Giving is Caring

Always remember:

The value of time, the success of perseverance, the worth of character, the power of kindness, the influence of example, and the obligation of duty.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !!!

On this joyous day, and throughout the coming year, may your life be filled with good luck and prosperity.

Friday, 5 December 2014

TKT YL Certificates


Teaching children although extremely rewarding is not an easy task. Teaching young learners is different from teaching adults because young learners are still developing physically and emotionally, their reasons for learning English are different from those of adults or they may have no reason at all. Unlike adults, young learners do not have well-developed literacy skills to support their learning and many times they learn slowly but forget very quickly.
This is the reason why Customized Training Services feel really proud of having prepared the first 12 teachers who are receiving their TKT YL in Peru  on Saturday 6th,  2014.
TKT YL is a specialist module of the Cambridge English Teaching KnowledgeTest (TKT) that focuses on young learners, especially if they age from 6-12 . This certificate helps teachers increase their confidence in teaching children and progress in their teaching career since it aims at helping early-year teachers who teach English to children, primary language teachers who teach English to 6-12 year olds and secondary teachers who also teach primary students.
Teachers who have taken our Preparation Course at CTS have had sessions on Children learning and development, Planning lessons, Teaching Strategies and Classroom-based evaluations, the components of the TKT exam and have enriched each other by sharing their experiences in the classroom tasks and demo lessons.
Our teachers worked hard to cope with the lesson tasks and the assignments and mock tests, all that while juggling with their work and family life. This is why we, in CTS, are so proud of them and have organized a special ceremony for their relatives to praise their effort when they receive their Certificates and to thank them for having trusted us to prepare them for the TKT YL exam.
We will also present our classes and events for 2015 so visit us at, or write for information at

Wednesday, 26 November 2014


Dear Friends
Thanks to all of you who decided to become teachers of English and opened a whole new world to so many kids. And thanks to all those who helped us become what we are.
Happy Thanksgiving !!!!

I leave you with an idea for an activity that may suit this holiday.

Lesson Plan Title : Scarecrow Recycled

 Age Range: Grade 6 through grade 8 (Middle School)

Overview and Purpose: This project encourages students to think about what materials can be recycled. They are challenged to make a scarecrow entirely out of recyclable materials.

Objective: The student will be able to create a scarecrow out of recycled products.


Various recyclable items

Packaging tape



Talk with students about the purpose of scarecrows and the usual materials they are made out of. Explain that they are going to work in groups to create a scarecrow completely out of recycled items. They are not allowed to use straw or hay or clothes. Challenge them to be as creative as possible in making their scarecrow.


First have them sketch out the scarecrow and list the items they will need. Remind them that they will need to figure out a way to have it stand up. Give them a day or two to collect the items and then have them build the scarecrow. Have them present their scarecrows to the class and explain what they used to make them.

Wrap Up:

You can create a display in your school that showcases the scarecrows and explains what they are made of. Have the students or faculty vote on the most creative materials used, best display, or most unique scarecrow.

Some examples:


The  academic year in CTS ( Customized Training Services) is soon coming to an end and as the Academic Director I cannot be more pleased with the results. 
Most of the  colleagues who did this year´s Summer Course with us registered in the expanded module (Teaching Pronunciation)  or in the International Exam preparation courses (TKT Young Learners and FCE for Teachers) so we have established not only a professional but also a personal relationship with most of them.
We would like to continue contributing to help other colleagues with their profesional development so we have already organized our Second Summer Course for 2015. It will take place from January 12 to 23 from 9:00 to 13:00.
As most of our courses, it is a blended learning course that accounts for 200 hours (assignments and projects included) and will be run at the Post Graduate School of Universidad Continental (Jr. Junin 355. Miraflores).
As you know we have very small groups so you can contact us at to  book a place.

There will be new modules such as:
·         Interactive Classroom Activities
·         Teaching Skills
·         Material Design in ELT
·         Understanding Language for Teaching
·         Teaching Young Learners
Visit our Facebook and/or web page  for further information and course descriptions.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Halloween activities

For Primary students, a short Reading text:


For Pronunciation practice:


For older students:

 And a slide show on Halloween history


FCE Writing paper : Writing emails
FCE Writing
Bands for the Writing paper

FCE Speaking exams

If you are preparing for taking the FCE 2014, you may find these guidelines and advice useful.


Monday, 6 October 2014

On October 5, 1994, the first World Teachers' Day was held after an initiative of the Special Intergovernmental Conference on the Status of Teachers signed by representatives of UNESCO and International Labour Organization. This event has been organized on the same date each year since then.
The United Nations´(UN) World Teachers´Day celebrates the role teachers play in providiing quality education at all levels. This enables children and adults of all ages to learn to take part in and contribute to their local community and global society. International organizations such as TESOL and Education International (EI) organize international, national and local events.
In some areas posters are displayed and pupils and ex-pupils are encouraged to send e-cards or letters of appreciation to teachers who made a special or memorable contribution to their education.
On this special day, thank you teachers for you are the most powerful source of Quality Education. 
 You can watch the video here:  A Day in the life of a Teacher

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Spring is here!!

These two worksheets can be used with primary students: second or third graders. they were samples from Teacher Tips #714: March Worksheets and Lesson Plans For Your Class.

The following is a worksheet activity for a video on: Our colourful world from the BBC Learn English kids.

And the link for the video is here: Our colourful world

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

FCE for Teachers: Writing

As one of the tutors of this course, organized by Customized Training Services, we have discussed with our students and have found out that in our case the best preparation for the Writing paper is to practice in two or three of the different model texts that have to be developed.
One of these written texts is an essay.
It is for this reason that I would like to share this presentation with a compilation of some ideas to improve your essay writing.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The 19th Británico Annual Convention

Today I participated as a guest and as a speaker in the 19th Británico Annual Convention and I had the double pleasure of meeting some good old friends-since I used to teach at Británico myself- and attending some interesting talks. The event was impecable and cozy and all participants were very well attended.
The first plenary was Jeremy Harmer´s Focus and Creativity in the Classroom. As usual, Jeremy is a showman and a guru so everybody was very attentive to his talk. I used two of the many pieces of advice he gave because they seemed appropriate for the talk I was going to give some hours later on Critical Reading : " Focus on the text, create the need and students would want to learn". I also liked his claim that even if technology helps, there should also be instances of teaching "unplugged", the ultimate interaction in the classroom is between the teacher and the student and we want students to "focus on things they need".
Then I attended a semi-plenary: Brain Rules by Craig Huxley from Express Publishing. This was also very interesting and fun. Craig made us move a bit since exercise (physical exercise) improves cognition and that is why everytime we ask our students to perform a dialogue, it should be done with students standing up and facing each other.
He also showed how information is registered through the senses, how long it takes for information to be "stored" in the immediate memory (30seconds) before it was moved to the working memory where it stays for about 20 minutes (with a máximum of 7 pieces of information a time). For information to get stored in the long term memory, it has to be meaningul and make sense to the learner- sounds familiar?- he also claims that attention is connected to memory, interest and awareness so we need to find out what our students are interested in and we, teachers, need to make students repeat to remember (so as to actívate their working memory) and they should remember to repeat so thi information would pass on to the long term memory. As the saying goes: "Use it or lose it!"
Next semi-plenary was Skills for the 21st Century: The New Literacies by Francisco Lozano from Cengage Learning. Do you know what the new literacies are? Visual, Digital, Cultural and Critical thinking. These are all wrapped up in a cross-curricular, multi.cultural approach.
It was a pity I could not attend any other talk, especially because of the variety of the offer, there was practically something for everybody and there was so much to be learned but I hope there will be another opportunity for this.
In sum, the event brought up a lot of food for thought. Regarding my talk on Critical Reading for EFL Learning ... it will be the topic of another post.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Teaching Children

Teaching children implies recognizing the physical, emotional and cognitive needs of the students. This is why it is OK to recognize that from time to time they feel their brains are tired and need a change of activity "to give their brains a rest" but also they should be contented since it also means they have worked hard.

Watch the following video and try to answer some of these questions to fully appreciate the teaching/learning situation.

  • What is the effect of praising effort rather than ability?

  • How do you talk about effort in your classroom?

  • What do you see as the long term benefits of using this strategy?

Monday, 11 August 2014

Cambridge TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test) Qualifications

Cambridge ESOL exams offer Teaching Qualifications of several sorts. TKT Young Learners is one of them.

For more information between the different TKT modules please follow this link.

If interested you can register in the TKT blog:

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Happy Teacher´s Day in Peru

Quality education offers hope and the promise of a better standard of living. There is no stronger foundation for lasting peace and sustainable development than a quality education provided by well trained, valued, supported and motivated teachers.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

World Environment Day

Since its inception in 1972, WED has grown into a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in more than 100 countries. It also serves as grassroots inspiration for individuals and groups to do something positive for the environment, galvanizing creative individual actions into a collective power that has the potential to generate an exponential positive impact around the world.


Below you can find some worksheets you can use with your students to raise awareness about the Environment.



Friday, 9 May 2014

Please click in the link:

Enjoying the course. Students are really working hard preparing their chants and activities for practising intonation. Tomorrow´s lesson is on Integrating Pronunciation in everyday classroom activities. Yay!!!

Monday, 17 March 2014



Critical thinking and problem solving


This was the second session of the workshop

Widening Our Real Learning Design has become a real passion in education, since most linguists have found that Learning English through content makes our students broaden their minds and develop skills which will be beneficial for later life.

 After defining CLIL as a dual focused approach to teaching which aims to introduce pupils to content areas such as Science, Technology or Social Studies using a foreign language as the medium to teach all or part of the subject, it is clear that we cannot separate CLIL from life skills such as Critical thinking and Problem solving.

Critical thinking definitions:

·         Critical thinking is thinking that analyzes thought, that assesses thought, and that transforms thought for the better.

·         A way of thinking that enables a thinker to think regularly at a higher level (than most people are capable of thinking

·         Thinking skills used for determining the accuracy, or authenticity of something and the ability to look for reasons and alternatives

Teaching critical thinking skills is an important goal of the modern educational system.  Teachers are no longer content to have students simply memorise facts, figures, and dates, they expect  students to  analyse situations and  ponder it with all available data.     
Questions are important catalysts in the critical thinking process because they encourage students to reflect on the knowledge they have acquired and to apply this to new situations, as it is one of the features of CLIL. Students are asked to understand, analyse, synthesize and evaluate content to reach the outcomes

A critical thinking approach helps students to ensure understanding and to express their ideas I their own words. They also get used to analysing what they have learned and to “think” about “thinking”.

 Problem solving:

Finding the solution to a problem after analysing, finding the best way of action, trying it out and evaluating.



Friday, 28 February 2014



CLIL workshop 1

From February 20th to 27th, I ran a series of three workshops for Macmillan and the Language Centre of Universidad de Piura. The first session was about basic definitions of CLIL and CLIL Geography. This is a summary of the most important CLIL definitions.

CLIL(Content Language Integrated Learning): Teaching subjects as Science, History and Geography to students through a foreign language. This can be by the English teacher using cross-curricular content or the subject/content teacher using English as the language of instruction.

 Conceptualisation of CLIL: There is a shift from language learning to language using by which all teachers are teachers of language.



Students need the language to communicate with the teacher and one another so as to access or apply content. If the tasks are cognitively demanding, this would require students to call upon the knowledge they already have which includes concepts, skills and strategies.

By doing so, students strengthen the connections between language and the previous knowledge increasing learning and retention, a form of acquiring knowledge in a friendly way for the brain.

Language can be defined as:
Language of learning: the language needed for learners to access basic concepts and skills relating to the topic.
Language for learning: the language all learners need in order to operate in a foreign language environment.
Language through learning: learning cannot take place without active involvement of language and thinking.

Scaffolding: the process of helping learners move “into the new by using a little of the old”.

Projects: bring together content and language. The finished product can be displayed in class, included in a portfolio and often include collaborative tasks. Projects tend to consolidate information from different parts of the curriculum in a natural way and provide variety for both students and teachers. They also integrate the four skills while, at the same time, promote learner autonomy and cooperation.
Summing up:
CLIL  has a dual focus: introducing students to content areas such as science, music, art, maths or geography using a foreign language to teach all or part of the subject curriculum.
CLIL learners need language to assist their thinking and they need to develop their higher-order thinking skills to assist their language learning.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014


Summer Course for Top Language Teachers of English - 2014

From January 20th to 31st we ran a 200-hour summer course for teachers of public schools and small private schools. The material we used for the workshop was based on the textbooks public schools use here in Peru.
The subjects we offered were: Making the most of the English textbook, Pronunciation, Developing Communicative Competence, Classroom Management and Language for Teachers. The most welcome were Pronunciation, Classroom Management and Language for Teachers.
It was a blended-learning course so at this stage we have finished receiving the participants´tasks but are still uploading some of their work in the different course blogs. 
Good things are a product of collaborative work so we would like to thank Colegio de Profesores del Peru, Región Lima Metropolitana, Instituto Nacional Pedagógico de Monterrico, ELTeCS Peru and ELTeCS LatinAmerica (a very warm hello to my dear Renate for her continuous support). We must also express our gratitude to Mr. Guillermo Rivas from SM and Marita  for their support and offer. We are really pleased to know we have such good friends we can rely on.
I am not going to say  how successful the course was since that opinion belongs to the participants  and also because I believe that the outcome of this kind of events is seen in the medium or long term when participants  try out ideas and improve their teaching practice. Perhaps the fact that the participants treated us, tutors, to a pizza and sodas may indicate how satisfied they were with the course? Anyway, we are following-up this group of teachers and offering more opportunities for increasing their possibilities of development.
It is  almost a month since the course ended and we received participants´contributions until a couple of weeks ago, we would like to share with you some of their contributions shown in the blogs we created for each course. Needless to say that we have tried to include the use of IT in the course, we used blogs and some mobile apps that were accesible to almost all of the participants. The initiative was very-well received.
The main blog is Summer Course for Top English Teachers (    and from here you can link to each of the other course blogs. I  cannot tell you how proud we are of the hard-work and the effort participants displayed in their blog tasks trying to deal with time constraints but working collaboratively to fulfill all of them.  This has certainly been a very interesting learning event for all of us and we are looking forward to repeating and increasing the experience with new groups and levels.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

If you made some  New Year Resolutions, you may find it interesting to know the statistics about this tradition in America.   This non-scientific information may also serve as a  light ice-breaker for any of the summer courses that have been organized for our professional development.

As for me, I will stick to my personal motto inspired in Mahatma Gandhi and that from time to time I use as my personal signature : “Live as if you were to die tomorrow, Learn as if you were to live forever”.

“Long life and Prosperity”