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A couple of years ago, I started a contract with a student, M, who was looking for English lessons for professional purposes. On her needs analysis interview, she told me that reaching out for help was quite a struggle as her former teacher had unceremoniously stopped replying to her messages halfway through a course that aimed to prepare her for an institutional language test - one of the most important steps she’d been taking in her career so far. To her words, they hadn’t had any kind of...

BY DONNA FIELDS We’re looking forward to sharing with you the most innovative practices - methods you can use immediately in your online or your face-to-face lessons. Unfortunately, most Ministers of Education today, are so concerned with science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and having test scores, that they forget that, at the end of the day, if we don't have people with good character, people who do the right thing, intellect itself will destroy the world, it will not save it.  Dr. Howard Gardner Research Professor of Cognition and Education Harvard University Autumn, 2020 Student...

By Russell Stannard Flipping your online lessons:  a global view of your online lessons Over the last five months, I have done a whole array of consultancy jobs supporting schools to deliver online language courses. These have been private language schools right up to language departments in universities. It has been a very tough time for teachers and one thing that they are continually complaining about is just how much work is involved in preparing and delivering online lessons. It has been a theme I have addressed at several online...

By Donna Fields What is scaffolding? Why should we care? What are they exactly, and where do we upload scaffolding activities on the Richmond Platform? Let’s start with theory. Take a deep breath because this won’t be painful at all. There are as many definitions of scaffolding as there are scaffolding techniques. The term, as an educational concept, was presented in the early 1900s by LevVygotsky, the Russian psychologist who dedicated himself to the study of adolescent development. He explained that scaffolding is a way of encouraging students to move out of...

Last month, we talked about the innovator teacher's dilemma, and I would like to share my innovative experience with you.  I’m sure you have already heard of: Cross over teaching,  Teaching through smart boards, Flipped classrooms Collaborative Teaching Using Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)  Technology and innovative methods of teaching And more Are you using all or some of them in your daily lessons? It’s widely known that the use of technology in the classroom helps to engage the students with different kinds of stimuli and, of course,...

Are you tired of listening or reading about how innovative teachers must be in the classroom? Especially now, during and after the covid-19 (years 2020 - 2021) when we were forced to reinvent ourselves and our classroom? Why are you tired of it? Maybe because it is tiring to be always looking for different ways of calling student's attention or to, at least, make them be more participative and acquire something out of it? Is this really the point? Or is it the experience? The learning? Well, we are teachers. We...

“É melhor fazer aula com um falante nativo?” -- pergunta o leigo. E hoje é com ele que vou falar. Você com certeza já deve ter visto cursos de inglês que anunciam aulas com professores nativos. Será esse de fato um diferencial? Vamos pensar aqui: se fosse o contrário e você fosse dar aula de português para estrangeiros...

As you will probably agree, inspiration comes from the most unusual places. Just now, I felt so moved by a Netflix documentary about the jazz genius Miles Davis that I had to come here and write about the lessons I believe his career may bring to our professional development as teachers.   “The Musings of Miles”: Don’t “blow” theory. Miles started his career as a trumpeter in his teens and went to Juilliard, one of the world’s most prestigious performance art schools. Despite criticizing it for being “too white”...

As a teacher educator, I continually ask myself how to most effectively prepare teachers with professional knowledge and critical consciousness to engage in meaningful work with learners. Very recently, the new Guidelines for Plurilingual Education were approved and, according to them, teachers who teach through the additional language in Infant Education or Primary must have a degree in Language or Education and if they teach a specific subject in the other levels, they must have a degree in the area they teach. Besides that, teachers must be proficient in...