sábado, 20 de septiembre de 2014


Nowadays it seems as if the concept “Independence” had spread over the world more than ever before and was in everybody’s mouth. TV and newspapers are echoing people’s will to reach their own competences in several areas without depending on a central government.

These days Scotland is on the news. On September, 18 the country of bagpipes hold the so called Referendum which claimed Scotland’s independence from its old enemy, England and the rest of nations comprising the U.K.

Two years ago Prime Minister David Cameron and the Scottish First Minister signed the “Edinburgh Agreement” where they placed the milestone for the Scottish Independence.  Some people have called this search for autonomy, “the break of a family of Nations.” These nations were some time a kingdom and British History is an excellent reflection of this. Let’s then read what time tells about the U.K. History of union and disunion.

-Vth-XVIth centuries--- The two islands of Ireland and Great Britain were divided into four territories or nations (Kingdom of England, Wales, Kingdom of Scotland and Kingdom of Ireland).
-In 1535 England and Wales joined. Between 1535 and 1542 the Tudor Dynasty (from a Welsh origin) introduced the English law in Wales and ended in annexing the territory to England.
-In 1707 England and Scotland joined. They had shared the same king from 1603, signed the Union Act which ended up in the United Kingdom of Great Britain. The Scottish Parliament broke up.
-In 1801 Ireland joined England. The kingdom of Ireland depended on Great Britain and now the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was born.
-In 1922 Ireland was split up into two: the free Eire in the south of the island became independent, while the north counties (Ulster) were still part of the United Kingdom.  Nowadays, we talk about the UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
-From 1998 the UK started a process where all its nations, except for England, have got back their Parliaments and own competences.
SO, nowadays, we can talk about:

It also meant the constitution of a flag
1707: the formation of the Union Jack (England and Scotland making up the kingdom of Great Britain)
1801: the kingdom of Ireland joins the kingdom of GB making the UK.
1922: Ireland separates from the UK (Ireland secession) but the colours of the Union Jack remain unchanged because Northern Ireland remains attached to the U.K.

             What would have happened if the YES votes had won the Referendum?
       - The loss of the British pound since if it had remained as the national coin, some power should have been given to London.
      - Immediate exit from the European Union. Otherwise, its admission into the European Union would have been left in the hands of the rest of EU members.
      -The main banks would have fled from Scotland and the main stock markets would have rejected to work for the nation.
         What are the current competences in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?
     In 1998 the U.K. carried out a devolution process in which all nations, except for England, were given back their Parliaments. Now then, its nation has its own competences in several areas: 
SCOTLAND: its Parliament was restored in 1998. Its current competences are: health, education, social services, living, financial local development, tourism, transport, environment, culture, politics and justice.

WALES: its Assembly was created in 1999. Its current competences are: agriculture, health, education, living, social services, tourism, environment, financial local development, culture and language, among others.

NORTHERN IRELAND: its Parliament was created in 1920 and dissolved in 1973. Its Assembly was restored in 1998. Its current competences are conveyed to health, agriculture, employment, social services, living, tourism, environment, culture, police and justice.


Last day while reading an article from a blog, I found out some space dealing with the British National Anthem. The article pin pointed different issues that are almost an institution to our minds but they are not actually as we thought; almost a type of false friend -culturally and historically speaking. The thing is it called my attention now that the "Scottish Neverendum", as some people have called it, is more latent than ever. Why? Because it revolved around the wrong believe that the British "God Save the Queen", so sung by footballers on the field prior to every match, is nothing but a BRITISH NATIONAL ANTHEM, and not an exclusive English ownership. In fact, its lyrics allude to the four nations which comprise the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales). 

Curiously though, all the above mentioned nations have their own national anthem, except for England which does not have any. That may be the reason why English people say "God Save the Queen" is theirs.

lunes, 26 de mayo de 2014


Last day during the development of one English lesson with my Secondary Students, we came across with a text where the famous “Aunt Annie” type of writing was the focal point. However, the class ended with another cultural aspect which nothing had to do with the main idea that was thought to be worked on: TIPPING.

"Tip"was a common word whose meaning my Learners did not know, leave apart its connotations in the USA. The thing is that, once we bumped into it, I started to explain the way tipping works in the 50-state world. They could not believe their eyes! Their faces and gestures of amazement told it all…

Yes, guys… after explaining them the functioning of tipping in the USA (apart from the price of the item purchased, people have to pay extra money for the service since workers often make a living from tips), they made some comments like: “WHAT?!!! No way!!!!” “I would leave the restaurant without paying any tip” “So, how much money do you have to take to the States?” These are only some of my Students’ comments.

It made me reflect the following:

1. The cultural breach which a geographical element leaves between countries and continents.

2. How much our Learners enjoy real-life experiences from the Teacher since they enrich their cultural background when our educational curriculum has still this grammar-focus.

What do you think?

martes, 13 de mayo de 2014


Well, guys, here you have the link to add your own ideas to the chain story... Come on, let your imagination fly and be as much creative as you can. I trust on you!

domingo, 11 de mayo de 2014


I'm creating a story where anyone can feel free to participate writing his ideas on it. First, you can access clicking on this URL, then, you need to register to collaborate. If you decide to participate, you just have to read the instructions and start brainstorming!

viernes, 11 de abril de 2014


What if we start practising the most ancient activity together? Take a look at my biographic tale and try to make yours.