Santa Cruz-a-palooza (Part 2: The Main Beach)

For those who would love to see pics of a lovely beach and boardwalk Santa Cruz looks like the ideal place.

Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches

~Last week on beautiful Main Beach/Cowell Beach in Santa Cruz on California’s Central Coast~

Helpful link~ City of Santa Cruz: Main Beach and Cowell Beach


Can you believe that this week’s Travel Theme is Beaches? I just pushed the “Easy” button! 😉

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OFQUAL – results of the ESOL consultation

OFQUAL have shared their response after all of their ESOL consultations. See below.

Based upon the responses received to the consultation, and discussions that we have held with the UK Border Agency (UKBA), the Home Office, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland, we have decided that:

  • We will not introduce Conditions for a new qualification called ESOL for Life in the UK.  Most of the consultation respondents felt that existing ESOL qualifications already provided appropriate qualifications for UK entry, settlement and citizenship.  In April 2013 the Home Office announced that it would accept a range of qualifications – including Ofqual-regulated ESOL qualifications – as evidence of English language competence to meet the Home Office Knowledge of Language and Life (KoLL) requirement.  Applicants for UK settlement and citizenship will also need to pass the Home Office’s Life in the UK Test, which is subject to stringent security arrangements.  We consider that this will go some way to mitigating the current malpractice issues.  Therefore there is no requirement to introduce a new ESOL qualification for the purposes that were outlined at the time of our consultation
  • We will introduce additional General Conditions of Recognition for ESOL International qualifications that will specify a consistent requirement for 100% external assessment and mapping to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).  There was support from stakeholders for both of these conditions
  • We will retain the additional regulation currently in place for ESOL Skills for Life (SfL).  This regulation requires ESOL SfL qualifications to demonstrate a clear relationship to the Adult ESOL Core Curriculum published by BIS.  The responses from the majority of stakeholders said that they wanted this relationship to continue.  In February 2013, the Skills Funding Agency announced it would continue to support only ESOL qualifications that are based on the National Standards for Adult Literacy and the Adult ESOL Core Curriculum.  Therefore we will retain this regulation in its current form
  • We will withdraw the additional regulations currently in place for ESOL for Work.  These regulations are already covered by our General Conditions of Recognition and so this change removes duplication and streamlines regulation of this qualification

We will update the current criteria for ESOL Qualifications and General Conditions of Recognition to reflect the changes described above and publish these documents on our website,1GFI8,2903LB,4XY73,1

Character #488: 男

here is the Male character in Chinese.

來學正體字 Learn Traditional Chinese Characters

488The character 男(ㄋㄢˊ) means male. Here is the stroke order animation and pronunciation. Here are the individual strokes for writing the character. Here is the definition in Taiwanese Mandarin. Here is the evolution of 男.

男(ㄋㄢˊ)人(ㄖㄣˊ) – man
男(ㄋㄢˊ)朋(ㄆㄥˊ)友(ㄧㄡˇ) – boyfriend
男(ㄋㄢˊ)高(ㄍㄠ)音(ㄧㄣ) – tenor

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Activities for foreign language acquisition

Visit this blog for a range of activities to support language acquisition. or see summary below. Thanks Steve.

Below is a list of common writing activities in the target language which can be carried out in a classroom or in some cases online. Most of these would be done within a sequence of activities, often following oral activities to improve comprehension, embed vocabulary or syntactic rules, and improve accuracy of speech and writing.

Much writing will be done at home so as to maximise classroom time for listening and oral activity. Writing should nearly always be in the target language, although there will be times when using English makes more sense e.g. when taking notes on a harder spoken or written passage. The teacher will always need to adapt to the needs of the particular class.

  • Copywriting from a book or the board to establish simple spellings
  • Writing down words spelled out orally
  • Writing down answers to oral questions
  • Writing down answers to written questions
  • Filling gaps (with options given or not given)
  • Writing down corrected answers to false statements given orally
  • Writing down corrected answers to false statements written down
  • Writing down the correct one of two or more alternative statements provided orally
  • Writing short phrase statements or just true/false on a mini whiteboard
  • Taking notes to an audio or spoken source
  • Completing an information grid based on a written source
  • Completing an information grid or transcription based on a spoken source
  • Writing sentences or a narrative based on a picture or picture sequence
  • Writing sentences from short notes (e.g. diary entries)
  • Completing a sentence or text with the correct form of a given verb or adjective
  • Transposing sentences or text from one person to another
  • Putting jumbled words into a correct sentence
  • Summarising from an English text
  • Summarising from a target language text
  • Writing down solutions to anagrams (either written ones or ones provided orally)
  • Dictation: transcribing words, phrases, sentences or passages from audio or read by teacher
  • Paired dictation e.g. running dictation”
  • Writing a traditional discursive essay
  • Translating into the target language from a written source
  • Translating into the target language from an oral source
  • Writing a passage from a template
  • Writing lists e.g. shopping lists, desert island game, strip bingo game
  • Word association – teacher gives a word, pupil writes first word to come into head
  • Antonyms – teacher gives a word, pupil writes down opposite meaning
  • Writing short accounts from a given word list. Every word must appear in the account
  • Completing sentence starters from an oral source
  • Completing sentence starters from a written source
  • Starting sentence ends from an oral or written source
  • Noting synonyms or antonyms in a written passage
  • Writing poems or music lyrics
  • Writing definitions of words
  • Completing a crossword or acrostic
  • Making up original sentences to show a grammatical structure
  • Completing a vocabulary list e.g. finding words in a target language text
  • Writing for a purpose e.g letter, news article, job application, obituary, diary
  • Transforming a text message into full sentences (or the reverse)
  • Underlining errors in a transcribed text and inserting the correct word or phrase
  • Writing social network messages to a foreign speaker
  • Writing words as part of a game (e.g. baccalauréat – find a word in each category beginning with a given letter)
  • Writing sentences for a game of “consequences”
  • Writing on the board or with a partner e.g. “Hangman”
  • Code breaking games
  • Writing “never-ending sentences”
  • Writing nonsense or silly sentences

ESTYN – To focus on Literacy and Numeracy

Do you want to know when you will be inspected if you are in Wales? If so this link to ESTYNs site and their inspection dates for primary schools will be very useful.

and for Secondaries

from September the following have been reported on the website.

Estyn changes for September 2013

Estyn changes for September 2013

Estyn inspection changes 2013

That means that schools must now ensure they focus on literacy and numeracy to ensure good practice is embedded before the Inspections start in the new academic year.

New Challenge? Advice for getting that job.

Really good advice worth taking on board if you are involved in the interview process.


Very often I’m asked for advice from teachers applying for jobs, either colleagues or friends.  Each person’s context is unique to them but the messages are usually the same so I thought I would share them.  As a Headteacher, getting the right people into the right roles within my school is one of the most important things I do.  Over the years I’ve conducted hundreds of interviews and probably read thousands of application forms.  In my career I’ve also applied for plenty of jobs myself, both as an external and an internal candidate…with only partial success. I’ve had my share of rejections, been ‘pipped to the post’ a few times (so they said) and these knock-backs have always taught me something.  So, taking what I’ve learned from both sides of the interview table, here is my guide to getting a job that you really want.

Before you start, it is…

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Character #484: 足

Chinese symbol for foot.

來學正體字 Learn Traditional Chinese Characters

484The character 足(ㄗㄨˊ) means a foot. It also means sufficient or plentiful, or as much as. Here is the stroke order animation and pronunciation. Here are the individual strokes for writing the character. Here is the definition in Taiwanese Mandarin. Here is the evolution of 足.

足(ㄗㄨˊ)夠(ㄍㄡˋ) – enough, plentiful
足(ㄗㄨˊ)球(ㄑㄧㄡˊ) – football, soccer

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