venerdì 27 gennaio 2017

Reflecting on the film Alone in Berlin

27th January 2017-      Remembering  the Holocaust
turn back on

This idiom " turn back on somebody" can be the beginning of this post as today we are remembering  what we cannot forget  about our past history: it is part of Europe''s past but it is also the history of the XX century. When we think about what happened in Europe in the  1930s and 1940s  we cannot but not say that it was  the worst event in the history of human beings. Two World Wars marked the century but the atrocities which happened in the concentration camps like Buchenwald and Auschwitz cannot be explained and we feel that we cannot understand why it occured.
Auschwitz is still there, open to visitors to  remind them that we must not forget the ones who lost their life because of the cruelty of nazism and racism. 27th January 1945 marks the beginning of  the destruction of a regime but  many more atrocities have happened since then and more are happening now. We do need to open our  eyes and  NEVER FORGET. It happened and it can happen again. Europe saw the deaths of innocents, people who were not supporting Hitler and the millions of Jews who thought they might  escape  or thought that the man next door would not  tell the police that you were not  German.

This week  we took our students to the cinema and we saw the film   " Alone in Berlin" based on the book by Hans Fallada. Our school - like many in Italy - is invited to do some activities about  the day  on which we  are reminded of Auschwitz.We decided to see this film- all our classes went to the cinema.
The film  was released last year and it presented the story of two German people who decided to fight against the Nazis regime in Germany after their son had died at war.
The man and the woman started writing postcards where they invited people  to be against the dictator and after  successfully sending 200 postcards they were arrested.
The story narrated by Fallada was based on the true story of  Otto and Elise Hampel who were put in prison and later beheaded.  Their messages to the German people were simple: don't cooperate with the  regime , you must not support the Nazis.

After many years  we must  continue  this battle: those who died need to be remembered. We can say that we do need to see  films that remind us that this happened in Germany, in the heart of Europe.

The trailer of the film can be used in class for presenting the issue and work with the students to discuss  the Holocaust . It is important to   see that Germany was under a dictator but that there were also people who became aware of the  oddity of the regime.

On the Internet we can find a lot of information and materials for  discussion about  the importance of learning from the past. A good film or a good book can really make a difference.

A simple tool like Instagrok  or documents online will help us develop our students' critical thinking skills.
Language Teachers can work with  Teachers of History to get into the history of the 1930s and 1940s and they will develop tasks which are meaningful and useful for their learners.

Not only English, but also more content to remember  the Past.

holocaust stories | Learn about holocaust stories on instaGrok, the research engine:

lunedì 23 gennaio 2017

Listening and ELT

Useful  Ideas to  Teaching   Listening   Skills

In December I missed  the webinar where  Shelly  Terrell presented her ideas about teaching LISTENING SKILLS  in English, but I am going to watch the video if  she uploads it on the  Youtube.
The presenter shared her great slides and I am uploading them to start my research online about the resources which we can find and can help us develop our learners.

Listening Activities and Tools for Language Learners from Shelly Sanchez Terrell

I checked part of the chat  where  the teachers  shared their best websites for teaching   Listening.
Here is  a list of what they shared:

ELT listening, by luskap
Music and Songs 

Teaching with Music and Songs from Shelly Sanchez Terrell

A  list of useful  websites and activities can be found here:

Listening, by sujava

More resources
Right now I am doing a course  about  teaching  listening and I will share the ideas and more tips we have been given. Meanwhile I hope to learn how to work better on this skills which is always a problem for my students of English. 

giovedì 12 gennaio 2017


When studying online and learning more about changes in education I had the chance to do a course about   Digital Coaching. It was an American  Mooc course but  it was about the way  teachers can work better if the coach works on them by supporting them. What most of the teachers had to discuss about  was in relationship to the need to implement the digital skills among teachers and thanks to this professional development more students could better their skills in the 21st century school.
What I am doing now is working on different levels of competences but  aim at  building a better teacher who is now learning.

I am not a coach, I wish  I had a good coach who could work with me in my school but I can manage.

In our schools we have digital coaches or people who are starting to support us. It is hard for some but I consider myself a teacher who has developed in the field of new technologies and thanks to  my social network I am learning online and thanks to the other.
Sharing is  Caring : this is our Motto!!

Resources online about coaching :

Here are some interesting documents which I have found online and deal with important issue that every educator and coach should be familiar with: they have to do with designing and  new ways of working where technology is supporting teachers and learners.


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Presentations  about   TPACK and SAMR

My activity online about  Digital Teaching and Learning :