Friday, 28 December 2012

2012 is coming to an end and the whole world is getting ready to say goodbye to it and welcome the new year. The New Year Resolutions is a tradition that we, teachers of English, may teach our students as part of the interculural baggage of our classes. However, instead of the New Year Resolutions, this time I would like to say goodbye to this year giving Thanks to all the people or institutions that have helped me and other teachers become better in our teaching practice.
First, thanks ELTeCS Peru (Cesar Klauer) and ELTeCS Latin America(Renate Thummler) for providing us with a space to share and to learn about other initiatives, I have certainly made use of both for communication and also for trying out some of the suggestions.
Then, thanks to all those institutions that organized events for teachers of English: TESOL, IATEFL Peru, ICPNA, Language Centre of Universidad del Pacífico, Pearson, Cambridge, Oxford, Richmond, SM, NUTESA, I could not attend them all but I certainly learned a lot from the ones I could participate in.
Thanks very much for the Webinars and Teacher´s Club and foremost thanks to RELO Andes for all the opportunities and webinars, David Fay you are doing an excellent job!!! I participated in the English Village Online early this year and the Web 2.0 in October (both of them online courses) and along the year I have noticed how much this has helped my own practice: For the first time in years I got the courage to start my own personal blog, I have another professional one and have blogs for the classes I run for the Master in TEFL (blended-learning) course at FUNIBER- Universidad de Piura.
Additionally, I started a Facebook account, have an office in Tapped In, have a Prezi professional account, a Voki account, accounts in Voxopop, Voice thread, edublog, LinkedIn. I learned to use Diigo and RSS and am sure that some people who read this will think all this is part of their daily lives not an extraordinary achievement. Believe me, for me who am nearing 60 and who belong to the generation of Peace and Love and no machines, having the computer and the Internet as one of my main and favourite aids for teaching is something awesome!!
So thank you very much for allowing me to learn, to meet new people, to be in touch with the ones I love, thanks to my colleagues, my friends and my students for teaching me so much and let´s look forward to 2013 and all the new things that are waiting for us.
Happy New Year to all of you!!!
M. of Ed. Maria Luisa Mu

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Monday, 5 November 2012

Seeing Ourselves -You are Beautiful
(Madisyn Taylor)

Many of us do not take the time to notice and acknowledge how beautiful we are as humans. We may be great lovers of beauty, seeing it in the people, places, and things around us, while completely missing it in ourselves. Some of us feel that it is vain to consider our appearance too much, or we may find that when we look at ourselves, all we see are imperfections. Often we come to the mirror with expectations and preconceived notions about beauty that blind us from seeing ourselves clearly. As a result, we miss the beauty that is closest to us, the beauty we are. Sometimes we see our beauty in a shallow way, noticing how well we are conforming to social norms, but failing to see the deeper beauty that shines out from within and that will continue to shine regardless of how we measure up to society’s ideal.

If we can cut through all these obstacles and simply appreciate how beautiful we are, we free up so much energy. We also become less dependent upon the opinions and feedback of others since we become our own greatest admirers. Many of us know that after a great yoga practice or a long, deep meditation, we are more able to see how beautiful we are. This is because we have released some of our baggage, thus unburdening ourselves and summoning forth the spirit that dwells within us. It is the heady combination of the divine spirit and the human body that conveys beauty more accurately than anything else.

To keep ourselves in touch with our own beauty, we can surround ourselves with images that reflect our beauty back to us—photos of a relative or child who has our eyes, images of teachers who embody spirit, or self-portraits that capture our essence in a way that allows us to see ourselves anew. The best way to keep ourselves in touch with our own beauty is to keep looking deeply into our own souls and opening our eyes to the human being we see in the mirror every day

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Welcome November!!!. Just one month before the end of the year. How many things have happened and how many more are still waiting to happen!!!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

We are approaching the end of October and for school people it is the chance to practice English and familiarize our students with a typical celebration: Halloween. I was reading Selections of the Reader´s Digest in Spanish (October 2012) and found these pictures on the last page in the section The last Laugh. They were not intended for English teaching but as it usually happens to us, we cannot help finding "authentic material" to supplement our teaching. 
I am posting two suggestions to be used at this time. The first one can be used at primary level and it is the familiar game Find the Differences. Just remember that as important as it is to find the seven differences is to exploit the activity in such a way that it would help students use English in a natural way. You may organize students in groups of three and allocate a time limit to find the differences, then during the feedback you can ask a group representative to explain the strategy they used to fulfill the task or the difficulties they faced to achieve it.

The second suggestion can be used at higher levels and it intends to promote a discussion. Some people may find it of bad taste, others may find it funny. Whichever the case, give students the chance to express their opinions and try not to be judgmental about them. As with everything in life, we like different things and even the celebration of Halloween may arise controversies so the point is to try to exploit that for the students´ benefit.

In my opinion, we should try to show our students that language is communication and what we communicate is feelings and opinions of the different things we come accross. In our country we also celebrate the Procession of the Lord of the Miracles and even "El Día de la Canción Criolla", these are also conversation topics that may help teachers motivate students to communicate in English.
If you need some more ideas for celebrations you can visit Learn English Kids of the British Council : You will certainly find lots of ideas, games and crafts that are really helpful.


Monday, 1 October 2012

We can give something to others.

We don´t always have to receive something first in order to give something away.


Life is a Song - Sing it!

Life is a Game- Play it!

Life is a Challenge- Meet it!

Life is a Dream - Realize it!

Life is a Sacrifice - Offer it!

Life is Love - Enjoy it!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Highlights of the seminar on Strategies for Teaching with Technology by Mr. Gordon Lewis

Some of the ideas Mr. Lewis mentioned in his presentation are really important since they guide future technology for education users in how to make the most of it for a more effective use. Here is a summary of some of them.

· One of the key things is to turn personal behavior into educational practice. This is that if you are not computer literate or a technology user, it will be difficult to teach using technology.

· Unlike the traditional class preparation where you prepared material that was expected to last and be used several times, when using technology we should think that there is no such preservation so we must be ready to leave the material and move on.

· Teachers and students are empowered by the use of digital technology. Furthermore, students will get more of what they want and less of what someone else believes they need.

· One drawback of using technology is the lack of strategy and planning. Many times technology is used as a fancy trend with no real place in the syllabus and this is because technology has not been integrated in the classroom plan.
· The goals we want to achieve by using technology should have specific characteristics :

Specific and Strategic(the use of technology for differentiation, assessment, planning or communication)

Measurable ( the effects of the use of technology should be measured using clear indicators of its effectiveness)

Attainable ( to introduce technology is not only to use laptops or i-pads but to plan how these would be used, by who and for what purpose within the institution plan)

Results-oriented ( the objectives of the activity should be the key issue to provide the focus rather than the sophistication of the tools)

Time-bound ( there should be a period of time assigned to the activity and a deadline that would allow further analysis of the cost-effectiveness of the use of technology)

On the practical side of the use of Technology in education, Mr. Lewis gave an example of how to use technology for developing Writing. He suggested the following for the different stages of the process:

Brainstorming : use the Whiteboard to record and save the ideas generated in this stage
Drafting: Use ppt slides one per paragraph since it is easy to change the order of the slides to make the paragraphs work into the text
Revising: For peer-editing we can use wikis and for feedback we can use video with editing tools
Editing: Use the facilities any PC provide regarding spelling and sentence organization, punctuation, etc.
Publishing: Use Wikis or Blogs

Another thought-provoking idea Mr. Lewis mentioned was that of Community of Practice which are as its creator Etienne Winger states: “…groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly”

Mr. Lewis said that in order to create a community of practice we needed Membership, Mentorship, Orchestrated Spontaneity (Participation) and Recognition. If you want to explore more on this interesting idea go to

Last, but not least, for measuring the success of the use of Technology there are key questions such as: Did they (the students) like it?, did they learn? Are they applying it? And you can use the Brinkerhoff Success Case study methodology. You can read more about it at


Friday, 6 July 2012


Today is Teacher´s Day in Peru and I thought that it would be a good idea to celebrate this day by starting this blog. I have read several nice cards in my Facebook and decided to write here the many warm feelings that these friends inspire in me. Some have been my colleagues, others have been my teachers and still others have been my students. I have not seen or talked to several of them for quite a while so here I am.

Hope you read this from time to time and get to know each other better and learn together.

"Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it." (Proverbs 22)