out online, there is no need to enter
in results manually. Responses are collected and displayed immediately in a
corresponding Google Drive spreadsheet (Sheets), which allows you to sort, analyze
and visualize the information.
You can select from multiple question types, drag-and-drop to reorder questions and
customize values as easily as pasting a list. You can use Google Forms with a
personal Google account, or through a Google Apps for Education account.
Sample of end-of-project evaluation questionnaire made with Google forms
It is a game-based classroom response system which offers teachers an engaging
way to test the learning and knowledge of their students. It can be used as a
review.. Students sign in using a class code. You can easily create an account; it is
free for everyone, be it a teacher, student or any other user. Users just need to fill
the basic information in order to complete the profile.
Kahoot saves the result of every quiz played over the platform. When learners start
quizzing they need to enter their nickname and their recorded scores are saved in
Kahoot designed for the Teacher Training Event in Spain, March 2015
It can be great for formative assessment as can be a great way to help students
review before a test. Teachers and students in general are more familiar with the
multiplayer gaming website Kahoot. Quizziz is an alternative to Kahoot, and it is very
similar to it, with a few key differences:
Just like Kahoot, the teacher (or student host) chooses a quiz to begin. A five digit
game code is provided. Players point their browsers to join.quizzizz.com and input
the game code, along with their names. If players are using smartphones or tablets,
you just display the join link as a QR code.
Kahoot is designed (on purpose) to show multiple choice questions on a large
screen, and students respond by clicking buttons on their devices that correspond to
the answers they want to choose. Quizizz takes a different approach. No projector is
necessary because players see questions and answer options on their own screens.
The question order is randomized for each student, so it is not easy for players to
cheat. With Quizizz, players don’t have to wait for the whole class to answer a
question before they continue to the next one.
Quizlet is a simplistic app that enables students and teachers to create digital ‘study
sets’ or ‘flash cards’. You simply type in your questions or ‘Terms’ and your answers
or ‘Definitions’. These resources can then be engaged with and shared in a number
of ways. The setup is really simple. However, the nice thing about the app is that you
can expand the horizons of its use. This is how it can be embedded into the
classroom in a number of ways. For example you can use it as a revision resource,
as homework or as a language learning tool. It includes automated voice with
different language options.
Example of quizlet scatter game: employment
Socrative is a online student response tool that allows teachers to engage their
students through a series of questions accessed by computers and/or mobile
devices. There are two types of quizzes: Single Questions and Quiz Based Activities.
Single Question - These are quick impromptu single question quizzes, The results
are immediately displayed when the activity is ended. The data can not be saved
and is lost when you move to the next question. For this activity, the teacher can
write the questions on the board, shore with a powerpoint, or say them aloud.
Students can be shown the results from by projecting the teacher account on a
Quiz Based Activities - These are pre-planned quizzes. The results from these
questions can be saved but not shown immediately.
Using Socrative with Students:
Student go to student socrative: on a computer: https://b.socrative.com/login/student/
and enter the Socrative room number or on a mobile device - Students open the
Socrative app and enter the Socrative room number. Then select a type of quiz.
Sample questions from the quiz completed in the student exchange in Slovenia, April 2015
Snapshot of the report of the Business English Quiz carried out in Slovenia, April 2015.
TEACHING BUSINESS ENGLISH
Practical ideas for the Business English classroom: – Making the most
This is the second article of a three-part Business English series by ELT teacher,
teacher trainer and course book author, John Hughes. Here, he looks at how the use
of video can support business English teaching.
One survey into the use of video in education reports that teachers increasingly
welcome this tool as a means to support learning. For example, 68% of teachers
believe video stimulates discussion, 66% say video increases motivation and 62%
think their teaching is more effective by using video. Please see the link provided at
the end of the article for more details of this survey.
These figures are all based on responses to education in general, but I’d suggest
that if you were to research similar figures for Business English teachers, you’d
probably find the percentages were even higher. That’s simply because video lends
itself in so many ways to Business English teaching.
Here are five examples of how to integrate video into your Business English lessons,
with suggestions for classroom activities.
The internet is full of videos showing different types of business presentations. They
range from the highly professional presentations we associate with speakers on TED
to much more basic material. With all of these we can assess the presenters’
performances with our students and decide what techniques and language will help
improve their presentations. In addition, we can also video our own students giving
presentations. By using the video recorder on a basic mobile device, you can record
a student’s performance, use it to give them feedback, and let them self-assess their
Watch this presentation taken from TED talks. It’s called ‘The magic washing
machine’ and gives students a masterclass in how to use visual aids in a
Workplace and process videos
I once taught business and technical English in a factory instead of a language
school. This was much easier than being in a normal classroom because I could take
the students onto the factory floor and have them talk about their workplace.
However, we don’t always teach students at their workplace, so video can help. For
example, ask your students to make short videos of their workplace and film the key
stages of a process. Then they can bring these into class and describe what is
happening on screen. You’ll also find a range of videos online that showcase
different companies and how they work. These are a great resource to teach the
language for describing workplaces and their processes.
This process video shows how IKEA produces its furniture. Students can watch and
note down the different stages or information about the company and its structure.
One modern genre of video is the ‘infographic video’ (also called ‘kinetic typography
video’). It shows animated text on screen which merges with images and may have
narration or simply some background music. You can write comprehension
questions for students to answer whilst they watch. Many business infographic
videos tend to include lots of numbers and figures, so I give students the numbers
shown in the video and ask them to note down what these refer to.
This infographic video looks at the importance of using video in business.
One of the simplest video formats is the interview or a business person talking
directly to the camera. If you want to teach the language of specific business area,
then find an interview with an expert in the field. Alternatively, make your own video
by preparing a set of questions and interview a real business person to show in
class. If you teach very experienced business people, then interview them and ask
their permission to show their video to another class. In particular, if you teach
different one-to-one classes, interview each of your students with the same set of
questions. Then show the videos of the students to each other. It’s a nice way to
bring other people into your one-to-one lessons and for students to share their
Take a look at this interview with an expert talking about cultural differences in
business. It’s taken from the videos in the Business Result series.
Using short films in a lesson can add some fun and variety. For example, one short
video called ‘The Black Hole’ looks at what happens when an office worker
photocopies a black hole which has magical properties. Play it to students and ask
them to think what they would use a ‘black hole’ for at work. Another short film called
‘Signs’ lasting about twelve minutes offers all sorts of opportunities for use in the
classroom. The first two minutes show a young man going through the same work
routine every day – a perfect springboard into the use of the present simple, and for
getting students to talk about their routines.
Here is the ‘The Black Hole’ video, and here is ‘Signs’.
And finally, here is the survey I mentioned at the beginning of the article about using
video in education.
All the materials compiled for the Business English curriculum can be seen through
EXAMPLES OF GOOD PRACTICES
THE EUROPEAN LANGUAGE PORTFOLIO
During the transnational meeting held in Finland, November 2014, one of the
workshops carried out was “”How to use the European Language Portfolio”. Since
then students have been encouraged to make use of it during the life of the project
as well as other Europass documents like the Language Passport or the CV
Document without forgetting the Europass Mobility Document, which served as a
validation tool that we used to record the students’ knowledge and skills acquired
after each mobility.
What is the ELP?
To understand the ELP better we have to consider two crucial elements:.
The Council of Europe, the European common framework.
The European Language Portfolio
● Helps to develop language learning and intercultural skills
● Facilitates educational and vocational mobility within Europe by providing a
clear profile of the owner's language skills-
● Encourages lifelong learning of languages
● Contributes to the promotion of democratic citizenship in Europe -Contributes
to mutual understanding within Europe by promoting plurilingualism (the ability
to communicate in two or more languages) and intercultural learning.
It is a sort of implementation tool for the common European framework
A document in three parts (language passport, language biography and dossier) in
which an individual can record his/her linguistic achievements (including intercultural
competence) to date. It has both a reporting and a pedagogical function, which in
other words provides not only evidence of achievement, but also key information
about the learning characteristics and preferred learning style of the user/learner.
The reporting function addresses the concern of the Council of Europe to promote
individual mobility. (also called informative, record-keeping function). The learner can
show what he or she can do in other languages apart from the mother tongue
The pedagogical function is of value to the teacher by indicating approaches most
likely to be effective with the user and to the learner by raising their awareness of
what is happening in the learning process.
It involves the learner in the decision making, the goal-setting and the evaluation of
It encourages lifelong learning of languages
The language passport provides an overview of the individual’s proficiency of the
different languages at a given point in time. The overview is defined in terms of skills
and in common reference levels of the common European framework. It records
formal qualifications and describes language competence and significant language
and intercultural learning experiences.
The language biography enables the learner to plan, reflect and assess their
learning process and progress. It encourages the learner to state what they can do in
each language and to include information on linguistic and cultural experiences
gained in and outside educational contexts. It is organised to promote
plurilingualism, for example the development of competencies in a number of
The dossier offers the learner the opportunity to select materials, to document and
illustrate achievements or experiences recorded in the language biography or
Why use the ELP?
In the context of education it integrates the learning of different languages. In terms
of work it shows the candidates’ communicative competence.
In a more personal context:
it registers the learners’ language skills by collecting and displaying evidence of what
they have learnt
it helps them to overcome their fear of speaking in a foreign language.
It helps them to develop their autonomy and take their own initiatives.
How can we introduce the ELP to our learners?
By explaining the reporting function, which might open the door to Europe for them.
By emphasizing the common European standards of proficiency
By talking about their own learning language experience
By showing them a sample of an ELP in progress
By engaging them in the project and assessing their progress through the tasks and
experiences they are going to have
When and how to use it?
How to start:
The student completes personal information and sticks or submits a photo
Completes linguistic profile
Self-assessment and peer-assessment
Students start writing about their language experience
Examples of writing and speaking (students’ presentations / application letters...)
Planning common tasks on facebook after each of them students should state what
they can do or what must be done to achieve the expected standard.
Presentation of the workshop on using the ELP carried out in Finland, November 2014
BILINGUAL PROGRAMME AND LINGUISTIC PROJECT AT IES SANTIAGO
Bilingual Programme. Now and then
For a better understanding of how bilingual programmes work in Spain , first we
should look at the historical background of Spain in the last 30 or 40 years and how
the different education policies have affected the teaching of foreign languages.
If we look back at Franco’s dictatorship, in those days Spanish was the only official
language in Spain. Other languages like Catalan or Basque were not in use in the
public sphere or schools. Under Franco’s dictatorship (1939-1975), the promotion of
a single culture and language was very strict.
In Spain there has traditionally been a problem with the command of foreign
languages, maybe due to a perceived lack of necessity, since so many people in the
world speak Spanish, also because of the isolation of Spain from the rest of Europe.
In addition, French was the language which most students learnt at school and for
them English was a useless subject that didn’t have to do with life. For teachers,
English was just a job and a useful language for travelling.
But after Spain joined the formerly EEC in 1986, the teaching of foreign languages
has undergone substantial improvement. With the Education Reform in 1990 basic
compulsory education was extended by two years (previously ending at the age of
14 and from then on at the age of 16). In terms of foreign languages new goals
needed to be set to follow European standards and regulations. As a result, there
was a switch from French to English as the first foreign language taught at schools.
There was even a political determination to improve students' level of foreign
languages and this interest in foreign languages led to the introduction of bilingual
programmes. Many non-language teachers have asked for help to learn about CLIL
Bilingual programmes in Spain
The term ‘bilingual’ refers to the fact that students are going to get education in two
languages. This is important because, so far, education has been completely
monolingual: students had formal instruction of foreign language as a subject, but
there was no teaching of content through English.
Many Spanish state schools are now offering bilingual programmes to their students
in a number of forms. Each secondary school has the freedom to develop its own
curriculum regarding which subjects are taught in the foreign language and for how
long each week.
Most schools and all the schools offering bilingual programmes have a foreign
language assistant whose main role is that of a mere culture and language
informant, but indeed their work enriches the learning experience for the children and
for the content teachers.
Continuity from Primary to Secondary Education
Immersion programmes (teachers and students)
Teacher training programmes (linguistic and methodological)
Bilingual programmes in Extremadura
Gradually in the last decade more and more schools started to implement bilingual
programmes, mostly in English and some in French and Portuguese. Out of a total of
549 primary and secondary schools about 274 run bilingual programmes, which
represents 49% of schools. 153 in primary, 111 in secondary and 10 in vocational
Our Bilingual programme structure
Students’ admission and arrangement of groups
Students volunteer to take part in the programme. The schools developing bilingual
projects are allowed to establish selection procedures in order to incorporate
students in the programme. In our case, they have to take a diagnosis test at the
beginning of the school year to check their standard of English. Most of them are
admitted in the programme, but if we feel they can have difficulties we have a
meeting with the parents and agree by mutual consent which educational response
is best. There is always the possibility of joining the programme later on if it is
advised by their class teachers.
Parents sign a commitment form on behalf of their children to stay in the programme
during the four years of compulsory secondary education.
Most primary and secondary state schools arrange groups in mixed-ability classes
(70%); however, the students taking part in the bilingual programme have different
lessons and teachers regarding the subjects taught within the programme, English
However there are schools where the students in the bilingual programme are
together in the same class. This was our case when we started implementing the
programme but over time we decided to mix the students in different classes for a
better integration in school life.
The programme starts at the beginning of lower secondary, when they are 12 years
old and it is extended throughout the whole period of compulsory education, until the
At least two subjects must be taught using the foreign language. In each of these
subjects considered in the programme, the foreign language must be used in at least
one weekly period, which means that roughly 30 per cent of the contents are taught
The weekly schedule and contents of these non lingüistic subjects are the same as
those followed by the rest of the students.
ln this programme students must do a second foreign language, usually French, and
have an additional hour of English in their weekly timetable.
Content subjects taught through the English language in lower secondary:
1st grade: Maths, P.E. and Art 2nd grade: Maths and P.E.
3rd grade: Maths, P.E. and Art 4th grade: Maths, P.E. and Ethics
Vocational higher education - Industrial Robotics and Automation:
Economics and entrepreneurship
Teachers have to prove their B2 level of proficiency by means of the certificates
Among the teachers involved in the programme, there is a coordinator, usually a
teacher from the English department. Their role is:
Conduct weekly meetings
strengthen teachers cooperation.
search for and adapting resources
Engage teachers in the participation of European projects
Encourage staff members to take part in courses aimed at improving their foreign
Outside the regular academic programme we arrange a number of extracurricular
activities every year in order to increase the students’ exposure to language, to
encourage cooperation and experience other cultures.
School trip to London
English adventure camps
Team-building events and gatherings
Cooperation project with an American school
Participation in European programmes
CLIL uses English as a medium to teach other subject areas
CLIL focuses on fluency and communication
CLIL refers to situations where subjects, or parts of subjects, are taught through a
foreign language with a double aim, the learning of content, and the simultaneous
learning of a foreign language'. (Marsh, 1994)
From the very beginning, when we started off with the bilingual project, we have
followed the regional regulations on the issue including 30% of the subject content
through the medium of English. However, we have always put emphasis on
communicative competence and we feel communication should pay a prominent role
over content. It is no use learning the names of bones or muscles if there is not a
communicative purpose in itself. Currently, we tend to integrate contents in a way
that the student can make connections with their own experience and we use
supportive strategies like working in groups, using graphs, graphic organizers (to
structure writing projects, to help in problem solving, decision making, studying,
planning research and brainstorming) , visuals, ICT applications, content area texts-
Scaffolding learning (building on what learners already know)
Language and content are also integrated through task-based or project-based
activities. Through these activities we can motivate students to use English to
communicate in the real world. The final product can be a presentation based on a
given topic or a research, conduct an interview, making a video, cooking a meal …,
but. of course, the focus is not only on the product but also on the process of
Desdobles. Split classes to strengthen the students’ speaking skills through
interaction, presentations, descriptions, cooperative work, guided debates …
Conclusions (on regional level)
Interest of families. Committed to their children’s education
The bilingual programmes contribute to the improvement of the school’s educational
programmes. Through the programme, families expect their children to improve their
standards in foreign languages.
Students’ performance was remarkable last year in the region: 80% proved a B2
level of English according to the European Framework.
Culture of hard work is also promoted by implementing the programme. It is an extra
effort for both students and teachers.
The experience involves more cooperation and new methodological approaches for
content subject teachers
Positive contribution of foreign language assistants
Lack of teachers with the required level of English
Performance differences between primary and secondary students, French and
Lack of appropriate training for content subject teachers
Lack of financial support
Threats and opportunities
- Exposure to foreign language restricted to classrooms (dubbed movies,
limited use of FL in mass media …) Foreign language used in an academic
- Difficulties in finding substitute teachers
- Specific difficulties in rural areas in terms of transport mainly.
+ Globalization and mobility in terms of work and training.
+ Coping with undermotivated students, lack of hard work, discipline problems
may lead teachers to try new approaches and forms of organization.
+ Proximity to neighbouring countries like Portugal or France is an opportunity
to expand the programmes in those languages
PLC (School's Linguistic Project)
There are several factors that brought about (or led to) the implementation of the
Linguistic Project: the integration of key competences in curricula, the European
framework, external evaluations like PISA report and the implementation of bilingual
programmes developed jointly by non linguistic departments and foreign language
departments. The former required and still demand strategies and methodology to
address the communicative competence.
In addition, many teachers feel a need to do something about the difficulties that
students find in written and spoken production and we think that teaching a subject
does not only mean a simple transfer of knowledge but also involves dealing with
communication skills, so we really want to develop communication and know-how
How? Steps to enhance the students’ language competence
All the departments agreed to fulfill these commitments:
Perform speaking activities and common assessment criteria
Include common guidelines for oral presentations, projects presented in writing and
in digital form and error correction (mention common documents)
Whenever possible there will be a weekly meeting for the team of teachers in charge
of the linguistic project to monitor its implementation and coordinate activities.
Include a communicative task dealing with the four main language skills every school
Interconnections with the bilingual programme
Coordination and cooperation depend on volunteer work of the teachers involved.
The future of CLIL projects still depends mostly on teacher's availability and
willingness to keep trying on their own.
Foreign language teachers and in particular the bilingual programme coordinator’s
role is to encourage the team of teachers in the bilingual programme to perform
common tasks or interdisciplinary activities
Expanding the programme to all the school, different levels.
There’s room for improvement in terms of human resources, more teaching hours of
language assistants, more funding
External assessment tests to prove the proficiency level acquired by students when
they finish the programme
An example of good practice: Presentation of the Bilingual programme and the Linguistic
project of IES Santiago Apóstol given in Spain in March 2015
LEARNING COMMUNITIES (INTERACTIVE GROUPS / DIALOGIC LITERARY
AND ARTISTIC TEACHING)
Interactive groups. An approach to achieve school success
It is a different way to organize and work in class which improves our students'
learning level and their relationship at school. The students are arranged in small
groups monitored by an adult and are engaged with their peers in a common task.
Each group has a time limit to complete the task and rotates to move on to do the
next task. Basically, through the use of this approach, underachieving students are
not separated from the class to be helped, but rather the opposite, the teachers ask
other adults to intervene in the class for help and all students take part on equal
How many people can participate in class?
5 or 6 students in each different team (heterogeneous mixed ability group). Always
the same students in each class group.
One adult (not a teacher, a volunteer)
The teacher monitors the students but does not take part.
How do we work in interactive groups? There is one different activity in each group.
Students must do the activity together.
They have about 10 to 15 minutes to complete each activity.
When they finish, they change places and do a different activity. Volunteers’ role is to
produce dynamic supportive learning interactions in each group and guide the
activity, not to replace the teacher’s role. They do not have to explain the task, they
only have to encourage the students to be critical and solve problems by
Some clues to work in interactive groups
Activities must be done helping each other.
They need to collaborate and participate.
They need to organize the task by themselves and they should be patient.
They have to respect and listen to each other (students and volunteers).
What about the volunteers? They are not teachers, but usually family members like
parents, former students or other community members. In general, people who take
part in the interactive groups have some connection with the school (from some local
Goals and results
Positive attitude: listen/ help
Expectations: students, teachers, families.
Better relationship with families.
Social skills: team work, initiative, self-esteem.
Communicative skills: speaking, critical thinking, discussing, explaining, listening...
Dialogic literary and artistic teaching
It is a different way to discuss and comment a book or an artistic work through
Students can choose a book of universal literature. In each session, everybody must
have read the same part of the book (pages/chapters).
Everybody must have chosen one paragraph.
A student becomes the moderator.
Each student reads aloud a passage and shares why he/she has chosen it. They
give their opinion about each extract.
In dialogic artistic teaching the teacher's role is to choose an artistic work and explain
the main topics that could be commented about it such as historical background,
level of representation, realistic/expressionist approach, technical aspects (colours,
light...), whereas students search for some information related to the artistic work
and those topics. They choose the most important/ interesting piece of information
for them, share it with the other students and explain the reasons why they have
Dialogic teaching session in an art class during the Teacher Training Event held in Spain, March 2015
Goals and results
Promoting the participation of all the students.
All the contributions have the same value (not only the teacher´s).
Communicative skills: speaking, reading, discussing, explaining, listening to one
Freedom of speech.
Humanisation of the class.
Presentation of the ‘Learning Communities’ Project implemented at IES Santiago Apóstol -
Spain in March, 2015