TEFL Corner

By Elizabeth Beer

Santa Cool

Santa Claus has always been the coolest saint by merrily delivering presents to around 500 million households in about 31 hours (taking into account the international time zones and rotation of the earth) and managing to eat roughly 30,000 mince pies, all without breaking a sweat. However, some naughty boys and girls consider Santa to be rather old-fashioned nowadays as his preferred vehicle of choice is a wooden sleigh, not an F-35 Jet, and his elves still make all presents by hand. How on earth can Santa keep up with the modern, smartphone-carrying, Twitter-using, email-writing, Googling youngsters of today? The answer, surprisingly, is that he already is, and he’s already the trendiest of trenders! Santa has a huge digital presence on Google Maps, Facebook, Twitter, Email, Facetime and websites.

So this season, why not try to bring Santa into your home or classroom using one of the suggested ideas below to create modern Christmas magic?

The lead up to Christmas

On Portable North Pole (www.portablenorthpole.com) you can organise a customisable video message to be delivered to your child or class, in which Santa tells them about all of the good things that they have done. For any parents or teachers with children who are a bit of a handful, there’s actually an option of warning them if they are being too naughty, and encouraging good behaviour before the 25th December. The website can also arrange for Santa to phone your house and speak to your son or daughter directly, no doubt on his Bluetooth hands-free kit as he busily prepares his countless gifts!

Alternatively, emailsanta.com is a website that covers everything. Youngsters or their parents can email Santa with wish lists and receive a really funny and convincing reply within seconds. You can also follow Santa’s tweets, Santa’s blog and keep track of the countdown to Christmas along with how many presents have been wrapped. Children can also complete a quiz to find out if they are naughty or nice and can print a certificate to proudly show off the result to their friends and family.

If, ultimately, you really want to knock the socks off your class or child, why not arrange for the real St Nick to videophone them live, using Video Calls with Santa, downloadable on iTunes? You can ask Santa questions and even get advice about how to be nice all year round.

On Christmas Eve

You and your young ones can utilise satellite technology by tracking Santa’s progress live on Google Maps via santatracker.google.com/#/village or use the might of the American Military to monitor his progress on the Norad (North American Aerospace Defence Command) website. Of course, as we all know, he will only visit your house once you are in bed, so make sure you are tucked up nice and tight, and no peeking before he gets to Spain!

After all of these possibilities, if you still have a child who doesn’t believe that Santa exists, then download the iCaughtSanta app on your phone. It allows you to upload a photo of your living room, in which the app will then place Santa ‘caught in the act’ of visiting your house.

The above apps and websites are extremely good fun, so why not log on and see what you think? Enjoy a modern merry Christmas, and let us know how you get on!

Comprehension Questions

Share The Madrid Metropolitan: The only Madrid English language newspaper