The Listening Skill – Part 1

Listening is an essential area of development in both native and second languages. It’s a very challenging skill for students to develop, yet one of the most important.  Scarcella and Oxford (1992: p. 138) state that “listening is the process of receiving, attending to, and assigning meaning to an aural stimuli”. So listening is a […]

Letter to a novice English teacher

My dear, If I could offer you any advice for your newly started career, I would tell you to be curious. More impressive and complex advice will be dispensed to you but I truly believe that curiosity embraces it all. First and foremost, be curious about your students. Get to know who they are, where […]

4 tips to help you teach advanced students

I don’t think I have ever taught or observed an advanced lesson that went seriously wrong. I mean cringe-worthy wrong. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, advanced students have been in the game long enough and know enough English to ensure that most of our lessons run – at worst – relatively smoothly. […]

“Music”, not only “songs” in class

The other day I was struggling to chose a topic to discuss about with the teachers in my school. It was somehow funny as things happened – two of the teachers came, on the very same day, asking about ideas and rationale for using music in class. Well, this extract is not exactly on how […]

Reflection Makes Perfect

The globalized world in the twenty-first-century has brought the English language to the status of lingua franca as countries worldwide use it as the main means of communication for social, economic, and educational purposes. For that reason, the learning of English as a foreign language (EFL) has become a growing issue and a variety of […]


Here’s a second seasonal lesson idea.  This time based on Carnival.  In Brazil the holidays have just come to an end, and in my adopted hometown of Cádiz we’re only half way through! I first used this lesson idea with a large class of mixed-level high school students but it can work with a number […]

Anything goes

They say that we get more conservative as we get older, that we lose our youthful idealism and replace it with mature resignation, that we become cynical, and that we are less willing to break the rules and become more prone to following a set of rigid routines. However, I don’t think this is necessarily […]

It’s only English…

Last week I happened to read a post in a well-known Brazilian newspaper blog explaining that several students who have been granted scholarships in the program Science without Borders are at risk of an early and compulsory return to Brazil. The reason? They have not achieved the minimum proficiency in English to be able to […]

Summarizing in a nutshell

Besides being an English teacher, I’ve been an e-moderator for a while now. And one of the first things I learned when I started studying to become one were the concepts of weaving and summarizing. As an e-moderator, I have to populate forums – I have to create several different forum threads where the course […]