What does it mean to “communicate”?

“Relax,” many teachers tell students, “if you have communicated, it’s all right.” Indeed. What is it, however, that counts as effective communication? At what moment can we chill out knowing we have done a good job in communicating? For some teachers, communication is getting your message across. It doesn’t matter if the learner has made […]

Teachers needed. Living experience abroad required.

In Brazil the beginning of the year is hiring season for teachers. Unfortunately it’s unusual for ELT job ads in this country to list required and preferred KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities or attitudes). When they do, something that usually shows up is “living experience abroad” (“vivência no exterior”). To be me, in all honesty, […]

Accent trait or pronunciation error?

In the past few years, I’ve seen a few teachers in Brazil make a point of differentiating accent traits from pronunciation errors. You can listen to Daniel Bonatti explain it here for CanalRh or Vania Below from ManagedEnglish tackle it here. The implication, as I understand, is that diversity in accents should be celebrated, but pronunciation […]

Bico – Teaching as an occupation to fall back on?

They say crisis equals opportunity, and the Brazilian website bicos.com.br has pointed out that teaching is its visitors’ number one choice out of their financial predicaments. You can imagine how that went viral (and quite virulent) among Brazilian teachers. According to Brazilian legislation, regular school teachers need to have a teaching license, which will take the candidate […]

And you know what else, she’s a Carioca

I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro. Now that’s something to be proud of: not only did I survive (mostly unscathed) one of the world’s most dangerous cities, but I also get beaming smiles and even hear some bossa nova tunes when I tell foreigners that’s where I’m from. So being from Rio […]