A class, two chats, and an interview

Honestly, I hadn’t really planned to write a follow up to my previous post. However, things just seem to happen in a certain way and you have to do your best to adapt and make use of them to your advantage. I’m a strong proponent of meaningful and interesting conversation used to promote professional development. If you keep yourself open to learning possibilities, you’ll certainly see that people everywhere are dropping hints on how you can improve your game if you listen carefully. I had mentioned Jason’s participation in my class on my previous post, and students told me they enjoyed it so much that I could actually get a second guest teacher in that class. this time, it was Cecília Coelho, and we had a marvellous talk about assessment. Time was, again, an issue. Unlike Jason, who is in Australia, Cecília and I share the same timezone. Yet, our teaching schedules make it somehow hard for us to connect. I thoroughly appreciate Cecília’s effort dashing home to join the class – and I also thank the students for staying a bit longer than usual. It was definitely worth the while! 🙂

In addition to all of these wonderful co-teaching moments in my class, I’m also really happy with our #breltchat. In case you’re an English teacher in Brazil and you still haven’t heard of it, then you should pay a visit to our blog and join the conversation. #breltchat is the younger brother of #eltchat, a chat for English language teachers eager to discuss some issues we have to face on a daily basis in our profession. #eltchat takes place every Wednesday – twice! Currently, the first chat starts at 8:00 a.m. and the second one at 5:00 p.m. Brazilian time. This is a very successful chat on twitter, and 5 Brazilian English Language Teachers decided it would be a great chance for us to help Brazilian teachers develop and think about the particularities of our educational system. Bruno, Raquel, Valéria, Cecília and the one who writes you gave it a go and, fortunately, a wealth of Brazilian English teachers bought the idea and have made it a success. We hope it keeps growing from now on, and I’m sure the teachers who started participating in it won’t drop the ball now! 🙂

Anyway, our last chat was about Dogme and we decided we were going to try and interview some of the Dogmeists out there so that they could explain the concept better to teachers who still don’t know much about it. We also asked them about a couple of possibilities and suggestions that could possibly work in Brazil. Apart from Willy (interview coming up soon, hopefully) I don’t think they actually knew much about our educational system in Brazil, but they still agreed to help us think about some matters. You’ll soon be able to watch all 5 interviews: Fiona Mauchline, Luke Meddings, Scott Thornbury, Shelly Terrell, and Willy Cardoso.

Learning from a conversation? Well, I guess then these interviews are going to give you a lot to think about. On behalf of the #breltchat team of moderators, I hope you enjoy this interview with Scott Thornbury. Oh, and I hope you can get past my initial nervousness… trust me, it gets a lot better after the first answer! 🙂

I’d like to, once more, thank Scott for his participation (and apologise for my poor introduction). I’m sure this interview will be helpful to many teachers out there. 🙂

I hope you’ve enjoyed this one. All 5 interviews will soon be available at #breltchat. In the meantime…

  • Watch Bruno’s brilliant interview with Shelly here.

10 thoughts on “A class, two chats, and an interview

  1. Hi Henrick, congrats on your interview. Really useful and thought provoking, not only for us, Brazilian teachers, but certainly for teachers throughout the world. #breltchat moderators rock and I’d like to take this opportunity to express my thankfulness to each one of you, Bruno, Cecília, Henrick, Raquel and Valéria. You can be sure Brazilian teachers won’t drop the ball! 😉

    1. Hi Márcia,
      Thank you for the support. It’s good to hear the interview is useful, and I’m sure #breltchat is bound to be even more successful. Now that many teachers started participating in it, it’ll certainly get momentum. 🙂

    1. I’d absolutely love it, David! I guess the main problem will be working on the time issue. Once that’s solved, we can set the date. 🙂

  2. I’m thoroughly impressed with the interviews (even the Portuguese one with Willy–it was entrancing just to listen to you both speak)! I’ve had very little formal conversation about dogme (a teacher’s club I once belonged to discussed its principles and applications for one evening) and have only used items from Teaching Unplugged. More and more I’m discovering that my limited knowledge and understanding about it is, well, limited.

    1. Hi Tyson,

      I know exactly what you mean. The amount of information being shared by so many people who are genuinely trying to learn more smacks me on the gob all the time. The fact that we now have the chance to share what we know, and learn new things so easily is what is so entrancing, isn’t it? We could definitely go beyond the physical limits of our cities and meet people from all walks of life. I’ve been learning a lot from all of you guys, and it’s good to hear the interviews we did were somehow useful! 🙂
      Looking forward to chatting with you one of these days! 🙂

  3. I enjoyed the Scott Thornbury interview on Dogme as this is a new term for me. The communicative approach to language teaching and learning is something that I am familiar with although this interview reminded me that teaching in the classroom should not necessarily be syllabus and materials driven but rather materials light and learning based on what happens in the classroom. It means that superior management and leadership skills are required by the teacher and I believe that this means that very good questions must be asked rather than providing very good answers to those questions.

    1. Clever points! Asking the right questions, engaging your learners, remembering that they are capable of thinking and aren’t simply “empty vessels” is definitely a lot better than providing them with the right answers. The big question is how to get teachers who have always done things one way to see that change might be positive? I’ve already heard many teachers saying that they cannot go dogme in a lesson because they feel they’re not teaching. To be fair, I’ve already observed many lessons in which there wasn’t any teaching whatsoever – just conversation in class, but very little learning. Every time I talk to teachers (not only in ELT), I’m told that teachers are reluctant to change. Isn’t it funny that we want to teach our learners how to be open-minded and to welcome change, but we ourselves fail to do so? Hmm…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s