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Blog criado por Bruno Coriolano de Almeida Costa, professor de Língua Inglesa desde 2002. Esse espaço surgiu em 2007 com o objetivo de unir alguns estudiosos e professores desse idioma. Abordamos, de forma rápida e simples, vários aspectos da Língua Inglesa e suas culturas. Agradeço a sua visita.

"Se tivesse perguntado ao cliente o que ele queria, ele teria dito: 'Um cavalo mais rápido!"

segunda-feira, 6 de outubro de 2014


Bom dia, prezados leitores do blog!

Imagem da internet. 

Como temos muitos professores-leitores do blog, gostaria de fazer um pequeno “levantamento”.

Tenho certeza que vocês fazem uso de materiais didáticos com várias e várias recomendações, sugestões de atividades a serem trabalhadas em sala de aula e material de apoio.

Minhas perguntas são bem simples:

Ø Qual a importância que vocês dão a GRAMÁTICA e o ensino da mesma em suas aulas?

Ø Suas aulas são basicamente aulas tradicionais, com muita explicação gramatical, ou têm espaço para outras coisas, como conversação e leitura, por exemplo?

Ø O material que vocês utilizam em sala é compatível com o tipo de lição aplicada em sala de aula e com a realidade do seu aluno?

Ø Se você utiliza livro-texto, quem escolhe o mesmo, você ou a escola?

Poderiam responder nos comentários do blog ou usando o Facebook? Obrigado! 

segunda-feira, 29 de setembro de 2014

Drilling-based activities: preparation light, student generated ways to build fluency. What’s not to like?


Drilling has certainly fallen out of favour in recent years. Strongly associated with the behaviourist approach it is often seen as non-communicative, boring, patronising…. A recent ELTChat on the subject brought up all the negatives, but also provided a long list of positive reasons for drilling. For example:

Building confidence
Helping learners get their tongues round new words
Picking up pace and getting students’ attention
Developing ability to produce (and understand) connected speech

And perhaps the key reason, for me at any rate: drilling or repetition is an important step towards fluency. Especially at lower levels, it is quite natural to rehearse (at least mentally) before tackling a speaking situation.  Repeating something helps us to ‘notice’ what we are repeating and assimilate it into our store of language. The ELTChat I referred to concentrated mostly on drilling words or single chunks. There are plenty of benefits to this, but in this post I want to concentrate on some techniques which are probably even more out of favour: drilling and repeating dialogues and narratives.

Dialogue builds

I did my CELTA so long ago that it wasn’t even called that then (!). It was also at IH in Cairo, which I rather suspect was a little behind the times in terms of materials. The result was that my initial training centred around the coursebook series Streamlines and Strategies. Lots of drilling and repetition.

One of the first techniques I learnt was a dialogue build. For the uninitiated, it goes like this: Set up the situation, using a photo (or in pre-IWB days two stick figures on the board). Elicit where the characters are, who they are, what’s happening and so on. This is often a service encounter (e.g. in a café), but can be anything you like.

Then you elicit the dialogue from the students, line by line. As you accept each line, you help learners correct it if necessary and then model the final version, with appropriate connected speech and intonation, getting the students to repeat it. You DON’T write the dialogue on the board, but do indicate where each line starts and who is speaking. You might also add question marks or little visual clues. As you go through the dialogue you keep returning to the start, getting students to keep repeating the dialogue, and thus memorising it. You can do this whole class, or divide the class into the number of characters or ask individuals to do each line. It’s good to have a bit of variety here.

Once the class knows the dialogue by heart, they can practise a little more in pairs, changing roles. You can also have a bit of fun with it by getting one of the characters to change their answers, so that the first person has to react spontaneously. (Good idea to model what to do first with lower level learners) Finally, you can elicit the dialogue once more, writing it onto the board so that the students have a clear written version. Alternatively, you could get students to come up and write it on the board, giving scope for some work on correcting spellings, missing articles and so on.

A dialogue build is a great technique to have up your sleeve for a last minute cover lesson. It’s obviously most appropriate for lower level learners, but could be done with more advanced students if the chunks of language elicited were more demanding. At the end of it, the students have memorised a whole set of (hopefully useful) chunks of language and can produce them fluently at will. Fluent speakers are essentially those who have enough chunks of language that they can stick together to keep going, so teaching chunks in this way is a real help.

It’s also an excellent activity to do with learners with low levels of literacy. I can’t understand why it isn’t an ESOL staple. You don’t need any equipment except a board and pens (great for those community halls), it doesn’t rely at all on reading and writing, it can be adapted for specific situations that learners might have to deal with (ringing for a doctor’s appointment, for example) and once it’s elicited onto the board it provides a copying activity where the meaning is already very clear (and was indeed student generated).

Alternative versions

Instead of eliciting the whole dialogue, you could give them one half or the dialogue (i.e. all that one person says) and elicit the missing responses. Then proceed as above. A good alternative for learners who can read quite well, is to start by writing the elicited dialogue onto the board. Drill as a class, making sure you are giving a good model of natural pronunciation, then ask learners to practise it in pairs. As they are practising, gradually wipe off words and lines from the dialogue. As it disappears, they have to remember more and more. Finally you can re-elicit it onto the board or get them to write it down on the board, or in pairs on paper. This could work equally well with a narrative.

Another old, but great, idea comes from Mario Rinvolucri’s book, Dictation. In this activity, you do the repeating (at least to start with) and the students listen and mime the actions. It works really well with younger learners, but if you have a lively class, adults could enjoy it too. Here’s the text (slightly adapted)

You’re standing in front of the Coke machine. Put your hand in your back pocket. Take out three 50p coins. Put them in one by one. You hear the machine click. Choose your drink and press the button. You hear a terrible groan from the machine. Clunk! A can drops down. Pick it up. Open the can. It squirts Coke in your face. Take a tissue out of your pocket. Rub your eye. Lick your lips. Take a sip. Burp!

First read the text right through, just to orientate students. Then read again and elicit a movement for each line. Get all the students doing it. Then read a third time with all the students doing all the movements.  You can make this stage fast as possible if you want a bit of fun. Then give the students a version of the text with most of it missing. They have to work together to recreate the text.

This is a form of dictogloss, but the difference is that doing the actions should help them to remember what’s missing. If they get stuck, get them to do the actions and try and remember that way. This is the stage at which they should be drilling the language themselves, as they try to recall it. You can obviously differentiate this activity by giving less of the text to more able students and vice versa. Finally you get the whole class to carry out the actions while saying the text (from memory).

All of these ideas are extremely preparation-light and student generated. They provide a way to help learners appropriate new chunks of language to their store, and the challenge of memorisation also provides interest and stimulation. Maybe it’s time for a revival?

PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.
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domingo, 28 de setembro de 2014

Conversation Strategies 101

Conversation Strategies 101


Tuesday, October 14th 2014, 11:00am - 12:00pm


Recent research has given us interesting insights into many aspects of how we communicate.  Based on research from the Cambridge International Corpus of North American Spoken English, this session from the Touchstone authors, Helen Sandiford and Jeanne McCarten, will consider the kinds of strategies speakers use to manage conversations. 
They will illustrate: 
  • what conversation strategies are (e.g. ways to show or check understanding, to start and end conversations, or to involve other speakers in a conversation etc.);
  • why we need to teach these kinds of strategies to our students and how they can contribute to fluency in English;
  • some important pointers when teaching these strategies in the classroom.
There will be demonstrations of useful strategies to teach and helpful activities throughout the presentation, meaning you will finish the session with the confidence to start teaching conversation strategies to your students.

Jeanne McCarten is one of the authors of Touchstone. She taught English in Sweden, France, Malaysia and UK before becoming an ELT writer, and is interested in applying insights from corpus research to language teaching. Touchstone author Helen Sandiford has extensive teacher and teacher training experience having spent nine years in Japan setting up English programs, and teaching in Japanese senior high schools and vocational colleges.

More information: http://zip.net/bbpHJg

sexta-feira, 26 de setembro de 2014

III Encontro “E por falar em tradução”

O Encontro acontecerá nos dias 01,02 e 03 de outubro no IEL – UNICAMP, Campinas.

Confira a programação, que está interessante e reúne as diversas áreas de tradução, com mesas redondas e oficinas.
Para mais detalhes, acesse:

terça-feira, 16 de setembro de 2014

17 Things Emotionally Strong People Don’t Do.

Once you believe you are strong emotionally, you will unconsciously act stronger than before and begin to take control over your emotional whims.

– Senora Roy

Life is a series of stories, and each one of us has a unique story to tell. Billions upon billions of stories and no two are exactly the same. If the story of your life has been filled with more sad moments than happy ones, it’s time to change that. And the best place to start is within your head.

You have the power to create the life you want. One crucial skill that will help you get there is learning how to become emotionally strong. The good news is emotional strength is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

In this article, you’ll learn 17 things emotionally strong people don’t do … so you can start creating the existence you’ve always imagined for yourself.

They don’t beg for attention.

Emotional strength means confidence, and confident people don’t need to constantly be the center of attention. They’re comfortable in their own skin.

They don’t allow others to bring them down.

Emotionally strong people ignore the haters and the naysayers. They weed these people out and surround themselves with positive people instead.

They don’t stop believing in themselves.

Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C’s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.

– Walt Disney

Soak up these amazing words from Walt Disney. Because belief is the most essential quality of emotional strength.

They’re not afraid to love.

Love is the force that transforms and improves the Soul of the World.

– Paulo Coelho

People who possess emotional strength have experienced heartbreak. But it doesn’t hold them back … it makes them stronger. Just because you’ve been hurt doesn’t mean you should shut love out of your life. Open up your heart and embrace vulnerability. The love you find will be worth everything you go through to get it.

They’re not afraid of slowing down.

Sometimes you need to take a step back and slow it down when you’ve been pushing yourself too hard. Having drive is great but not at the expense of your health and well-being. Allow yourself time for reflection and relaxation.

They refuse to be a victim of circumstance.

Being emotionally strong means refusing to make excuses. Leave the past behind you and focus on getting a little better every day.

They don’t have a problem saying no.

Saying no is one of the most important things you’ll ever learn how to do. Focus on your top priorities and say no to all the stuff that’s wasting your time.

They don’t back down from challenges.

Emotionally strong people see challenges as opportunities to grow and improve their life. Challenges happen for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.

They don’t do things they don’t want to do.

If you want to keep your emotional balance and sanity intact, do what you love. Get rid of baggage and commitments that are making you miserable.

They don’t forget that happiness is a decision.

Emotionally strong people know that happiness is a choice. They understand the things they need to really be happy. They choose a life of simplicity, productivity, and passion.

They don’t waste time.

Abraham Lincoln said, “It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Emotionally strong folks don’t waste time doing mindless crap. They live mindfully in the present, enjoying every day as if it’s their last.

They aren’t afraid to ask for help.

Every single one of the great minds in history, from Einstein to Edison, had help along the way. You can’t do it all alone, and it takes an emotionally strong person to swallow their pride and ask for help.

They don’t hold themselves back.

Self-handicapping is a common trait among emotionally weak people. What this means is you make excuses and find ways to justify your inadequacies instead of finding ways to improve on them. If you want to change something, stop holding yourself back. Just start. Small victories lead to major changes.

They don’t mind working a little harder than everyone else.
The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Soak in these poetic words from Longfellow. Put in the work, and you’ll get the results you’re looking for.

They don’t overreact to things beyond their control.

Charles Swindoll said, “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” Think about how many times a day you overreact to things that really don’t matter. When you start to feel your blood boil, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Is this really worth getting stressed out over?” Ninety-nine percent of the time, you’ll realize the answer is no.

They aren’t content with a mediocre life.

Emotionally strong people don’t settle for mediocrity. They strive to achieve greatness.

They never, ever give up.

Being emotionally strong means staring adversity in the face, learning from your mistakes, and living to fight another day. I’ll leave you with this inspiring quote from Harriet Beecher Stowe:

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

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Breaking the ice.

Submitted by Rachael Roberts on 15 September, 2014 - 09:47

When I first learnt French at school, aged about 9 or 10, the teacher insisted on giving us all French names. I was annoyed because mine was Renee (not Rachel). Who was this Renee, and what did she have to do with me? I think the idea came from the method of Suggestopaedia, and was intended to give us new French identities in which we would not feel awkward about speaking French. Can’t say it worked!

However, there is some truth in the idea that many students find it difficult to take the risk of expressing themselves in a foreign language. They can feel shy, or embarrassed. For this reason, activities at the start of a new course, often called ice breakers, are much more than just a way to have some fun and create a nice atmosphere. They can really help you to promote a level of trust and openness in the class which will encourage students to take more risks with language and with what they are willing to contribute.


Showing a willingness to reveal something of yourself will often encourage students to feel more at ease with you, and to be more open themselves.

A simple activity is to tell the students you are going to tell them some facts about yourself..but one of the facts will be false. They then have to discuss together which fact is false, and say why. After you have heard their guesses, you can tell them the truth. They can then repeat the activity in pairs or small groups.

Alternatively you could show students three personal items you carry about with you, and ask them to make guesses about you, based on these items. Again, the activity can then be repeated by the students. Another version is to ask the students to guess what items you carry in your bag (probably works better for handbags). This will encourage them to speculate on what kind of person you are, if you have a family and so on. Then you show them the contents of your handbag and explain why you are carrying these old tickets, or where you first bought this perfume etc. I love this version, because handbags are so personal that students are quite excited at the thought of getting to see what’s in there (though I have to say I do look first to make sure there’s nothing embarrassing!).


For this kind of ice breaker, you can have activities where students mingle and walk about, which can be great for getting up energy and breaking the awkward silence at the beginning, or, if your students are in fixed seats, there are plenty of activities for pairs and small groups.

Probably the most famous mingle activity is Find someone who’, which dates back to at least 1983 (Frederike Klippel, Keep Talking). Students have a list of sentences such as ‘Find someone who has six cats’ and they have to mingle around asking questions until they find the right person for each statement. These can be pre-prepared by the teacher if s/he knows enough about the students, or the questions can be more random. Another way of doing this is to get the students to write the sentences, using ‘I’d like to find someone who…’. In this way they can search for people with common interests. When the activity is finished, students can feed back to the whole class, saying who they met and what they learnt about them.

Another classic activity, which I think originates from Gertrude Moskowitch’s Caring and Sharing in the Language Classroom, is Identity Cards. Students write on a large sticker their basic information (such as their name) and also some other information about themselves, for example, three words to describe themselves, or something they do well. They then mingle and read and discuss each other’s identity cards.

Or you could try activities where students go to different corners of the room, depending on their answers to a question. For example, ‘Are you a morning person or an evening person?’ The students go right or left and then briefly discuss with the people next to them the reasons for their choice. Another version gets students to stand on a cline. This can work well with adjectives- e.g. how confident are you? (far left very confident, and far right very unconfident). You could then get them to do it again and stand where they would like to be.

If you want or need students to remain seated, a very simple activity is to ask them to find three things they have in common with their neighbour that they can’t tell just by looking (and/or three things which are different).

Or, if you have more time, or want to go into more depth, you could ask students to write down a number of questions that they would like to be asked about their life and interests. They then swap the questions with a neighbour and carry out an interview with each other. This has the great advantage that students can avoid touchy subjects and that they will probably talk at some length about what they do want to talk about.

Giving students some time to prepare before discussion usually pays off. A useful technique is to get them to draw a PIE CHART about themselves. This could represent how much of their day they spend on different activities, or what things they are interested in, with bigger slices of pie for those that interest them the most. They then show each other the charts and explain and answer questions.

Or you could ask students to draw a simple map of their life, with symbols along the way to represent milestones. This will work better if you do it yourself first, and, of course, has the advantage of introducing you to them as well.

The possibilities are endless, and, of course, you don’t have to do these activities at the beginning of a new year. They can work any time as a way of deepening the interaction between you and the students and between the students themselves.

PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-partly internet websites referred to in this post, and does not guarantee that any context on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

In some instances, I have been unable to trace the owners of the pictures used here; therefore, I would appreciate any information that would enable me to do so. Thank you very much.

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Did you spot a typo?
Do you have any tips or examples to improve this page?
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