BrELT on The Road was great

On September 7th we had the second edition of our annual event, BrELT on The Road. An event that is possible because our thriving community longs for some face-to-face interaction. As much as we love and promise we will never leave the online space, a face-to-face event is the time we all gather to learn, develop, network and socialize. It’s when we finally have the chance to hug those who teach and learn from us.

In a cold morning, at least for three Carioca moderators — but clearly not for the Paulista one, we started the day with Bruno Andrade opening the event, followed by Mark Hancock, who talked about teaching pronunciation in a world where English is the Lingua Franca. After that, Claire Venables talked about teaching young learners and how it impacts the whole ELT industry.

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But first, let’s take a selfie!

Attendees then chose among 10 concurrent workshops that dealt with a variety of topics, such as teaching, authentic materials and the maker movement.

The coffee break was superb! Who didn’t love those pães de queijo?

Higor Cavalcante made us think about our practices as he talked about the lessons he learned as a trainer and how fundamental feedback is. Vinicius Nobre reminded us that we teachers need to be aware of our practices if we want our learners to be critical thinkers.

The next round of sessions consisted of 10 talks that also contemplated a plethora of subjects, from entrepreneurship to inclusion and representation.

We had a delicious lunch with the menu created by nutritionist Kátia Grilanda!

Closing the plenaries, our former moderator and forever diva Natalia Guerreiro talked about tretas, a word that is difficult to define in English. Natalia reminded us of how important it is to carefully consider the words we use if we want to have a safe learning environment.

The following set of sessions was a mix of talks and workshops about areas such as bilingualism, feedback and being a coordinator. We then had 6 concurrent BrELT Chats, talks and show and tells.

Time for another coffee break! Anyone else guilty of gluttony? How could anyone resist those cakes? And the queijadinhas? Heavenly…

After another round of sessions, we had pecha kuchas with Cintia Rodrigues, Ilá Coimbra, Karina Nazzari and Rubinho Heredia and Andreia Zakime. What a treat!

Eduardo de Freitas closed the event and highlighted the importance of sharing and putting the new ideas from the conference into practice. As our former moderator Raquel Oliveira says, sharing is caring – and we couldn’t agree more.

Besides giving away tickets to minority groups such as disabled and black female teachers, we decided to innovate and broadcast the plenary sessions live. We understand not everyone is able to travel to São Paulo, but we wanted this very special day to echo not only around Brazil, but the world. We will also have a BrELT Chat in which we will exchange our impressions and what we learned at BOR. Exceptionally, this Chat will be bilingual: contributions in both English and Portuguese are welcome.

Echoes from BOTR:

Click here to see the opening and Mark Hancock’s plenary and Claire Venable’s plenary.
Click here to see Higor Cavalcante’s plenary and Vinicius Nobre’s plenary.
Click here to see Natalia Guerreiro’s plenary.
Dani Hersey’s blog post: finding my tribe
Interview with Mark Hancock and T. Veigga.

The official photos will be out soon.

Thank you all for coming!

Barbara, Bruno, Eduardo, T. and Priscila.

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Raffle: Wired Sounds, a course by Troika

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Two teachers will be able to attend a Troika signature course in São Paulo!

Fill in this form for a chance to win a ticket to Wired Sounds, a mini-immersion course.

To be eligible for the prize you have to:

  • be free in São Paulo on the days of the event;
  • agree to write a blog post for BrELT about the course.

Results: July 25th, 9pm.

 

wired sounds

 

More info about Wired Sounds

In this mini-immersion, we will look at how pronunciation teaching has changed over time, which activities can be more beneficial to learners in today’s context, and how technology can enhance this learning experience, taking into account current trends, challenges and issues. Using practical examples and ideas, participants will have the opportunity to better understand how pronunciation and technology can be successfully integrated in their practice in order to help learners become more autonomous and more effective communicators.

Tutors: Catarina Pontes and Paulo Dantas

Further Information:
– 12-hour course
– Certificate for the completion of the course
– Networking time over coffee at the end of the day
– Raffle for a book and 50% scholarship in the next Troika’s Signature Event
– Full access to the articles and resources used during the course

Time:

Friday 27th from 9am to 5pm

Saturday 28th from 9am to 1pm

*20% discount to BRAZ-TESOL members in good standing
(If you are a current BRAZ-TESOL member, use the promocional code BRAZ-TESOLMEMBER when enrolling)
**20% discount for public school teachers
(If you are a public school teacher, use the promocional code PUBLICSCHOOL when enrolling)
Important: You will be asked for your BRAZ-TESOL membership number or your public school badge on the day of the event.

Calendar of ELT Events, July 2018.

calendar ofELT events (2)

Many teachers look forward the month of July.  While some plan to have some time to rest and relaxe others believe in taking advantage of few days off to learn, share and feel energized for the semester to come.

Check this month’s BrELT Calendar of ELT Events if your looking for professional development that you can include in your schedule without having to give up your precious days off and have fun!

We have a very special invitation to make:

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The BrELT Team will be presenting the following talks and workshops at the Braz-Tesol International Conference in Caxias do Sul.

Make sure you say hello to us!

Bruno Andrade (mini-course Young Learners and Teens SIG – Saturday)

Age Appropriate Pedagogy in Primary English Language Teaching

The first workshop in the Primary ELT mini course strand aims to raise awareness and foster genuinely, age-relevant pedagogical approaches for teaching English to primary children. This action packed session will be based around syllabus design which is fully congruent with primary learners’ life stages. It will also include age appropriate ways to develop learning to learn and life skills as a core part of primary English language lessons.

Creative Approaches to Learning in Primary English Language Teaching

This workshop will enable delegates to further explore the dimensions involved in primary English language teaching, whilst showcasing fresh and creative approaches. These include ways to exploit materials and practical techniques to promote discovery and curiosity among children. The focus throughout will be application to attendees’ own teaching and learning contexts, as well as plenty of takeaway ideas for the primary English language classroom.

Eduardo de Freitas (talk – Sunday 14:15):

Teaching writing: the unicorn skill.

Writing is definitely the skill we care about the least when we prepare our syllabus or plan our lessons. In this talk, I will discuss the importance of teaching writing in a meaningful way and how we can motivate our learners to write and achieve fluency in this skill. Also, I intend to give practical ideas to start working on writing asap!

Thiago Veigga (talk – Friday 15:30):

Pronunciation and teacher development: are we missing something?

Teachers often do not feel confident about pronunciation in general. The aim of this talk is to reflect on the importance of pronunciation instruction for teachers, discussing how phonology is dealt with in teacher development programs and how to improve as a teacher. We will look at English as a Lingua Franca and the way this notion may impact the teaching of pronunciation and its implications. Lastly, we will analyze the validity of some tips to improve pronunciation.

 

Using correct language when you get tired of having a positive attitude… A post by Richmond Brasil.

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. (5)

 

Using correct language when you get tired of having a positive attitude…

No matter the circumstances, I always try to find the bright side of any situation I find myself in. Everyone knows that once the curtain falls and annoying things are unveiled, it’s impossible to ignore them … from the extremely irritating habit most passengers have of sticking so close to the luggage belt that you can hardly see your luggage coming or even worse, making it very hard to retrieve your bag without hurting anyone, to cinema goers adding unwanted rustling chip bag special effects to a film set way before this consumerist society started creating so much crackling waste.  

As you may have noticed by the two examples above, I do not always win the battle in overcoming irritating circumstances around me. And I dare say that neither do our students? So, helping them acquire the language they need to express those not so light-hearted moments is, indeed, a basic necessity. That is one of the reasons why I quite like this lesson from Identities 1, by Paul Seligson and Luiz Otávio Barros, in which upper intermediate students get to learn useful expressions they would probably find hard to start using on their own.

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(expressions/ answers underlined in pink)

The short text is part of a language lesson with a clear focus on uses of which in non-restrictive clauses and, in which the expressions to convey annoyance are a secondary goal.

Notice how students have the opportunity to practice the expressions right after reading the text just by stating their opinion about the three annoying situations. At this stage, students recognise the expressions and are given the opportunity to use them, but they are not necessarily asked to do so. Still, they have to play with the expressions on their minds while reading it one more time in order to talk about it.

After this activity, students work out the rules of the main grammar topic of the lesson and practice it in a very personalised way. You can see the whole lesson here if you prefer the whole picture.

As a last activity, students are asked to classify things that drive them mad by using the same expressions from the activity mentioned above. After pre-arranging their ideas, students are invited to share and contrast things that annoy them:

The lesson was gradually built in order to create opportunities for these new chunks to become active language in a meaningful, personalised and well-structured way. Not an easy task when attempting to refine upper intermediate and advanced student’s vocabulary.

Another reason this lesson, and the whole book, as a matter of fact, can be used as an example of good vocabulary practice and in this case specifically, chunks, is that it goes in line with some generally accepted concepts in ELT.   Lindstromberg and Boers (2008) stated that:

  • Learners should meet new vocabulary in doses that are manageable for them (in this case, 6 expressions only)
  • Putting target items in context makes them easier to remember (they are first seen in a text and explored orally)
  • Using new vocabulary meaningfully and creatively (personalised practice activities)
  • Items in batches of new vocabulary should not be too similar to one another in sound or spelling.

Let’s keep in mind that regardless of how much vocabulary a student knows, it only matters if it is incorporated into speaking. According to Diaz, speaking is the skill generally taken as synonymous to achieving mastery in a language (2016). So, may we always find the best ways to help them master it!

 

Bibliography:

DIAZ, Gabriel Maggioli; PAINTER-FARREL, Lesley. Lessons learned: first steps towards reflective teaching in ELT. Londres: Richmond, 2016.

LINDSTROMBERG, Seth; BOERS, Frank. Teaching Chunks of Language: from noticing to remembering. Helbling Languages, 2008.

SELIGSON, Paul; BARROS, Luiz Otávio. Identities: Student’s Book 1. Oxford: Richmond, 2016.

 

Nina Loback is Richmond Brazil’s Academic Coordinator for Language Schools. She has a degree in Languages (UEPG/PR/BR), holds a CPE, TKT and is an ICELT holder. She has taught adults, teenagers and children for 10 years and is a frequent speaker at conferences. She is an advisory council member of BRAZ-TESOL Curitiba Regional Chapter and co-founder of Voices Sig for Women.