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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...

Apart from my social and family life, which I totally cherish, I’ve dedicated the last thirty years of my life to professional and intellectual development. I have the highest degree that one can formally obtain – a doctorate degree. I have published blog posts, book chapters and articles. I have written two books - maybe not as many as I would have liked to but enough to make me proud, due to my busy professional life. I have presented in countless professional events, volunteered in teaching associations, etc.,...

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....

Dear educator, You may think that your institution owe you something, like offering you proper professional development opportunities, but this is rarely the case. In fact, educational institutions have so much in their plates that they can barely scratch the surface of designing consistent, powerful PD development programs for their Academic and Admin staff. Considering this scenario and the fact that you are in charge of your own learning, don't outsource PD to anybody. Take hold of it, grab it, really, and invest your time, money and energy to get...

Ken Robinson defines creativity as "the process of having original ideas that add value". A new school year begins, energies are renewed and teachers are full of enthusiasm for a new challenge ahead. It is in these moments that I always propose that creativity does not have to stop. Let us maintain the creativity we had when we were relaxed and with a clear mind, and let us not lose it as the frenzy of the year starts. I believe creativity is a fundamental pillar for teaching development, if not,...

There is a lot of talk about education in the 21st century.   There is talk… that we need to embrace the 21st century and become 21st century teachers. that we need to help students learn and develop skills and competences that are necessary for the new world. that we have to do so while embracing bilingual education as part of that new world.   New world. A multilingual world.   Bilingual Education is not a new thing… we all know that by now. It is not a trend. It is not going away. It is a way...

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...

As a teacher, I have often resorted to different methodologies and activities to make students more interested in my class. However, lately I have been curious about the learning processes of a language and I have been eager to understand in depth how especially teenagers go through such processes. Consequently, the following question has popped up: what if we can boost students’ language acquisition by sparking something in their brains? Much has been studied and said about neuroscience and how the brain takes in a language, but I have...

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...