Saturday, November 28, 2015

Traveling Notebook: SNEAK PEEK (VII)

The English and French teachers at CPI Poeta Uxío Novoneyra have sent us a preview of their very detailed traveling notebook. It is multilingual and very comprehensive, take a look!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Creative Writing Workshop: Snail Mail

Patricia Ares, the Coordinator of Cultural Activities in EOI Santiago has very kindly invited me to give a workshop this afternoon to introduce students to snail mail and the possibilities it offers to practise writing skills in a real context.

I am really excited, I will be talking about a topic which I really love and which lies at the heart of our project. I certainly hope attendees will enjoy it and that it will ignite a spark of insterest in snail mail.

Here's a short video I have put together to introduce the workshop.

Thanks for your invitation, Patricia!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Meet the Schools: CEIP DO CASTRO

Cristina Teixeira heard about the creative writing project and loved the idea of the traveling notebook, showing her willingness to participate and get involved. 

She has sent us some photos which are really self-explanatory and constitute the best description of their school. A picture is worth a thousand words! You can see the location of their school, the building, the beautiful multilingual traveling notebook they have put together, and the creative souls behind the amazing notebook: 1 year primary students.

CEIP do Castro


Thank you, Cristina and CEIP do Castro for your awesome work! 

Meet the Schools: CEIP ESCARABOTE

María Basterrechea is one of the most dynamic, upbeat persons I have ever met. I remember having her in class during my first year in Ribeira (2008), and thinking how privileged I was for coming in touch with such a cheerful, enthusiastic person, committed to work hard and with the gift of lighting up an entire room and making others feel better.

I remember learning a lot from the videocast her family put together. Marta and Pablo and "Los Cociñecos" taught me how to cook "paté marinero" or "galletas bicolor".

Last July, when I met with María and Alicia to tell them about the creative writing project, they were really excited about it and showed their willingness to participate, for which I am ever so grateful!

María has sent us a description of their school which I am including below:

CEIP Escarabote


Saúdos desde Escarabote! O noso colexio atópase na aldea de Escarabote, que pertence ao concello de Boiro. Aínda que estamos ao lado do mar, para chegar ao colexio temos que subir unha costa moi grande, o bó e que temos unhas vistas preciosas dende arriba. 

Somos 170 persoas as que formamos a comunidade educativa: 150 alumnos e alumnas repartidos en nove aulas, dende 3 a 12 anos (Infantil e Primaria), 15 mestres, o conserxe, 2 persoas encargadas da limpeza, a coidadora, e Elisa, a nosa auxiliar de conversa, que vén de moi lonxe, de Florida.

O centro ten un edificio grande onde están as aulas de primaria, biblioteca, ximnasio, aula de inglés, sala de ordenadores, despachos: secretaría, orientación…Outro edificio onde están as aulas de infantil e a aula de música, e un pavillón. O noso patio é moi grande e ten unha pista para xogar a baloncesto, balonmán, fútbol…e tamén hai un patio para os nenos e nenas de infantil.

Este ano temos un proxecto para traballar todos ao longo do curso, chámase: “Alimentámonos coa lectura”. Queremos investigar moito sobre este tema, xunto cos nosos mestres e tamén na casa. 

Thank you, María and CEIP Escarabote, it is an honour to be partners in this project!

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Galician Press Covers our Project

Our  project and all of the activities around it, such as the upcoming Arabic and Japanese calligraphy workshops, or the creative writing workshop which will be given both in EOI Santiago and Sección Ribeira have been in the limelight this weekend.

Two local newspapers have covered the project! I am attaching the captures below for your enjoyment.

I think everybody's enthusiasm exudes in all the activities being organized. It is really nice to work with highly committed people (both teachers and students)!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Meet the Schools: EOI LOS CRISTIANOS (Tenerife)

I met Carlos David Martín in 2009 at an EOI National Conference we have every two years. I remember he attended a workshop I was giving and was very supportive, smiling, giving comments and exchanging impressions,... the kind of person you remember after you've left the room. After that, we have seen each other again at our EOI Conferences and we also stay in touch through a Facebook group for teachers, where we can exchange materials, impressions about news articles or updates in legislation. I am truly thankful because I have learnt and continue to learn a lot from other PROFESSIONALS, like Carlos.

EOI Los Cristianos is taking part in the traveling notebook project. Their notebook, a preview of which you can see in a previous entry of this blog. It will be traveling to Negreira, Noia and Elda.

Carlos has sent us a summary about their school, satellite schools, languages and levels that are taught and specific courses that are offered.


EOI Los Cristianos

La Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Los Cristianos, se encuentra enclavada en la localidad del mismo nombre en el municipio de Arona, en la vertiente sur de la isla de Tenerife.

En nuestra escuela se imparten los idomas Inglés (desde nivel básico hasta C1), Francés, Alemán, Español para Extranjeros (desde nivel básico hasta el avanzado); chino y ruso (ambos solo en nivel básico).

En total contamos con casi 2500 alumnos y 3 sedes:
-EOI Los Cristianos (65 grupos todos los idiomas)
-IES Los Cristianos (2 grupos de inglés básico)
-AEOI Guía de Isora (2 grupos de inglés básico)

También impartimos cursos específicos de 70 horas (uno por cuatrimestre). La oferta para este curso es: Inglés Turístico (NB2) y Alemán Turístico (NB1 y NB1+).


 Thank you so very much, Carlos David Martín for being part of this project!

Meet the Schools: CEIP PRAIA XARDÍN

I met Dolores Olveira some years ago in Santiago, when she was my student in a PALE course. These courses (now called PIALE)  are a kind of prep stage for teachers who then go to an English-speaking country for an immersion programme to update their linguistic skills. I remember being impressed by Dolores's polished English and enthusiasm for teaching, and thinking how lucky her students are for having a dedicated, motivated teacher. Then, last July when I got in touch with her regarding the creative writing project, and she immediately showed her interest and willingness to jump on the bandwagon. We then met in September, together with two other teachers from CEIP Praia Xardín, and this is how they ended up being part of the traveling notebook chain. It is a pleasure to be working with them!

 Dolores has sent us some information so that we can get to know their school a little better.

CEIP Praia Xardín

CEIP Praia Xardín is located in Boiro. It's one of the schools in the town centre with a fantastic view to the beach. Most of our students come from rural areas such as Moimenta, Ponte Goiáns, Cadarnoxo, O Saltiño, Pomar do Río, Macenda,...Come and visit!!

Our school

We have got Bilingual Sections in Art in the whole Primary Education. So that, a language assistant is with us every year. Angharad is our fifth language assisstant and she is from Wales. She provides the children real English and it is an extra source of motivation for all of us.


School canteen

Our playground
English class

Another view of our English class

English class and materials

Heartfelt thanks, Dolores Olveira and the participating staff at CEIP Praia Xardín for your kind cooperation!


How nice it is to see schools from our area collaborating in this creative writing project! CEIP Frións and CEIP Heroínas de Sálvora have served as an inspiration for us, since they did an awesome job last year launching a joint project consisting in creating some postcards of the area with QR codes taking you to multimedia content online. In fact, they were awarded the second prize of "Innovación Lingüística" (read more here). Luís Teira has also been very willing to join in this project, offer insight into activities that could be carried out, give practical information, suggest interesting websites, and participate in all the activities. He has also sent us some information he would like to share with you all about his school.

Therefore, it is an honour to introduce:

CEIP Frións 

No CEIP plurilingüe de Frións somos case 200 alumnos e alumnas que estudamos dende 4º de educación infantil a 6º de educación primaria.

Moitos de nós sabemos sabemos moitas linguas diferentes, que nos aprenderon as nosas familias. Mais todos tratamos de usar a lingua universal dos bos desexos... creo que nos sabemos facer entender.

Viaxeiros e viaxeiras en caderno, aquí estamos, somos todo orellas e ollos abertos, contádenos que nos vos escribimos!!!

So, as you can see, there are over 200 children studying at this school, from early childhood education to 6th year of Primary. It is a multilingual school, but it follows the principle of "first-language-first" education. As Luís puts it, they all try to use the universal language of goodwill. What a nice way to put it!

And so at CEIP Frións they are expectant, all ears and eyes, waiting to meet all of you, notebook travellers, and get to read what you will tell them.

Thank you CEIP Frións and Luís Teira for your willingness to participate and be involved in this project! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Traveling Notebook (EOI): SNEAK PEEK (VI)

Here in Sección Ribeira, we are participating in two traveling notebook chains. One of the chains involves us, and the EOIs in Soria, Alicante and Puerto de la Cruz (Canary Islands). Students in B2 level have strived to choose the most relevant aspects that will give our readers some insight into our area, traditions, food and school.

In case you can't wait to see the notebook, here's a preview!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Traveling Notebook (EOI): SNEAK PEEK (V)

Our friends from EOI Los Cristianos in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, have been putting together their notebook, which will then travel to Seville, Noia, Negreira and Alicante. Carlos has been kind enough to send us a preview of their contents which I am attaching below for your enjoyment.

What do you think they have written inside?

I am sure you can't wait to

Thank you EOI Los Cristianos for participating in this project and thanks for the sneak peek!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Meet the Schools: CRA DE RIANXO

We are really happy to introduce another school from our area, CRA de Rianxo, that will be joining the traveling notebook project. I met with Pablo García in July to present the project and discuss the different actions. Even though he has enough on his plate as it is, teaching and coordinating other projects they have going on at the school (such as library activities or a book fair), he was very enthusiastic about participating and collaborating in writing a traveling notebook with his students. He and Tamara, the English teacher, are going to be collaborating in this project, and they have been kind enough to send a description of their school, or rather, their network of schools.


CRA de Rianxo, our school, is composed by eight separated schools but it works like a big one. Each school is located in a different area of the council of  Rianxo, a rural fishing village located in the northwest of Spain.

Map of our schools
117 pupils aged between 3 and 8 years old, enjoy this kind of rural education and 20 teachers try  to take advantage of what the enviroment provides us with, to share with them.

Families are really involved in the education of their children, taking a big part in all the activities and celebrations done at school. In fact, we always gather together in a single school to celebrate Magosto, Christmas, Carnival...where teachers and families collaborate to make of each event a perfect day (food, games...).

These are the schools which are going to participate in the traveling notebook project (because they have primary pupils, and we are going to do in English class and Arts and Crafts Bilingual Section)

Escola de Rañó

Escola de Quintáns

Escola de Capela

Escola de Pazo
We are ever so grateful to CRA Rianxo and their teachers Tamara and Pablo for their hard work! We really hope they enjoy the project!

Traveling Notebook (High Schools): SNEAK PEEK (IV)

Alina, from Zhoushan Senior High School in China, has sent us these pictures of the beautiful traveling notebook they have been working on. This notebook will now travel to the IES César Manrique in Lanzarote (Spain). How exciting is that?

Meet the Schools: EOI SANTIAGO - RIBEIRA satellite school

EOIs  (Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas) are official language schools in Spain. They offer non-compulsory tuition in languages for adults (older than 14). There is a national network of schools and we are sustained with public funds. Normally, EOIs are located in bigger towns, but there are also different satellite schools (called secciones or extensiones in Spanish) in smaller villages which also offer the opportunity for people living in rural areas to learn a foreign language (mostly English). These branches are normally located in existing high schools and even though we are two different educational entities, we share the same building and facilities. For example, there is an EOI in Santiago, the capital of Galicia, our region, which has its own building, and then it also has 5 satellite schools located in different high schools: one in the city itself (IES de Sar), and four others in Negreira (IES Xulián Magariños), Noia (IES Virxe do Mar), Ordes (IES Número 1 de Ordes) and Ribeira (IES Número 1 de Ribeira). 

Aquí vos presento: 


Ribeira is a small coastal town with approximately 26.000 inhabitants. Most people live off the sea (fishing, fish canning industry) and tourism. 

Our branch offers general courses of English as a foreign language (A1-B2 levels) and a course for teachers wanting to teach in English (CLIL) or to update their English language skills. Both types of courses start in September and finish in June, when students take exams.

There around 350 students enrolled and we are a dynamic school offering a wide range of cultural activities to learn English in a fun way: a book club which has been running for 8 years now; a drama club, made up of students, former students and teachers, which has been performing for two years both in Ribeira and at other EOIs; and other activities such as a song festival, workshops and contests. We are really happy because there have been many teachers that have worked hard at our school and contributed to an excellent working atmosphere and to the overall success of activities: Raquel Fernández, María José Olveira, Pilar Castro, Noelia Míguez, Manuel del Río, Mariló Vélez, Patricia Fernández, Marisa Triñanes, Sesé Casais and Elva Méndez.

This year we are really excited to be the "heart" of this creative writing project. We really hope it will increase appreciation of snail mail and postcards and promote writing among citizens of all ages, but above all, we hope it will foster cross-cultural understanding and add an emotional dimension to the writing process.