This is, in fact, my first experience at an IATEFL event. I have been to BRAZ-TESOL and BRELT events, however, the IATEFL is quite different. You see names from all over the world, talking about their teaching experiences in Japan, in Nigeria, Uganda, etc and the verdict is all the same: we need to improve the teachers’ training so the students' experience gets better. You get to socialise, take pictures, post them on Instagram. You get to write about the event for blogs. There are so many things to...

One of the current buzz words in education is collaboration. From kindergarten to doctorate learners, many teachers claim to develop collaboration with their groups. I have recently discussed the matter with a group of teachers working in different contexts (language institutes, primary school, undergraduate courses) and the understanding of the concept of collaboration seems blurred at times, especially when taken as a synonym to work together. In our classrooms, many of us are used to asking learners to work in pairs, in groups, to compare answers, to solve a puzzle....

A challenge teachers frequently face is reducing the amount of L1 used by their students in class. For obvious reasons, we all want our learners to take the most of our lessons. They also like to feel challenged and to leave the room (or wherever you teach them) feeling that they have spent an hour or so only speaking English. In addition, all of us teachers tend to believe that every minute of communication in the target language is worth the effort. These arguments make complete sense, but...

When I was teaching teenagers, I frequently discussed online safety.  Cyberbullying, phishing scams and the typical 419 Nigerian prince scam were among our class topics and we would laugh hard at the absurd grammar errors in the spam email letters. However, I have recently learned that the gross grammar errors and the far-fetched stories featured in the 419 letters are actually meant to attract the most vulnerable and gullible and to repel those who are less likely to fall for a scam. So, it seems that scammers are...

So, February and March have arrived, and with it groups have been assigned to many teachers around Language Schools. Let me tell you about my groups! I am so happy with what I have got, specially because I have been studying hard to deal with young teenagers, and this semester seems like the perfect opportunity to apply what I have been learning around. There’s this one group in particular which I am over the moon with, and they are the main topic of my post today! I believe what...

We hear about CPD, the acronym for Continuous Professional Development, all the time. Although CPD is not only about taking courses, they are certainly a prototypical concept and the number of courses aimed at teachers has been increasing steadily, or at least this is the impression I have. When it comes to courses, one of the most common questions we hear is “Is this or that course worth it?” or “Should I do this course or not?” The answers, however, are definitely not as simple as the questions....

The other day I was talking to an acquaintance who has a kid that goes to a language school to study English. As this acquaintance knows I am an English teacher, she started opening up to me about her feelings towards her child’s studies and she stated that she “did not feel like her daughter was actually learning English”. When I asked why, she said that she had the impression that her daughter would not be able to get by in case she had to speak English on a...

While deciding on the theme for my February post, I thought of the growing wave of intolerance, prejudice, hate crimes, etc., especially in Brazil, and I decided to write about Peace Education and ways in which we can implement peace education-focused instruction into the daily lives of regular schools in Brazil. Before giving you some practical ideas, let’s clear up two basic concepts or kinds or peace:  negative peace and positive peace. But what is the difference? The concept of negative peace is the generally spread concept of peace most...

In these times of fierce competition in the education market, if you work for an ELT institute or a school, it is not enough to be a great teacher and focus only on teaching a good class. In order to be a valued and valuable professional, there are many things you can do inside and outside the classroom to guarantee the perpetuity of your institution and, consequently, of your job. But what are these behaviors? What can you, teacher, do to help the institution you work for thrive?   Show...

The academic year is just around the corner and every now and then we tend to start the New Year facing some challenges and the kind. Being an educator is not an easy task, dealing with stressful situations such as routine, and, to add insult to injury, many of us will have to perform a juggling act, e.g. work in different schools, in order to make ends meet. Looking for perfection should be the main aim, right? It is important, however, to bear in mind that there is no...