The past is never where you think you left it.” ---- Katherine Anne Porter Having lived a year in the US, I was convinced that I had become an American. I spoke American English, my clothes were mostly American, and I did not like black beans anymore. I could not help pronouncing the word Coke without a strong American English accent I had slowly developed, and which I was proud of. I knew the American Presidents by heart and I had visited more American states than I had ever done...

1. Why is noticing even a buzzword, anyway? Noticing in language learning is perhaps ELT’s most user-friendly buzzword. To have a vague understanding of what it is, you don’t need to delve into the works of Rod Ellis, Peter Skehan or even Richard Schmidt, whose 1990 study essentially put the term on the map. Perhaps a simple dictionary definition will do: [caption id="attachment_4760" align="alignnone" width="597"] Taken from dictionary.com[/caption]   The noticing hypothesis is conceptually intuitive, too. To put it in the simplest of terms: Students learn the language items they pay attention to, as...

Translation a skill that constitutes a real world demand, and yet, it is rather underrated in Brazil while it is broadly used in countries like Japan and China, for example.  Despite its disadvantages --- such as giving students the false impression that there is always a one-to-one correspondence between L1 and L2, for example, it offers learners the chance to practice it as a skill that is necessary in a large number of situations such as translating a text to a non-English speaker or working as an interpreter for...

"Novices become acquainted with activities not only from their own and others' attempts to define what transpires in an activity, but also from how those participating in the activity respond to them." Elinor Ochs, in "Becoming a Speaker of A Culture." (2002) I have just read Elinor Ochs’ article entitled ‘Becoming a Speaker of a Culture,’ a contribution to the book ‘Language Acquisition and Language Socialization --- Ecological Perspectives,’ edited by Claire Kramsh (Continuum, 2002).  In her chapter, Elinor Ochs offers some very interesting insight into Second Language Acquisition theory. Elinor Ochs is an...

A friend of mine, who is also an English teacher, was taking Pragmatics at uni and admitted she was struggling to see the point of all that theory. I wanted to reply in neon and all caps: “All the point in the world!” Ironically, I don’t think I did convince her. I say it was ironic because pragmatics is, among other things, the study of “how to do things with words”, as the seminal book title goes. While my intention was to persuade her to change her mind about pragmatics,...

What is complexity theory and how does it accommodate up to date beliefs about how languages are acquired, and new approaches to teaching like task based learning and dogme approaches? Until recently, theories about language acquisition have been dominated by the cognitivists, such as Krashen, Long and Chomsky. The basic premise was that input would be processed, and hypotheses made, which would then result in output where the hypotheses could be tested. This process was said to be innate, and relatively fixed. Coupled with this was the idea that...

Olá, a todos! Em 13 de janeiro de 2015, publiquei aqui no nosso blog o post To be bilingual or not to be bilingual: that’s the question (#not)!, sobre estar criando meu filho Eduardo, então com dois meses e meio de vida, de forma bilíngue. Tive dois excelentes comentários em meu texto, que me motivaram ainda mais a seguir minha senda. Não vou repetir tudo o que escrevi (estaria “roubando” a oportunidade de vocês lerem ou relerem o texto, caso ainda não o tenham feito), mas só relembrando...

Todo estudante de língua estrangeira sonha com o tempo em que estará falando “fluentemente” o idioma escolhido. Dentre os principais mitos citados no artigo 7 conceitos de fluência e o que você deveria saber a respeito dela, um dos mais frequentes é o de que ser fluente significa falar sem pausas. E não é pra menos. UM RÁPIDO TESTE Façamos o seguinte teste: se você fosse professor de idiomas e um aluno, ao final de uma aula, lhe perguntasse de repente “professor, o que posso fazer para melhorar a minha fluência...

I have heard it being called 'emerging language' and 'incidental language'. However, I prefer 'emerging unplanned language ' (EUL) as 'emerging language' is often used in a wider language acquisition sense and 'incidental' can imply something of minor consequence, which it is not. If anyone has an existant word, or a better one, then please let me know. So what are we talking about? I am referring to the language which arises during the actual delivery of the lesson. The language which is 'unplanned', so to speak. The language...

No artigo 7 conceitos de fluência e o que você deveria saber a respeito dela, apresentei algumas definições de “fluência” comumente encontradas na internet e procurei mostrar como elas são ainda bastante vagas e controversas (mesmo entre os profissionais da área de idiomas), dando ensejo aos mais diversos usos e abusos do termo pelo mercado. Ao final do artigo, propus um exercício de reflexão aos leitores: que formulassem seu próprio conceito de fluência a partir de 10 assertivas comumente utilizadas pelo senso-comum, já que, como pretendi deixar claro,...