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I was looking for an inspiring article about motivation when I came across Bruce Dixon’s entitled ‘The Value of a Cold Shower’. It starts by questioning the kind of expectations we have when we attend the opening keynote at a conference. Dixon asks us: ‘Do you want to be entertained, informed, inspired or provoked, or maybe all of the above? Are you looking for your current thinking to be affirmed, challenged, or dismissed?’ He then goes further using the metaphors of ‘warm baths’ and ‘cold shower’ to explain...

As the end of the year draws nearer, people all over the world feel that there's a new beginning ahead. We've gotten used to the 365-day cycle in life and celebrate the end of the year remembering all the good moments of the year that's just passed, and plan a bright future ahead of us. Or do we? If you're a teacher, you do know the importance of planning. You are well aware of the fact that planning is the preparation stage for all that is to happen in...

If you are an English teacher, you have certainly heard about the CELTA. CELTA stands for Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and it is one of the most accepted and respected TEFL courses in the world. Teachers love to talk about it because...

Well, I have been discussing assessment for sometime now, discussing from Young Learners characteristics, general assessment types to specific ones that cater for young learners. Now, it’s important to understand how all the information presented can be put together within the framework of children’s course. In my reality, young learners’ lessons are very dynamic and communicative, most of the times with teachers meeting the children at the reception area and still outside the class, checking the weather with them and then going into the class where they normally start by...

End of year, spring cleaning, and I ended up finding many old pictures and documents which were a trip down memory lane. I wondered what I would say to that young Natalia, who was about to start her career as an English teacher, or to anyone who is starting in the career for that matter. Stepping out of the classroom and back in again: my last day of secondary school, 6 months before my first day as a teacher. Keep an organized record of everything you do career-wise. This first...

In the English language teaching field, many professionals join the area after becoming sufficiently fluent and confident to face learners. Some of us start a career believing the knowledge we have of the language will guarantee our success in teaching and we may resent feedback given about our use of the language. Although the language proficiency needed to teach depends on the context lessons will be happening (Rossner, 2017), learning more about the language we teach may improve our performance in the classroom. Considering that the learning goals as...

In Part 1, I mentioned I don’t see myself as someone who is constantly striving towards perfection, but I can’t deny the results I got after taking the more advanced exam left a bitter taste in my mouth. Frustration boiled over at first and its effects lingered for some time, so much so that it took me about six years to gain enough confidence to sit CPE, an exam dreaded by students and teachers alike. I used to tell myself life was getting in the way – novice...

One of the best features of my job is that I get to observe teachers in their second semester in the language institute where I work.  In their first semester, they go through a mentoring process and are then observed by two other academic specialists. These observations usually go very well. The teachers are very professional in their attitude toward the whole process; they submit their lesson plans in advance and participate actively and reflectively in our pre and post-observation meetings. I find it a very rewarding experience in...

It is a fact that the crisis has arrived at schools in Brazil. There is usually a delay in the effect of the crisis on regular schools compared to other businesses, especially because parents resist to make any changes in their children's education, unless there is no other option after they have cut all other less important expenses. But the longer the crisis lingers, the more likely it is for the regular schools to start feeling its effects. This is happening now here. This year, one million students have...

A few days ago, the Rio de Janeiro Secretary of Education criticized the actress Tais Araujo for her TED Talk in which she shares some of the challenges she will soon encounter as a mother of black children. The Secretary described it as ‘racial stupidity’. Needless to say, I was shocked to hear that. It made me think a lot about my privileges and the industry we work at. I’ve been working in ELT for 15 years, the last 4 working independently. For 11 years, I was part of...