Airport, weather & revisiting the preterite


First up, a review of the airport vocab we started with in the book.

Rags to Riches for the airport – note this was designed by someone teaching Latin-American Spanish, so we’ll see abordar instead of embarcar and boleto instead of billete. Just important to keep in mind, and useful to notice the difference between there and the peninsular Spanish that we learn.

And here’s a memory game for the airport vocabulary. Check the list of terms used first – here’s a link to click on for that. 

Next, it’s the weather, which can often be mentioned in the airport section in the listening, and often comes up in its own right as a section in the Junior Cert listening.

These two links are to Quizlet, so use the flashcards to review the vocab, then do speller, a game, or test yourself.

Basic weather words.

Slight extension to the weather words.

Here’s a link to a previous post on the weather, with lots more activities. 

And here’s a link to a post on the Preterite, with lots of revision activities, and an activity on the countries too.

Looking at the Present Perfect

Autumn is here

Autumn is here

Explanations of the Present Perfect

An extremely clear explanation which examines how the Present Perfect works in English & Spanish. (the video runs for about 5 minutes before you have to pay, and that is enough to get the main understanding of this tense).

See it written down and do the quizzes listed in the menu on the left-hand side.

Our good friend Señor Jordan introducing the Present Perfect.


Practice the verbs in the context of sentences.

Rags to riches – mixture of looking at verbs and phrases

Rags to riches – focus on sentences



La hora – telling the time in Spanish

As always, here’s a few options for reviewing how you tell the time en español. Do at least one of these before moving on to the activities.


Telling the time, very clearly expressed on this page.

Expand your knowledge. Take it one step further by looking at these phrases.

Do you want to see it all in one place? Very clearly laid-out list of lots of time-related phrases.

If you’re stuck and want to find out how exactly you say a particular time, use this interactive clock which will also give you am/pm. 


Notes on how to say the time (in clear, simple Spanish)Don’t miss the two review activities at the very bottom of the page before moving on.

The central panel here tells you how to tell the time. On the left, under the Telling the Time section, there’s a variety of quizzes and even some oral prompts to work with. 

Practise telling the time by changing the hands on a clock. 

Work with listening skills to recognise the time (get your ear in for the JC!).

Who wants to be a millionaire?-style game. 

The month’s end (September): reflecting on targets

I took five minutes with one of my Form 5 groups today to reflect on where we were, one month into the school year.

The end of a month is a good time to do that, both in one’s personal and professional life. It’s hard to keep our eyes on our goals all the time. When the days are long and filled with class, sports, clubs, friends and family, when do we get the chance to focus our attention inwards and think about where we stand in relation to our own goals and priorities? And if we haven’t taken the time to outline our own goals and priorities, how can we know how close we are to achieving them?


Continue reading

Show-and-Tell for senior students of Spanish

El amanecer en la meseta

El amanecer en la meseta

(If you’re a student and want to use this idea for your own oral practice, click on the post and then scroll all the way down for some study suggestions)

My last two classes on a Friday are double sixth year (twelfth grade in the American system). That’s two-fifths of our contact time every week at an hour when they are:

(a) physically tired

(b) tired of school

(c) ready for the weekend!

…so I’m under more than the usual pressure to make sure I hook every student into whatever activity we do. This one worked a treat! Continue reading

A photo a day to ease you in: #backtocole15

La vuelta

Back to school is a rush of adrenaline for teachers and students alike. The change of pace from the easeful days of summer to packed days and weeks can often be fraught and tense instead of exhilarating and enjoyable.

How about changing the story? Diving into a private language space with other teachers, while focusing on the positive elements of being a teacher (of Spanish) over the next month?  Continue reading

La Vuelta 2015 (#backtocole15) – for teachers

La vueltaIf you’re a teacher and you’re anything like me, the new academic year has been looming in your mind these last few blissful days of August and the holidays.

As part of my plans for the new school year, I’m working on a number of free community projects for Spanish teachers and learners. I’m based in Ireland, so my vision is naturally shaped by my environment, but the projects are designed to appeal to and help the Spanish teaching and learning community further afield as well. The first of these (for teachers) is inspired by a photo prompt session led by Susannah Conway that I have been doing this year as part of my work on mindfulness (a work-in-progress, as all mindfulness is!).

It’s free, it’ll encourage you to frame the first month back in positivity, and it’ll be a safe space to share thoughts about teaching (and life and whatever else comes up) in Spanish.

It’ll be online on the morning! I look forward to connecting with you there :)

Twitter chats for Language Teachers

Connecting with other educators with Twittter in the last five years (I joined it in 2010) has provided me with many wonderful learning opportunities, and big hugs and smiles all round when I meet my twitter friends (“tweeps”!) in real life.


Yeah, I know this photo shows Facebook! ;)

If you haven’t engaged in any of the amazing #edchat opportunities on Twitter, why not make 2015/16 the year you dip your toe in? Whether you dip only your little toe in, or dive in headfirst, you won’t regret it! The great thing about Twitter is that it always gives you something back, even if you “neglect” it for months!  Continue reading

Results Day (and the night before)

Sunset over Dublin MountainsIn the house we lived in then, you had to go round a corner from the long, cold hall to get from the front door to the kitchen, and that’s where the phone was. It was a modern phone then, with push-buttons instead of a rotating finger wheel. A long coiled cord connected the mouthpiece to the phone, and was intensely comforting to fiddle with during long intense conversations like the one I had with my best friend the evening before the Leaving Cert results came out. Continue reading