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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!"

terça-feira, 24 de dezembro de 2013

What does lemon mean?

A defective product, or anything that doesn't work very well; something which breaks constantly, particularly a car.
1) Tom's new car turned out to be a lemon.
2) My new computer is a lemon; I should just throw it out the window.
A "lemon" is a citrus fruit with a tart or sour (not sweet) flavor. In the 1800's, people started using the word 'lemon' to describe people who were sour (or unfriendly). Over time, 'lemon' came to refer to anything that was defective or broken.

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.

Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement.

segunda-feira, 23 de dezembro de 2013

What's a people person?

Someone who likes being with other people and who is good at working with people.
1) Holly is a great stewardess -- she likes to fly and she's a real people person!
2) Jane is not a people person. Luckily, her job does not require her to spend a lot of time with clients.
This term became popular in the 1990s. It was first used in corporations as a way to describe friendly people who are good at sales and customer service.

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. 

Is something important missing? Report an error or suggest an improvement.

quinta-feira, 19 de dezembro de 2013

Rest in peace and we will try to get over it and move on!

I could have started this post by talking about many different kinds of warriors. I do love stories about them. No, no, this is not a text about knights or warriors, I mean, it is a post about a very specific fighter: my cousin.

If you have read until this second paragraph, you are about to understand what I meant about FIGHTER. Well, at least, you will have the opportunity to get the gist of the post because it will be displayed here for a long time, since this is certainly going to be the last one published here on Portal da Língua Inglesa this year.

I have lost a cousin to cancer very recently. In fact, he had been bravely fighting against sarcoma – four long years, just to be more precisely. I can surely say that he was a brave fighter.

I know how hard it might be to have a member of your family in need of treatment of a very serious and dangerous disease – cancer. Well, ever since we did realize it was a very serious thing to deal with, we tried everything that was possible to help him.

He was only twenty-four when he passed away last week. Looking at him and saying “everything is going to be all right” was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to say to someone (especially when you know it is not true!). It was hard enough to see him (many times) lying down on bed in a hospital. The oncologist had tried (for four years) everything he could in order to help him. Provided that he was very young to truly understand what was really happening, we tried to hide the worst news about his health for some time. Although, we knew he would eventually figure it out by himself someday. (And he did it).  

Well, I don’t want to bother anyone with this heavy history about the shots (‘injections’ if you like it) he had to get, the medicine and the like. In mean, it's terrible when all you can do is watch helplessly as someone dies - especially someone you love.

I’d rather say that I have learned something from this whole situation. I did research in order to understand cancer better. I am obviously not an expert or something like that, but I know now that this kind of thing has been more, say, usual than we think.

Watch this video and try to understand what cancer is:

Cancer will strike more than ten million people worldwide this year. It is estimated that there will be fifteen million new cases every year by 2020. World Health Organization)

As you could noticed – after watching the video – that there are many types of cancers: sarcomas, leukemias, lymphomas, carcinomas... 

I have asked this question on my profile on QUORA and a person named Geoffrey Walton, who considers himself a “single father of two amazing boys, nine and seven. UNIX ninja with degrees in American Literature”, replied to it with this beautiful history about his daddy:

My father was 74 when they told him that he had liver cancer. Two weeks later, they told him it was inoperable; that he had, perhaps, 90 days to live. A few days later, he had his first chemotherapy. He said it was terrible, and decided it would also be his last.
The doctors told him he was foolish, that chemo would prolong his life. His reply was consistent, "I will live longer, but I will feel terrible. Better is better." Their arguments were persuasive: you'll be in terrible pain, you'll be in and out of the hospital constantly, you'll need extensive medication and may be out of your mind. His reply was succinct, "I don't think so."
Dad lived 16 months; he made it one month past his 45th wedding anniversary. He went to the hospital for regular checkups, but nothing more. He never took pain meds, nor appeared to need them. He was lucid - and pleasant - until one day he fell asleep in his own bed, holding my mother's hand, and didn't wake up.
Better is better.

Having read this answer to my question: What is better in life, quality or quantity? Reminded me of my cousin and the whole thing he had to pass through. I mean, I expected something completely different from that response, but it made me feel how reassuring it was to know that even in such bad moments I could find motivation to carry on. Sometimes we all need a little extra motivation to go on – it is hard, I know, but necessary.

I could finish this last post by saying many things, but right now, I prefer to say goodbye and rest in peace, my dear friend.

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

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. 

quinta-feira, 5 de dezembro de 2013

{Joke} At the Church.

If you want to listen to this joke, (((click here)))

A man who went to church with his wife, always fell asleep during the sermon. The wife decided to do something about this and one Sunday took a long hat pin along to poke him with it every time he would doze off. As the preacher got to a part in the sermon where he shouted out ....and who created all there is in 6 days and rested on the 7th.. she poked her husband who came flying out of the pew and screamed, Good God almighty!.

The minister said That's right, that's right. and went on with his sermon. The man sat back down, muttering under his breath and later began to doze off again. When the minister got to .... and who died on the cross to save us from our sins..... the wife hit him again and he jumped up and shouted, Jesus Christ. The minister said, that's right, that's right and went on with his sermon.

The man sat back down and began to watch his wife and when the minister got to .... and what did Eve say to Adam after the birth of their second child? the wife started to poke the husband again, but he jumped up and said, If you stick that damn thing in me again, I'll break it off!


  • church - igreja
  • fall asleep - adormecer
  • wife - esposa
  • pin - pino, agulha
  • poke - cutucar
  • doze off - cochilar
  • preacher - pregador
  • shout - gritar
  • husband - marido
  • scream - gritar
  • mutter - resmungar
  • die - morrer
  • sin - pecado
  • hit - bater, atingir
  • birth - nascimento

American idioms: take a rain check.

To postpone until a later time (adiar; “deixar para a próxima”)

“I’m afraid I can’t go with you guys to the club today”, said Mark to his friends. “I’ll have to take a rain check on this one. I have a lot of notes I need to catch up on.”

“Acho que não posso ir com vocês ao clube hoje”, disse Mark aos amigos. “Vou ter que deixar para outro dia. Tenho muitas anotações para colocar em dia.”

A: “How about dinner tonight?”
B: “I’m sorry. I can’t tonight. Can I take a rain check?”

A: “Que tal jantarmos hoje à noite?”
B: “Desculpe. Hoje à noite eu não posso. Podemos marcar outro dia?”

Baseado no livro AMERICAN IDIOMS! Um guia prático e atual de expressões idiomáticas americanas com os significados e usos. De Joe Bailey Noble III e José Roberto A. Igreja.

quarta-feira, 4 de dezembro de 2013

Divulgado resultado de seleção de professor substituto do curso de Letras.

A Pró-Reitoria de Recursos Humanos e Assuntos Estudantis (PRORHA/UERN) e o Departamento de Letras Estrangeiras (DLE/FALA) divulgam o resultado do processo de seleção simplificada para contratação, por tempo determinado, de professor substituto com regime de trabalho de 40h.

Clique abaixo e veja o resultado de acordo com a apuração das notas obtidas pelos candidatos:

COMUNICADO - Resultado de Seleção

segunda-feira, 2 de dezembro de 2013

Falsos Cognatos: ENGROSS.

"8 X 8 (O OLHAR ATENTO)" - (óleo s/tela 80 X 80)

Muita gente tem enviado e-mails e mensagens pedindo um pouco mais de falsos cognatos aqui no blog. Pensando nisso, resolvi escrever de forma mais regular sobre tal tópico.

Já havia escrito aqui que escreveria somente em língua inglesa, mas vou continuar escrevendo, ainda que esporadicamente, em língua portuguesa para atingir esse público que gosta de postagens mais curtas e escritas em nossa língua materna.


Falsos cognatos são aquelas palavras que parecem ter o mesmo significado, tanto em inglês quanto em português. Também chamados de false friends (em inglês). Os falsos cognatos aparecem com bastante frequência na língua inglesa.


Nesse caso, “Engross” não significa “engrossar”. Essa palavra é empregada no sentido de “absorver ou ocupar a atenção ou tempo”.

Leiam os exemplos retirados do livro “falsos cognatos: looks can be deceiving!” De José Roberto A. Igreja.   

The thriller engrossed all our attention.
O thriller absorveu toda a nossa atenção.

Dan was too engrossed in his work to take notice of what was going on around him.
Dan estava absorto demais em seu trabalho para notar o que estava acontecendo ao seu redor.

Percebam que podemos usar o adjetivo “engrossed” traduzido como “absorto”.
(Adjetivo) que significa “concentrado em seus pensamentos; abstraído”.

Se gostou dessa postagem, clique em FALSE FRIENDS aqui no blog para ser direcionado para as páginas com mais exemplos de falsos cognatos. Curta nossa página no Facebook e fique por dentro das novas postagens do blog PORTAL DA LÍNGUA INGLESA.

That’s all for now, folks.


Bruno Coriolano. 

segunda-feira, 25 de novembro de 2013

What should the most essential skills of a good foreign language learner be?

I have been reflecting much more upon my teaching practices and beliefs. Moreover, I have been experimenting new approaches and techniques in order to make my students learn English more effectively.

I’m an EFL teacher and (occasional) translator with years of travel and language learning experience. I do have a huge passion for language learning – Portuguese, English, Spanish, and French (in the near future). Therefore, it is needless to say that I have lots of experience in teaching and learning – I have been teaching English for more than a decade and not only am I studying English, but also Spanish (okay, if it is unnecessary to say, why say it?).

At first glance, we can say that everyone can learn a new or foreign language, but students’ abilities may differ enormously depending on their background, age, beliefs, abilities… 

Some of those ‘late-coming students’ and all sort of learners – kinesthetic, logical, musical, spatial, Linguistic…
I wholeheartedly agree that everyone can learn whatever he or she wants to, but learning languages might be a real challenge for some people.

Thinking about everything I have just said, what should the most essential skills of a good foreign language learner be?
If you have anything to say about it, please feel free to write it here - whether on Facebook or the blog. 

sábado, 23 de novembro de 2013

¿Cómo es? Como describir a una persona físicamente y la descripción de tú carácter en español.

I have been talking about my experience with the acquisition and learning of, say, my third language. (Read here if you feel like it)

"The best methods are therefore those that supply 'comprehensible input' in low anxiety situations, containing messages that students really want to hear. These methods do not force early production in the second language, but allow students to produce when they are 'ready', recognizing that improvement comes from supplying communicative and comprehensible input, and not from forcing and correcting production." (Stephen Krashen)

Today, we started unit six (unidad 6, en Español) by listening to a conversation between two girls (Natalia and Celia). They were talking about Natalia’s boyfriend: “Es alto, delgado, rubio, tiene barba…” were Natalia’s words to describe him, her boyfriend (Novio, en Español).

Although Natalia and Celia have been friends for a long time, they meet each other by chance after a long time, say, without getting in touch with each other. Well, at least that’s what I could infer after listening to “¡Hola, Celia! ¿Qué tal? ¿Cómo te va?” (Noticing or perception? You guys tell me)


Natalia: ¡Hola, Celia! ¿Qué tal? ¿Cómo te va?
Celia: Bien, ¿Y tú? ¿Qué tal estás?
Natalia: Muy bien, ¿Sabes?, me caso dentro de tres semanas.
Celia: ¡No me digas! Cuéntame, ¿Cómo es tu novio?
Natalia: Es alto, delgado, rubio, tiene barba… pero mira, aquí tengo una foto.

Celia: Es muy guapo. Tiene los ojos oscuros, ¿verdad?
Natalia: No los tiene claros. La foto no es muy buena.
Celia: ¿Y qué hace?
Natalia: Es médico, trabaja en un hospital.
Celia: ¡Qué bien! Es bastante joven, ¿No?
Natalia: Bueno, tiene treinta y cuatro años…

Having listened to the (whole) conversation twice, the teacher asked us to correct the mistakes based on the prompt:

Escucha otra vez y lee estas frases. CORRIGE la información como en el ejemplo.

Celia y Natalia no se conocen. > Celia y Natalia son amigas.

A.   Celia se casa dentro de tres semanas.
B.   Se novio los ojos oscuros.
C.   Su novio es alto y moreno.
D.  Celia trabaja en un hospital.

That was the way the teacher introduced the topic. Even though she hasn’t set the context by introducing and exploring the context around the whole situation (dialogue if you like it), the lesson was quite effective. Students were engaged and acting out a role-play activity by taking the dialogue as a prompt.

After practicing the dialogue and getting instant feedback from us, students, the teacher introduced (talked about) the way people can describe others in Spanish (needless to say, but the whole class is conducted in the target language, Spanish in this case).

(Como describir a una persona: descripción física y de carácter)

The teacher provided us with some examples by showing us some pictures in the conversation (Natalia, her boyfriend, and Celia) and writing some sentences about them.

1. Es alto, rubio, tiene los ojos azules y el pelo liso.
2. Tiene el pelo rizado y corto. Es morena y bastante guapa.
3. Es morena y bastante mayor. Tiene los ojos oscuros y el pelo liso.
4. Es moreno, bajo y delgado. Tiene el pelo largo y rizado. Tiene los ojos oscuros.

 After focusing a lot on the accurate way of saying all the sentences above, students were asked to listen to another part of the conversation, but this time, it was about Celia’s sister (Celia y Natalia hablando de la hermana de Celia).

After that, the teacher pointed to some pictures on the book and asked the whole group to repeat the Descripción física correspondiente de la hermana de Celia. ¿Cuál de las imágenes es?

I found this lesson really effective and I can say that it really had students extremely focused on and willing to figure out which picture it was.

For the production part, I realized that the approach follows the PPP (presentation, practice, and production) techniques. The teacher told us to write down the way we see each other. I had to write about me and the other classmates and then read it aloud.
That’s what I got about me (I won’t expose my colleagues or the teacher here):

Soy rubio, alto, guapo y joven. Tengo el pelo largo y los ojos claros.

As a way of definitely getting positive feedback from us (whether we understood it or not), the teacher told us that we had to play what she called El juego de las veinte preguntas.

I confess that I was very curious about that game, but pretty soon I realized that she had been talking about a sort of an adapted answer-with-yes-no-questions type game in which you have to ask question that people can answer with a very simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. ¿Cuántos años tienes? (how old is (s)he?, in English) is a kind of question we were supposed to avoid because nobody would reply to it with a, say, ‘yes-no’ answer, right?  

Un alumno piensa en un campanero de clase. Los demás hacen preguntas para averiguar quién es. Sólo puede responder sí o no.

A: ¿Tienes el pelo liso?
B: No.
C: ¿Es joven?
D: Sí.
E: ¿Es Joao?
F: ¡Sí!.

I have used that kind of technique to practice WH Questions in many lessons. It is undoubtedly a very good one – especially when used to talk about people’s appearances.

Having finished the activities about people’s appearances, we were introduced to the ways of how one can describe people’s personalities.  

This activity was quite simple because it was just a matter of introducing more words (vocabulary).

The technique I used to teach myself those mentioned words, was quite simple: I read the words given and wrote two sentences about myself so that I was able to practice all the given options:

Soy tonto, serio y antipático.
Soy inteligente, divertido y simpático.

Even though I know that – at the beginning or even false-beginning levels – I have very little language ‘behind’ me, and aware of  my capacity for taking in and retain new words, structures, and concepts is still limited, I allowed myself to practice as much as I could.

Having said all above, I imagined famous people and wrote on my notebook as much sentences as I could – it might sound tiring, but very effective.  

Sandra Bullock es inteligente, divertida y simpática.
Paulo Coelho es tonto, serio y antipático.
Jo Soares es rubio, bajo, gordo, feo y mayor.
Brad Pitt es rubio, guapo, alto, tiene el pelo largo e ojos claros.

For extra practicing, the teacher asked us to write a very short text about any member of our families. Believe it or not, she was in fact starting a new topic (smooth transition): La familia. I only realized it later on.

We saw Pablo Picasso’s family tree (Cuadro genealógico de Pablo Picasso).

Apart from learning that Picasso has had seven wives, I didn’t learn much with the activity because I knew the vocabulary (Primos, cuñada, nieta, sobrina, tía, suegros, madre, padre, hermano, hijo…)  and used the same technique I used when I had to learn the whole thing in English (but there’s no genitive case in Spanish).

By the way, this very specific vocabulary for family members in Spanish is quite similar to the ones in Portuguese – my mother tongue.

In short, I would say that this class was really good and very effective. The teacher’s role was pretty important and she did a great job there. We can take it for granted that it is not easy to get students engaged on a Saturday morning, but she did well.

I will prove that after learning the second language, the third one is pretty much easier to learn than the second one.

Look at those pictures and write some sentences about their appearances. Use the words from the box: