The Challenge of embracing Challenges – part 2

The English of the teacher

It had been 8 years since I last visited London… and this last January I had the unforgettable experience of spending 2 weeks in London, studying at Bell School (Thank You, CISP!). During our stay, part of the programme was to read the paper on a regular basis and discuss current affairs so that we could better understand British culture.

It became crystal clear to me how close newspaper headlines and cultural aspects were in the UK. Also, they are famous for being witty with words! It was then that questions started to pop in my head: How will I keep up-to-date once I’m back in Brazil? How can I grasp British current affairs from abroad? How will I find the time to keep on reading British papers? And so on…

My challenge now is to manage my workload so that I find the time to improve my English, my cultural knowledge and my understanding of the world so that I can also offer my learners the best experience I possibly can!


Well, one foot and then the other!

We have the advantage of accessing papers online, so I installed an app on my mobile called UK Press, which notifies my of dozens of headlines from the papers I used to read in the UK and more! And I make a point of reading full pieces of news minimum once a day. It’s fun and brings back fond memories!

Then, why not involve learners?

I found a great website/app called inoreadera vibrant community of content curators – which allows us to choose content and get access to a wide range of pieces of news/articles on a daily basis. All we have to do is read. I hope to instil in my learners this curiosity and the need to know more about things, but in L2, so that we can share and talk about it, bringing the famous ‘real world’ into our classrooms.

As teachers, we tend to focus a lot on what we have to teach – the syllabus, and we might sometimes forget how important it is to expose ourselves to a wider range of (real) genres, spoken or written, so that we can take more informed decisions when teaching, and this is another goal I have for this year.

What about you?

How do you keep your English sharp?


Top 200 Tools for Learning 2017 [online] Available at: [Accessed 01/2018].


Lenora Haranaka

Lenora Haranaka is a teacher and teacher trainer based in Campinas-SP, Brazil. She has been an English language teacher since 1998 and currently works at Associação Cultura Inglesa São Paulo, where she has worked as a coach and mentor training novice and experienced teachers since 2014 and as an Assistant Manager since 2019. An ICELT and DELTA holder, she has presented in ABCI and Braz-Tesol conferences. Her academic interests are Continuous Professional Development, Teacher Training, Teaching Teens and YLS, Pronunciation, ELT Methodology and Leadership & Management in Education.

1 Comment
  • Ian Al meida
    Posted at 13:25h, 15 fevereiro Responder

    For the past months ( I’d say it’s been a year), I’ve started to try to achieve a more authentic English. At first, I thought that by listening to newspapers and podcasts would do the job and soon I noticed that it didn’t even scratch the surface.
    Finding the time to read newspapers is a real struggle. So I keep up with the news by listening to the newspapers’ podcasts, especially ‘The Guardian’ and ‘The New York Times’.
    As soon as I got used to listening to podcasts, I started getting to know more about them and my understanding of the world got wider. It also motivated me to read more news and articles in English now that I can keep up with current affairs.
    It has had an indirect impact on my lessons. I feel like I can guide the conversation in the classroom further than the coursebook offers. For instance, I recently taught a lesson about global warming and thanks to reading and listening to the news, I could successfully help a student to talk about the Paris agreement and provide the necessary vocabulary and chunks.

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