The foreign languages department in IES Roquetes

The foreign languages department is a fundamental part of our school IES Roquetes. English is studied at all levels within the school being an obligatory subject for all our students. French is not an obligatory subject like English but is studied from the second year right through to batxillerat as an optional subject and in fact is very popular with many of our students who see the advantage of studying a second foreign language.

Foreign languages in IES Roquetes are taught is a special way that is not common among other secondary schools. Languages are a subject where the classes are "desdoblades", this means that out of the three normal hours of class during the school week one of those hours is split so that the teacher only teaches half of the class. These split hours are shared with other subject areas in the school, such as technology, and give the teacher the chance to work more closely with the students.

In addition we also have an exceptional language lab, perhaps the best equipped in the whole of Catalunya, with a computer for each student, access to internet, our own server, CD player, access to satellite TV, sound system, a projector and an interactive touch screen. This enables us to incorporate a strong element of information technology into the classes we teach and means that we can help the students in using their language skills in the most realistic ways possible.

Furthermore in the foreign languages staff are committed to incorporating new methods into the way we teach languages. We want to introduce our students to languages in as many different and stimulating ways as is possible. For this reason we organise different activities outside the area of normal classes; theatre trips; magic shows; optional classes on subjects such as popular music, literature, comics, urban legends and many more.


French Department

Marisa Juan

Marisa is the Head of the Languages Department and the only French teacher we have. She is from Tortosa originally, she was born there too. She studied Filologia Francesa i Italiana in the university of Valencia but is also qualified in Filologia Castellana. During her time in Valencia she also qualified as a Hockey Monitor with the Valencian Hockey federation.

After university she spent a year working in Pont Oise near Paris in France as a language assistant and then started teaching French back home in Catalunya in Mora d'Ebre. Since then she has taught in many different schools and in IES Pompeu Fabra in Martorell was first Head of Studies for 6 years and then Vice Director for two.

She has travelled a lot especially in France and Italy, she loves ballroom dancing and has also been very active as a councillor and 1ra Tinent Alcalde in Aldover for 4 years.

English Department

Maite Blanco

Maite was born in Tortosa and studied filologia Anglo-Germanica first in the URV in Tarragona and then in the Universitat de Barcelona.

After finishing her studies she started teaching English in centres in Alcanar, Ametlla de Mar and various others. She has also taught in Tortosa at the IES Joaquim Bau and the IES l'Ebre.

She came to IES Roquetes in 1998 and has been here since then. In addition to English she speaks French and especially likes dancing and cooking in her free time.

MªJose Montserrat

She was born in Ulldecona where she lived until she started her university studies. She studied filologia anglo-germànica (specialising in English) at the Universitat de Barcelona. Once finished she continued living there for several years and worked in different private schools. Having returned to the Terres de l'Ebre she worked in the IES l'Ebre for six years, for one year in the IES Ulldecona and has been at IES Roquetes since 2001.

She has been the coordinator for the Pla Estratègic and the Pla d'Innovació Educativa for the last two years and has been Cap d'Estudis from 2006.

What she likes most about her job is the learning activities that take place outside the normal classroom enviroment, she is also a great fan of Information Technology, something which she has only discovered in the last four years.

Nacho Zamora

Nacho is from Oviedo originally. He moved to Valencia and there he studied Filologia Anglesa in the Universitat de Valencia.

Professionally as a teacher he qualified in Catalunya and first worked here in Tortosa in IES de l'Ebre. After several years there he moved here to IES Roquetes.

He is a passionate motorbike rider, his passion is trail bikes and he has two, a Suzuki and a Honda which he has bought only recently.

Jordi Trimiño

Jordi was born in Tortosa and studied Filologia Anglesa at the URV in Tarragona. He started teaching English immediately after obtaining his degree in Mora d'Ebre. Then he was in Gandesa for two years and after that moved between different schools in the Terres de l'Ebre staying longest in Alcanar.

He is a passionate fan of motorcycling racing and often explores the Ports de Beseit by quad. He also likes to play basketball and go running with a group of friends.

In addition to his speciality of English he is also qualified as a Catalan teacher having passed the official exams to level D.

Anna Llosa

Anna was born in Tortosa She studied Filologia Anglesa in the Universitat de Barcelona and then continued living there for fifteen years. After finishing university she worked for several years in different schools in the area of Barcelona before she came back to the Terres de l'Ebre to work in El Perello.

After a year there she came to IES Roquetes. In addition to English she also speaks German. Here in IES Roquetes she is the coordinator of the Pla d'Innovació Educativa de Llengues Estrangeres.

Anna has created her own brilliant interactive blog called "my teacher's blog" which she uses in her classes of 2n ESO.

She has travelled widely abroad, she is fascinated by oriental culture and the city she liked most was Istanbul. she hopes to visit India someday.

Salomé Aguilar

Salomé is from Tortosa and studied filologia Anglo-Germanica in the URC in Tarragona. She started working teaching Religió in different centres including in IES Roquetes in the first year the centre was open. After that she started teaching English in various IES and was then in the EOI in Tortosa for two years.

She has travelled quite a lot and also likes the countryside, photography and music. She is a member of the choral group Cor Flumine which sings in many places including the Cantina Cantorum in the Festes de Renaixement.

Huw Edwards-Westlake

Huw is from Stansted in England, he originally studied History and Politics at the University of Keele and then did a PGCE with the Open University to qualify as a teacher. He has been working in teaching for eighteen years both in England and here in Catalunya. Locally he has worked in private classes and also with private companies for many years. He taught briefly in the Col.legi Sagrada Familia and worked for five years in the URV Campus de les Terres de l'Ebre. He has been here in IES Roquetes since 2005.

He is very interested in photography, the internet and information technology in general. Now he wants to start a Comenius Project here in IES Roquetes and dedicates a lot of time to preparing this.

Books we use for each year

For the first year students we use English Alice one from Oxford University Press. This consists of the student's book and the workbook. Students will work through the student's book and be expected to do the work from the workbook and the self study worksheets either in class with the teacher or at home.

For the second years we have Engilsh Alive two also from Oxford. As with English Alive one this consists of of the student's book and the workbook.

The third years continue using the United series with United Three.

Finally the fourth years use United Four.

At Batxillerat the students in the first year of Batxillerat use the book Time for English, this also consists of a student's book and a workbook however the difference here is that the students are given much more autonomy for completing the work in the workbook.

In the second year of Batxillerat the students continue with the same series and use Time for English 2.

Obligatory reading

All of our students in IES Roquetes have to read in English every year. The set book they read is an obligation and the books are chosen carefully to be both interesting and appropriate to the level of English that the students have at that level.

The current list is this:

1r ESO. Around the world in eighty days.JJules Verne (OUP)

2n ESO. The curse of the mummy.
Joyce Hannan (OUP)

3r ESO. ULURU. Helen Burton (Burlington)

3r ESO. The hacker. Ken Harris (Burlington)

4t ESO. The death of Karen Silkwood. Joyce Hannan (OUP)

For 1r Batxillerat there are now two books set as obligatory reading.

1r Batxillerat. The picture of Dorian Gray. Oscar Wilde (OUP)

1r Batxillerat.

There is only one book set for 2n batxillerat and at present it is:

2n Batxillerat. The Hound of the Baskervilles. AC Doyle

Extra-curricular activities

Our department is working to introduce our students to the role of foreign languages in an innovative way as possible. We hope to make the students understand the importance of being able to communicate in a foreign language, an importance that has both a professional and a personal side.

To this end we organise a wide variety of extra-curricular activities in addition to normal classes through which we hope that our students will use the language skills they have acquired and see how they can communicate effectively in real situations.

Theatre trips: We organise visits to the Felip Pedrell Theatre where theatre groups perform in English. These trips are normally organised in conjunction with other schools of the local area.

All students are required to read in English. They have set texts for each year they are in the school which we hope will encourage them to read in another language. The books chosen are books which we feel will engage them and create a real interest in foreign language literature.

In the same way we also encourage the students to use their time in the language lab to read as widely as possible in both English and French and also to write as well. We teach the students how to register themselves for e-mail addresses, how to create power point presentations, how to participate in foreign language forums and indeed how to create, write and maintain blogs in English and/or French.

IES Roquetes Comenius Project

During the next academic year, 2008/2009, we hope that we will be participating in a Comenius project. This project will be called "European youth, alike but different" and will mean that we will be working in close cooperation with six other schools in six different European countries, Poland, Germany, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Sweden.

The project means a lot of work for the students who decide to participate but will also bring them a lot of very worthwhile experiences. They will have to work closely with students from the other schools using the internet and various different programs and web pages such as YouTube, Blogspot etc.

There will also be two visits abroad when our students will have the chance to meet and spend a week with the students they have been working with. We believe that this experience will be a rich one for them and that it will mean a great step forward in their confidence in using foreign languages and that they will even make some friends from our partner countries, friends that they may have for a long time yet in the future.

In preparation for this project we held a meeting of some of the participating schools here in IES Roquetes in January 2008. Four different countries participated, Poland, Germany, Greece and Sweden. During the week of meetings the work for the project was planned and the application was completed. The result of our application will be known at the end of May beginnings of June of this year 2008.

If anyone would like to read about the work already done towards this project Huw's experiences are being recorded in a Comenius Project Blog, called "Blogging a Comenius experience" which everyone is welcome to read.

Awards and prizes

The foreign languages department has participated in many different comptitions, activities and projects in and outside the school. Here are some of the awards and prizes we have received.

Pla Estratègic "Integració de les TIC en el curriculum de les Lluenües Estrangeres" 2005-2008
Pla Experimental Llengües Estrangeres
Premi de "e-twinning" agermanament amb escoles europees
Dialang Prova de llengües estrangeres avalada per la UE
"Spring Day of Europe" Espai col·laboratiu europeu
"Down the drain" Stevens Institute of Technology (EUA)
"Stop the tap"
Pla de Millora
projecte LIC (V Jornades Interculturals)
1r Premi Euroscola 2003
2n Premi concurs Internet Cultural International (ESCI)
Primer Premi EUROSCOLA 2007