On Native Speakerism

I’ve learned English as a foreign language. I only travelled abroad to put my English to the test after I’d been teaching it – also as a foreign language – for quite a few years. The large majority of my English teachers were also ‘non-native speakers’ (and I use the inverted commas for the same…

Quick reminder about teaching

Are you sure you’re focusing on what really matters most, or are you going to focus on the smallest part and assume that’s enough? If you think that: TESTING = TEACHING Then you also think: INFORMATION = KNOWLEDGE Which means: TEACHER = INFORMATION SUPPLIER = ENCYCLOPEDIAS & INTERNET SOURCES Which will soon lead to: COMPUTERS…

Teachers in training

Suppose you want to start teaching English. Now, suppose you have never taught English before and that you’re looking for a way to start your new career. This is the moment you will get acquainted with acronyms and abbreviations such as TEFL, TESOL, CELTA, DELTA, TTC and a couple of others. I mean, you may…

You’ve got to be a teacher to get it

I’ve always heard, even from my teachers, that teachers are crazy people, especially English teachers. If we look at it carefully, we may see why. Here’s a list that you are more than welcome to add to. What is it that only English teachers do? Only English teachers… Say COME – CAME – COME and…

The tipping point or missing the point?

Any teacher that can be replaced by a machine should be! Arthur C. Clarke (1980) Why is it that there’s still such heated berate concerning the use of computers, tablets, smartphones and other gadgets in schools? Those who know how to use such gadgets point out dozens of advantages and benefits for enabling learning. On…

What’s your PD story?

When I first started studying English, it was in an environment that shunned the use of L1 in the classroom and favoured native English speaking teachers (NESTs) to Non-NESTs (NNESTs). In my very first class, the teacher did not speak a word of Portuguese. To be honest, as far as I remember, the teacher couldn’t…

The five stages of PD for teachers

It’s unavoidable. When you first start working as an ELT teacher, you’re given some kind of training and the truth is that it’s so well delivered that you blindly follow everything you’ve been told to do. After a while, though, you realise that the things that you’ve been told to do are not as wonderful…

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….

These four walls…

This might come across as cliché to those of you who read this blog. I mean, one of the best things about blogs and twitter is that we are able to find people who are willing to share. This is the main advantage I can see in this “new” media. Many teachers do tell me…