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My third piece of advice is to cultivate a sense of empathy - to put yourself in other people's shoes - to see the world from their eyes. Empathy is a quality of character that can change the world. Barack Obama Empathy is 'the art of stepping imaginatively into the shoes of another person, understanding their feelings and perspectives, and using that understanding to guide your actions'. (Krznaric, 2014) Because of the many online groups we are part of, it's much easier to find ourselves in situations where our empathy is...

“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, I find his pronunciation a little difficult to follow.” “Yes, it’s heavy.” “Especially because we’re not used to listening to a foreign accent in Portuguese, I think.” “That’s true. But you can understand him, right?” he shot at...

“If you want to master something, teach it. A great way to learn is to teach.” Richard Feynman - theoretical physicist This was Edutopia’s 24th of June Facebook post which was shared as a “tip” on my Instagram stories on the same day! I wrote: This is my motto, and it is, it has been like that since I can remember. When I first started teaching, back in 2004, I remember I had a major problem with inversions. Yes, me, the now called ‘inversion lover’. When I started teaching advanced...

Lately I have encountered more and more people talking about the benefits of L1 in ELT. At same time that I love it, I wonder: are we going the right way? I will not deny that I love the fact that we have started considering and enhancing the use of L1 in ELT, not only due to my personal experience as a teacher and as a learner (I have recently taken Korean and Spanish lessons for that matter), but also due to data my colleagues from Duque de...

Em nosso último post, falamos sobre o Ensino Híbrido, de sua repercussão no meio educacional e dos equívocos que costumam surgir quando de sua definição. Agora, vamos no aprofundar em seus modelos considerados sustentados, ou seja, aqueles que não exigem uma mudança institucional para que a utilização do Ensino Híbrido se efetive. Além disso, eles se integram à sala de aula presencial, que ainda é a modalidade mais  ...

Students’ real-world contact with English plays hands down a more realistic role in the development of their skills, rather than the few hours they spend in the classroom. Taking this into account, it is high time teachers worked as mediators between learners and their (desirable) daily exposure to the language. But is it enough to just tell students to do something at home, such as “listen to songs in English more often” or “watch films and series with original audio and English subtitles”? We don’t think it is. So,...

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor”. These are the words I live by, in many aspects of my life. Obviously, I seek peace of mind and happiness and believe me, I know how to cherish these moments, and get the best of them. So what do I mean by this old saying which steers most of my decisions in life? Let me try to explain by briefly telling a story. If you know me, you are aware of my complete lack of abilities to read maps. I am...

Most adult students complain they don't have time to study English at home and because of that, they can't improve as much as they would like to. With a little bit of effort and focus, it's possible to change this mindset and reach more satisfying results. In the book The Miracle Morning, author Hal Elrod defends the idea that there is no such a thing as a 'morning person' and anyone can be productive at the break of day, if 1) they really want to and believe they can...

We need to be different to succeed – or to keep being successful after some time. That’s a rather upsetting idea, but it seems to be the norm when it comes to the ever-crescent and competitive market of bilingual schools. So what does ‘being different’ imply? Sometimes, it is about being bold when it comes to how two languages are taught or used in the classroom, but more often than not it is about how education is understood at a deeper level, one that is more concerned with...

As the title may reveal, the language is in constant change, no one owns it and everybody does. Therefore, we can all play with it as we wish. Can we? While some of us stand as the grammar police to correct tests, written tasks, posts on Facebook or so many other things people say and write around the world, many of us (also) fight to help learners better communicate in a world where English is frequently used as a lingua franca. Today I propose a discussion on priorities...