Inspiring English Teachers: help us identify them!

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 make an extra effort or kept them highly motivated. Their goal was to identify common traits amongst the language teachers to serve as guidance to novice and more experienced second or foreign language instructors.

Data was collected through an online survey where students nominated a teacher that had inspired them or changed their attitudes towards learning English. Questions focused on their teachers’ teaching style and on short narratives about what their teachers had inspired them to do.

Results revealed inspiring teachers as possessing a variety of qualities, including “personal and professional virtues” as well as “methodological competence [and] innovation”. In addition, Chinese and Indonesian cultures influenced that which students valued as motivational teaching in different ways. Despite cultural differences, the researchers believe that there are “universal motivational qualities” to be learned.

In last years’ Psychology-and-Language-Learning Conference (see my posting last June), Lamb asked me if I would be interested in joining forces to expand the scope of that research. I accepted the invitation and asked Gabriela Cunha, a doctoral student, to join me.

Now, we have launched the survey in Brazil. If everything goes as planned, students will accept our invitation and answer the survey until July, 31st, which is directed to public and private middle school students (over 14 years of age). They will respond 9 multiple-choice questions and 3 open questions in English or Portuguese. Our goals are: expand the literature on successful classroom English learning stories; contribute towards expanding the inspiring English teachers’ profile; identify if Brazilian inspiring teachers reveal traits different from those already identified, and contribute with a project that might lead to a global search for what inspirational/motivational teaching is like.

Help us identify the inspirational English teachers in Brazil by announcing the survey to public and private students of English (over 14 years of age).

Click on the following link:

It will be open until July 31st, 2015.


If you would like more details or information, you can contact me through my site –

I’m counting on you to spread the word!

Thank you!



[1] Lamb, M. V.; Wedell, M. (2015) “Cultural contrasts and commonalities in inspiring language teaching”, Language Teaching Research, v.19, n.2, p. 207-224.

Previous Post
Tell me know how I’m doing – the importance of feedback in the EFL classroom.
Next Post
Teaching with Instagram
Laura Miccoli

Laura Miccoli is a professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais and a researcher, consultant, and founder of Transforma Educacional – a social business to develop teachers professionally. She has authored “Ensino e Aprendizagem de Inglês: experiências, desafios e possibilidades” and “Aproximando Teoria e Prática para Professores de Línguas Estrangeiras”.

15 49.0138 8.38624 1 0 4000 1 300 0