Vivian Magalhães

Ask not what the internet can do for you

When we, English teachers, think of the internet, we often tend to think about what it has to offer: unlimited information at our fingertips, ready-made materials for download, songs with their lyrics, clipart and other graphic resources, teaching ideas, podcasts, videos, tutorials, educational online games and many other resources that were unavailable when most of...Read More

The necessary balance between theory and practice in Teacher Education

The performance of Brazilian students in national and international assessment tests has been consistently low, which has led researchers to look into the reasons for the inefficiency of our educational system. A study conducted by Fundação Carlos Chagas has found that the programs offered by most universities in the area of teacher education do not...Read More

Building Learner autonomy – Part II

Last month, I wrote about the need for students to become autonomous learners, and the difficulty that most teachers face in developing such autonomy in them.  My students responded very well to the article, admitting that they hadn’t been investing as much time or effort as they should towards their goal of becoming proficient speakers...Read More

The challenge of developing learner autonomy

Robin MacClure starts her article “Unnecessary Parents” by saying that “the ultimate job of parents is to raise kids in a way so that they are not needed. In other words, parents should work themselves out of a job.” Well, I think that also applies to teachers, and especially to language teachers. Our goal should...Read More

Ice-breakers, Warmers and Fillers

Some teachers see warmers, ice-breakers and fillers as basically different ways to say the same thing. In fact, they are quite different. While ice-breakers are usually meant to help students get to know each other better, the objective of warmers is to get them ready for a certain topic or task.  Fillers, on the other...Read More

The University of Edinburgh has just proven that I was right!

Good news for teachers (and even better news for students) of foreign languages: a new longitudinal research, whose results were recently published in a journal of the American Neurological Association, reveals that bilingualism has a positive effect on cognition and may delay the onset of dementia in older adults.  The participants, who live in the...Read More

Teaching children is not a “anyone-can-do” sort of job

Trying to respond to a high demand for English instruction, English schools pop up  everywhere, without a proper control from the government in relation to  the educational background of the teachers  who will work in such schools.  Called  “cursos livres” by the Ministry of Education, they are not part of the regular school system, which...Read More
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