In a Nutshell Series

In a Nutshell is a series of short posts where I try to explain some key concepts in language teaching and learning. I will introduce those concepts in the fewest possible words; therefore, do not expect the explanations to be deep and extensive. The idea is to present terms and theories in simple words and,

In a Nutshell – Backward design

Welcome to the first post in the In a Nutshell series. In a nutshell, the backward design is a lesson planning method in which we focus on the lesson objectives first rather than on the language items that will be taught. I have seen a lot of teachers in various settings who start their planning routine

Getting the right terms

I have seen a lot of confusion over the use of the terms Hispanic, Latino, and Spanish. In this post, I try to explain the general meaning of these terms and how they are used. Geometric Venn Diagram by Priscila Medrado Costa The terms should not be used interchangeably. Spanish is the name of the language and

Mango, Abuela, and Me – Goodreads review

Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is a super sweet story of the strong bond between a granddaughter and her grandmother, which transcends their language barrier. Mango, Abuela, and Me can be used in the classroom in critical literacy activities. Some of the themes that it addresses

Tía Isa Wants a Car – Goodreads review

Tia Isa Wants a Car by Meg Medina My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is an interesting children’s book for critical literacy discussions. Here is a list of several themes that appear in the book. 1. Language barrier – Tía Isa speaks limited English and needs her niece to act as her interpreter in

My audience

In this blog, I write with three audiences in mind. The first is teachers at large, who may have language learners in their classrooms and might be looking for tips on how to better address their students needs. The second audience, and the one I address more often, are teachers of English as a second or foreign

Two ESL instructional settings in the U.S.A.

Ever since I arrived in the U.S. as a student, I have also taught in the two major educational settings that receive English language learners in the country, and the two of them have some particular characteristics that I would like to describe here. School-aged children and adolescents who are speakers of other languages in

50+ Multicultural Biographies for Children

This is the introduction of a series of six posts. The series lists more than 50 biographies written for children and adolescents. It brings the valuable stories of people from all over the world, which can lead the young readers into educational discussions and a better understanding of cultural diversity.

50+ Biographies for Children – Latin America

This post lists 5 Biographies written with young readers as the target audience. The main characters in these non-fiction books were born in three different countries in Latin America. The images of book covers are linked to outside sources with further information. All the book descriptions give you an idea of age recommendations and the texts’ Lexile

50+ Biographies for Children – Europe

This post lists 11 Biographies written with young readers as the target audience. The main characters in these non-fiction books were born in different countries in Europe. The images of book covers are linked to outside sources with further information. All the book descriptions give you an idea of age recommendations and the texts’ Lexile measures. Ada