Golden sentences: getting students to sound like a native

This is a resource that I use to teach students phrases that they can use in their writing or speaking to make themselves sound like a true Spanish speaker.

They come in two categories, ready made and adaptable. The ready made sentences can just be used as them come. The adaptable ones, have words underlined that can be swapped for words of the same grammatical category. I have classified them in infinitives and adjectives adaptable golden sentences.

I hope they’re useful and please, let me know how you use them!


The 20 Keys: Spanish, French, German and Italian, all in one place

The lovely @missmfl16, @lwelsh, @KLongman974, @MFLLeadPrac, @SisaSilvia4 and @simograv have very kindly translated some of the 20 Keys resources and shared them for all to use. Please, send them a big thank you! @TeacheryDiaz

20 Keys Spanish

20 Keys French

From @missmfl16

From @KLongman974

20 Keys German

From @lwelsh

From @MFLLeadPrac

From @SisaSilvia4

20 Keys Italian

From @simograv

The 20 Keys: resources

I’ve had a lot of people asking for the 20 Keys resources, so I’ve decided to put them all in one place. As always, get in touch if you need anything.

If you’re not too sure what this is about, see my previous blogs here:


The 20 Keys Seneca Learning presentation

Hi, everyone. I’ve had lots of requests for the presentation that I’ve done for Seneca, so here it is. Thanks everyone for your amazing feedback!

This is the link to the original 20 keys post:

And the linked blog on assessment:

5 Ways with Metacognition

This is the full presentation that I used in today’s fabulous TM MFL Icons webinar. If you didn’t see it live, you will be able to see a recording of it for a small fee. I found it incredibly useful, I got lots of take aways I can’t wait to use in the classroom next week!



Time shavers: teacher hacks to shave seconds off every task.

I have made these videos to share my biggest time savers, I hope they’re useful. Any feedback welcome!

They follow this structure:

  1. Shortcuts
    • Basics: Select, Cut, Copy and Paste, New, Save
    • Moving around a text.
    • Do and undo
    • Letters
    • Find and replace
    • F4
    • Snipping tool
    • Synonyms
  2. Layout
    • Favourites
    • Pin to taskbar
    • Pinned documents
    • Numbered files
  3. Formatting
    • Basics: bold, italics, underline
    • Format painter (gap fill, one word click)
  4. Planning
    • Templates
    • Stamps
    • Smart Art
  5. Software
    • Plan book
    • Timetable
    • Explain everything
    • To do
    • Forms


August nightmares and the teaching revolution

The time is fast approaching and as the dreaded first day of school looms closer, thousands of anxious teachers start
to share their August nightmares, made worse, if possible, by the threat of the unknown that COVID-19 has brought
to us this year.
There’s no one there to comfort us, no one there to say, “Don’t worry, I’ve done this many times, and it’s not as bad as it seems” or “Believe me, it gets easier”. I want to tell my colleagues that by breaktime it will be like they had never left and reassure younger teachers that teaching is very much like riding a bike, but this year, we are all riding into the unknown, and that doesn’t sit comfortably with any of us.
A tweet that I read recently spelled out the worst of our fears. It read “The measures that we must take for the beginning of the new academic year require that children behave in a way in which no child has behaved in the history of mankind”. The nightmares come back to us. Classes of hundreds of students. Students that refuse en masse to settle down. Constant chatter whose source we can’t trace. In short, all these nightmares point to one of our biggest and most primal fears, the fear that comes with lack of control. The same lack of control that started around February this year, when we started to realise that our status quo may change and we weren’t able to do
anything about it.
The world has changed beyond our bleakest expectations and our status quo is gone. As ever, with teaching the only constant is change. As I am writing this, we all prepare for the biggest change in our careers. We prepare for blended learning, distant learning, for moving around classrooms, for frightened students and low attendance, for poor behaviour and the challenges it brings. We prepare, more than anything for uncertainty.
It is not all doom, I’m pleased to say. As with many crises, this one has brought about a revival. In the last few months, we have witnessed a teaching revolution like no other. Teachers from all over the globe have risen to the challenge and perform absolute miracles in order to protect their students’ education. Teaching has been transformed, made even more accessible and literally brought to the very doorstep or our most vulnerable students. Crucially, the profession has united, and as one, it has created a strong community where teachers at all stages of their careers have started sharing their expertise and resources in a way that we haven’t experienced before. CPD has become everyone’s responsibility. It is now at our fingertips, on our phone, on our laptop. We can listen to it as we drive, we can discuss it with like-minded colleagues we have never met on Twitter. Teachers have walked us through how to achieve just about anything on a computer. Suddenly we feel like we can do anything, the world is our oyster again.
Education will never be the same again. We have moved on 5 years in 5 minutes. The August nightmares are still there, I concede, the teaching revolution is here to stay and to transform our profession beyond recognition.