Hi! As a teaching consultant in public and private schools, I often hear teachers complain about problems in multi-level classrooms. With 30-40 students in class, they dream of smaller and leveled classes – something difficult to implement given the spacing logistics of breaking a group in three and having three teachers instead of just one for a class hour… I remind them that math, geography, art and history teachers deal with the same problem. Yet, I’m not very convincing - these other teachers do not face the foreign language barrier…. This brings...

O aumento da renda familiar ocorrida nos últimos anos aliado à crescente demanda do mercado de trabalho por profissionais com fluência em inglês têm ocasionado um grande aumento na demanda por cursos de idiomas no Brasil. Afinal de contas, para ter um bom currículo e tornar-se um profissional valorizado é essencial aprender uma segunda língua o quanto antes. Não concordam? O MERCADO ESTÁ (SEMPRE) DE OLHO A partir da intensificação do senso comum de que não se aprende uma língua estrangeira nas escolas regulares brasileiras, especialmente ao longo das três últimas...

If, like me, you have been in the field of TEFL for what I choose to call a substantial amount of time, you have probably (over)heard teachers, or even work colleagues say, "I've participated in so many seminars and conferences that I really don't see the point of keeping attending them anymore. I've seen it all...

This is the time of the year when I have to contact parents to inform  that their kids have failed their final exams. Breaking bad news --- no matter if it it doesn't come as a surprise, is just as hard for parents as it is for us teachers. That's why  we need to work through our own feelings before contacting our students' parents, especially if it hits close to home, as it is my case. Been there, done that both as a parent and as a student. With...

When my colleagues and I say we work in Aviation English, what we usually get is a mixture of awe and perplexity. Ironically, information about Aviation English seems not to travel far and wide. So here are a few initial bearings for those who wish to learn more about it. (Fingers crossed that I just might stop with those terrible aeronautical puns. Those jokes don’t fly, I think. Oops.) 1.       Aviation English is a misnomer. There are many aviation Englishes. Aviation is like a movie in that you can see the...

[caption id="attachment_3389" align="alignnone" width="640"] "Kids playing with marbles” by Tup Wanders is licensed under CC BY 2.0[/caption] This month, I want to pick up the theme of the brain and language learning and consider the controversial topic of sex differences.  There has existed a belief for some time that girls are innately better at language than boys.  Gurian (2005 in Eliot, 2009) argues that girls are up to eighteen months ahead of boys by the age of six and this has been put forward as an argument for teaching...

Com que frequência você se depara com a afirmação que dá título a este post, ou com alguma de suas inúmeras variações, especialmente no contexto da divulgação de métodos de ensino e/ou aprendizagem? No que concerne à aprendizagem de línguas estrangeiras, uma rápida pesquisa no Google logo comprova a presença dessa assertiva no discurso de boa parte das escolas nos dias de hoje (seja de idiomas, seja regular), geralmente na tentativa de explicar a sua metodologia de ensino e conquistar novos clientes: “você aprende sem perceber e quando vê já está...

[caption id="attachment_3320" align="aligncenter" width="297"] 2005_0918_174853AA by hslo CC BY-SA 2.0[/caption] I  recently came across a blog post by Cathy Moore titled 'How to respond to learning styles believers', in which she talks about the perils of debunking theories to which people have become quite accustomed and attached to over the years, but which have been shown not to be based on evidence - in this case the theory related to learning styles. I posted a link to the article on Facebook and from the ensuing response and comments, it's...

It is something of a cliché that the best teachers always learn from their students.  It has become a cliché, though, because it is true, or at least it should be true.  For example, some of the things I have learned this week include why there isn't one standard voltage for all of Brazil from a retired electrical engineer, how to do a cool magic trick from an amateur magician I realised that I like fantasy books, but hate fantasy films, while I love whodunits on the screen,...