You are a student in a classroom full of them. You are all seated in a circle and the teacher is standing in front of you. The teacher asks a question. Silence. Ok, thinking time is beneficial, you think. One minute later, silence remains, until the teacher says ‘I won’t say a word before you say it”, followed by another full minute of silence. Finally he says “if you haven’t read the text, there won’t be a lesson today. You can go home.” I do not know if...

Lately I have encountered more and more people talking about the benefits of L1 in ELT. At same time that I love it, I wonder: are we going the right way? I will not deny that I love the fact that we have started considering and enhancing the use of L1 in ELT, not only due to my personal experience as a teacher and as a learner (I have recently taken Korean and Spanish lessons for that matter), but also due to data my colleagues from Duque de...

Recently, a colleague from work introduced me to a discussion happening on the internet about whether could really prove a method works or not, or works better than another one. This discussion was very well presented in Luiz Otavio Barros’ blog. At this point, we have to turn to empirical analysis - how it is done and the data it produces. Data collection is too hard work to be ignored. We usually trust empirical data with much more decisive matters - even our lives when we take medicine...

I remember my first days as a teacher when I was afraid of every listening activity because I thought that spoken texts were too difficult for my students. But then a celestial voice told me “any listening text is possible depending on the task you assign.” That blew my mind. I also remember when I came across a more recent finding that indicated that, in many cases, students have a better performance speaking L2 if grammar clarification is supported by their L1. After both discoveries, I immediately went on...

A challenge teachers frequently face is reducing the amount of L1 used by their students in class. For obvious reasons, we all want our learners to take the most of our lessons. They also like to feel challenged and to leave the room (or wherever you teach them) feeling that they have spent an hour or so only speaking English. In addition, all of us teachers tend to believe that every minute of communication in the target language is worth the effort. These arguments make complete sense, but...