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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....

There´s nothing new on the use of Youtube for learning, but how often do you use its features beyond watching the videos? I´d like to suggest three ways to enhance the use of Youtube videos in the classroom. First, encourage your group to create a collaborative playlist about the topic they are studying. By doing that, the students are watching, analyzing and making decisions about the best option to add to the grupo playlist. How do you do it? Start a Playlist on Youtube by choosing a video and clickin on...

A question that is posed time and time again is whether teachers should take a BA in languages, known here in Brazil as Letras, or take the CELTA. I wish there was a simple answer to this question, but truth is: it’s complicated. Some would say that taking a Letras course is the way to be or become a teacher. After all, you wouldn’t expect a doctor to take a four-month course and then hold a license, or for someone to take an intensive, one-month course and then be...

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...

Whatever needs analyses one carries out with their groups, there is every likelihood that 9 out 10 will record that they will want to improve their speaking skills best. At this point I do not believe that anyone involved in ELT would be surprised at this, yet we can witness the fact that developing speaking skills might still be a challenge that either provokes or haunts teachers, especially if they are confronted with high demands. Speaking of provocation, here we have some questions to which you might want to give...

Would you like to Like, Comment and Share? This is the activity I mentioned on my last blog post about the three key features to teach speaking. These are the instructions. Preparation:  cardstock paper, popsicle sticks, a pencil, templates, scissors and glue. Tell students they are going to have a group discussion about ‘dilemmas’ and that the Facebook symbols will be used for them to interact. Each student will be given a dilemma and they have to read it to the class. Students can also talk about their own...

So, it’s your first class with a group of beginner 12-ish year-olds. You just leaf through the course book and teacher’s guide because all the class is about is the verb to be and adjectives. You know the drill: a couple pages filled with yes-no questions and perhaps a list of cities and countries that might require some work on pronunciation. Oh, and there may be a tic-tac-toe or perhaps a suggestion of musical chairs towards the end of the lesson. We’ve been there, we’ve done that. Right?...

The English language proficiency ghost has still been hovering over novel and experienced non-native teachers. When a new teaching position or professional development opportunity pops up, despite the deep desire to fill in that open spot, there comes the BOOH of not being “good enough” in the language we are supposed to master and use just as well as our own. An immediate consequence of the “Is your English good enough?” question is the segregation between native and non-native English speakers in the job market. Many job ads require...

Sabe aquele momento em que fica claro que você saiu da escola pra se tornar professor autônomo mas a escola não saiu de você? Não? Então vem comigo aqui. Com o fim do ano se aproximando vão diminuindo as perguntas que recebo a respeito de captação de alunos e vão aumentando aqueles querendo saber sobre cláusulas contratuais e formas de se sustentar no período dezembro/janeiro, onde vários alunos costumam “desaparecer” e só voltar depois do carnaval. Antes de mais nada, sugiro demais assistir esta playlist gratuita sobre Cláusulas Contratuais e este...

First of all, an apology. A few months ago I started to write about working as a self-employed teacher. I had the intention of writing a whole series, but only managed the first one before life got in the way. Here I am, though, back and ready to get the series going again. I have been a freelance* teacher first in Rio de Janeiro and now Curitiba for over 10 years.  I thoroughly enjoy it, so much so that I shudder at the possibility of ever having to go...