Speaking and Spoken Language

Will the world ever live as one?

“We live in a world we have not yet learned to look at” Marc Augé (Photograph taken at The Beatles Story, Liverpool)  We are living in a world in which we are being constantly bombarded with information about everything, from funny memes to world politics. We are often under the impression that we know and...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

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

What does ‘good English’ even mean?

“Your English is so beautiful.” – I sometimes hear, and I promise you I have a point in writing this, which is not that I’m a Leo (although I am). In fact, I’ve always been a bit reticent about those compliments about my English language proficiency, especially when they come from laypeople. I mean, we...Read More

Investigating the impact of technology to improve learning experiences

 Joseph Pine II and James Gilmore’s article Welcome to the Experience of Economy has on its opening page the following statement: “As goods and services become commoditized, the customer experiences that companies create will matter most.” (Pine and Gilmore, 199:97) and much in  the same way, it is a positive experience  that learners also seek in...Read More

How misheard lyrics can help your learners listen better

Do you have students that complain they can’t understand the listening tracks until you let them read the transcripts? The solution could be in Richard Cauldwell’s work, which has been brought to my attention by my dearest Higor Cavalcante. The author of Phonology for Listening and of the forthcoming A Syllabus for Listening, Cauldwell did an...Read More

Building automaticity: a short story

Last January 3rd, my husband and I were driving back home from the beautiful state of Minas Gerais. Days before, during our stay in the effervescent Belo Horizonte, the capital city, we had met a very interesting twenty-something Japanese young man in the hostel. His name is Goro and he’d been living in Brazil for...Read More

Speaking: how much of “controlled practice” is actually “contrived practice”?

[This is a reflection; I am not here to give you answers nor do I have any. I would like to pick your brain about something that has been bothering me for long.] The first time I went to Argentina was in 2010. Getting there, my former boyfriend, having learned a little of the language...Read More

Oops! A lesson on embarrassing stories

If you are suffering from Novemberitis and need a comical interlude or just an idea for a lesson, here’s an integrated-skills lesson plan for B2 learners. The topic is embarrassing stories  and students will read about it to get in the topic, listen to a celebrity telling her own stories and talk throughout. The main...Read More
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