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!!

domingo, 25 de novembro de 2018

Mirror Mirror Activity!

Hi dear teachers,

This week I was organizing some paper work and I came across an old notebook of mine. There I found a very nice activity I ysed to do with my students some 10 years ago. So I did it again and it was super cool!

Before class place on the bottom of a box a mirror.
Tell students you are going to show them a picture of a popstar and ask them to say why you admire this person. As they are goung to see their reflection....it is very funny..then you call another student and so on until they found out the person in the picture are them. Super cool!

quinta-feira, 15 de novembro de 2018

Teaching for the Future

 In order to prepare young people to do the jobs computers cannot do we must re-focus our education system around oneobjective:
giving students the foundational skills in problem-solving and communication that computers don’t have.
     By recognizing computers’ limitations and abilities, we can make sense of the changing mix of jobs in the market. It is already known that technology usually changes work by changing how specific tasks are performed.
     In contrast, all human work involves the cognitive processing of information while
computers execute rules.Much of computerized work involves complicated tasks that have been simplified by imposing structure. ...many tasks that are candidates
for computer substitution are also candidates for offshoring.
     Considering all the points highlighted above...the questions that remain are...
Q: If you're working in a school, has your current school been thoughtful about changing expectations for graduates in response to how society is changing?
Q: What are some barriers that you have come across when trying to understand the student perspective?
Q: How does your school or organization reflect? How often does your school or organization reflect?

Now it is your time to wear your leader of learning hat and share these questions to your peers and staff. Good luck!

Levy & Muname - Dancing with Robots

domingo, 28 de outubro de 2018

Warm-up for busy teachers

Hi mates,

If you are on that bad hair day and you cannot think of anything to set the mood to start the class, share this post with your students or display the collage I made with some of my favorite English memes. Just have your students telling their favorite one and say why. I've done it with some of my students and it proved to be a high energy activity. Have a try!

sexta-feira, 19 de outubro de 2018

The X-ray of successful English learners

Hi fellow teachers,

Have you ever considered how the study habits of your students can affect their level of ability and performance?
So on this post, I will share with you relevant research information about it. Researchers have categorized students into 4 different groups:
1) the weekenders: if you belong to this group, you only study on the weekends. So, keep your eyes wide open because this habit may make you lose motivation as you feel you can't learn at the speed you want to. You are probably binge studying and this does no good to your motivation and performance.
2) The 9 to fiver: if you show this study habit, you usually study at work, at those short moments you get some free moments. No good! Studying requires a specific moment of concentration and attention and your work environment is not the best place.
3) Daily students: if you take some minutes every day to study you are on the right path to succeed. You will see more positive results in your performance and that will make you feel more motivated towards learning. Beware that a 15-minute study routime is good enough! Remember, don't binge studying.
4) Daily student at bed time: according to research, students who take 15 minutes studying English at bedtime are the ones who show better performance results. Studying at bedtime is a brain-friendly habit so why not giving it a try?
Check below a graph which contrats your studying habits and your abily.

segunda-feira, 8 de outubro de 2018

CULTURE: The right pronunciation

Hi fellow teachers and students!

For today, I will talk about the pronunciation of a word I am always correcting in my students. The word is CULTURE. And this is a word we tend to use quite a lot!!!

Below, I send a link with the correct pronunciation.


sexta-feira, 5 de outubro de 2018

Lesson plans. What I planned vs. What happened

Do you know that only 8% of New Year’s resolutions are only?  41% of tasks on people’s to-do lists are never completed. 

Plans are regularly ignored or discarded as life happens. Plans don’t tell you anything except people’s intentions. But my goal today is not talking about your personal plans and resolutions. My point is to make you reflect whether your lesson plans make part of these statistical figures. So I invite you to answer the questions below:

How often are you capable of meeting your lesson plan? I hope more than 41%!!!!!!! It's advisable that teachers can accomplish their lesson plans something in the area of 80%. If you are writing your lesson plans and not accomplishing it on a regular basis....there is a couple of thing you had better take into account:

Does your lesson plan fit your students' interests and not yours?
Are you attentive to your teacher talking time? The overall TTT during a class should be 30%
Are your instructions clear enough so that you don't need to repeat them many times?
Are the group arrangements effective? Sometimes I see teachers tendind to teacher-whole group format too much. This arrangement can be very time consuming if you want everybody to have a say. 
And last but not least, disruptive behaviour... I dare say this is reason number one for teachers losing focus and energy in class...so if this is the reason for you feeling frustrated about not meeting your lesson plans needs, ask for help to find the best strategy to solve it.

I hope I shed some light on this topic for you... And remember....the reason your lesson plan is not working may not be the lesson plan itself...there are other things to take into account. 

Count on me if you need help. I hope you enjoyed the reading. 😀

segunda-feira, 1 de outubro de 2018

Levels of Fluency Explained


Many of my students have a wrong idea about what and how long it takes to be fluent. They think they will just be fluent when they achieve C2 that is mastery in the language. So my purpose here is to provide you and your students with a brief explanation on the topic.

According to this table (Common European Framework for Languages), there are six levels and there is also an expected score for Toefl and IELTS.

A1- basic user (you are studying the basic strutures of the language. Listening and speaking are limited to class situations.
A2- you already know how to communicate in the present, past and future. Your vocabulary is very limited, though. You are still a basic learner.
B1- Here you are already considered an Independent User of English. You can talk  about several topics with retrictions in vocabulary and  grammar irregularities.  Your answer to questions are short and direct. Good news: now you already pursue the minimum to work in a bilingual environment.
B2- if you achieve this level, you are  valued by employers. You can talk about several topics fluently but the vocabulary you use is still simple and can be improved.
C1- this is the level most students want to achieve. Here you are extremely valued by employers and you have what it takes to be a university student.
C2- this is mastery of the language and here you have full command of it. This level is required mostly for professional who want to be an English teacher.

My advice: never quit your studies before you achieve B2, so that you don't miss the fluency you have just acquired 😉😉😉

domingo, 30 de setembro de 2018

Pronunciation challenge activity

Hi everyone!

Challenge your students with this pronunciation activity!

1) arrange students into groups of 3 or 4.
2) Make copies or display the image below.
3) allow students sometime to search on internet the right pronunciation of the words (3 minutes)
4) students read out loud the sentence according to their pronunciation research.

When I did this activity I could observe they were more aware of the sounds while the other groups were presenting. Also, the pronunciation of some of the words was fully internalized.

sexta-feira, 28 de setembro de 2018

Dizer tremer a perna de medo em Inglês


Have you ever felt so weak because you are way too nervous or scared?
Em português dizemos que trememos a perna de medo. 😂

segunda-feira, 24 de setembro de 2018

Hi mates,

Do you know how to say "nem que a vaca tussa em Inglês? There are 2 possible ways....

When hell freezes over.....or....
When pigs fly

For example:

Are you going to swim that early in the morning?
When hell freezes over OU
When pigs fly.

Bye for now! 😉

domingo, 23 de setembro de 2018

The Benefits of a bilingual brain

Hi fellow teachers and students,

I am really into watching TED talks as much as I can and I try to use them with my students too....it goes without saying that it is necessary to see how age and level appropriate they are.
The TED talk, I will recommend is very appropriate for all students striving in the field to speak a second language. With beginners, you may use subtitles. Cheers for all bilinguals!

sábado, 22 de setembro de 2018

Extreme Adjectives warm-up

Hi mates,

I did this simple activity which does not require much preparation except for a list of extreme adjectives and a general understanding on the subject.

Procedures: students have to talk about their weekend using extreme adjectives.
This way they can enrich their vocabulary too.

Materials you will need:
Extreme adjectives are words that give extra emphasis to the subject they describe: For example, "funny" is a normal adjective expressing that something makes us laugh, but "hilarious" is an extreme adjective which shows that something makes us laugh a lot. In other words, "hilarious" means "very funny".
In most cases, it is not necessary to use "very" with extreme adjectives e.g. "This movie's very hilarious", sounds a little strange because "hilarious" is a strong enough word that doesn't require "very" to add extra strength. Here are more examples along with their meanings.

sexta-feira, 14 de setembro de 2018

The 7 ves' of an English teacher

Hi everyone!
Today I will talk about some of the characteristics that are common to those English teachers who have a passion for what they do. Any other 've' you would like to add to my list? Feel free to post your comments.

sexta-feira, 7 de setembro de 2018

Grouping students!!! Two thumbs up activity!

Hi everyone,
In my classes, students tend to sit always on the same seat which means they will always have the same people near them. That can ba a problem if you want to pair students up or group them because there will be always the same pairs or groups, right?
I have been posting on this blog several different ways of arranging students in pairs or groups and here goes a different one. I did this past week and students had plenty of fun....and....as for me...I managed to have different group arrangements!!!!

1) show students the short video where the man can nail several English accents. Link is below:
2) write on slips of paper: German Accent, Italian Accent, Spanish Accent and distribute among students.
3) tell them that when you say go...they should stand up and talk to people imitating that accent. Their objective is to find people with the same accent.

That's it dear ones! Fun, movement, learning, multiculturalism and interaction in a simple activity. Have a go! 😍

domingo, 1 de julho de 2018

Homophones....teach them in a meaninful way

Hi everyone,
Homophones are tricky in English. So why not making use of pictures to teach them in a meaninful way rather then just focusing on pronunciation.
Below you find some ideas I have used in my classes:
1) memory game
2) Find the pair
3) Making up a story.

For the whole list of illustrated homophones, click here: https://mymodernmet.com/homophones-weakly-bruce-worden/

segunda-feira, 12 de março de 2018

Can you recognize Thesaurus Syndrome?

If you came across the paragraph below. What would you think of it?

When I went to the meeting, I took the leaflets that my team had prepared because I wanted to show my colleagues which flyers our team wanted to use. We had worked hard to produce pamphlets because we were aware that another organisation had used brochures very successfully. My colleagues agreed at the meeting that the booklets that my team had prepared were appropriate for our customers.

Well, we can observe that although this writer can get his ideas across, he fails in choosing the right words, in other words, Thesaurus Syndrome.

Before using ‘thesaurus words’:
– Find a sample sentence that uses the word. Compare it with your phrase/sentence. Is your usage appropriate?
– If you see a list of words in a thesaurus, pick the one with which you’re familiar… at least you can’t go wrong!
– The best way of expanding your vocabulary is by reading. I don’t just mean Nobel Prize winning novels, Shakespeare and 18th century poetry. A scathing film review can offer as much in terms of new vocab and interesting turns of phrase. 

To conclude this post I will quote Stephen King: “Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.”  

That's food for thought, isn't it?