Hi Everyone!   As expected, the 1o Fórum de Profissionalização Docente, at Universidade Estadual de Londrina was intense (see last month’s post).   Five round tables gathered Brazilian teachers and researchers to discuss: (1) “History: Language teaching, formal education, labouring conditions and representation”, (2) “Public Educational Policies: perspectives in different levels and contexts”, (3) “Education for Research: Tradition and (Des)continuities”, (4) “Linguistic Proficiency and teachers’ professionalization” and (5) Ethics: Principles for Research and Teaching”. Participants signed the Carta de Londrina, which I transcribe below, given its importance to Brazilian foreign language teachers.   CARTA...

Hi Everyone!   Spring begins in September – nature’s renovation season – perfect to start projects and put new ideas forth.   I expect to stir debate in the 1o Fórum de Profissionalização Docente, at Universidade Estadual de Londrina (Sept. 29th-30th), after presenting an innovative approach to teacher development.   Formação continuada refers to formal education, resulting in certificate, master or doctoral degrees. Educação continuada is directed to public school teachers. PUC-SP offers Programa de Formação Continuada para Professores de Inglês (Celani e Collins, 2009[1]); UFMG is responsible for EDUCONLE (Dutra e Mello, 2013[2])...

Hi everyone! This month I address a difficult topic – shame. Shame is a tabooed emotion. Yet, teachers and students commonly mention shame and shameful experiences. For teachers, the question is: do you contribute to the transmission of shame? Can we experience healthier teacher-student interaction: one marked by dignity rather than shame? Shame is painful and expressed in body language, as blushing, sweating or the lowering of the eyes or face. “A feeling of shrinking such as one could ‘sink through the shame’, a desperate desire to hide oneself” (Fuchs,...

Hello everyone! This month, I’d like to share some of the results of a dissertation that investigated, through classroom observation and interviews, the oral narratives of four public and private-school teachers. Carolina Lima[1] wanted an answer to this difficult question: what underlies the decisions teachers’ make? In academia, making decisions or choosing a course of action is expressed with a fancy word – agency. In Applied Linguistics, its most recurrent definition is the socio-culturally mediated capacity to act, which means that our actions are modulated by the socio cultural environment...

Hi everyone! Going to conferences is tiring but also refreshing. Tiring because submitting papers, filling out forms to leave the country and all the money to be invested can make you give up before you decide to go. But, when you face the paperwork and get there, it’s actually invigorating. Conferences provide the opportunity to meet old friends, make new ones, share what we’re doing, get to know what the big people are thinking and have an idea of the direction the field is taking. But my favorite pursuit...

Hi everyone! I was wondering about what I would share with you this month and, as I was rereading an old article, it came to me: group work. Some teachers, used to teacher-fronted classes, resist promoting group work afraid of losing control and of students learning something “wrong”. If you are one of them, remember that learning is not an overnight phenomenon. On the contrary, it is developmental and it takes long. The fact is that group work has been extensively investigated[1] and its advantages greatly outnumber the eventual exposure...

Hi everyone! Today the focus is on a difficult experience for students – participating in role plays. Research[1]  shows that role-play experiences reveal an array of interpretations that may disclose important information for teachers. The data comes a question that asked how the task of preparing, performing and watching role-plays of classmates becomes a learning experience. Ana Esther: We were working on our role-play while classmates presented. So as I wanted to go up front, I didn’t pay much attention to my classmates’ presentations. Cristina: The first thing I observe is...

Hi everyone! Today I address a common teachers’ concern – indiscipline. Research[1] shows that students’ indifference is related to unchallenging teaching practices, to which students negatively react, starting conflicts, such as indiscipline. As a consequence, indiscipline impairs the development of the group because teachers decide refrain from implementing communicative activities not to lose control of the discipline. The experiences below represent the worst conflicts three experienced teachers   (professionals for more than 10 years) had to deal with in public, private schools and language institutes. Luiza: It happened when I was pregnant...

Hi everyone! Have you ever wondered about classroom experiences? About how can they bring an expanded understanding of the teaching and learning process? Starting today, I`ll be contributing with posts on classroom language learning experiences because they can provide a lot of information about what goes on between teachers and students as well as a holistic perspective of the process of teaching, learning and evaluating – the three most common reasons for bringing people to a language class. Every month, I’ll post excerpts of students’ or teachers’ narratives. Selections will...