Cambridge English Contest for BrELT members

Nos dias 7 e 8 de julho acontece em São Paulo o SIG Symposium. Esse evento maravilhoso do BRAZ-TESOL vai contar com várias palestras dos diferentes SIGs (special interest groups) acontecendo concomitantemente.

A boa notícia é que Cambridge English resolveu dar aquele empurrãozinho exclusivo para você BrELTer participar pagando a sua inscrição para o evento! É muito fácil participar do concurso cultural que escolherá o ganhador.

Para participar, você deverá seguir os seguintes passos:

Poste uma foto sua usando um dos recursos digitais Cambridge English que você encontra neste link utilizando a hashtag  #CambridgeBTSIG! Além da foto, você deve incluir uma breve descrição do recurso e de como você pode utilizá-lo em sua aula, tudo em inglês (ex. A karaoke video with songs for YLs… Children can sing along to practise pronunciation/rhythm while having fun…). Não esqueça de incluir o link do recurso que você escolheu! E não esqueça também de ler o regulamento do concurso com atenção aqui.

A foto (mais a descrição) escolhida pelo comitê de avaliação de Cambridge como a atividade mais criativa ganhará uma inscrição gratuita para o BRAZ-TESOL SIG Symposium, em São Paulo, de 7 a 8 de julho, no Instituto Singularidades. Só serão consideradas as fotos postadas na página da BrELT no Facebook.

Essa promoção é válida de 24 de maio a 31 de maio a 7 de junho de 2017. Não perca essa chance e participe!

O resultado será divulgado na mesma página no dia 5 de junho posteriormente.

Não perca essa chance!

(Update em 29/05 para anunciar a extensão do prazo.)


#RovingBrELT: Latin American Conference for Teacher-Research in ELT by Bruno Andrade

Last weekend I had the privilege of being at the 2nd Latin American Conference for Teacher-Research in ELT which took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The event was sponsored by ARAS (Action Research Award Scheme – British Council). And it was organized by APIBA (Asociación de Profesores de Inglés de Buenos Aires) and FAAPI (Federación Argentina de Asociaciones de Profesores de Inglés).

Day 1

On Friday night we had the honor of participating in a workshop delivered by the Brazilian professors Inês Miller and Maria Isabel Cunha, from PUC-Rio. Together with their research group, Inês and M. Isabel talked about Exploratory Practice, a concept which was new to me. According to Allwright (2006), exploratory practice is a way of getting teaching and learning done so that the teachers and the learners simultaneously develop their own understandings of what they are doing as learners and teachers. First they introduced the idea of a puzzle:

“The term puzzle represents our concern for developing understandings in relation to issues of immediate interest, whether or not they are ‘problematic’ and whether or not we connect them to theory. What matters is that someone is interested enough in something to be seriously puzzled about it and so willing to work to try to understand it.” (Allwright & Hanks, 2009: 146)

Puzzles are usually formulated in the form of “Why…?” questions. (e.g: Why are some teachers reluctant when it comes to their own Professional Development?; Why do some students believe they can learn English overnight? Why don’t students do homework?).

After that, we were invited to share some of our tried and trusted activities (games, storytelling, role-plays, interviews etc) and adapt them into Potentially Exploitable Pedagogic Activities (PEPAs), which would in turn have us experience what exploratory practitioners call ‘action for understanding’.

Here are some of the things we came up with:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you are interested in learning more about Exploratory Practice, join Inés and Isabel’s group on Facebook.

Day 2

On Saturday the ARAS awardees presented either talks or posters. It was a very inspiring day. Sometimes we get so caught up on the European and American ways of doing our profession that we forget how fruitful the Latin American ELT scene is. I met teachers who invest their time and effort to transform the Latin American ELT scene and  want to give back to their community.

I had the chance to present a poster and to interview some people there. I hope you like!

In the  poster presentation I talked about the Masters Research I  have been conducting at UFRJ (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro).

The poster can be seen here:


The video is here.

BrELT interviews:


Click here to watch the following interviews:

  1. Reading Comprehension Strategies: The Neglected Tools – Teacher Viviana Miglino from Argentina
  2. Lazy or Dyslexic? – Teacher Yanilis Romero from Colombia
  3. Enriching Brazilian Public School Teachers’ Practice Through Form-Focused Communicative Activities for Fifth-graders – Teacher Fernanda Gonçalves from Brazil


If you would like to be awarded a scholarship to present at ARAS, keep an eye on their webpage! The process is simple and very fast: you have to submit an abstract and explain why you would profit from going to the conference. It seems that next year ARAS Conference will be in Colombia!


BrELT coLAB: a lesson plan on informal letters by João Pereira



When it comes to writing, we tend to focus on emphasize formal language, but what about informality? This lesson will show you how.

If you have students getting ready to take the Cambridge First Certificate, you will find João’s lesson useful. Even if they aren’t, we are sure they can benefit from the lesson.

Bio: João Pereira, based in Pouso Alegre, has been an English teacher and coordinator for roughly fourteen years. In addition to teaching mostly for exams, he has also worked as a Cambridge English speaking examiner for nearly three years.


Firstly, I tell my students that in today’s lesson we will be learning how to write informal letters. In addition,  I tell them that there are various kinds of letters in English but our focus will be to learn how to write a to a friend and a letter of application only, tasks that might  be required in part 2 of Cambridge first writing test.


  • I begin by explaining to them that a successful letter or any other piece of writing should be prepared carefully, otherwise they might not get the score they need or expect to get. I remind them of the assessment criteria we have discussed in other lessons recently and elicit from them which criteria those are. I write the criteria on the board: content/ communicative achievement/ organization and language. I briefly talk about them and show the students slide one.
  • I explain to them that despite the fact that letters can be both formal and informal (depending on the target reader) the layout conventions are always the same. I explain the layout conventions to them and point out some differences between formal and informal letters, placing emphasis on “greetings and “endings”. I draw a table on the board like the one shown below and ask the students to work in pairs sort things from slide 1into the best categories.











While students conduct the task, I walk around to classroom to provide them with help if necessary. I make the necessary corrections and hand out to them a letter that Marcella wrote to her mom. I give them 5 minutes to read the letter and then in groups of three or four, they are supposed to talk to each other about whether Marcella uses appropriate layout conventions as showed in slide 1. I allow them roughly 10 minutes todiscussit and give them another 5 minutes to report their findings to the whole class.


  • Once the discussion is over, I show them slides 3 and 4 and talk about some other differences they can find in formal and informal letters. I write some example sentences on the board to help them understand better.
  • I explain to the students that it is extremely important to pay close attention to their readership so that they can use appropriate register. They need to have a positive effect on the readership by choosing the register accordingly. I write the sentence below on the board and tell them that this sentence was in a letter I have written to my mom, I ask them to spot the mistake and to give me suggestions for improvement.


Dear mom,


I am writing to inform you how everything is going here in Spain…


  • I refer back to Marcella’s letter and in groups of three students have to think of alternatives to make her letter more informal as far as the highlighted sentences are concerned. After they have done that, I ask them to help me complete the table shown in slide 5. I might be prepared to give them further explanation as more than one alternative is possible to replace the highlighted sentences. We check answers and clear possible doubts up.


  • I tell the students that they will plan an informal letter. However, before preparing the letter itself they will have to carry out a task that consists of the following:


I tell the students we will play a game. I open the word file entitled ‘functions (informal letters)  and choose five categories, i.e. beginnings, apologies, invitations, giving news and signing off. I provide the students with sentences written on small pieces of paper, which refer to these categories, and ask them to work in groups of four to sort the short sentences into the best categories. The first group to finish the activity is the winner.


  • I show them the last slide and tell them they will read the task rubrics in silence carefully. After reading, I ask them to work in pairs take notes relevant to the task on a piece of paper. They must consider the topics below, previously looked into:
  1. Content
  2. Communicative achievement
  3. Organization
  4. Language



I ask them to talk to the other groups and decide which ideas are more appropriate or interesting to write a letter at home. They write this letter and hand in for correction afterwards. I remind them that the letter should contain from 140 to 190 words.






Thank you for your last letter

I’m sorry haven’t written for such a long time

It’s ages since I’ve heard from you.

hope you and your family are well.


Giving news

You’ll never believe that…

Listen, did I tell you about…?

This is just to let you know that…



I’m writing to apologise for missing your party.

I’m really sorry that I forgot to send you a birthday card.

I’m so sorry for not going to your party yesterday.



I’m having a party on Friday and we hope you’ll be able to come.

I was wondering if you’d like to go to the theater with us.

Would you like to go to the theater with us?


Signing off

Love, + first name

Lots of love, +first name

All the best, + first name

Best wishes, + first name



Give my regards to…

Say hello to…

Hope to hear from you soon.

Write soon!

Once again, thank you for all your help.


Marcella’s letter:

Dear Mum,

I felt obliged to write to inform you how everything is going here in Spain since I started university. Accept my sincere apologies for not writing sooner but I’ve been so busy I really have not had a suitable opportunity.

I managed to find a very nice place to live. It’s a small apartment across the street from the university. I’m sharing the apartment with a girl called Marcella who seems to be a nice person and has been living here for a year.

I have become familiar with the neighborhood and have been practicing my Spanish, which is improving considerably every day.

I hope to return home for Christmas once I finish the examinations. It will be wonderful to see all of you again. I’m feeling homesick, as you may know.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Yours sincerely,



PowerPoint Presentation


Entrevista com Luis Henrique Andrade sobre a pós-graduação da UFMG

14542558_1300554173297438_5839365795611797576_o.jpgOs BrELTers estão sempre querendo saber de cursos para desenvolvimento profissional, então volta e meia surgem perguntas sobre as diferentes especializações disponíveis no Brasil. Luis Henrique Andrade, um BrELTer muito gentil e participativo, está fazendo o Curso de Especialização em Ensino de Inglês: abordagens contemporâneas (CEI) da UFMG e nos conta sobre sua experiência por lá.

Bio: Luis Henrique Andrade é formado em Letras e possui certificados TKT, FCE e TESOL. Professor há quatro anos e examinador Cambridge KET, ele trabalha na Wings de Leopoldina, além de cursar a pós. 

1. O que levou você a decidir fazer uma especialização? 

Creio que todos nós devemos sempre nos aprimorar, aprender mais. Nunca sabemos tudo. Por isso resolvi fazer uma pós-graduação, pois seria uma oportunidade de grande crescimento profissional e que iria desenvolver muito como professor.

2. Por que você escolheu essa pós na UFMG? 

Estava procurando por uma pós que fosse online ou semipresencial. Achei a pós na UFMG e na PUC Minas. Fiz a seleção para ambas, mas optei pela UFMG pela ementa, as disciplinas e também pelo trabalho de conclusão de curso – duas unidades de um livro didático – pois é uma coisa prática e que falta na nossa formação: saber como preparar material, pois não há nenhum perfeito. Sempre há necessidades de adaptação, modificação de acordo com as necessidades dos alunos.

3. Como a pós é estruturada e quais são os critérios para aprovação?

A pós é no modelo semipresencial. As disciplinas presenciais são no período das férias – janeiro e julho – e durante o semestre temos as disciplinas online. Os critérios para avaliação e aprovação variam de professor para professor: alguns pedem seminários outros pedem prova ou trabalhos por escrito. A pontuação mínima para aprovação é de 60 pontos.

4. Quais as matérias que você cursou? 

As disciplinas cursadas foram: ensino de gramática, gêneros escritos, gêneros orais, fonética, bilinguismo, aquisição de segunda língua, tópicos especiais de ensino de língua, pesquisa em ensino de inglês, uso de tecnologia dentro de sala de aula, produção de material, pensamento crítico e letramento no ensino de inglês, e avaliação no ensino de inglês.

5. Como essa pós ajudou/vai ajudar na sua prática pedagógica? 

Como eu disse anteriormente, o teor prático da pós me ajudou e irá ajudar ainda mais na minha prática docente. Primeiro a possibilidade de elaborar meus próprios materiais e assim personalizar as aulas de acordo com as necessidades dos meus alunos, ou ainda adaptando os materiais utilizados pelo curso. Além disso, com as constantes discussões sobre pensamento crítico e letramento, tenho a possibilidade de incluir algum ponto desse nível nas minhas aulas a fim de formar cidadãos com opiniões e senso crítico. E com as discussões de como ensinar gramática de maneira mais efetiva, poder melhorar o ensino e assim ter melhores resultados.

6. Alguma mensagem que você queira deixar para os BrELTers?

Aconselho a todos que façam a pós na UFMG. Além dos professores serem excelentes e com uma dedicação extrema com o nosso desenvolvimento, possibilita a nós professores a ampliarmos nosso conhecimento para colocarmos em prática. Por ser no sistema semipresencial, não interfere em nosso trabalho e conseguimos conciliar os dois. É uma pós muito válida e o aprendizado que temos vai muito além das aulas, pois o contato com vários professores de diferentes cenários possibilita a troca de informação e experiências.

Calendar of ELT events – maio 2017



  • 20/05, 1st English Language Day, Campo Grande, MS
  • 27/05, BRAZ-TESOL TD-SIG/Goiânia Chapter: Sharing to Multiply, em Goiânia, GO





*Se você souber de mais eventos, por favor deixe um comentário ou entre em contato com os moderadores da BrELT.

**Para contribuir com eventos futuros, entre com os dados na agenda do Tyson Seburn, pois a utilizamos como referência.