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We all want a positive work environment where we feel safe to share our ideas, projects, concerns, and challenges… where we can offer and seek advice aiming at a greater good: helping learners reach their goals and becoming the best possible professional we can become. Right – that’s a lovely goal. How can we make it happen? First and foremost, we have to remind ourselves that our professional development is our own responsibility – nobody else’s. Jordan Catapano’s article on Professional Development and the Teacher Leader can give us great...

We have struggled a lot to write this article because we were too worried about technicalities. But, then, it occurred to us that social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies are anything but technical. And that is exactly why we need them right now. In Brazil, with our crowded classrooms, we have never really given personalized learning a try, at least not outside elite schools. Everything comes to numbers in the end. This is how we define who goes to college. And this is how we decide whether a school...

BRAZ-TESOL, Brazil’s largest association of English language teaching professionals, needed a video that explained what it stands for, so I made one. My qualifications for making the video? None. Learning as I went, I ended up with something that has made me very proud.  Of course making a video when you’re not a professional is not a simple task, so it took me (what it felt like) forever to get it finished. I would get home from work and spend as many hours on it as I had...

Firstly, BRAZ-TESOL is the largest ELT association in Brazil and its “SIGs” attempt to encourage professional development and the exchange of ideas within a specialist area of English Language Teaching. Secondly, I would like to invite you all to the 7th BRAZ-TESOL Teacher Development Seminar which will take place in April (more information below). Marcela Cintra and Sérgio Pantoja, the plenary speakers, will be talking about "Teacher's Continuous Professional Development: a conundrum?" & "The importance of language awareness in teachers' continuing professional development” respectively. My session will be carried out at 3...

Most teachers of English, I believe, will have heard of the intermediate plateau, when students who reach intermediate level feel that are somewhat stuck in the learning process and not making any progress. Likewise, many of us will have experienced a career plateau at some point in our professional life. Can this feeling be avoided? Does it have to be avoided? Should overcoming career plateau be one of our goals? From time to me I feel I need to do something new, to try something I had never done...

Using students’ L1 (their first language) has come under a lot of criticism for several years. According to Scrivener (2011), this ‘bad press’ is due to ‘an over-strong reaction to some traditional teaching styles in which teachers only used L1 in class’, which prevented learners from hearing or using any English. As a consequence, many teachers feel discouraged from using L1. Nevertheless, there is a growing number of ELT professionals who are trying to promote a paradigm shift and encourage teachers to embrace the use of the mother...

  Every professional in the realm of education has the power to influence positive change, for instance, aligning theory to practice as extensively discussed. In this post, leadership will be brought to light for a discussion on how educational leaders may contribute to building the learning environment and causing a great impact on education. Firstly, we are assuming that the more senior you are, the more chances you have to affect the lives of learners somehow connected to you. That means a trainer may impact teachers, who will in turn...

When Ofelia Garcia in her book Bilingual Education in the 21st Century - a Global Perspective  states that "bilingual education is the only possible education in the 21st century", what does she mean by that? Is she saying that she envisages a future with only bilingual schools? Bilingual Education, for a lot of people, is still the kind of Education you have at bilingual or international schools. It is, therefore, a kind of Education that is only available to a few privileged people - the ones who can afford...

“Learners have storied selves that cannot be dissociated from their selves in the classroom, so they are encouraged to share their stories and experiences during ordinary pedagogic activities. Naturally, these interactions help us all --- myself included, connect with one another.” Teresa Carvalho (2017) Magical. This is what many teachers want their lessons to be. I have had some truly magical moments in my classes, but what do I mean by magical moments? Just picture your all your students --- and yourself included, sharing your stories and listening to...

Williams and Burden (2010: 202) beautifully state that “Language classrooms in particular need to be places where learners are encouraged to use the new language to communicate, to try out new ways of expressing meanings, to negotiate, to make mistakes without fear, and to learn to learn from successes and failures. Emotionally, a suitable environment for language learning should be one that enhances the trust needed to communicate and which enhances confidence and self-esteem”.  In order to create such an environment, one possible approach would be to foster...