Mesa Redonda: “Literatura, Investigación y Creación”

Nos visitaron tres escritores de la zona para contarnos sus experiencias personales sobre su proceso de creación literaria, cuáles son sus motivaciones, sus fuentes de inspiración, el mensaje que intentan transmitir, cómo y dónde encuentran la documentación necesaria para fundamentar sus escritos y plasmarla, cómo se logra luego publicar y el papel que juegan las redes sociales en la difusión, recogida de documentación y búsqueda de fuentes e incluso en la publicación.

De la intervención de Manuel Jesús García Amador resultó llamativo que siendo de El Arahal animara a los alumnos a conocer el rico patrimonio cultural de Marchena, que él ha estudiado y del que ha publicado su Un Paseo Por Marchena. 

Ana Jiménez Lobo, profesora de inglés que estuvo en nuestro centro el pasado curso, subrayó el valor terapéutico que la escritura tiene para ella, la capacidad del lenguaje para sanar heridas emocionales y como esa experiencia personal y propia puede ser también válida para el lector.

Oliver Tovar Urbina destacó en su intervención lo importante que es el decidirse a escribir y a investigar, el no ponerse a uno mismo límites y anteponer la satisfacción personal a todo, eso hace que lo difícil que es ganarse la vida con la escritura, no sea un obstáculo.

Gracias a todos ellos por aportarnos su experiencia en esta nuestra IV Semana de las Artes y Humanidades.

Mary Shelley and Gender Equality

Fortunately, nowadays we are becoming more and more aware of the gender inequality that has existed for so long in our society and in the world. Ours is a time in which this is no longer tolerable. We all must understand how important it is that men and women must live together in equal terms, with the same rights and with no fears, knowing that we all have something to contribute to make our society a place where we all can feel fulfilled.

In this search for equality, it is becoming necessary to defend the role of women in the development of our world in any field, (art, science, technology, law, politics, …) and what they have contributed to the history of mankind. 

In this context, the name of Mary Shelley came into my mind and I thought it was a good idea to let our students know who she was. 

We all know the existence of a book called Frankenstein, but many don’t know that it was written by a twenty-one-year-old called Mary Shelley. It was published 200 years ago, in 1818, with the help of his husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Theirs was one of the most prototypical romantic relationships.

She was the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, a feminist philosopher and writer, and William Godwin, a journalist, novelist and philosopher. Obviously, she grew up in a cultivated atmosphere that helped make her a very intellectual woman. 

The monster that she created has nothing to do with the figure that films and tv series have transmitted. It was cultivated, sensitive, able to express his emotions and feelings, willing to help others, vegetarian, keen on reading, (He enjoys reading Paradise Lost by Milton and The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe), … However, and because of his physical appearance, he was continuously rejected, and he turned into an embittered, vengeful, solitary being.

Let me suggest the reading of this great masterpiece of English literature to all those interested in improving their English. I can assure you that you will enjoy it and value the figure of its creator, Mary Shelley, a woman whose sensitivity and creativity produced one of the most easily recognisable literary characters.

Let me introduce myself.

My name is Philippa and I am the new English language assistant at IES Lopez de Arenas. I am 24 years old and I am from the United Kingdom.

I come from a city in the north of England called York. York is a very beautiful city with a lot of history. It was founded by the Romans and was later lived in by Vikings! If you go to York today you can see the city’s history by looking at the Roman walls that surround the city or at the small, narrow medieval streets in the city centre.

I studied at the University of Sheffield. My degree is called Modern Languages and I studied Spanish, Czech and French. I studied the languages and the cultures of the places where they are spoken. For example, I had subjects about Latin American literature or Czech history.

The city where I studied, Sheffield, is in the same region as York. It is a city with an industrial history. Stainless steel was invented in Sheffield and during the industrial revolution Sheffield was the steel capital of the world. Like a lot of cities in the north of England, Sheffield has a great atmosphere for young people.

In my free time I like to travel, to read, to watch Netflix and to spend time with my friends. I do pilates but I don’t really like sport. Unlike most English people I don’t care about football! I only watch international matches when England are playing and I don’t support any team.

This year is my second one working in Andalusia. Last year I lived and worked in a small town called Huéscar in Granada. I love Andalusia because I love the great weather, the friendly people and the delicious food!

I am very happy to be working here in Marchena this year and I hope to have a great year with you all!


My name is Mary Smith Notengo

On 25th March, 2018, I read an article on El Pais about the problems that foreigners have in Spain because here we use two surnames. I thought that this was the kind of interesting cultural facts that bilingualism should deal with. I considered it quite appropriate to write about in our school’s bilingual section.

We all have heard about culture shock, that feeling of alienation that people may have when encountering a different environment and culture. Among other determining factors, this is connected with the different languages and customs.

There are many unexpected daily situations that can make it appear and one of the most curious ones is as simple as the use of two surnames in Spain.

We tend to assume that the way we Spaniards address each other is universal, but did you know that most countries use just one surname? Did you know that after getting married women can choose the surname that they want to use by choosing their husband’s one or their own one? Did you know that even siblings can have different surnames in many countries?

When foreigners come to Spain they may find Kafkaesque situations just because of their lack of a second surname. When they have to fill in a form, specially online, if they don’t provide all the information required and fill in all the boxes and gaps, they are not allowed to continue or they are shown an error message.

I admit that when reading about this issue I smiled due to the ways people solve this problem and websites, officials and other workers allow it to happen. Lets have a look at some examples.

Some people use their second name as their first surname. So someone whose name is Daniel John Welsch has John as his first surname, or Mary Elizabeth Cooperman, that has Elizabeth.

Others prefer using their only surname but when filling in forms they write No Tengo or Ninguno in the box for their second surname. However, the system does not assume that they have no second surname. Instead of that, it assumes that their second surname is Notengo or Ninguno, and that is what has happened to many foreigners in Spain who have ended up assuming that weird surname. There are real names such as Simone Fóccoli Notengo (Italian) or Chiho Notengo Murata (Japanese), names that even sound like one of those bad jokes about languages.

But how long have we Spaniards been using two surnames? It is known that until the 19th century there was just one surname and the father’s one was kept by the eldest child and the rest could choose among the other family surnames without a established criterion. It was not until 1871 that the addition of the mother’s surname as the second surname was established.

Today’s situation is that since 30th June, 2017 Spanish parents can choose the order of their children’s surnames by reaching an agreement. However, when people are 18 years old, they can freely register the surname order which they want to have in the civil registry.

To end with this topic, just let me propose thinking about your own surnames. Do you like them? Have you ever consider changing their order or making any other possible change such as hyphenating your two first surnames so as to keep your mother’s surname?

Now that we are much more concerned about gender equality it is time to think of those cultural and social aspects that are still based on men’s predominance as a norm inherited from the past. We must vehemently remark  that men and women must relate in equal terms. 

The Man Of The Future

I guess all of the students of our IES, teachers and visitors have noticed the wall in the hall covered with several posters and a central huge human figure with the words The Man Of The Future.

Well, that is the final product of a project we have been developing in the different subjects included in our bilingual program. We chose The Man of the Future as a unifying topic to imagine how the future would be. As this topic is so ample and we have only six subjects we restricted it to invent new technological devices in Technology, to create a sport for the future in PE and to think about the form of government that might exist in History. Our PAVAE teacher drew the central figure. (PAVAE stands for Plastic, Audiovisual and  Visual Arts Education).

I just hope you have a look at it not just because you have taken part in its creation but because you find it interesting.

Our First Harvest!

We have been working hard in our school orchard and we have got the first results, our first harvest.

I admit I am very proud of my students and their work developed there. We have learnt about farming and at the same time, we have had fun.


Besides, the vegetables cultivated are being sold and the money obtained is being donated to AECC, the association that tries to help people suffering from cancer.


I want to thank all the students invoved for your effort and work.


Material in English For P.E. (Physical Education) II : Volleyball


In our PE classes we have been working with some sports and their basic rules and features.

To start with the materials on these sports , here you have a story about volleyball. In Spanish we say “voleibol”, as a transcription of the way the word volleyball sounds to the Spanish people’s ears. However, the Spanish word for volleyball is “balonvolea”. This is quite similar to the words “fútbol” and “balompié”

Material in English For P.E. (Physical Education) III : Basketball

Hello to all my students!

I am Manuel, your PE teacher.

We have been working with some materials in English in our classes of P.E. and I want all of you to have it available in our school’s website.

To start with, here you have 3.49-minute basketball video.

Sorry for the sound, but this video is quite illustrative and clear.

Languages die too. Second Part

During these Christmas holidays I found this article in the online edition of the New York Times. As it develops and expands what I mentioned about the tashuiro language and Amedeo García García, I felt I had to post it in our school’s website for those who might be interested in the topic. I must warn all of you that it is a bit long but it is worth reading and listening.  Here you have the link to the full document which even includes a six-minute video. Hope you enjoy it.

To finish, just let me give you a piece of advice: KEEP YOUR ENGLISH ALIVE.