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...

O currículo tradicional de língua inglesa é geralmente organizado a partir de estruturas ou formas linguísticas. Nessa maneira de apresentação do conteúdo, o propósito do ensino de inglês é simplesmente a apreensão de um código, ou seja, o conhecimento sobre a língua. Para tanto, o ensino inicia de formas isoladas para formas compostos e apenas depois para textos e usos, ou seja, parte-se do princípio de que é preciso primeiro aprender as formas de expressão da língua, para somente depois, utilizá-la  (SCHLATTER e GARCEZ, 2012). Em uma proposta interdisciplinar,...

Interculturality is a very polyphonic word and has been used by many scholars in different ways and with diverse purposes. It is used in the Brazilian Common Core Curriculum (BNCC) which proposes an intercultural dimension and in the very recent proposal for Guidelines for Bilingual Education. The purpose of this text is to conceptualize interculturality based on scholars who defend a critical decolonizing view of interculturality (Walsh, 2010; 2018) and to connect it with our current scenario in Brazil. Walsh (2018) wrote in his book with Mignolo - “On decoloniality:...

O mês de junho trouxe, para nós que trabalhamos com Educação Bi/multilíngue, uma novidade, já outrora anunciada, uma Proposta para Diretrizes Curriculares Nacionais. Como a maioria das propostas dessa natureza, o documento foi aberto para Consulta Pública que tem, pelo menos por princípio, o objetivo de propiciar que educadores, pesquisadores, estudantes, e sociedade em geral conheçam e contribuam com as propostas formuladas pelos órgãos responsáveis. O Grupo de Estudos em Educação Bi/Multilíngue (GEEB), do qual faço parte, se reuniu para discutir as propostas das diretrizes e responder à Consulta...

Greetings, everyone! I truly hope you are all safe and sound at home with your loved ones! I also hope this post comes to you at the right moment: all of us are working from home and trying to do our best to keep learning happening and young minds active! All of us are quite exhausted from the long hours in front of a screen and the need to use resources that we were not really familiar with and adapt face-to-face lesson plans to the online environment. Yes, we’re...

Sunny afternoon in the capital of Brazil, a group of teachers awaits for the presentation of the new coursebooks. Curious eyes on the presenters, colorful boxes on the shelves and the expectation to end the day with grids and tables filled with content that would translate into a year’s worth of teaching. To their surprise, instead of handing them a book, the presenters, Pedagogical Coaches, as they are now called, give them Ipads and passwords to an LMS platform where they would have access to interactive books, planning guides...

Chaos. That's what the world is all about. We spend our whole lives trying to organize what cannot be organized. We want to predict the unpredictable. We believe we can have control over our lives but there is no control. We have been doing the same with Education for centuries. We try to put knowledge in boxes. We try to purify access to information. We want to control the amount of input and organize it in order of difficulty. Worse than that, we have been trying to standardize the...

Year: 1999. Group: Basic 1. Place: Uberaba, MG – Brasil. Seventeen-year-old Ana Carolina stepped into a classroom for the first time. Young, restless, feeling entitled by her recently acquired C2 diploma and, most importantly: raw. Fluent, for sure. After one year of isolation from all Portuguese speakers in a cultural exchange program before cell phones or the Internet were even available, the mountaneer dialect flowed as if it were her own. Scared, she left the students in class in order to catch a breath and drink some water,...

Monday, 6 p.m., the sun peeking through the blinds in the brick and mortar language school building in Brazil. The teacher enters the room carrying a bag of props, flashcards, and her tape recorder. The recorder being to her as precious as a map to a Geography teacher: “Hi, John Peter! How are you today?” asked the teacher in a high-pitched voice. “I’m fine, thanks. And you?” replied the monotoned student. The automatic, “I’m fine, too,” followed. “So… Let’s begin! Open your books to page 50,” she continued while rewinding and...

We need to be different to succeed – or to keep being successful after some time. That’s a rather upsetting idea, but it seems to be the norm when it comes to the ever-crescent and competitive market of bilingual schools. So what does ‘being different’ imply? Sometimes, it is about being bold when it comes to how two languages are taught or used in the classroom, but more often than not it is about how education is understood at a deeper level, one that is more concerned with...

What do gunpowder, tobacco, and high-performance schools have in common? If we have the Great Wars of the 20th century as our backdrop, quite a lot. At the end of World War I, Germany was trying to cope with grave social problems. The owner of a cigarette company decided to fund a new school for his workers’ kids. Roughly thirty years later, the citizens of Italy found themselves dealing with the consequences of being in the losing side of World War II. Some families in the village of...

You probably have heard of the term Glocalization, which translates the idea of thinking globally and acting locally. It seems obvious, and it doesn't seem something difficult to do. But yet we continue to find excuses not to do it. Especially here in Brazil, our culture is one where we expect changes to come from someone above us. We don't take responsibility for the things we can do to change the reality around us. We think that God is going to help us, that the new president is going to make...

In the previous post we talked about creativity, one of the fundamental values promoted by Theatre in Education. Now I would like to focus on cooperation. We could say that this is an intrinsic value that is acquired through class dynamics since students are not specifically told that the aim of an activity is to "cooperate" because that would go without saying. In Drama lessons, the teacher usually implements "drama games" based on an object, a premise, or an idea. Then the class is divided into groups and each...

Unit 3: Food. In the first exercise, the coursebook brings a set of pictures, each of them showing different food separated in groups. The image labeled with the letter “B” depicts bacon, a box of cereal, two doughnuts, a waffle, some pancakes, eggs, and a glass of orange juice. The instructions tell students to check the picture which contains breakfast food. Easy-peasy. However, they frown and take longer to do what is required from them than you had predicted in your lesson plan. In a short while, the...

Historically, Bilingual Education has had different reasons to be put into practice all over the world. Sometimes, it is the way to facilitate the gradual transition from one language to another. Other times, it is the way to bridge the gap between two languages without diminishing either of them or the cultures related to them. In Brazil, Bilingual Education, when observed in private schools, more often than not has as its aim to offer opportunities to develop language skills in prestige languages, such as English, Spanish, French, German, and...

2018, 2019… If education had a trending topic in the past few years, it would certainly be Active Learning [Metodologias Ativas, in my native Brazilian Portuguese]! The presence of Active Learning in lectures, professional development sessions, online courses, and face-to-face practices may be a result of the need the schools have to promote meaningful learning that triggers learners’ autonomy, protagonism, and active thinking. That is my bet, at least. It also seems to corroborate with present cross-curricular and interdisciplinary expectations which, in turn, help develop a more integrated curriculum aimed...

It often strikes me when there is a very emotional talk about bilingual education here in Brazil and we tend to criticise what we have been doing here compared to what is being done elsewhere in the world. My opinion is clear: adopting an international bilingual education model "as is" here in Brazil is not scalable and also not effective. That being said, it is obvious that international schools and bilingual schools that adopt some sort of international curriculum can and are very succesful most of the times...

It’s a typical Saturday at the food court and the family in line in front of you is ready to order: the youngest one talks to her mom in fluent Spanish, the middle one talks on the phone in English and replies to his mom in Spanish, while the mom mixes Spanish with English in between her lines. The cashier looks puzzled while making a proud attempt to show off a few words he has learned here and there while watching Money Heist. The world is about to...

Ken Robinson defines creativity as "the process of having original ideas that add value". A new school year begins, energies are renewed and teachers are full of enthusiasm for a new challenge ahead. It is in these moments that I always propose that creativity does not have to stop. Let us maintain the creativity we had when we were relaxed and with a clear mind, and let us not lose it as the frenzy of the year starts. I believe creativity is a fundamental pillar for teaching development, if not,...

There is a lot of talk about education in the 21st century. There is talk… that we need to embrace the 21st century and become 21st century teachers. that we need to help students learn and develop skills and competences that are necessary for the new world. that we have to do so while embracing bilingual education as part of that new world. New world. A multilingual world. Bilingual Education is not a new thing… we all know that by now. It is not a trend. It is not going away. It is a way...

Continuing with the reflection expressed in the post "Shall we go against nature" on January 22nd I would like to add an observation. Drama has an advantage over all other subjects whichis that the vast majority of students, not to say all of them, like it. Those students who are usually reluctant to participate, during Drama theyend up doing it and enjoying it. Throughout the school period from Kindergarten to Secondary, the student’s interest in Theatre and Arts vary. It is not difficult to engage children between ages 3...

Ten years ago, you were working as an English teacher at a school, and your worries were how to help students develop their productive and receptive skills. Your lesson was basically focused on reading, writing, listening, and speaking, even if you followed innovative trends, included different technologies and authentic materials. Then, something happened. You heard of CLIL. Every single aspect of your skills-based lesson changed when your coordinator, your colleagues and the publisher’s rep started to show you the integration of language and content. Everything was possible now. And you...

When children wake up the first thing they want to do is to play. Every mum and dad can assure this, especially when their children are very young.  I believe that this ‘playing’ is essential for their learning and if we focus on the ‘playing’ and guide the ‘games’, the results are remarkable. Can we transfer this ‘playing’ into the classroom? Of course we can. In fact, I believe that with Drama in Education we do it naturally. I’m aware that the classroom has their ‘rules’ and we must...

Let’s face it - after four years of either college Languages or Pedagogy - or any teaching degree, to be honest - no one is truly ready for the bilingual education market. Not a chance. And, yeah, I’m putting it in whole new category of the job market because - again - let’s face it: anyone and everyone need to specialize and get some experience in so many things before putting themselves out there in this new world of bilingual schools. Demands and needs are completely different from...

Just take a quick stroll around the town where you live. How many "bilingual education" ads do you find? From small towns in remote areas to big metropolis, it does seem that a huge number of schools have gone bilingual. But are they all the same? Do they have the same reasons for doing so? First and foremost, it is far-fetched to believe that they are all the same. There is this thing called "school culture" that should be enough in itself to tell everyone that no bilingual school...