This blog has been designed to share interesting materials with my secondary EFL students (14-17) but you are welcome if you also find it useful to improve your English.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Project Explore Competition

If you want to take part in this competition by Oxford University Press, you should finish the tale by creating your very own comic strip!

And then, in groups of 2-6 students you must create a 6-panel comic strip – you can either draw it, create it digitally, or even use photographs. Have a look at this sample entry to get inspiration!

If you are an artist, try drawing the comic yourself, but you can always use a digital application like Stripgenerator to make a 6-panel comic strip.

Each student in the winning group will receive a set of Oxford University Press stationery, an Oxford University Press dictionary of their choice, and two Oxford Graded readers of their choice. Their teacher will receive a set of Oxford University Press stationery, an Oxford University Press dictionary of their choice, a copy of the Project Explore poster game, three Oxford University Press Professional Development titles of their choice, and ten Oxford Graded readers of their choice.

There will also be three runner-up groups. Each student in these groups will receive a set of Oxford University Press stationery, and an Oxford Graded Reader of their choice. Their teachers will each receive a set of Oxford University Press stationery, a Project Explore poster game, an Oxford University Press Professional Development Title of their choice, and five Oxford Graded Readers of their choice.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Constitution Day in Spain

Constitución Española - Public Domain
Constitution Day, which is commemorated every 6th of December in Spain, marks the anniversary of a referendum held in Spain on the 6th December, 1978. In this referendum, a new constitution was approved, after 40 years of dictatorship. This was an important step in Spain's transition to becoming the constitutional monarchy and democracy it is today.

Public Holiday
Constitution Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. As the 8th of December is another public holiday, both workers and students often enjoy a long weekend off work and school.

Private life

  • At schools children and young people have extra lessons on the history, politics and constitution of Spain. In fact, every year, a selection of high school students are invited to read the Constitution in the Lower House of the parliamentary buildings in Madrid a few days before December 6. 
  • The parliamentary buildings, both the Congress and the Senate, are open to the general public during the previous week. 
  • On the 6th of December, a cocktail party presided over by the monarch is held in the parliamentary buildings. 
  • Anyway, Constitution Day is a quiet day off work for most people, as they usually spend time at home relaxing with family members or close friends. Some people even spend this long weekend travelling or doing some shopping for Christmas.
Public life
  • Constitution Day is a national public holiday. Public life is generally very quiet and most businesses and other organizations are closed. 
  • If the 6th of December falls on a Sunday, regional or local authorities can move the public holiday to a different date. If December 6 falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, many businesses and organizations are also closed on Monday, December 5, or Friday, December 7.

Congress - by Epaminondas Pantulas - CC BY 2.0    

Some history

  • Dictator Francisco Franco was head of state in Spain from April 1, 1939, until the 20th November, 1975.
  • King Juan Carlos I was crowned on the 22nd November 1975 but the country needed a new constitution and political system. 
  • General elections were held on the 15th of June 1977 and the newly formed parliament started drew up a new constitution.  
  • The Spanish Constitution of 1978 was approved by 91,8% of the voters  in a referendum on the 6th of December 1978.
  • Now, the date has become a national holiday and the Spanish people conmemorate the approval of this constitution every year.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Present perfect tense


  1. Present Perfect is used for actions in the past which have a connection to the present. The time when these actions happened is not relevant so there is often no time complement.

  2. Present Perfect is used for recently completed actions. Actions that take place in a recent past. 
  3. Present Perfect is also used for actions beginning in the past that continue up to the present.

  • Positive sentence → Subject + verb+ ed or irregular form (played with her.- She came with us.)
  • Questions  Auxiliary verb + subject +verb (Did they read the story?)
  • Negative sentence → Subject + auxiliary verb + verb ( didn’t like it.) 

  • For completed action in the past (We saw your sister yesterday.)
  • For a series of completed actions (I woke up, had a shower, had breakfast and went to school.)
  • For longer actions that start and stop in the past; time expressions usually go with it (My sister lived in London for years.)
  • For talking about habits which stopped in the past (She studied Japanese when she was in high school.)
  • For past facts or generalizations (Old people never played football.)