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Have you ever heard of the Impostor Syndrome? Well, according to the site “Medical News Today”, “research from 2011 suggests that approximately 70% of people will experience at least one episode of Impostor Syndrome in their lives. It may be especially prevalent among women considered to be high-achievers”. The site Scientific American claims that people who suffer from this silent affliction have a “pervasive feeling of self-doubt, insecurity, or fraudulence despite often overwhelming evidence to the contrary”. People from all walks of life have already stated they suffer...

When professionals I know and admire seem to have something against English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), I try to understand why. From their follow-up replies, I get the impression they see ELF as “narrowing the curriculum” and their own position as one of “demanding high” and “catering for students’ needs in the real world.” I think I get it. The problem is, however, I am too in favor of “catering for students’ needs in the real world” and to an extent even “demanding high”, but that’s precisely why...

Had you been asked to divide your life into sub-categories, how many (and what) would there have been? Exactly. This how a teacher’s mind is all the time. Especially when in a classroom, while teaching. During a lesson we are always concerned with our student’s mental processes  - if they are processing the information being given, if they are accepting it, if they are following the steps, if they are acquiring language or skills, if they are overwhelmed, if their affective filters are high or low, etc. At...

“Dear teacher, I’d like to say I have never forgotten your lessons and I’m grateful you have inspired me to follow this path.” This is part of a message I received last month. It is from a student I had over 20 years ago and who is now a successful teacher of English. I still remember her in my lessons, her brilliant compositions and perfect handwriting. She was a quiet student who I have never forgotten and reading her message made my eyes well up. Many of us have received these...

On many different occasions I have discussed the belief that teaching seems to be about asking questions, not always providing answers. In this post we will focus on teaching situations where questions can be effective in helping learners achieve success in language learning and some ideas on how to take advantage of questions. Using images: Most of our modern materials - including international exams - involve images to provoke ideas, discussions or illustrate a text. Asking yes/ no questions may help teachers guide learners towards the pre-defined ideas...

In his book Schools That Learn: A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares about Education, Peter Senge (2012) talks about mental models and how we need to examine them in order to change. What keeps us from changing, many times, is that we do not think about why we think the way we do; we don’t examine our view of the world. An aspect that really needs reexamining and change is our mental models on assessment. Why do most people think the way they...

Murilo's journey to bilingualism has been an enormous learning opportunity for me, and an extraordinary field for me to put into practice many theories related to bilingualism and bilingual education in the 21st century. Murilo, now 4 years old, masters the comprehension of the English language typically spoken by me. There are some terms that I am introducing in his vocabulary that are new, but the majority of my comunication with him in English is understood by him. Now I've decided that it's time to translanguage less. In other words,...

I was talking to some friends on Whatsapp and one of them mentioned this teacher he knew and the fact that they had been contemplating a career change. The teacher had a CPE and a CELTA and I said it would be a shame if they gave up on teaching. After all, such qualifications are not easy to get, both demand a considerable amount of time, effort and money. Then my friend said: 'but they don’t have our passion'. I must say his remark puzzled me. What is...

When teaching private classes, one may inevitably have to teach adults. The method in which adults learn, called andragogy, is a lot less talked about when compared to pedagogy, the way children learn. Not surprisingly, the word pedagogy rings many bells whilst andragogy is an unknown term by many. Teachers focused on adult learning would undoubtedly yield better results by appropriating teaching techniques in line with andragogy. In this article I share and explore 4 principles that strike a chord with my experience as an ELT  professional and are...

Earlier this month I mentioned to a dear colleague that I started my teaching career as a part-time job just to make ends meet. What is also true is that it did not take me long to quit everything I was doing at the moment and dedicate myself full-time to the profession. Little did I know that seven years later, two serendipitous encounters would show me that the inclusive classroom had chosen me even before I figured that out. The first one happened in 2016 when I received a...