viernes, 18 de junio de 2021

That's all, students!


Despite the extra level of stress and difficulty, we manage to complete another academic year. Congratulations to all for your marks and your good behaviour! You really deserve your summer holidays!

As usual, this last post also include some recommendations. Needless to say, this year's reading suggestions are about other historical pandemias...

The ghost map: the story of London's most terrific epidemic (cholera), by Steven Johnson. 

The pale rider: the Spanish flu of 1918 and how it changed the world, by Laura Spinney.

A planet of viruses, by Carl Zimmer.

Pandemias, by Tomek Żarneck

Of course, do not forget you may find other titles (both books and films) from previous years in the tab: Recommendations.

Enjoy the summer! Have fun... but take care! 

martes, 25 de mayo de 2021

3º British: Globalization - Planet Money makes a T-Shirt

Good news! This is the very last topic/task for this academic year!

What is Globalization?

Globalisation is the process by which the world is becoming increasingly interconnected as a result of massively increased trade and cultural exchange.

Globalisation is not a new phenomena. On the contrary, it has been taking place for hundreds of years thanks to trade, but has speeded up enormously over the last half-century. Globalisation can be both positive or negative (read page 3 on my theoretical topic).

Let’s study a specifical example: Planet Money makes a T-shirt.

Planet Money is a USA radio show to learn the basics of economy, broadcasting by NPR. One year, the Planet Money team decided to do a special T-shirt with its logo... and follow the whole creation process.

The simplest shirt is touched by people and machines all over the planet, from highly paid researchers in seed laboratories to factory workers who earn a few dollars a day. By making our own T-shirt, we figured, we would discover this massive, interconnected, largely hidden world. Follow its journey: 

Do you know how much water is need to create a simple t-shirt and a pair of jeans? Look at the image:

As seen, one of the negative impacts is the huge amount of residues and waste produced. Do you know how to correctly manage YOUR waste? Do you know if we are doing our best in the recycling system? Have a look to this website:

To make sure globalisation will brings more positive to negative things, specially to LEDCs, there are some concept to keep in mind (all of them, again, explained on my theoretical topic):

  • Sustanaible development
  • Appropiate technology
  • Fair trade

Back to the previous example: the creation of that T-shirt is industrial or “fast-fashion”, activity with a huge impact in the environment and, therefore, in human life itself! Recycling fashion (the town turning waste into clothes, BBC 4 minutes video) has become a major need. Recently, a new model appears: Slow-fashion.

Slow-fashion advocates for manufacturing in respect to people, environment and animals. Eg.: There are, nowadays, several alternatives more respectful with the environment, with the animals and much less water-consumer. Have you heard about the "vegan-leather"? Shoes, bags of jackets than with special materials than totally reproduce the visual appearance and texture but vegetable-done. For example, from pineapple or cactus!

As such, contrary to industrial fashion practices, slow fashion involves local artisans and the use of eco-friendly materials, with the goal of preserving crafts and the environment. Some elements of the slow fashion philosophy include: buying vintage clothes, redesigning old clothes, shopping from smaller producers, making clothes and accessories at home and buying garments that last longer.

And when the garments can not be reuse anymore, they can be transformed into something completely different, such as kitchen tiles (1 minute BBC video) or kindergarten pavement! Did you know it? Sure not...

Have you ever try to customize your own clothes? For example, an old pair of jeans. What can you do with them? The usual answer is to cut them into shorts for summer time but, with some sewing skills and a bit of patience (there are a lot of tutorials on internet) you can transform them into a skirt, a backpack or a cushion: 

After watching carefully the videos by Planet Money (they are very short, 3 minutes the longest one!) and reading the topic, answer all the following questions as complete as possible (as usual, send your answers to
Task 1: about the videos:

  • Video III: People. Why do you think the t-shirts were made in Bangladesh and Colombia and not the USA?
  • Video V: You. Identify something else (not a t-shirt) from your daily life that is the result of globalization and explain why you think it is a product of globalization.
Task 2: general synthesis:

  • What technological innovations do you think have made globalization possible?
  • Identify two positive effects and two negative effects of globalization and explain why each is positive or negative.
  • Do the economic benefits of globalization outweigh the costs? Why?
  • Do the social and cultural benefits of globalization outweigh the costs? Why?
Task 3: recycling and slow fashion

  • What do you think about the concept of slow-fashion and the customize of clothes? Are you in favour or against? Why?
  • Look at the image below: it’s a XL man-size shirt. What would to do to customize or transform it? Give at least 2 ideas.

And that's all this year! I promise! :)

lunes, 17 de mayo de 2021

2º British: How to organise an art exhibition “I’m a curator of Museo del Prado”


Before starting, we need a definition... What does an ART CURATOR do?


In the art world, the title of "curator" identifies a person who selects and often interprets different works of art, whether they be paintings, statues, tapestries, or video art. In addition to selecting works, the curator is often responsible for writing labels, catalog essays, and other content supporting art exhibitions.

Art curators (in Spanish: “Comisario de la exposición”) have an eye for a variety of art forms and a passion for staging artwork in a way that creates interest in the exhibition space, whether it is small or large, contained within four walls, or staged outdoors.


What is your new task them?

Being a curator of an exhibition in Museo del Prado is a really beautiful but quite demanding job, there is a lot of pressure and responsability over your soulders... that is, precisely, why this activity can be done individually or in groups (maximum 3 people).


The activity is divided in 3 stages, all of them mandatory. You will have in your email the basics but pay attention to the detailed explanations the teacher will provide at class:


Stage 1. Preparation. Choose a topic/theme and 12 art masterpieces that fit that topic. They should be mostly paintings but you can also include one sculpture or another artifact (such as furniture or jewellery). From that total of 12 artworks, 2 of them MUST be from outside Museo del Prado; therefore, you will have to prepare requests forms for museum loans, transportation and insurance. Of course, such as ambitious plann will costs money, take care with the budget provided! If you can “find” a sponsor, you will “receive” some extra useful funds... When finish, send all the documents (in pdf format) to


Stage 2. Working on! Settle an exhibition takes time as it includes the distribution of the artworks in the exhibition room, and the design of the advertising poster and catalogue. Again, when finish, send all the documents and updated budget (in pdf format) to


Stage 3. Ready to open. The artworks are ready but... have you think in all the complementary activities needed in a museum? Educational workshops for schools, guided visits, etc. Be creative with this part but stick to the plan and budget! Again, when finish, send all the documents and updated final budget (in pdf format) to



What a deal! Do not panic, it looks difficult but not impossible. Remember: Check your email and you will find the instructions and documents for dealing with the first stage; pay attention to the explanations and clarifications provide at class (and to the delivery date for it!). Ready? Steady? Go!


You can start by, of course the official websiteof Museo del Prado, where you can see its complete online catalogue, with all the technical and historical information, and even a very useful clasification by topics... Another good link is the online universal catalogue Art&Culture by Google.

As usual, this activity is mandatory and you will receive a mark for it. If you failed to do it, do it out of time or just copy&paste, your mark will be zero (0).

miércoles, 12 de mayo de 2021

1º British: Population in extreme weather zones

Today's activity requires a more elaborated work: you must choose ONE community that lives in extreme weather conditions (see the list below) and do a reseach (as usual, PDF format), as complete as possible, about their way of life. You can (must) add maps, graphs and pictures.

You should include (at least) the following ítems:

- Environment and climate: Where do they live? (add a MAP with the location) How is the climate and the landscape in which they live? (add a CLIMATE GRAPH).

- Life: How do they live? (Economic activities, housing, food ...); How do environmental factors influence their clothing and ornaments? Why is it said that they represent one of the most extreme cases of human adaptation?

- Problems and adaptation: Have they experienced any kind of marginalization? Which one? Have they changed their traditional way of life in recent years? How? Why? Has it been a positive or negative change? Why? What problems do these people face nowadays?

- Conclusions: your opinion about the chosen community. What have you learned or has called your attention?

- Webgraphy (links to websites consulted) and Credits (which section was done by each team member).

This work can be done individually or in groups (maximum, 4 people). Of course, you will also film an oral presentation, that is, a video or teams conference (about 4 minutes), in mp4 or avi format. When finish (27 May), send your work (both files) to (remember that you can use freely and safely). As usual, this work will be part of the score at the end of the term. If you fail to finish them or you give it out of date, the mark will be a 0 for this work.

Here is the list where you can choose from:

- Life in the bush: the Masai (Africa)
- Life in the desert: the Tuareg (Africa)
- Life in the desert of South Africa: Bushmen
- Life in the Asian desert: Mongolian herders
- Life in the woods: the Irulas or "snake hunters" (India and Sri Lanka)
- Life in the Amazon: the Yanomami (Brazil).
- Life on the tundra: Sami (northern Europe)
- Life in polar regions: the Eskimos or Inuit (Alaska, Canada and Greenland)
- Life in the heights: the Sherpas (Nepal), well known among mountaineers.

Two links you can use for starting your research: Brightside and ATI

Good luck with the work!

miércoles, 28 de abril de 2021

2º British: Your own guided visit to Ávila

As promised, it is your turn to become professional touristical guides. In groups (maximun 4 people) you will several days to prepare a guided visit to ONE of the following historical monuments of Ávila:
  • Medieval Wall
  • Cathedral
  • Basilica of San Vicente
  • Convento La Encarnación
  • San Pedro (El Grande)
  • San Andrés

The guided visit will be ONLY about the exterior area but there are several parts you MUST talk about (historical context, architectural plan, author, main gate, decoration, etc.). It would be also interesting and positive if you can add a legend or historical anecdote linked to your chosen monument. In any case, be aware that you should be able to talk 5-8 minutes! 

You can use the official website of Avila Tourism to study the monuments and there are also some tips for speaking as professional guides (both webs in Spanish). Prepare your speech (pdf format) and 3 high-resolution images and send them to on Thursday, 12 May. 

Due to the current situation, we are not allowed to do a real open-air visit; that is why on Friday 14 May, the teacher will project on the classroom screen your images, meanwhile you explain, live and in front of your colleagues, the "guided" visit to your chosen monument (remember, between 5 and 8 minutes!). Of course, all members of the team HAVE TO talk. Collaboration and team effort would be important.

As usual, this work is mandatory and will be part of your final score this term. If you fail to do it, you will receive a 0.

3º British: Experts committee about Global Warming

What is an “Experts committee”?

A work technique in which a group of students discuss as experts (Each one specialize in some aspect of the issue) an issue in dialogue or conversation with the group. The conversation can be casuak but it has to be rational, without discussions and exhibitions lead away from the topic

Who is involved? In groups (maximum, 6 people), you will have to share the following roles:
  • Experts: 3 experts who deal with all aspects of the issue for the group is reported. Experts MUST prepared with anticipation at least 3 accurate and professional resources (graphics, short videos, scientifical articles, etc.) that can support their explanations. Resources have to be well identify (title, author, university, details of publication, etc.)

  • Moderator: Introduce the committee members, organizes time, directs the conversation, introduce clarifying questions. This person must prepare a detailed script and a complete list of potential questions.

  • Journalist. 1 journalist, writting a scientical report for National Geographic, asking the experts all the questions that should be known: what is Global Warming? Why is it dangerous? What can we do for stop it? etc. / on the other hand, 1 denialist blogger trying to create controversy. In both cases, they must prepared with anticipation at least 3 resources that can support their explanations.
All those sources and documents MUST be sent by email on the 11 May to The debate will take place on 18 May.

How to do it?

1. How to performance the debate? You are special guests in a university conference ;) The moderator presented to the committee’s members (besides name, some special item you want the public to know about their knowledge of the subject). Asks the first question on the subject.

2. One member of the committee initiates the conversation with his/her colleagues.

3. The moderator has to intervene to ask new questions, if you see that there are aspects that have not been touched or if someone deviates from the topic. The moderator will be encouraged if the dialogue lapses, but without giving his/her opinion. When possible, the moderator also invites the journalists to contribute with his/her questions, ideas or doubts (or stops the blogger if too much controversy or violence).

4. The debate must last 25-30 minutes. After that, the moderator will invite each panel member to briefly summarize their ideas (briefly means one minute only).

As students of 3ºBritish and already veterans on this particular issue, you are expected to performance much greater and elaborated roles, and you will be evaluated accordingly.

Tips and Helps

You can have a look in the following webpages: Worldwatch Institute and also BBC NewsroundAnd here there is a list of questions that can be done during the debate:

  • What is Global Warming?
  • What are the causes of Global Warming?
  • Does everybody agree with the theory of Global Warming, or is there some kind of controversy? Why?
  • In science, what is the difference between “Theory” and “Hypothesis”?
  • What is “Carboon footprint”?
  • What can WE do?
  • What can the Governments do?
  • What is the Kyoto Protocol?

Ready? Watch, read… go on!

viernes, 16 de abril de 2021

2º British: working with primary sources

A first online work about the Spanish Armada (from a British point of view). Here you can read some documents of The National Archives.

Read carefully and do the task 1 to 6. You should see also the "Background" and "Armada Timeline", where you will read useful information... As usual, answers should me as complete and detailed as possible.