The growing need for global communication brings the field of TEFL to a much higher level of professionalism. However, several other individuals are actively involved in the EFL teaching field, but they cannot be considered actual professionals. Ur (2002) defines a professional as a worker whose expertise involves not only skill and knowledge but also exercise of highly sophisticated judgment and whose accreditation necessitates extensive study, often university-based, as well as practical experience. According to this definition, one must perform a threefold task in order to be considered a...

“Learn English 50% faster with native teachers.” That TV ad got me thinking if that was still really appealing to learners in Brazil. In other words, do people actually believe in that? A quick search on Google helped clarify things for me. There are several ads like that. Not only do they claim students will  “Learn faster” (there was even an ad which said “Learn 4 times faster”!), but they suggest it has been “proven” that it is only possible to learn “real” English with a native teacher!...

The other day I was at a friend’s birthday and my friend mentioned she had seen my photos in Liverpool and asked me what I had thought of the city. I said I hadn’t seen much of the city, because I had gone there for a conference (last year’s IATEFL Annual Conference) and it didn’t leave me much time for sightseeing. One of her friends, a new acquaintance to me, became interested and started talking to me. She: “A conference? What do you do?” Me: “I’m an English teacher.” She: “What...

First of all, it’s an honor to be blogging here on RichmondShare along with some of the brightest stars in the Brazilian ELT market, and also a little scary! Thanks Richmond for the invitation and thank you all for reading! Now to the topic at hand: language development for teachers. Scott Thornbury (1997) wrote – and I love quoting him – that among the consequences of (…) a limited knowledge of language are: a failure on the part of the teacher to anticipate learners’ learning problems and a consequent inability...

At the beginning of a New Year we usually make resolutions for different areas of our lives. As with other New Year’s resolutions, such as giving up smoking or doing more exercise, we teachers also think of  improving our language or teaching skills. These will definitely require a certain amount of self-discipline and in some cases, money. However, here are some ideas to consider that will empower you at little or no cost, and make you and your classes more interesting: A)   Students appreciate a well informed teacher, one who...

I was very happy to have been asked to write for the RichmondShare space and thought about getting started by discussing a statement some people make regarding our profession. Are teachers born ready or made? Some people claim that teachers are born ready, that this profession is guided solely by passion which I tend to agree just up to a point. Scrivener (2005:15) states that being it conscious or not, most of our attitude as teachers relies on the experience we had as students seeing our teachers back then, but choosing...

The beginning of a new year usually gets us thinking about the plans that we want to make, improvements that we wish to promote and changes that we would like to witness in our personal lives. It is therefore the perfect opportunity to devise actions to ensure growth in the professional realm too. In this first post of mine, I would like to invite you to reflect upon your New Year’s resolutions with a special focus on professional development. As English teachers, we need to constantly look for ways...

Ano novo, hora de colocar as promessas em prática: fazer dieta e começar a caminhar para perder peso e ganhar saúde. Há uma turma, no entanto, que ainda vai ter de esperar um pouco para começar outro tipo de caminhada: os participantes do ENEM 2014, que esperam pelo resultado dos exames para começar seus estudos na universidade. Neste post de início de ano, gostaria de me dirigir a meus futuros colegas – os próximos calouros de Letras, aqueles que neste momento aguardam a chance de iniciar sua caminhada profissional...