Photo by Davideño, taken from

“Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.”

Welcome to the English Holly (el acebo), the English department blog in Siles, welcome to your blog.

miércoles, 2 de diciembre de 2015

Break Barriers and Open Doors - International Day of People with Disability

Listening to the beat of your heart and learning you are not the centre of the universe, just for one day.

 We have a clear example of desire for self-improvement, our student Pedro Menchén (Ciclo Formativo Administrativo)


jueves, 19 de noviembre de 2015

Opening ceremony of the new academic year

A new academic year, new objectives, new friends, maybe new teachers....

On the first of October, we had the opportunity to listen to a former student, Mar Galindo Merino, who is now a teacher at the university of Alicante. She spoke about the importance of learning English and other languages.
We have selected some reviews of the lecture written by our students.


Last Thursday, Mrs María del Mar Galindo, a former student from I.E.S Doctor Francisco Marín, our high school, gave to us a quite interesting speech about the importance of learning languages.

First of all, the director and Manolo Barea whose teaches us Spanish, told us who Maria deal Mar is and some facts about her life.

Then, she started talking, I have to say that she looked sure of herself. She tried to explain us the importance of learning English talking about her life's experiences and how she had achieved all her goals. At the end, Maria del Mar gave us some tips and the one which I liked the most was " live the language ". I think you have to do what you love and if you want something, don't let it go. Follow your dreams and you'll achieve your aims with effort, constancy and never giving up. (Alicia Martínez)

What was the speech about?

The speech was about the importance of speaking English and about the goals you can achieve just by speaking this language.
It was impressive to know all the things she had done and all the places she had been to because of that.
At the end of the speech, she gave us ten tips to learn English, and I'm sure a lot of people that listened to the speech will try to improve their English. I think I will, because she seemed really happy and made me feel like I can do whatever I want just by working hard.
Who knows? Maybe in a couple of years some students from the IES Fco. Marín will be studying at the Hawaii University. (Nerea Pérez)

María del Mar is an example of a fighter woman. She is a clear example of effort and persistence. she Also showed us the importance of English, thanks to this, she has been traveling and meeting magnific places and people. She told us to achieve our dreams is a hard road but, with work, we can achieve them. (María Dolores López)

On the first of October, the opening ceremony of the academic year was celebrated. A Woman, Maria del Mar Galindo, who studied in our school came and she gave us a talk about how to get success in learning English. She told us her experiences around the world, showing us pictures of her trips.

She also highlighted in all the things that were posible to do thanks to her know ledge of English. Thanks to her attitude and efforts, her dreams came true. (Jesús López )

In this lecture she told us about her fascinating life. Since she finished her studies in the highschool, she has been doing a lot of interenting things.

First, she made a degree on Spanish Philology in the university of Alicante, and then she started to travel a lot around the world, keeping working and learning. She has had the opportunity of being in places like Hawai, Pensylvania, Brasil and many other fantastic places, where she met very important people like physicists, novelists, footballers... and she has won many prices to her work because she had never stopped looking for her dreams and she has always been brave to do the necessary things to achieve her goals. As she told us, this is the key for being successful. Well, obviously, you also have to be hardworking and tenacious; and the main thing that made possible for her to get all she has made it's that she knows English. Knowing English is very important if you want to travel abroad because you would need to speak with people from other countries.

Knowing English and working hard are essential facts in life, they can open a lot of doors to you. So, in conclusion, we have to be hardworking and fight for what we want. (Natalia Fernández)

Nowadays languages are so significant in our daily life that we should learn them for travelling, meeting new people, finding a job... Because of this, people try to learn many languages in little time, but this has a problem, they are so overwhelmed that they don't enjoy the language.

Last thursday, a former student of my high school, called Mar Galindo, came back to give us a conference about how to get the success in the learning of languages. She told us lots of amazing things that she had got thanks to the fact that she spoke different languages, and she finished the conference with a pattern for learning languages better.

To my mind, the best guidelines that she gave us are:

· Be patient, because you don't know a language in a day, so you must be constant and not give up.

· Do not worry about mistakes, nobody is perfect and the best way to learn is having errors.

· Find a motivation, why do you want to learn a language? It would be easier if you have a strong reason.

· Travel, the best way for learning a language is to practice it.

· Live the language and enjoy it!

(Ana Maria Idáñez)

martes, 2 de junio de 2015

Good-bye thank-you

I am so thankful for the opportunity to come and live in the Sierra and work in both schools here.
I want to thank the staff, students and community of Siles for being extremely warm and welcoming me into the community and making me feel at home. This has made my time here very pleasant. So patient and flexible, the teachers have given me time to adjust and grow as an assistant. The students here are very keen, many coming on their own time to practice informal English with me. You all have been patient with me as I learn Spanish and always willing to try speaking in English. Furthermore, you have taught me about not only about education, but about life, culture and values.
I have made many friends, had many conversations and created great memories of this little town.

Thank-you for a wonderful year!

lunes, 18 de mayo de 2015

Our students' little treasures.

This term is becoming daunting, we all feel exhausted and suffering due to high temperatures. The end of the year is not a feat easily to accomplish... so how could we overcome these setbacks? Just let me suggest u something and share with us this mini-movie directed by Georgina Martínez our 2nd of ESO student. 
Well done!!! You are such a sensitive artist!!!

martes, 5 de mayo de 2015

Teen Chef...

Ummm yummy...
Here we are again learning and tasting our recipes in order to celebrate Europe Day (9th May). With the help of our language assistant, students will show their recipes and will explain the process to their classmates. The winner will be chosen following 4 different criteria: appearance,taste,freshness and speaker's fluency.
Cultural drops.:)

lunes, 4 de mayo de 2015

Reading broadens your mind

Look in a Book

by Ivy O. Eastwick

in a book
and you will see
and magic
and mystery.

in a book
and you will find
and nonsense
of every kind.

in a book
and you will know
the things
that can help you grow.

In the main corridor of our high, you can find this stand with a lot of books that you can exchange.
It's quite easy, look for a book you have already read, dedicate it to the person who's going to borrow it, leave it there and choose another one for you.

This stall will be here for the next two or three weeks.

"I found TV very educating.
Everytime somebody turns on the set, 
I go into the other room and read a book"
                                                                                             Groucho Marx

martes, 21 de abril de 2015

Healthy habits

Hey followers,
In an effort to promote healthy habits our 2nd ESO students have being working in different projects related to nutrition, fats, carbs and so on.This is the result. Just have a look and get ready for the summer...

miércoles, 8 de abril de 2015

Back and full of energy...

Hi again!!!!
Third term is here, time flies!!
After having a short break during Easter we are ready to overcome the end of the academic year...
Just stay strong!!! And don't let allergies, popular traditions, bugs and spring fever get you down.
Don't be so self-concious, making embarrasing mistakes is an essential and hilarious part of the wonderful process of learning English.Waiting for 2nd ESO videos about their holidays...

Meanwhile I would like to share with you this video with a touch of spring melodies recorded in the Land of contrasts...

domingo, 15 de marzo de 2015

Feed your brain and enjoy while reading...

The Fish That Talk with Farts


In addition to being an occasional biological necessity, human flatulence has served a variety of uses, including as a way to clear a room, entertain friends, torture a sibling, and tease a child (pull my finger). But while some humans have elevated farting to an art form (see: The Most Famous Farter in History), perhaps no entire species has elevated farting quite so high as the school-swimming herring, who use their butt vapors to communicate.
Bubbling out of a herring’s back end, the fish farts come fast and furious, and as such scientists have named them “Fast Repetitive Tick sounds” or (I’m not making this up) FRTs. Occurring in “stereotyped bursts of 7-65 pulses . . . lasting 0.6-7.6″ seconds at a time, the high frequency FRTs are emitted, as with many human farts, in “a single continuous burst train rather than intermittent bursts.” Believed to be the result of “gas expulsion . . . via the anal duct,” the fish acquire the gas when they surface to fill their swim bladders (not from digestion), although they can save this air for at least a day and release it when needed.

Because of when and how the fish break wind, scientists believe the farts are used to communicate, although they’re not clear on what the herring are saying. By experimenting with disturbances and even adding a bit of “shark odour” to the study (neither of which had any effect on the farting), they concluded that the FRTs are not alarm calls; likewise, as FRTs were being emitted but nobody was getting busy, the researcher also discerned that the farts were not involved with mating (as any female of any species could’ve told them ;-)).
However, as herring work together in coordinated groups, and even shoal together in the dark, the researchers hypothesized that the FRTs were used as “contact calls.” They note that this social communication would only make sense if it couldn’t be heard by predators (who would then be wise to the herring’s location), and it turns out the frequency of most FRTs, at above 2 kHz, is outside of the “known auditory range of most predatory fishes.” Although they also note that FRTs are within the range of hearing of marine mammals.
In any event, this explanation is plausible, and would help explain how herring typically shoal, which is in a grid pattern where the distance between each fish matches the distance that their desired prey will jump away. By emitting noxious gases (which in humans is a long-practiced way of establishing a safe distance between individuals), the fish establish the precise interval between school members for optimal fishing.
The intrepid researchers who discovered this miraculous use of butt gas, Ben Wilson, Lawrence Dill, Robert Batty, Magnus Whalberg and Hakan Westerberg, were honored with an Ig Nobel Prize in Biology in 2004, for their achievement in science that makes people first laugh, then actually think. Other noted Ig Nobel Prize winners include a group that discovered that strippers earn more when they are at their peak fertility than otherwise (One can only imagine the significant time they had to spend at strip clubs FOR SCIENCE!!!); a group that discovered that when people have a strong urge to pee, they consistently make better decisions with certain types of things and worse decisions with others; and, of course, Sir Andre Geim, who won an Ig Nobel Prize in 2000 for successfully figuring out a way to levitate a frog using magnets. A decade later, he also won a real Nobel Prize “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.” (Other humorous, yet thought provoking Ig Nobel Prize winners and their research can be read here.)

By Today I found out.

domingo, 8 de marzo de 2015

Beauty is diversity.

Hey classmates,
In an attempt to share and vindicate our commitment to the International Women's Day, we offer you an example of our School project. Keep calm and enjoy our policy!!!

"It's not a matter of cosmetics, money, or social status, but more about being yourself."

Made by 4ºA/B students .  (Thank u:).

jueves, 5 de marzo de 2015

Women's International day

To celebrate Women's international day in class, have a look at Emma Watson's moving speech about the gender equality and the he for she campaing.

jueves, 12 de febrero de 2015

Saint Valentine's...What a load of crap!!!!

Enjoy while reading and express your opinion:

Valentine’s Day…what a load of crap !

I can’t stand Valentine’s Day. I really can’t. I can’t stand the cards and I can’t stand the cheesy music. I really can’t stand them. You see. I’m single guy and Valentine’s Day just reminds me of that fact. For me, Valentine’s Day is a reminder that I’m alone. Valentine’s Day reminds me that I don’t have anyone to give roses to. It reminds me that I don’t have anyone to listen to cheesy, romantic music with. Valentine’s Day really rubs my face in the fact that I’m a loser in love. I really can’t stand that. In fact I hate Valentine’s Day. I abhor it. I loathe it. Do you get the picture?

Let’s start with the music. It’s cringe worthy Radio and TV stations go into romantic overdrive. Don’t shake your head and tell me that I’m imagining all this. Seriously, I really can’t stand the cheesy music that radio stations play on Valentine’s Day. That’s not to say that I’m music a snob. I enjoy a love song from time to time. I even enjoy a bit of Mariah Carey in the shower. But Valentine’s Day just takes it to a whole new level. Come on!!! You know exactly what I mean. You turn on the radio on the way to work and it’s love, love, love. You turn on your TV to watch the news at night and what do you get? More love,love,love. You open up applications on your smartphones and…you guessed it! Even more chessy love. Pass the sick bag.

And another thing! Chocolate didn’t even exit when Saint Valentine walk the Earth. How then did chocolate get hijacked by LOVE? Here’s how I see it. Chocolate is delicious. Chocolate is sensuous. Chocolate is indulgent. Delicious is good, right? Sensuous is great. And indulgent just rocks my world So why restrict chocolate to just one day? Don’t you want to eat delicious, sensuous and indulgent chocolate everyday? Especially on normal days when the price hasn’t been marked up by 75%. That’s not say that I`m a cheapskate. I’m anything but cheapskate. Cheapskate is just not a word in my vocabulary. But I can’t stand being ripped off when I want a little bit of chocolate around Valentine’s Day. It makes me see red.

And red is all I see, literally and figuratively around Valentine’s Day.I see red every time I go into a shop. Honestly, it’s everywhere I go. I go into the supermarket to buy some chocolate and I see red. Figuratively speaking, I go crazy. I go into a petrol station to pay for my petrol and in ten seconds, I see red. On the walls, on the counter; there’s red stuff everywhere. Don’t you think Saint Valentine himself would see red if he were to come back and walk among us again? For s start, he’d think we only ate chocolate and danced to Phil Collins ballads.

But there’s one Valentine’s cliché that’s worse than all others. It’s worse than the cheesy love songs on the radio. What am I talking about? Go no, what have I left out? Think about it. I’ve left out the most obvious Valentine’s Day cliché: red roses. Listen, I think red roses are lovely, but they are when you don’t feel that you must buy them. You must present them to your loved one in the most spectacular way. You must buy a variety without thorns and you mustn`t think about how much they will cost you. That’s too many `musts` for a day that celebrates love.

If I still haven`t convinced you that Valentine`s Day is a load of crap, well you can`t win them all! Maybe you`re one of those hopeless romantics who loves cheesy songs, expensive chocolates and red roses. After all, what do I know? I`m single.
  By Justin McCarthy.

miércoles, 28 de enero de 2015

Life at school

We have selected another essay by one of our students. We hope you like it.


      Yes, it's true. I spent some of the best days of my life at school. There have been bad times, I have spent nights studying, I worked very hard and then I failed. But it is also true that I had a lot of unforgettable moments with people I loved. There have been sentences, opportunities and events that are remembered with a smile. Of course, there are people to whom I have affection and I have known at school. I have always learned something new, some value or knowledge. For that, all worth it.    
      On the other hand, I would like to be a teacher in a future and it is beautiful to see young people involved with their work, showing passion and commitment. They love what they do and they give you the best of themselves to complete their education and be a better person. It is really an admirable profession because it is necessary much vocation and to have infinite patience.
       I think we shouldn't believe that it is a waste of time because in the end you are just forming, it is essential to have a good education and defend you with your knowledge in life. It is important to keep that in mind and know that not everything is an effort to study and spend part of your free time. Although this is also true, it is not only that, it's more than that because it's exclusively for you, for yourself. And the mistake of a lot of people is that they are not able to see that everyday there are other people giving them values. And these last ones are the most important in life, because science, history, English or French can be very useful in life but very little will serve you if you have no principles such as respect, education, honesty or loyalty. These values are also reinforced in classes such as philosophy and perhaps are not too considered. However, for me, it is more important. It is a subject that humanizes, which teaches knowledge but also educates in values.
      To conclude, I would like to say that if we all speak with sincerity and really appreciate the daily work in classrooms, we all could say that we have experienced some special and memorable day at school.

Essay written by Rocío Gallego Rodriguez. 2º bachillerato A

lunes, 19 de enero de 2015

New Conversation Club

Next Wednesday we're starting our brand new conversation club. It will be held every Wednesday at break time in classroom 212. The inital idea is to form groups of up to seven students who want to put their English into practice with our teacher assistant Aimee Foster.
If you love English and want to improve your fluency in oral English, please contact your teacher and enrol in this new experience. Remember that English is fun.
Poster to promote the activity