I want to talk about drilling. To be more specific, repetition drills. A repetition drill is a technique, which involves the students listening to a model of a word or phrase, usually provided by the teacher, and then repeating it. The original rationale for repetition drills was based on a behaviourist view of language learning. The idea that learning a language was a question of habit formation and that repeating words and phrases ad nauseam would result in mastery of the language. This view of language learning has since been...

No artigo intitulado O que nunca lhe contaram sobre terminar um curso de idiomas em tempo recorde, procurei contextualizar e explicar criticamente o surgimento da necessidade de se falar um idioma “fluentemente” (o mais depressa possível) em decorrência principalmente da mudança de paradigma e das exigências do mercado na sociedade atual. Indo na direção contrária, afirmei que a fluência em um idioma, a fim de tornar-se uma habilidade permanente, deve ser incorporada ao próprio ser como uma espécie de segunda natureza, e que cada indivíduo leva um tempo...

O aumento da renda familiar ocorrida nos últimos anos aliado à crescente demanda do mercado de trabalho por profissionais com fluência em inglês têm ocasionado um grande aumento na demanda por cursos de idiomas no Brasil. Afinal de contas, para ter um bom currículo e tornar-se um profissional valorizado é essencial aprender uma segunda língua o quanto antes. Não concordam? O MERCADO ESTÁ (SEMPRE) DE OLHO A partir da intensificação do senso comum de que não se aprende uma língua estrangeira nas escolas regulares brasileiras, especialmente ao longo das três últimas...

I believe it’s fair to say that one of the most important elements that contribute to the success of a lesson is certainly the amount of challenge learners are posed with. And when we think about challenge in a broad sense, we should certainly take into account the sources of language learners will be exposed to, what the target language to be worked with is, how student-centered the lesson has been designed to be, what we expect learners to produce, and motivated and engaged they are in the...

Com que frequência você se depara com a afirmação que dá título a este post, ou com alguma de suas inúmeras variações, especialmente no contexto da divulgação de métodos de ensino e/ou aprendizagem? No que concerne à aprendizagem de línguas estrangeiras, uma rápida pesquisa no Google logo comprova a presença dessa assertiva no discurso de boa parte das escolas nos dias de hoje (seja de idiomas, seja regular), geralmente na tentativa de explicar a sua metodologia de ensino e conquistar novos clientes: “você aprende sem perceber e quando vê já está...

Hello! It’s good to be back after a couple of months (ok, maybe more ;-) ) away from the blog.  For the rest of this year, I’d like to consider the role of neuroscience in language learning and teaching. What is neuroscience and how is it interesting to language teachers? Are you interested in how the brain works?  If you said yes, you concur with the around 80% of teachers from around the world that a major study found are interested in brain science (Pickering and Howard-Jones, 2007).  It’s a fascinating...

Although attempts to define ‘fluency’ and ‘accuracy’ when speaking a foreign language abound in the specialized literature, there still does not seem to exist a consensus regarding a single, ultimate definition of either one of the terms. One of the reasons which could partly explain the lack of common ground among authors is the very subjective nature of the two words in the context of learning/mastering a foreign language. Any given language is a complex structural system whose components include, but are not limited to, rules, vocabulary and pronunciation....

Students taking a course in a foreign language very frequently bring with them a world of expectations and needs – in both personal and professional contexts – that they want to be met in the classroom. Those expectations and needs, however, can many times be beyond what can be achieved within a semester of studies. It is then many times up to the teacher to help learners align their expectations and help them become more aware of what they can achieve in the short and long run, and...

Photo by Higor Cavalcante | CC BY 2.0 No matter where you are in the world today, English is everywhere you look. It’s used in shop signs, products in the supermarket, the names of buildings, menus, graffiti, airports, public transport, shopping centres, notices, advertising posters and hoardings. In fact, here in Brazil there is even an English name for this type of advertising – ‘outdoor’ (as well as ‘busdoor’ for adverts on the back of buses, and ‘indoor’ for adverts in stations, shopping centres, etc.). I first became interested in Linguistic...