Anagomezgarcia’s Weblog

This is a blog for my students at the Official Language School in Valencia

Intermediate-Unit 5 December 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 8:14 pm

Education without exams

Finland:What can we learn from PISA’s top performer?

False friends in “education”

Old song with “education” vocabulary

We don’t want “no” education


Before watching-1

Have you seen the film or play? Have you read the book (Pygmalion) by George Bernard Shaw?
Did you like it? What do you remember?

Before watching-2

Eliza Doolittle, a poor girl who sells flowers in the street, has met two gentlemen one of whom records her words and utterances; he bets he would be able to turn her into a lady if only he could teach her to speak proper English. Eliza overhears their converation and decides to visit him to get private lessons.

Before watching-3

Read these questions and try to predict the answers:

1-At the beginning Eliza

a)is chucked out of the house
b)is welcomed into the house
c)is immediately recognised by the maid

2-When Eliza tells the maid she has come by taxi

a)she’s hoping to gain recognition and respect
b)the maid is impressed
c)the maid is angry

3-Colonel Pickering (the older gentleman)

a)is rude to Eliza
b)asks Eliza to sit down very politely
c)is upset about Eliza’s bad behaviour

4-Eliza grabs the handkerchief from the maid’s hand because

a)Higgins had given it to her, not to the maid
b)the maid thinks she’s incapable of appreciating it
c)she needs to wipe her eyes


a) is asked to pay too much for the lessons
b)is prepared to pay a high price for her lessons in relation to her economic situation
c)does not want the colonel to pay for her lessons when he offers to do so

3-The maid is

a)asked to wash Eliza thoroughly (sandpaper her)
b)shocked by Eliza’s sexual freedom
c)worried about Eliza’s drinking (liqueur)

6-Tick the adjectives that reflect the phonetician’s opinion of Eliza


Whilst watching

Don’t panic if you don’t understand much: it is authentic material. Listen and concentrate on answering the questions.

After watching

Is education a way of climbing up the social ladder today? Are qualifications always useful? Should jobs be denied to “overqualified” candidates? How many countries provide free education for all their people?

The script can be found at:


1-The book’s preface says that

a)rating a poem is like applying a complex equation
b)understanding poetry is more important than enjoying it
c)a poem by Shakespeare is better than a poem by Byron

2-In the teacher’s words, Prichard’s introduction

a)applies mathematical principles to the study of poetry
b)is “excellent”
c)is “excrement”

3-Another teacher walks into the classroom because he thinks

a)there isn’t a teacher there
b)his colleague is incompetent
c)his colleague needs help

4-The teacher’s final words are: “No matter what anybody tells you…”

……………and ……..can change the………………

After listening

If you were the flower girl in the first video, would you swap places with a student in this school? Why? Does Prichard’s preface remind you of useless theories you have studied? Should teaching encourage rebellion? Or should it make well-oild cogs for the machine?


Before watching

What is the relationship between…?

1-a bombed school in Kosovo and a wild gun shooting in an American high school
2-a unknown father whose child has been shot dead by a classmate and an famous advocate of freedom from the National Rifle Association
3-cause and effect in film violence
4-helping the homeless and supporting the church

After watching

Can a school teach peace when the government is sending troops to Afghanistan (or wherever)? If your school (or your children’s) was like Columbine, would you go for homeschooling? Would you try a “free” school that promotes peace?


1-The first speaker is a musician who…

a)discovered his vocation at SVS
b)was discouraged from studying music at a previous school
c)changed his mind about studying music at SVS

2- At SVS children

a)roam from place to place until they find a space where they choose what to do
b)stay in a classroom a few hours a day
c)looking for a teacher is like finding a needle in a haystack

3-At the assemblies

a)only the older children are entitled to vote
b)attendance is compulsory
c)children learn responsibility and understand the consequence of their decisions before they are 18 years old

After watching

SVS students are very successful people when they grow up.What may be the reason? At free schools they tend to encourage initiative, motivation, self-reliance and self-confidence. Is this more important than knowledge in all your subjects? Would the same principles apply in sub-Saharan Africa? Is SVS elitist?


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