Hi Everyone! Let’s start talking about errors. Teachers usually see students’ errors as negative - as something to do away with. Not seeing them as a hint to the way learners make sense of the foreign language limits the teachers’ possibility of helping students and their own opportunity to learn from errors to overcome them. Students learning a foreign language go through five stages. First, they struggle to say what they mean. They put their ideas into sentences that almost always contain mistakes because they have their first language as their...

Hi Everyone! Teachers are on holidays, which they most deserve! Yet, more likely than not teachers will take some time of their vacation time to prepare something different for their students. With that in my mind, in this post I’d like to share with teachers some of the sites I have found on the Internet as I searched for sites with podcasts for my own students. In these sites, teachers will find good quality podcasts on different topics and levels that can be used either as listening activities or as a...

Hi Everyone! In this first posting of 2016, I want address group work. Ellis (2005) refers to Jacobs (1998), who compares the characteristics of group work with those of teacher-centered instruction.   Ten potential advantages of group activities in language instruction Advantages   Comment 1. The quantity of learner speech can increase In teacher-fronted classrooms, teachers typically speak 80% of the time; in group work more students talk for more of the time. 2. The variety of speech acts can increase In teacher-fronted classrooms, students are cast in a responsive role, but in group work they perform different...

Hi everyone! This month I’ll share the highlights from SiLL – the First International Conference on the Self in Language Learning, in Adana, Turkey last September (17th -19th, 2015). Raquel Bambirra (CEFET-MG) and Climene Arruda (FUMEC) joined me in presenting a panel on experiential research as a way to elicit self-related data. The Organizing Committee invited psychology of language learning researchers  as plenary speakers – Hayo Reinders, (Unitec, New Zealand), Jean-Marc Dewaele (University of London, U.K.); Peter MacIntyre (Cape Breton University, Canada) and Sarah Mercer (University of Graz, Austria). Below is...

Hi everyone!  Last month I discussed multilevel classrooms. This month I share some ideas to I have done in class.  Jigsaw Reading A very interesting and challenging way for students to deal with a reading passage! Preparation: Choose a reading passage. Pre-teach vocabulary and grammar. Cut the reading into 3-4 or more parts, depending on size. Make copies if you have more students than parts of text. In-Class: Distribute the parts of text among students. Each student reads their part silently to themselves. High-level students should receive the more challenging parts. Mid-level students should...

Hi! As a teaching consultant in public and private schools, I often hear teachers complain about problems in multi-level classrooms. With 30-40 students in class, they dream of smaller and leveled classes – something difficult to implement given the spacing logistics of breaking a group in three and having three teachers instead of just one for a class hour… I remind them that math, geography, art and history teachers deal with the same problem. Yet, I’m not very convincing - these other teachers do not face the foreign language barrier…. This brings...

Hi! This month I want to finish sharing with you the remaining three teaching techniques I recently got to know as I searched the Internet for innovation. The idea is to create affordances in class so that students feel compelled to learn. Below I briefly refer to remaining three teaching techniques. The previous three were the topic of last month’s post. 4. Gamification: ‘Gamification’ is another way of saying learning through play - a class procedure effective at any age since it keeps students motivated. The use of games is usually considered appropriate...

Hi! This month I want to share with you three teaching techniques I recently got to know as I searched the Internet for innovation. I wanted to provide more to my students. Although traditional teaching, with me in the lead role and students taking notes, is still important, I wanted to create affordances in class so that my students felt compelled to awaken their wish to learn. Below I briefly refer to three of the six teaching techniques I learned about. The other three will be the topic of next month’s post.   1. Flipped...

Hi Everyone! Have you ever wondered what you’d find out if you investigated your own classroom? Many English teachers may have never considered conducting research given the complexity of classroom events and the lack of accessible information on how to it. After all, research methods and results are usually only accessible to academics in university graduate courses or libraries. Knowing that access to research results not always reach teachers - the ones, in my opinion, most in need of understanding classroom phenomena, I invited former Master and Doctoral students, who had...

Hi Everyone! Have you had an English teacher who inspired you or your learning? This is the question that Gabriela Cunha and I are posing to Brazilian students of English in public and private schools. The question, originally from the research by Martin Lamb and Martin Wedell (2015)[1] from the University of Leeds, is now to be answered by Brazilian students. I explain. Lamb and Wedell conducted a comparative research study on Indonesian and Chinese students’ perceptions about their English teachers to identify the inspiring aspects that had pushed them to...