How did you get into English Language teaching, and why do you still do it? I come from a family of musicians and English first caught my interest when I came across Pink Floyd and The Ramones with their lyrics and fast singing. My English teacher at Secondary School (Neusa Lombardi) spotted this ‘talent for English’ and rewarded me with a scholarship to her school. Once there, I developed a liking for teaching, which lead me to read Languages at University. As a teacher, I felt the need to develop...

Whatever needs analyses one carries out with their groups, there is every likelihood that 9 out 10 will record that they will want to improve their speaking skills best. At this point I do not believe that anyone involved in ELT would be surprised at this, yet we can witness the fact that developing speaking skills might still be a challenge that either provokes or haunts teachers, especially if they are confronted with high demands. Speaking of provocation, here we have some questions to which you might want to give...

By definition reading is the action of a person who looks at and understands the meaning of written or printed words or symbols. But there is much more to that than meet the eyes. Nuttall (1996:2) believes that not only does reading comprise decoding, deciphering and identifying words, but it is above all an opportunity for learners to draw meaning from the written text. Reading is a significant area of development in a language, either native or foreign, as we are surrounded by words daily. Unfortunately, some teachers are...

Scarcella and Oxford (1992) mention that ‘a learner will basically need to develop competences in order to become proficient in an L2 – grammatical competence, socialinguistic competence, discourse competence and strategic competence.’ I bet that at the some point of your teaching career you have come across that student who wants to learn only to speak English. Little do they know that there is a lot more to it than meet the eyes. By the same token, some teachers might consider developing Speaking Skills a challenge, especially if they are...

In this day and age getting a job, let alone a position which suits you best, has become a scarce commodity. More and more professionals are seeking jobs that meet their needs. However, not many are actually prepared to meet the market needs. This is a harsh reality and it has obviously hit our ELT world. I have sort of picked up the musical side of my family, my Dad was (still is in my heart a great accordion player) and music to me is what comes through your...

It might ‘cost you dear’! That is what we generally hear when people talk about investing time and money in learning a foreign language. By the same token, professional teachers are usually judged by how qualified they are in the teaching community and investing time and money on CPD seminars seems pretty much the way to go. On 18th March, I had the opportunity to meet up with brilliantly committed teaching professionals at Braz-Tesol Belo Horizonte Chapter on Teacher’s Development. BTW, well done you on your organisation. I delivered...

It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. In other pictures, I mean, in other words, a picture might provide us with a thousand words which might eventually give free reign to your imagination. I am not saying that is all bad, however, for some this may be too little and, say, too comforting. I have come up with a theory that since a picture may lend itself to a thousand words, then it is fair to say that a thousand words may lend themselves...

It goes without saying that we live in a world which is bombarded by information. I am not saying that is all bad, however, for some this may be too much, too soon and too frightening. This fast-moving evolution of information technology has brought about a new sort of ‘society’ which seeks for a full range of perspectives and interests. That is exactly when RLE (Real Learning Environment) and VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) collide. Unfortunately, the so-called ‘cloud’ does not seem to be 9 for everyone, especially if...

Having embarked on the teaching of English in the public sector, little did I know how many hours would take my students to walk an extra mile! You must be thinking that a mile is a mile. Indeed, yet not many students have the knack for measuring it properly. Forgive me my fellow mathematicians but a mile does not seem to represent the same distance to learners. Much to the contrary, a mile will last as many hours to some as fewer hours to others. That is to say,...

I have recently read an article talking about the teacher of the future and that got me thinking whether I was either connected to past, present or future. Some years ago I and Lidia Vanessa (a fellow teacher and friend of mine) did a presentation at an ABCI conference which started with a provocative question: ‘’Will computers replace teachers?’’ It was amazing to see how much debate there was then and how much this is being debated today. But, before we get to the answer, it is vitally important...