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!!

terça-feira, 30 de agosto de 2011

How good is your SMS English?

How good is your SMS English? Try to read the sentences below:

I wntd 2 go hm ASAP, 2C my M8s again. ( I wanted to go home as soon as possible to see my mates again)
IDTS!! ( I don't think so)
2day, I cam bk 2 skool. (Today I came back to school)
I ws vvv brd  ( I was extremelly bored)

Would you like to send an SMS in English? Here is a list with useful characters and their meanings:
  • & - and
  • 0 - nothing
  • 2 - two, to, too
  • 2DAY - today
  • A - a / an
  • B - be
  • B4 - before
  • BC - because
  • BF - boyfriend
  • BK - back
  • BRO - brother
  • BT - but
  • C - see
  • D8 - date
  • DNR - dinner
  • EZ - easy
  • F8 - fate
  • GF - girlfriend
  • GR8 - great
  • HOLS - holidays
  • HV - have
  • L8 - late
  • L8R - later
  • M8 - mate
  • NE1 - anyone
  • PLS - please
  • PS - parents
  • R - are
  • SIS - sister
  • SKOOL - school
  • SMMR - summer
  • U - you
  • WR - were
  • A3 - anyplace, anytime, anywhere
  • ASAP - as soon as possible
  • B4N - Bye for now
  • BRB - I'll be right back
  • FYI - for your information
  • HAND - have a nice day
  • HRU - how are you
  • IDTS - I don't think so
  • JK - just kidding
  • KOTC - kiss on the cheek
  • LOL - laughing out loud
  • LTNS - long time no see
  • MU - I miss you.
  • NP - no problem
  • RUOK - are you ok?
  • THNQ - thank you
  • U4E - you forev
  • XLNT - exellent
4 MR info go 2...for more information go to: http://www.ego4u.com/en/chill-out/curiosities/sms-english

sexta-feira, 26 de agosto de 2011

Expression of the week #4

Do you know how to say " não queime meu filme" in English? Check this out...

Don't salt my game!
Don't cramp my style!

terça-feira, 23 de agosto de 2011

10 hints to become an emotionally intelligent teacher!

" The emotions that teachers display both consciously and unconsciously can significantly enhance or inhibit student learning " ( Powell & Powell, 2010)

The term Emotional Intelligence(EI) was coined in 1990 and popularized by Daniel Goleman. Emotionally intelligent teachers are active in their orientation to students. They are resilient in responde to negative stress and less likely to overwhelm themselves with pessimism and strong, negative emotions. An emotionally intelligent teacher learns and applies emotional intelligence skills to improve:

1) physical and mental health by gaining knowledge/ techniques to break the habit of emotional reactivity (stress management)
2) communication in personal and work relationships (assertion)
3) ability to manage anxiety and improve performance under pressure (anxiety management)
4) ability to understand and accept differences in others and diversity issues (empathy)
5) ability to plan, formulate, implement effective problem solving procedures in stressful situations (decision making)
6) ability to positively impact, persuade and influence others (leadership)
7) ability to direct energy and motivation to accomplish personally meaningful goals (drive strenght)
8) ability to manage time to meet goals and assignments (time management)
9) flexibility and positive attitude towards changes.
10) self esteem and confidence by learning specific emotional Intelligence skills promoting a positive personal change.
And, of course, the top hint is being aware of the fact that becoming an emotionally intelligent teacher is a journey and a process, not an arrival state or end!

For further reading go to:

http://www.naeyc.org/files/tyc/file/TYC_V3N4_Kremenitzer.pdf ( very good article for very young learners teachers!!!!)


Powell, O (2010). Becoming an emotionally intelligent teacher.

Justice, M (2005). Emotional Intelligence in teacher education and practice.


sexta-feira, 19 de agosto de 2011

Expression of the week # 3

This week I will share with you two expressions I've just learnt:

Clique: panelinha (grupo fechado). E.g.: That clique at work is driving me crazy!

Flat soda: refrigerante sem gas. E.g.: Drinking flat soda can ease an upset stomach. ( NY Times)

Expression of the Week #2

eyepopper: something or someone visibly astounding.

source: http://www.world-english.org/

For further practice on slangs go to: http://www.world-english.org/slangquiz.htm

quarta-feira, 17 de agosto de 2011

What's your classroom management profile?

Answer these 12 questions and learn more about your classroom management profile. The steps are simple or answer this same quiz at:

* Read each statement carefully.

* Write your response, from the scale below, on a sheet of paper.

* Respond to each statement based upon either actual or imagined classroom experience.

* Then, follow the scoring instructions below. It couldn't be easier!

1. = Strongly Disagree

2. = Disagree

3. = Neutral

4. = Agree

5. = Strongly Agree

(1) If a student is disruptive during class, I assign him/her to detention, without further discussion.

(2) I don't want to impose any rules on my students.

(3) The classroom must be quiet in order for students to learn.

(4) I am concerned about both what my students learn and how they learn.

(5) If a student turns in a late homework assignment, it is not my problem.

(6) I don't want to reprimand a student because it might hurt his/her feelings.

(7) Class preparation isn't worth the effort.

(8) I always try to explain the reasons behind my rules and decisions.

(9) I will not accept excuses from a student who is tardy.

(10) The emotional well-being of my students is more important than classroom control.

(11) My students understand that they can interrupt my lecture if they have a relevant question.

(12) If a student requests a hall pass, I always honor the request.

 Each shape represents one classroom management style. To score your quiz, add your responses to statements 1, 3, and 9. This is your score for the authoritarian style.

Statements 4, 8 and 11 refer to the authoritative style.

Statements 6, 10, and 12 refer to the laissez-faire style.

Statements 2, 5, and 7 refer to the indifferent style.

The result is your classroom management profile. Your score for each management style can
range from 3 to 15. A high score indicates a strong preference for that particular style. After you have scored your quiz, and determined your profile, read the descriptions of each management style. You may see a little bit of yourself in each one.

As you gain teaching experience, you may find that your preferred style(s) will change. Over time, your profile may become more diverse or more focused. Also, it may be suitable to rely upon a specific style when addressing a particular situation or subject. Perhaps the successful teacher is one who can evaluate a situation and then apply the appropriate style

Finally, remember that the intent of this exercise is to inform you and arouse your curiosity regarding classroom management styles.

The classroom management styles are adaptations of the parenting styles discussed in Adolescence, by John T. Santrock.


The authoritarian teacher places firm limits and controls on the students. Students will often have assigned seats for the entire term. The desks are usually in straight rows and there are no deviations. Students must be in their seats at the beginning of class and they frequently remain there throughout the period. This teacher rarely gives gives hall passes or recognizes excused absences. These type of teaches aren’t found in online schools very often. You’ll
probably see more of them in boarding schools. Often, it is quiet. Students know they should not interrupt the teacher. Since verbal exchange and discussion are discouraged, the authoritarian's students do not have the opportunity to learn and/or practice communication skills.

This teacher prefers vigorous discipline and expects swift obedience. Failure to obey the teacher usually results in detention or a trip to the principal's office. In this classroom, students need to follow directions and not ask why.

At the extreme, the authoritarian teacher gives no indication that he\she cares for the students. Mr. Doe is a good example of an authoritarian teacher. His students receive praise and encouragement infrequently, if at all. Also, he makes no effort to organize activities such as field trips. He feels that these special events only distract the students from learning. After all, Mr. Doe believes that students need only listen to his lecture to gain the necessary knowledge.

Students in this class are likely to be reluctant to initiate activity, since they may feel powerless. Mr. Doe tells the students what to do and when to do it. He makes all classroom decisions. Therefore, his style does little to increase achievement motivation.

One Middle-school pupil reacts to this teaching style:

I don't really care for this teacher. He is really strict and doesn't seem to want to give his students a fair chance. He seems unfair, although that's just his way of getting his point across.


The authoritative teacher places limits and controls on the students but simultaneously encourages independence. This teacher often explains the reasons behind the rules and decisions. If a student is disruptive, the teacher offers a polite, but firm, reprimand. This teacher sometimes metes out discipline, but only after careful consideration of the circumstances.

The authoritative teacher is also open to considerable verbal interaction, including critical debates. The students know that they can interrupt the teacher if they have a relevant
question or comment. This environment offers the students the opportunity to learn and practice communication skills.

Ms. Smith exemplifies the authoritative teaching style. She exhibits a warm and nurturing attitude toward the students and expresses genuine interest and affection. Her classroom abounds with praise and encouragement. She often writes comments on homework and offers positive remarks to students.

This authoritative teacher encourages self-reliant and socially competent behavior and fosters higher achievement motivation. Often, she will guide the students through a project, rather
than lead them. 
A student reacts to this style:
I like this teacher. She is fair and understands that students can't be perfect. She is the kind of teacher you can talk to without being put down or feeling embarrassed.


The laissez-faire teacher places few demand or controls on the students. "Do your own thing" describes this classroom. This teacher accepts the student's impulses and actions and is less likely to monitor their behavior.

Mr. Jones uses a laissez-faire style. He strives to not hurt the student's feelings and has difficulty saying no to a student or enforcing rules. If a student disrupts the class, Mr. Jones may assume that he is not giving that student enough attention. When a student interrupts a lecture, Mr. Jones accepts the interruption with the belief that the student must surely have something valuable to add. When he does offer discipline, it is likely to be inconsistent.

Mr. Jones is very involved with his students and cares for them very much. He is more
concerned with the students' emotional well-being than he is with classroom control. He sometimes bases classroom decisions on his students feelings rather than on their academic concerns.

Mr. Jones wants to be the students' friend. He may even encourage contact outside the classroom. He has a difficult time establishing boundaries between his professional life and his personal life.

However, this overindulgent style is associated with students lack of social competence and
self-control. It is difficult for students to learn socially acceptable behavior when the teacher is so permissive. With few demands placed upon them, these students frequently have lower motivation to achieve.

Regardless, students often like this teacher.
A Middle School student says:
This is a pretty popular teacher. You don't have to be serious throughout the class. But sometimes things get out of control and we learn nothing at all.


The indifferent teacher is not very involved in the classroom. This teacher places few demands, if any, on the students and appears generally uninterested. The indifferent teacher just doesn't want to impose on the students. As such, he/she often feels that class preparation is not worth the effort. Things like field trips and special projects are out of the question. This teacher simply won't take the necessary preparation time. Sometimes, he/she will use the same materials, year after year.

Also, classroom discipline is lacking. This teacher may lack the skills, confidence, or courage to discipline students.

The students sense and reflect the teacher's indifferent attitude. Accordingly, very little learning occurs. Everyone is just "going through the motions" and killing time. In this aloof environment, the students have very few opportunities to observe or practice communication skills. With few demands placed on them and very little discipline, students have low achievement motivation and lack self-control

According to one student:

This teacher can't control the class and we never learn anything in there. There is hardly ever homework and people rarely bring their books.

Mrs. Johnson is a good example of an indifferent teacher. She uses the same lesson plans every year, never bothering to update them. For her, each day is the same. She lectures for the first twenty minutes of class. Sometimes she will show a film or a slide show. When she does, it becomes a substitute for her lecture, not a supplement. If there is any time left (and there always is) she allows students to study quietly and to talk softly. As long as they don't bother her, she doesn't mind what they do. As far as she is concerned, the students are
responsible for their own education.

terça-feira, 16 de agosto de 2011

How good are you at Phonetics? Should teachers be knowlegable about it?

There is no exact reply to this question. Maybe the best answer is less than a phonetician and but more than your students! A corollary of this formula is "do not tell your students all that you know about pronunciation'. By doing so you would only burden (or bemuse) them. The same can be said about grammar. Now, let's check how knowledgeable you are about it!

1)How many letters are there in the English alphabet?
2)How many sounds are there in British English?
3)How many sounds are there in American english?
4)Is sound /s/ voiced or voiceless?
5)What is the name of the most common vowel sound in English?
6)What sound might this teacher be describing: point the front of your tongue towards the roof of your mouth. Use your Voice. A)/f/ B)/r/ C)/n/
7)What sound might this teacher be describing: hold a small piece of paper in front you lips. The paper will move for one of the sounds, but not the other. A)/s//z/. B)/k/ /g/. C)/p/ /b/
8)Which of the words contains a diphthong? A)cat b)make C)week


1) 26
2) 44
3) 40
4) voiceless/ unvoiced
5) schwa
6) /r/
7) /p/ /b/
8) make

segunda-feira, 15 de agosto de 2011

5 interesting things you should know about English.

1) The word "queue" is the only word in the English language that is still pronounced the same way when the last four letters are removed.
2) Of all the words in the English language, the word 'set' has the most definitions!
3) "Rhythm" is the longest English word without a vowel.
4) "Almost" is the longest word in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order.
5) A dot over the letter “i” is called a TITTLE.

source: world-english.org

terça-feira, 9 de agosto de 2011

What are successful teachers like?

The teachers I admire most are those who remain intellectually curious and professionally vital both inside and outside the classroom for decades. They avoid stagnation at all costs. There are six qualities I feel contribute most to a successful, durable, and happy teaching career:

1. Successful teachers hold high expectations:When teachers believe each and every student can soar beyond any imagined limits, the children will sense that confidence and work with the teacher to make it happen.
2. They think creatively: They seek ways to give their students a real world application for knowledge, taking learning to the next action-packed level. Think tactile, unexpected, movement-oriented, and on top of all…student-oriented!
3. Top teachers are versatile and sensitive: The best teachers live outside of their own needs and remain sensitive to the needs of others, including students, parents, colleagues, and the community.
4. They are curious, confident, and evolving: They have strong core principles, but somehow still evolve with changing times. They embrace new technologies and confidently move forward into the future.
5. They are imperfectly human: They understand that teachers don't just deliver curriculum, but rather the best teachers are inspiring leaders that show students how should behave in all areas of life and in all types of situations. Top teachers admit it when they don't know the answer. They apologize when necessary and treat students with respect.
6. Successful teachers emphasize the fun in learning and in life: The teachers I admire most create lighthearted fun out of serious learning.
Let’s get started then…Now it’s your turn to reflect on your role as a teacher and decide which qualities should be more developed. Even the most successful teachers have to start somewhere!

segunda-feira, 8 de agosto de 2011

14 commandments for a enjoyable grammar class!!!!!

1) the teacher should really know the grammar point and, more importantly, WHEN and WHERE that grammar point is used in real life.
2) Before introducing the grammar point, build schema. Show the grammar in use, DO NOT tell.
3) Give examples from authentic information.
4) Keep it simple, then expand.
5) Students do not need to know everything at once , one step at a time.
6) Show the grammar point from different student's angles.
7) Students often acquire language and language patterns faster when interacting.
8) Alternate having students practice the grammar point actively and passively.
9) NEVER lecture about grammar rules unless you are teaching Linguistics.
10) Avoid giving answers unless no student can answer or figure it out.
11) Let students discover, show, discuss, compare, self-correct, error correct!
12) Avoid editting students' speech.
13) Make sure everything you use is real, relevant and in a context that is meaningful.
14) Be kind when you correct a student and double check if it is really necessary.

For further reading on this topic go to: http://www.schooloftesl.com/publications/Denny_WAESOL09.pdf

sexta-feira, 5 de agosto de 2011

Expression of the week #1

fat hangover

The horrible feeling after indulging on too much food, similar to the hangover of alcohol. Fat hangovers have almost all of the same effects of regular hangovers. Fat hangovers, however, usually occur right after eating or when going to sleep.
Jimi has a fat hangover from today's food party. He's vomiting all over the sheets and has a major head and stomach ache.

Source: urbandictionary.com
Did you know that 80% of English speakers are not native and only 4% of English conversation is among native English speakers? Watch this vídeo to find out some interesting facts.