Dear all, From now on, I'll write about my journey to becoming an e-moderator in order to reflect upon it. I realized the way online courses have evolved and my online teaching experiences intertwine. Thus, you'll be able to accompany me in this journey to the past and to understanding what has been going on in this field for a while now. ...

Hi Everyone! Have you had an English teacher who inspired you or your learning? This is the question that Gabriela Cunha and I are posing to Brazilian students of English in public and private schools. The question, originally from the research by Martin Lamb and Martin Wedell (2015)[1] from the University of Leeds, is now to be answered by Brazilian students. I explain. Lamb and Wedell conducted a comparative research study on Indonesian and Chinese students’ perceptions about their English teachers to identify the inspiring aspects that had pushed them to...

Students taking a course in a foreign language very frequently bring with them a world of expectations and needs – in both personal and professional contexts – that they want to be met in the classroom. Those expectations and needs, however, can many times be beyond what can be achieved within a semester of studies. It is then many times up to the teacher to help learners align their expectations and help them become more aware of what they can achieve in the short and long run, and...

[caption id="attachment_2888" align="alignleft" width="214"] Thre green-eyed monster is going to get you[/caption] Jealousy, it’s a terrible emotion but one we are all familiar with, and perhaps even a humanity defining one.  That the green-eyed monster often should rear its ugly head when we see the rich and famous gallivanting around in their Lear jets sporting their expensive Apple watches is one thing.  But it is worse, and perhaps far more intense, when it pops up because of something our friends, relatives and colleagues are doing. Unfortunately, at the moment, it...

“Teachers are the busiest professionals on Earth”.  “Teachers never stop working”. How many times have you heard statements like those above?  I bet many times. And how many times have you stopped to reflect upon your teaching practice? Have you ever done it? How?  What was the last time you’ve been observed? What was the last time you observed a friend? You may think: Why so many questions? What does it all have to do with reflective teaching? I’ve noticed that a lot has been discussed about critical thinking regarding our students...

Working in recruiting and teacher training, I came to notice that Knowledge and Skills (which we dealt with last month) may get your CV noticed, but what determines your success in your career in the end, are the two As in Donald Freeman’s KASA framework: Attitude and Awareness. A long time ago, during one of those fiery staff meetings before lesson started, the other teachers and I were trying to standardise how we would deal with a recurrent situation when someone suggested we simply used common sense. I promptly...

In my last post, I referred to Carol Dweck’s book Mindset – How you can Fulfill Your Potential to invite teachers to focus on a growth mindset in 2015 and stay away from ideas and practices that only help perpetuate a fixed mindset. My focus last month, thus, was on teachers themselves and how their mindset affects their professional growth. This month I’m going to focus on how students’ growth can be helped or hindered by teachers’ mindset, also drawing from ideas in Dweck’s inspiring book. There’s a certain...

It’s not rare to find students who are not demonstrating a high level of achievement and yet think they are doing just fine. Or, conversely, who, despite producing the required level of language for a given stage believes it to be necessary to retake all lessons again to improve more.  I thought about this as I came across two cases recently. The first, a student who was doing great at a certain level and came to talk to me about going back a level or two. She was not feeling...

A week ago the internet went crazy over a dress on a hanger. “What colors is this dress?”, people just had to know. Many people saw it like I did, white and gold. Others saw it as blue and black. Both camps came up with theories to justify not only that they were right but, more importantly, that the other group was wrong. *Sighs* In a way, colors are nothing more than an optical illusion. However, if we can vary so much on our perception of concrete objects (like a...

Last week’s cover of The Economist was “Brazil’s Quagmire” in which our economy is believed to be in its worst mess since the early 1990s with far bigger problems than the government will admit or investors seem to register.  Our currency has fallen 30% against the dollar since 2013 and inflation is rising. So it is with Brazil’s economy: the harder you stare, the worse it looks. However, the impact of this scenario goes far beyond currency exchange rates or the cover of international magazines. It reaches the...