Learner Autonomy

P is for Personalization and Private one-to-one lessons. But what about larger groups?

A long time ago, I wrote a blog post here talking about the perks and perils of being a private teacher. At that time, I had been teaching private classes for just one year. I have mostly taught one-to-one lessons since 2017, even though I have now been a private teacher for 10 years. Although...Read More

Chat GPT: The death of writing lessons as we know them?

The fact that Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) has the potential to revolutionise education is neither theoretical nor futuristic at this point. Every year a new software is launched with the promise to shake our classroom practice to its foundation. In the last few months, the buzz has revolved around OpenAI’s latest version of the text-writing bot...Read More

Como ajudar meus filhos com a tarefa de inglês?

Peço licença aos colegas professores, mas neste texto gostaria de me dirigir aos pais e responsáveis. Recebi essa pergunta do título ao longo dos últimos anos e faço questão de dar bastante atenção a ela porque vejo essa preocupação com muito carinho. Transbordam evidências na literatura mostrando que o engajamento parental em atividades escolares se...Read More

Working with emergent language: first steps

Raise your hand if you have ever felt a tad frustrated when a student poses a question that ends up generating discussion for 15 solid minutes. “There goes my lesson plan,” you begrudgingly accept. As you become more experienced, however, you learn to appreciate those questions and start regarding those discussions as a chance to...Read More

A blast from the past: how I learned and failed to learn English through songs

“You’ve got that look again, the one I hoped I had when I was a lad…”  The familiar tune and the words I had once memorized blasted out of my phone — quite unexpectedly, I might add. I was listening to a random Spotify playlist, and out came Simply Red’s 1992 major hit “For Your...Read More

The day Glenn Greenwald came up in a conversation that was not about politics — or was it?

“What do you think of Glenn Greenwald’s Portuguese?” That question came out of the blue to me, but there I was, chatting to an air traffic controller before we started his English proficiency interview about a third person’s Portuguese language proficiency. I thought of a video I saw after the first Vaza Jato news: “Well,...Read More

Let’s Face the Music: A Song Project With Teens

Students’ real-world contact with English plays hands down a more realistic role in the development of their skills, rather than the few hours they spend in the classroom. Taking this into account, it is high time teachers worked as mediators between learners and their (desirable) daily exposure to the language. But is it enough to...Read More

4 ways to effectively motivate your students

Is it really possible to motivate students to learn English? The answer is YES! Some students have strong intrinsic motivation, they know what they want and work hard to reach it. However, most students learn English because they have to, they are learning English because of an external need and not because they want to....Read More

Using coaching-based questions to foster engagement in the classroom

In a coaching process, nothing is more effective and powerful than a coaching dialogue, profitable conversations prompted by the coach that can truly impact the coachee’s results. These compelling chats are usually guided by questions based on a coaching model such as GROW (Goal, Reality, Options and Will), for example: Goal: What is your goal?...Read More
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