This blog is aimed at professionals and learners who seek excellence and are tireless in learning more and more... Here you will find classroom management tips, teacher development issues, a myriad of class activities to enhance your lesson plan and useful vocabulary tips. Many thanks for your visit!!

quarta-feira, 21 de agosto de 2019

Promoting fair assessment for special needs' students

Assessment is a tricky task of teaching but when it comes to students with special educational needs, there is a vast number of aspects that have to be considered. Depending on the disability, a student may have trouble with:

- Holding a pencil

- Hearing a question clearly

- Focusing on a picture

- Recording an answer in time even when he or she knows the answer

- Concentrating on a task in the presence of other people

- Answering a question at the pace needed by the rest of the class
Traditionally, teachers have assumed that all students either have these skills or can learn them with just modest amounts of coaching, encouragement and will power. But that is not really the case for SEN's students.

So, considering the facts above how can teachers find a better assessment?
There are a number of strategies for modifying assessments in ways that attempt to be fair and that at the same time recognise how busy teachers usually are.
These strategies include:

1) Supplementing conventional assignments with portfolios. A portfolio is a collection of a student’s work that demonstrates a student’s development over time. It usually includes some sort of reflective or evaluative comments from the student, the teacher, or both (Carothers & Taylor, 2003; Wesson & King, 1996).
2) Devising a system for observing the student regularly and informally recording notes about the observations.
3) Recruiting help from teacher assistants who are sometimes present to help a student with a disability.

If you have a student with a learning disabilities, talk to your peers and principal to find the best way for assessment. Also, don't hesitate to contact to discuss and share ideas

quarta-feira, 31 de julho de 2019

The Power of Student Engagement in ELT .

Have you ever considered the power of student engagement in your classroom?
If you have, you are on the right track. But have you thought of the impact of greeting your students with a warm 'Hello' as they enter your classroom?
If you haven't.... check out this information:

* accademic engagement increases by 20 points when students are greeted at the door by their teachers.
* disruptive behavior decreases by 9% with greatings.
* on the course of a day, greetings can add 1 hour of learning to students.

Amazing, isn't it?
I wish you all a bunch of warm greetings and lots of engagement.


quarta-feira, 24 de julho de 2019

Why is reading comprehension so hard for your students?

Hi friends!!
If you or your students want to thrive on reading skills...this passage will suit you perfect. Enjoy the reading!

It is a fact that questions related to comprehension reading have now become a mandatory part of every competition and various examinations, it is used to check one’s logical ability. Also it is clear that students struggle to master reading skills, at least in Brazil. But why??
Well, in the case of English language tests and various competition exams, answering comprehension question is not an easy task and many students often wonder on “how to answer comprehension questions more effectively
There are many reasons why students feel this way while doing comprehension questions.
  • One of the main reasons is that most of the students are so familiarized with an easy level of reading comprehension questions that they easily get flustered when they see passages that have a harder vocabulary and meaning.
  • Most students fail to understand the language and hence they lose interest in studying for such answers. But in reality, with proper practice and hard work one can easily conquer comprehension questions and they can be used to gain marks easily in a competitive exam. Here are a few important tips for answering comprehension tests
  • Do not Use Outside Knowledge
  • Make logical Guesses
  • Review the Answer at least twice
  • Always read the instructions Carefully
  • Always go through the Questions First
And you? Is there an effective reading comprehension tip to share with us?

quinta-feira, 11 de julho de 2019

ESL Conversation Topics

Hi fellow teachers,
Try to imagine the following situation: you are sitting at the teachers' room doing your paperwork and the principal rushes into the room saying: "Be ready, you will have to replace ... in 5 minutes".
I am sure you know the feeling but there is no need to panick... When you have no time to plan...the best strategy is to have students talking.
If you are short of ideas I highly recommend this site:


There you will find sets of questions for a variety of topics. Really worth having a look!

quarta-feira, 3 de julho de 2019

Why using games in the classroom?

There are many reasons why games should be used in the classroom. In today's post I will focus on the most relevant ones:
1) Games portrait real life. There are RULES, OBJECTIVES and OBSTACLES.
2) Games are voluntary.
3) Games offer choices.
4) Choices have consequences.
5) Consequences offer feedback.
6) Games offer freedom to experiment.
7) Games offer freedom to fail.
8) Games offer freedom to try on different identities.
9) Games offer freedom of effort.
10) In games, participants are involved in an imaginary situation, with explicit roles and implicit rules ( Vygotski)
11) Games lead to a greater degree of self-regulation, the participants actions being determined by the rules of the game. (Vygotski) .
12) When involved in games, participants' concentration and application to the task are much greater than in academically-directed activities contrived by the teacher.

segunda-feira, 3 de junho de 2019

Tapping into motivation in ESL classes

Hi there,

Motivation will be the topic of the week. I will write from the students' perspective.

Pay attention to these 3 models of students' motivation in class. Can you see how a student belongs to a group or the other?

Deep learners respond well to the challenge of mastering a difficult and complex subject. These are intrinsically motivated students who are often a joy to teach!
  • Strategic learners are motivated primarily by rewards. They react well to competition and the opportunity to best others. They often make good grades but won’t engage deeply with a subject unless there is a clear reward for doing so. They are sometimes called “bulimic learners,” learning as much as they need to do well on a test or exam and then promptly forgetting the material once the assessment is over.Handle strategic learners by avoiding appeals to competition. Appeal to their intrinsic interest in the subject at hand. Design your assignments (tests, papers, projects, etc.) so that deep engagement with the subject is necessary for success on the assignments. Do so by requiring students to apply, synthesize, or evaluate material instead of merely comprehending or memorizing material.
  • Surface learners are often motivated by a desire to avoid failure. They typically avoid deep learning because it they see it as inherently risky behavior. They will often do what it takes to pass an exam or course, but they won’t choose to go beyond the minimum required for fear of failure.Handle surface learners by helping them gain confidence in their abilities to learn and perform. “Scaffold” course material and assignments by designing a series of activities or assignments that build on each other over time in complexity and challenge. Encourage these learners often and help them reflect on what they’ve learned and what they’ve accomplished.
Source: Ken Bain, What the Best College Teachers Do, Harvard University Press, 2004, pages 40-41.

sexta-feira, 31 de maio de 2019

How to write a formal letter for FCE?

Hi everyone!

As I said in my previous post, today I will talk about another type of writing commonly asked in FCE: FORMAL LETTER

Dear Mr/Ms (surname)  -  Dear Sir/Madam  -  Dear Sir or Madam,
Reason for writing
I am writing to …
I am writing with regard to …
I am writing on behalf of …
Asking questions
I would be grateful if …
I wonder if you could …
Could you …? Could you tell me something about …?
I would particularly like to know …
I would be interested in having more details about …
Referring to their letter
As you stated in your letter, …
Regarding … Concerning … With regard to …
I am writing to complain about …
You said … but in fact what happened …
We were supposed to stay with British families whereas we actually stayed in a guest house.
If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Please contact me if you have any further questions.
Signing off
Yours sincerely, (If you started with 'Dear + surname') or Yours faithfully, (If you started with 'Dear Sir/Madam') 
    First name + surname