Mari Carmen Ocete
I’ve been teaching English since 1984. From 1984-1996, I taught children from 11 to 16. In 1996, I moved down to Primary. I started teaching children in Infantil in 1998, before the “Orden Experimental de Anticipación Lingüística” when teaching very young children was approved in Andalucia. I’ve been teaching three-year-olds since 2005. Most recently, I was involved in designing the P.E.L. communicative activities for “Junta de Andalucía”

This month we asked Mari Carmen Ocete, the author of Oxford Splash Starter, a couple of questions:

What’s your current post?

I’m the bilingual project coordinator and English teacher at Francisco Giner de los Ríos Primary School in Seville.

How long has the school you work at been bilingual?

My school opened in 2005.  It has been a bilingual school since day one.

What are the benefits to teaching other areas in English?

Children learn to talk about other topics they are interested in.  They learn to express in a foreign language what they know in their mother tongue. They feel the second language is a useful tool for transmitting their knowledge.

What was your role on the new pre-primary project, Oxford Splash?

Vanessa (Reilly) and I worked together on the whole project choosing who the characters would be and what they would look like. Vanessa and I worked closely together designing the contents and the methodological guidelines in order to make the whole project work as one.

What are some of the biggest challenges when teaching three-year-olds?

You need to be able to maintain their attention at all times.  This means that the experience must always be enjoyable which means making the English class fun. You have to be able to encourage the children to want to play with you in English.

What’s the best part about teaching three year olds?

They are very affectionate and once they know you, they love you and are eager to play with you and please you. They are your biggest fans.

What makes Oxford Splash ideal for very young learners?

Every activity has been tried and tested in real lessons. It is based on empirical experience. The pupil’s book is just a little part of the methodology developed in the teacher’s guide where teachers will find a step-by-step follow-up explanation of how to develop communicative lessons with their pupils.

Anything else you’d like to add?

There are additional materials to help teachers link their English lessons to the rest of the Infantil Curriculum. There are also some very attractive interactive resources which allow you to change the focus of some of your classes.

Many thanks to Mari Carmen for sharing her ideas and experience with us!

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