I was recently invited to speak about my experiences as an international teacher to an audience of fellow Brazilian teachers. The lecture, organized by my former School of Letters: Language, Linguistics and Literature at PUCRS and held during an annual event called EnELLE, where teachers discuss the experiences and challenges of the field, happened last night. I shared the stage (via Skype) with Ms. Natali Scolari, also an English teacher and sworn translator in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil.

I spoke about our educational philosophy at AES, and also about the key qualities and attitudes necessary to teachers and learners of foreign languages in the 21st century: interest, curiosity, passion, motivation, growth mindset, teachers as co-learners, facilitators and inspirers. In the end, I discussed the instructional strategies and learning theories I have been using in my EAL classes and how that relates to this new learning mindset.

Natali and I discussed the difference in our educational settings and how, at international schools, our main language goals surround reading and writing, but in Brazil, students and parents express concerns about learning how to effectively use oral communication. We came to the conclusion that, for language learning to happen smoothly and become a lifelong skill, interest and curiosity are at the core of our practice. It is our job, as educators, to honor our students’ needs and go that extra mile, in search of the sparkle in their eyes.

I felt honored to have been considered and am thankful for the attention of those who attended! Here’s the presentation I used, which is in my mother-tongue, Portuguese.

Aos colegas de Letras: ficarei feliz em responder as suas perguntas por email. Desejo sucesso a todos!

Showing 3 comments
  • Natali Scolari

    Gitane, thank you for sharing your experience with me as well as your insights on teaching English as a second language. It was my pleasure to have had this amazing opportunity, I hope we can keep in touch in the near future. Cheers from Brazil!

  • Heloísa

    Gitane, thank you so much for yor enlightening talk! Wish you plenty of success in your thesis and hope to share more ideas with you in a near future!! Abraço gaúcho!


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