Do conversation-driven lessons make any sense? – Part 3

“But, quiet, my fair lady. I shall now tell the tale of the brave Sir Dante. This brave knight travelled great lengths to seek his justice and help his king defeat an evil wizard who had overthrown the king and sent the princess far, far away, to a land where no one had ever returned…

Why should we take it so personally (or not?)

On her last blog post, my dear friend Cecília posed a question that may intrigue many teachers out there. Are we indeed that humble so as to concede all merits for learning for the students, and yet be as worried as one can be when a group is not doing so well? Why is it…

A class, two chats, and an interview

Honestly, I hadn’t really planned to write a follow up to my previous post. However, things just seem to happen in a certain way and you have to do your best to adapt and make use of them to your advantage. I’m a strong proponent of meaningful and interesting conversation used to promote professional development….

True Education is Timelessness (or “Beware of Fads”)

I’ve recently had the chance to read and analyse a text with some of my college students that got me thinking. Actually, ever since I heard about the idea of digital-natives and all that  goes with the idea of digital-literacy and the changes in education, I’ve been thinking about this topic (you can see what…

Journal entry – HMUN and some thoughts on pronunciation

It is customary for Brazilians to say that the year only truly starts in Brazil after our world famous Carnaval. This is a tongue in cheek remark, obviously, but I may just be getting the feeling that my 2011 is still about to begin. I’ve just returned from the US with a group of students…

Motivation – or Motive for action

What drives our actions? What are our true reasons for trying to accomplish certain deeds – from the simplest ones to the most complicated ones? And why is it that we sometimes quit when things get too complicated? What is it motivation and how does it affect our learning experiences? Brown, in his Principles of…

Rethinking teachers

Today I heard something on the radio and I had a very brief conversation in the teachers’ room that got me thinking. They were quite different things, but somehow I think they’re related. The first thing I heard was a reporter who’s in South Africa for the World Cup. He was talking about the country,…

Young learners

Just the other day, a post from Views From the White Board caught my eye. In her post, Teresa was questioning the validity of exams for young learners. I am aware that many people from the blogosphere teach young learners, so I decided to write this post to ask for some help to answer some…

I still remember…

It’s always nice to reminisce, isn’t it? I’ve recently had the chance to meet lots of my high school friends. Our class had been together from second grade on, and, obviously, there are always good laughs as we remember what we went through during our school years. We eventually get to talk about things we…

Misplaced students in EFL classrooms

I’ve already had my share of complaints and I also heard lots of teachers complaining about students who are in their classes but cannot follow what is being taught. If you teach English as a Foreign Language, you’re likely to relate to the case of the misplaced student. This is what usually happens: the student…