A not-very-happy piece of news has been recently published about Brazil by Education First [1] on its worldwide English language test (https://www.ef.com.br/epi/): Brazil was ranked 41 in an 80-country list. This low-English-proficiency result has been the headline on many popular news websites, language institute social networks, and blogs since it came out a few days ago.  It is important to note that Brazil has scored better and better since the first edition of the English Proficiency Index in 2011, but there seems to be a rush for English proficiency...

I usually find myself looking for formulas or easy ways to solve these little problems we come across in life, such as a way to fix something on my smartphone that is not working properly or how to use a specific tool to make my job easier. In this regard, the internet has helped us a lot providing the kind of information we need and the solution for our problems in a few seconds. And that’s great! It saves a lot of time in our busy routines and...

For the past few years, I've been drawn into the world of cognitive sciences and what learning is, what it entails, and how the brain works. To my mind, all teachers should have sound knowledge on the way the brain functions as it is the brain the ultimate place we work on. How could you possibly know that the things you've chosen to do in class work or not, and how can you assess the situation and perchance change tactics and your approach if you cannot fathom the...

I was reading about an interesting initiative called The Empathy Museum that is coming to my hometown (you can find out more about it here) and caught myself thinking about the times I put my foot in my mouth. Then, new windows opened in my mind’s browser and I started wondering about the (probably many) times I might have failed to notice I had done that. I know this may sound a bit gloomy, but bear with me. This is essentially an optimistic post. You see, just like everyone...

Em várias conversas com professores na DeProfPraProf sobre a estrutura de uma boa entrevista inicial, levantamento de necessidades, apresentação de proposta, fechamento, etc, têm aparecido também algumas perguntas sobre como fazer o nivelamento dos alunos. Daí eu gosto sempre de perguntar qual a finalidade do nivelamento onde, como todo mundo pode imaginar, sempre tenho como resposta que ele existe para podermos já iniciar as aulas no “ponto certo” das habilidades linguísticas do aluno em questão. Nesses momentos eu me lembro dos testes de nivelamento que eu apliquei em cada uma...

Following the topic of previous months - assessing young learners - I will here discuss a bit some types we can use with this age groups. Effective language assessment provides chances for children to use their abilities to demonstrate what they can do at their appropriate level. It requires acknowledgement of the principles we have already discussed last month and also of the curriculum goals as well as children's cognitive developmental, emotional and psychological stages [as I have briefly discussed even before]. In order to suit young learners’ reality best,...

In 1985, Braj Kachru published a book called 'Standards, Codification and Sociolinguistic Realism: The English Language in the Outer Circle'. In it, he placed the world's Englishes into one of three concentric circles: the inner circle, which is composed of those countries where English is the first, or dominant, language; the outer circle, represented by those nations where English, although not the mother tongue, has played an important role for a significant period of time; and the expanding circle where English is used as a lingua franca, and is therefore widely studied as...

If you have spent some time online in the past months, particularly on Facebook, you may have come across a number of posts followed by hundreds of comments, basically related to gender equality, or lack of it, in ELT events. Gender equality in general is an issue that has been discussed for a long time, hence Women’s International Day (celebrated on March 8th) and Women’s Equality Day (celebrated on August 26th). Although the demand for gender equality is not new, in most professional areas the balance is far...

I have been asking myself to what extent the traditional way of teaching listening actually contributes to learners becoming better listeners… John Field changed my relationship with listening, and since I first read his book ‘Listening in the Language Classroom’, I have been looking for answers whenever I teach a lesson that includes Skills Development Listening. I guess when we start teaching, most of us are really happy to be able to deliver a listening lesson with PRE-WHILE-POST stages that seem to be relevant, effective and coherent to learners....

Confession: for most of my adult, academic life I have always feared being discovered as a fraud. I even used to phrase it as this: I am afraid that one day people will find out that I am not as good as they think. I remember saying this many times, to close friends, to advisors, to myself. I did not know, at the time, that there were many people that felt like me. So many that there were studies related to this feeling. On one of my favorite episodes...