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…

Translating machines and (Language) Teaching

On January 5, 2013, the magazine The Economist published an article on simultaneous translation by computers and one of the first questions it asks readers is How long, then, before automatic simultaneous translation becomes the norm, and all those tedious language lessons at school are declared redundant? The very first thing that sprung to mind…

Differentiation

We’re all capable of learning, unlearning and relearning. We’re all capable of adapting to changes. We’re all capable of evolving and improving, just as we’re capable of acting stubbornly and simply refusing to do things differently. As people who are – supposedly – rational, we should be able to reason, assess, and make the necessary…

Guest post – Teacher Luiz Eduardo (Dudu)

Hello everyone! I know I’ve been quiet on the blog for a couple of months now, I do have some (good) reasons for that. First and foremost, this blogger got married in June, which meant a lot of hard work with planning everything, and a bit of partying afterwards. I’ve also attended and participated in…

Against the prejudice – How far can adverts go?

UPDATE: Below my post, you can read VinĂ­cius Nobre’s letter (he’s the president of Braz-TESOL) and, now, the reply that Open English has written. We did it! 🙂 —————————————- I must say I’m not particularly offended when I’m called a NNEST (Non-Native English Speaking Teacher). Perhaps I’m just being naĂŻve, but I don’t believe there’s…

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…

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 CecĂ­lia 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…