Posts Tagged ‘oral skills’

Try to include 1 or 2 speaking items …

22 September 2019

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

Try to include 1 or 2 speaking items in the final part of written exams to test the student´s oral skills. There should be a short interaction between the student and teacher once the written examination is finished.

Some examples:

exercise 11. When you think you have finished this test, hand in your paper exam to the teacher and say goodbye to him and wish him a good day.

exercise 12. When you think you have finished this test, hand in your paper exam to the teacher and tell him the exact time while showing him your wristwatch.

exercise 13. When you think you have finished this test, hand in your paper exam to the teacher and ask him his family name. Wait a second and follow his next question. It might be the spelling of a family name (yours or anyone´s else).


Eugenio Fouz.-






#PDF sample exam


Oral skills (English language method)

24 May 2019

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

I don´t hate school

Work oral skills in the classroom. It would be ideal to test students´oral skills in short interviews; however, another way could be just Q & A, that is, make questions quickly to students and check their answers (intonation, pronunciation, fluency)



How to describe an image

12 February 2017

twitter: @eugenio_fouz


 Have a look at the image.

Is is a photograph? a painting? graffiti?

  1. Find out the topic: love, summer holidays, shopping, family life, school days
  2. Say exactly what you see in the picture (focus on one or two main points: the main character, a man or a girl, a landscape, a pet or a cell phone)
  3. Do not ignore the background. Show the details: colour, light, books, tools
  4. Give your personal impression. Be subjective.


To sum up:



The real thing





Use rich vocabulary (do not repeat words or expressions, if possible)

When you speak try to be clear enough to be understood by anyone

Separate words

Take care of intonation (you do not ask a question the same way you describe a picture)

Speak good English

Eugenio Fouz


Revising my programming of English language

28 January 2013

twitter: @eugenio_fouz


Dead Poets Society.- Director: Peter Weir (1989)

Ayer pensaba que la Constitución es a un ciudadano lo que la Programación de una asignatura es para un profesor y su alumnado. Ambos documentos han de ser justos, realistas y modificables. Quiero un documento dinámico y útil.

A good programming makes a good teaching. Revising programmings is part of a teacher´s routine year after year, or rather, week after week, day after day. Everyday school life brings new thoughts and new ideas.

Thanks to a colleague teacher I came to reconsider the relative importance of the written test and minimized the value of that test from a 90% or 100% to a 60% . Doing so, students are to be be evaluated not only for knowledge, memorization or a good test but also for their skills or attitudes (two different things) on such aspects as effort, daily work, homework, oral skills, and so on. That colleague of mine (Toñi Roca) helped me understand the concept that a student is much more than a written test with good or bad results. A student is an individual with certain qualities and many more things.  We had discussions on knowledge and grammar, vocabulary and speaking and we used to talk about all those issues that keep teachers wondering. Our aim has always been the same, I think, get the key to knowledge and language. I remember her as a daring professional, innovative and cheerful. Yes, I remember her like this.

This year I came to the conclusion that marking oral skills in the classroom positively or negatively was going to be a meaningful point. And it was. Moreover I wanted to mark notebooks as a kind of passport from my pupils.   I proposed them to keep a register for each activity to do, or in other words, to number everything in their notebooks. Everything counts in the classroom. The idea of notebook marking was inspired in two colleagues at school.

This year, reading Graded Readers -two books for an academic year- plays an important part in the Final Evaluation; that is to say, everyone must read the books obligatorily to show they can understand English language and acquire new vocabulary.

According to my own teaching material, I decided to manage two lists full of boxes (squares) for marking my pupils´attendance as well as marking on every little tasks they do or don´t do, namely speaking good English language, having homework done in their notebooks, using dictionary in class or writing acceptable translations. Notes are to be written in pencil and not in ballpen as I used to do. I confess that I liked the cleanliness on the colleague teacher of Chemistry, Jesús Algarra.

This year I have organized extra copies on exercises in bigger packs for those who need or want enjoy themselves with the subject matter.

There is an exercise on English and American culture as part of my exams. This exercise counts just a little and this is a new point. Other stuff are the introduction of a creative part making students draw their room or a place in town, a favourite gadget or whatever. I also get them involved in the classroom by asking anecdotes, jokes or things we dealt with in class. (I must say I keep a diary in my dossier and keep taking notes during class time)

MOODLE or Aula Virtual is an indispensable tool which I fancy a lot. I share photos with short messages there, write notes or warnings on material suggested or pieces of news from English newspapers (The Huffington Post, The Guardian , etcetera). Here, the use of scanner helps me show students several mistakes they make in translations or mock examinations. Sometimes they are shown their drawings too.

The latest revision of programming has to do with a project in eTwinning via the British Council. That is something we would like to start. A programming must be an updated moleskine, realistic and dynamic.

Controlling marks and attendance data through two charts

25 December 2012

twitter: @eugenio_fouz


Surname /tra10 TEST60 workbook02  notebook1111  oral sk.1111 atte06


There is always a way to do things right. A teacher can control attendance of his students by designing a chart in a landscape-view page containing empty boxes for ticking missing days in a whole term. Writing in ballpen can be a bit dirty so it is much better to use pencil instead.

A teacher controls marks by designing another chart containing empty boxes for numbers rating from 0 to 1 or 0 to 60, for example. In this chart there are boxes for writing marks on attendance, workbook activity, oral skills, translations, notebook, etcetera.

(*) marks chart 

Free style free

12 October 2012

twitter: @eugenio_fouz


David Duchovny

I feel fine being unpredictable. Free style teaching language, letting students not know what is coming next, asking for a lot of homework at the end of the period, walking around the classroom, controlling and checking their real work.

Basically I work with grammar, explanations on any topic, audios and textbook. Also I want my students to sing as in a choir echoing interesting phrases or messages. Reinforcement via workbooks or extra exercises.

Teaching and testing, teaching and testing. Lots of practice and homework. Loads of writing work, too. A student who doesn´t write won´t be a good one. Dictations, translations, substitution tables, …

Quick reviews and mini tests, oral skill practice and testing, parallel papers, short messages and essay writing, how to write letters or read notices. Share information and curious hunger for the British and American culture.

Reading aloud and reading in low voice (class and at home), using dictionaries and functional language in class for everything, getting marks for any task they do. Notebooks like passports full with exercises, notes, vocabulary and pictures, good behaviour in and out of the classroom, moodle participation, podcasting, etcetera.

ten to twelve

10 August 2012

twitter: @eugenio_fouz


Audios / texts

Theory: grammar and concepts / functional language

PAU tests / Reading Books

Oral / Notebooks

SMS / words

“Teach me to hear mermaids singing” (John Donne)

28 July 2012

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

Suppose you teach a foreign language at school,

Imagine you choose the best five activities, grammar and words

Nothing else must be done except wondering which five things would be

Grab some audios and texts; check your pupils´s learning by means of tests

Sing a song of love and play games; oh, man, that´s cool!

Invent stories and tales, draw pictures and move

No matter how long these things take , for God´s sake!

Good teachers never fail to read a mermaid´s mail





E. Fouz.-


Forrest Gump sitting on the bench and memorandum

19 July 2012

twitter: @eugenio_fouz


Teacher´s memo: ten activities in a foreign language class


Lots of reading (translations, reading aloud)

Lots of listenings [repeat phrases]

Words memorization

Short messages (pass Spanish messages into English)

Oral skills (check: Question and Answer)

Essay writing (opinions)

Basics (data: numbers, possessives, prepositions, pronouns, demonstratives, the time, conjugation of verbs, etcetera)

Mini tests

Checking notebooks

Grammar cheeses


Journalism As Literature

A graduate seminar at the University of Florida


Elements of True Gentlemen

El Lobo está aquí

Disentería literaria


El primer blog de Garrafón en habla hispana

A Guy's Moleskine Notebook

Books. Reflections. Travel.


crear siempre, aprender y guardar la llama