Brazilian English is beautiful by BrELT

#accentpride – we are proud of it

TEFL Equity Advocates

The following video has been produced by BrELT (Brazil’s English Language Teachers), a Facebook community that fosters collaborative professional development among Brazil’s ELT professionals. The message is clear: “We are here. We are Brazilian. Deal with it.”

“Who are you talking to, though?” you may wonder.

Other Brazilians, believe it or not. Sadly, we needed to reaffirm our pride in being who we are not to the world, but to our fellow citizens.

Recently, a highly qualified Brazilian English teacher with a successful YouTube channel has been abused by a countryman saying she shouldn’t be recording because she’s from Brazil. Another famous Brazilian YouTuber said learning from native speakers is more cost-effective. In several other YouTube channels, Brazilians have mocked household names because of their accents in English.

What’s being revealed by the comfortable anonymity of internet comments is only the tip of the iceberg. Native-speakerism runs deep…

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Ilá Coimbra tackles the native v non-native teacher debate

Worth reading post by Ila Coimbra – #brelt

BrELT - Brazil's English Language Teachers

Whether we like it or not, the distinction between native and non-native teachers is often made. Ilá Coimbra tactfully dealt with this thorny issue for the latest Braz-TESOL Newsletter, a great reading material which is only accessible to members (speaking of which, are you a member of Brazil’s biggest English language teacher association?). She now brings this discussion to our blog and reminds teachers they need to work on their language proficiency, a topic which will also be discussed in our next BrELT webinar.


Is it a myth that students prefer native speakers?

So there we are, in the middle of the teachers’ room, or of a conference or of a hanging out with fellow teachers, when the 6-letter word comes up: native. Friendliness and kindness give room to strong arguments on how much better non-native English speaking teachers (NNESTs) can be when compared to native English speaking teachers…

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When less is more! A lesson taught by a child.

Hello there,


photo credit:@Martinwhatson

Another day, I was in class with my students when one of them said something like “Oh, come on, Teacher! no more homework, I have many stuff to be done this weekend” and he continued telling me his errands. When he finished, I told him “wow, what a weekend! hum, let’s do something, at the end of the class we talk again, ok?”.

This group was about 14 students, their age 10-11 years old, full of extra activities besides english class. During one of their moments in the class, I sat and stared at them and, it was the moment that I realized  –“It is pretty hard to be a child today”. They have to study for exams and tests, football, ballet lessons, swimming, gym, therapies. Their parents pushing them to be brilliant, successful and on…

Well,  my mother enrolled me at school I was 2 years old. So, I can only remember my school routine when I was 5 years old, it was drawing, singing, playing…  That time, I mean in the 80’s, I had 5 subjects, including music education (I started playing an instrument around 7 years old) but it was just that. However, when I take a look on my students agenda, it is something to worry about. They spend more hours doing things than playing around with their friends. Maybe, that is why some children are too stressed out and losing their childhood.

However, some people might say “who are you to say that?” Ok, I am not psychologist but before being a teacher, I am a mother of two children so that I started to look around my kids life and their routine, and I felt guilty – sincerely, too guilty. My daughter, poor girl, she “does” more things than I do. She has activities during the whole week, even at the weekend. That’s awful! She is just 8 years old.

Moreover, there is pressure all over the place, starting in our home, school, friendship and society. If your kid is not in a football team, he is out! or if your girl is not in a piano or ballet classes, the same feeling

Thus, I decided to talk to my daughter, and asked her How does she feel about her routine? Her answer it was astonishing  “mom, you have to slow down, if you work less, you will be happier”. That Subliminal Message was a warning to me.


When she told me that, I was leaving home to travel to Europe. I kept this on my mind for about 2 weeks. During these 2 weeks, she was out of her activities. So, she just went to school (no extra activities, english class and gym).  Meanwhile, my mother was monitoring her and keeping me update about everything.

When I got home, the first thing that she told me “mom, you’re not gonna believe it. I had the best time of my life. Please, tell me when you’re going to travel again and, when you travel, please Can I do the same thing?”

OH, MY GOD! I was full of “saudades” (the most beautiful word in portuguese) what it means, I miss them with all my heart and soul and, when I got home, she wants me to travel again! Something was totally wrong with my kids. I cried a lot. I blamed myself for it some days. I have questioned myself since then. I stopped to reflect my kids’ excessive routine – they have to get up so early to do many activities everyday and also the school exam time were making my child sad, not motivated and bored.

With all these questions on my head, I remember my students. “They are a pretty stressed-out generation” we (parents, teachers and society) are raising children to become adults full of frustrations, anxieties, insecurities, afraid of failure, depressive and on. And we must stop and reflect now. According to Lord Richard Layard study about “emotional health in childhood” is the key to future happiness, I am rethinking some attitudes with my students and specially with my kids.

Although I cannot change the educational system that over testing and pushing them all the time, helping my students not being overwhelmed with their routines might be one of the alternatives to engage them using creativity, imagination during their classroom activities and also with their homework to smooth their daily tasks.


I believe that motivating and engaging our students to express what they feel in ludic activities might bring them satisfaction on doing their duties without pressure, what in my opinion is the best way to flow the learning process. On the other hand, making students to focus on things that they do not like or do not believe, it is a waste of time for both side (teachers and students).


With all these questions from students and also from my child, I understood what they are saying …

‘the secret of happiness is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less’. Socrates

That’s my new route…



Next stop, 49TH IATEFL – some reflections of a memorable conference.

Hello There,

I would like to share with you, how it was my first time at Iatefl two weeks ago.

Well, it is a mix of feelings, that it will be so tough to describe into words, but I will try my best.

First of all, I had to fight against some fears. Some of you know how I panic traveling by plane. It is something bigger than myself ( Not the plane itself, but the fear of flying). I did some therapies, meditation, medication and whatever. However, my desire to attend the conference was stronger than my fear, so that I bought the tickets. I had all support from my family and friends and, I said to myself “May God be with me”.

Why would I be afraid of flying? I kept this on my mind until the day that I flew to Paris, where I stayed for 2 days and, I had some great things to do there. One of them, I visited Paris again and also, I attended a workshop about English in French culture at British Council – France where I met some Teachers not only from France but also from other countries. It was just amazing! They shared with me their expectations on French teaching context and, I shared mine as well.


Besides I had this nice meeting in France. I was looking forward to meeting my dearest friend Teresa who was waiting for me in London to go to Manchester, where our encounter at the Euston Station was hilarious, anyway…

The day has come. I was there at the 49th IATEFL Conference in Manchester full of expectations and no fear to meet my PNL friends, attend some talks that I have been waiting for so long and make new friends.

I learned so many good things – from Using videos in my class  to Overcoming challenges for continuous professional development.
Of course I would like to attend other talks and workshops, but I could not do so. Thus, little by little I am catching up with the recording, blog posts on British Council site.

Being at the Conference, It was my wow moment! Many things to read about, amazing posters and a lot of food for thought – relationship between school and parents, inclusive education, teaching English in difficult circumstances (so close to my teaching context), use of photos, videos, poetry, storytelling and a very funny moment to teach pronunciation and on.  Phew! All of them really worthwhile!

These talks have opened my point of view to adapt the activities presented within my context and also will create an enviromnemt of sharing and learning with my students. That is what I am always looking for – ideas, creativity and innovation with simplicity.

By the way, I would like to thank all the presenters, very inspiring all talks I have been to but in special Mercedes Viola who raised awareness about Inclusive Education an extreme issue for our field today.

And how about networking? I had a memorable time meeting my PNL friends that I have been talking for years and, hanging around, laughing, hugging them was incridible. In times of untrustworthy friends on social media, our friendship is the proof that the “fair” use of internet can contribute for everlasting friendship, sharing and caring relationship with real good people.

And there was another reason for being at the IATEFL – BrELT  (BRELT – Brazilian Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) is a group of teachers in Brazil discussing issues about ELT, EFL, PD so that we were at the IATEFL as a rover reporter posting photos, sessions links, interviews and on. Today BrELT has  5,638 members with great moderators – Bruno Andrade, Raquel Oliveira, Natalia Guerreiro, Rose Bard and Priscila Mateini. I am so proud of being part of BrELT and I learn every day with them. 

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and about the city? Manchester City you really suprised me, good food, beautiful places to sightseeing, football and, full of nice music (Oasis, Stone Roses,The Smith and on…)

and what the future holds to me next year? Without a doubt, I will be back next year in Birmingham.

So, I had the time of my professional life there and I hope see you all soon again…


Ted Talk :

fotos: personal files.

Let’s light it up blue…


Hello There,

Today is a special day for many parents, relatives, friends and also teachers around the world. It is the World Autism Awareness day. Unfortunately, Autistic children have faced the melancholic and the “blue” side of this day. Some of them are fighting against prejudice, high-cost in treatments and a real inclusive education.

We are raising awareness of autism all over the world, to show that 1 percent of the world population has autism spectrum disorder and, it doesn’t matter which country you come from, most of us do not know what autism is and how to engage, motivate or work with them.

I have delivered some talks and workshops since last year and, I have got some feedbacks from teachers, schools, parents and on. Teachers calling for help – how to deal with autistic kids is on the top of the list. Some parents feedbacks where they can find treatments, mediators and on; Schools how to adapt materials, mediators and teaching development focus on SEN and I have been sharing my own experience as teacher, mediator and a mother of an amazing prince.

In all of these feedbacks, they want to include their students and children or siblings in our society, where their beloved ones would have more life opportunities, social interaction without prejudice in an inclusive school as like everybody else well known as “regular”. That is the expectation for those who wants their children overcome the Autism disorder.

Focus on the educational point of view, there is a huge gap when it comes to teaching a child with autism. Many teachers do not know how to work with them and how to engage them in an inclusive environment. Some schools or institutions take for guarantee small classrooms and mediators who might solve the problem. Sadly, it is not so simple. Teaching children with special needs require teachers and educators to develop their teaching skills, time and affection.  In addition to teachers and educators have to take into consideration that, their SEN students have their own way of learning and their own moment what for us teachers are in a continuous process of experiments and researches.

Most of the time, these experimental practices and researches are not available in a High Education, mainly in some emerging countries such as Brazil. Moreover, many of us who had graduated a long time ago,  just heard about it and when it comes to facing a regular classroom where there are kids with this particular issue, we get stuck or feel insecure to teach them. Even though, we have been teaching for a long time. According to some statistics, Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability so that we are going to face this reality in a moment of our career and, we have to be prepared for it.

So here I would like to give some piece of advice, it has been working with my students and I would like to share with you. Teaching kids with autism is not too difficult as you can think.  I suggest you these three aspects that I have considered important while I was observing classes where I was as a mediator. These three aspects are

Pace, Time and different learning styles.

Pace – each autistic child has their own moment to get involved in an activity that you propose them to do. Do not insist on activities that will frustrated or discouraged them. Most of them love challenges from simple to the most difficult one.

Time –  They have their own time to learn things, so demanding them will not help both sides. It takes time (hours, days, weeks, months or years) to produce something and when they start their journey through learning new things, it is the proper time to engage them with other students, as peer work and on. However, it is necessary to create a learning routine – time to read, write, speak, listen. Thus, you will work with them the skills and their autonomy as well.

Different learning styles – Some educators and teachers cannot agree with me. However, we have different styles of learning and the same thing happens when we are teaching kids with some disabilities. Observing my students, I could find out what kind of learner they are ( logical, visual and on). Knowing that, you can adapt materials which will help you to teach, motivate and engage them with the entire class.  Here it is a video from TED with Dr.Temple Grandin  a point of view of an autistic child.

I did not mention one important aspect. When we teach  kids with disabilities or SEN, it is necessary and important to use your emotion and feelings. I have to love what I do  and for me an affective learning can help them to overcome the autism barriers expressing their feelings, what it is so difficult for some of them.  As Paulo Freire said once “Teachers should have their own dreams and utopias” I have my own dream that one day one of my students will be considered a good man or woman who interact not only with their friends and family but also with many people around the world. For us who are engaged to this action, look the world differently is not a problem, we have to learn that we can see life in different perspectives.

This is my contribution for this day. I know that perfection will never EXIST in this world, but helping these kids open their horizon will be a dream come true.

So, let light it up BLUE.

let it

sources and photos:


A Retrospective of my life – 2013 a transforming year…

” Some far away, Some search for gold, Some dragon to slay, 

Heaven, we hope, is just up the road, Show me the way, Lord, 

Because I’m about to explode” 

(lyrics from Atlas – Coldplay)


This year was a very special one for me. And I would like to share with all of you my experience as a Teacher and also as a Student.

In the begining of the year, I had planned a trip to Liverpool (UK) where I would have attend the IATEFL for the first time, however one month before, I was submitted to an emergency surgery and my dream to visit UK had gone away. At first, I felt very disappointed about it, but some good friends “Rose Bard and Roseli Serra” tried tirelessly to cheer me up, they literally carried my World! Well, I saw all the Conference live stream and I learned a lot with Professor David Crystal:,

Ken Wilson with “Failure Moments”, Cecilia Lemos with Oral correction, and many others, but one of these sessions that caught my attention it was feautring Luke Meddings and  Burcu Akyol – Unplugged and connected: where ideas meet”  I have read his book months ago and tried to put some ideas in my classroom, in which it was very good and sucessfuly. At the same time, I have started asking some people about the possiblity of another course in Brazil, but just unknown answers. So, I had to wait… and one day talking to my best friend Vicky Loras, I was invited to join a group of Turkish Teachers and she told me about ” ISTEK School 3rd International ELT Conference” and she said it would be live stream… perfect for me: I couldn’t move from my bed and it was the opportunity to watch it and interact with them through twitter, instagram and facebook, of course I couldn’t be there in person, but my words could be In action… I laughed with Jan Blake an amazing Storyteller, and of course an awesome dance performance by The Shaman Dance Theatre 


(image from @pmateini)

it’s impossible don’t fall in love with Turkey and  its people – however, days after the Conference, I watched the horrible action from its government that Turkish people were suffering and many Teachers were writing on their facebook and twitter: “We’re çapulling“. The Turkish protests inspired many people all over the world, including Brazil, some weeks in Rio, São Paulo and all over the Country , people were on the streets screaming for our rights and at the same time Tv Broadcasts were calling many of us “Manifestantes” (Rioters) …

Meanwhile, an e-mail from Braz-Tesol arrived, my waiting was over! It’s the “Teaching Unplugged  Course in Rio” – I hurried up to enroll the course… The day came and I was very happy to attend it not only to learn about “Teaching unplugged, Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux“, but also to share ideas with some good friends: Adriano (My best friend and an amazing Tutor), Shirley, Leonardo, Giselle, Tereza, Alan, Vanuza among others, and  of course with Luke Meddings. We had amazing experiences in the classroom, but also at Parque Lage where we discussed surronded by nature and the Christ with his open arms above us!


(image – @pmateini)

Did you think it was over? Not at all… it’s just begun, Rose Bard, Roseli Serra and some great Educators have inspired me since #RSCON4  like: Malu Sciamarelli, Chiew Pang, Chuck Sandy, Tyson Seburn and Barbara Sakamoto. Below one of my reflection:


(image @pmateini)

Thus, my PNL was created… Many good educators came across my short ELT experience (before being a teacher, I was a translater and my Conferences were about business not Educational System, Methodology, Approach or Content!!!) and I felt in love!  To confess I submitted myself to do a MA in Public Education in a well-Known University in Rio de Janeiro, let’s see what the future holds.

Nevertheless, I attended a Symposium about  Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) in Washignton DC/USA, what I have been studying and reflecting ideas to develop strategies within students with Autism to engage and motivate them in English Classes (considering Brazilian inclusive content).

So, this was my year, full of theorical, joy and friendship.

I would like to thank each one, somehow you’re responsable for many decisions  that I have chosen to my next year, some of them I have done, but some still demanding time and of course sharing and caring attention!

My Special thanks to my best friends: Rose Bard, Roseli Serra, Vicky Loras, Adriano Santos who supported many crazy ideas, some of them I think that you could considered me CRAZY, but I did it anyway!

Thanks these great Educators: Luke Meddings, Burcu Akyol, Chuck Sandy and Barbara Sakamoto: With your inspiring ideas, I can move on with mine.

And last but not least My people from #BRELTCHAT: Bruno Andrade, Raquel Oliveira, Natalia Guerreiro, Ramon, and among other educators that try to strive for a good Education in Brazil! YOU ROCK!!!

By the Way: The Song – Atlas by Coldplay – it helped me a lot with my sleepless nights and give me strength to go on



Iatefl website and British Council.


Eleven! Tagged by @vickyloras


(@pmateini -image)

What a good surprise!! I have been tagged by Vicky Loras who I admire a lot and I  am anxiously waiting to meet face-to-face in 2014!!!

So here it is the challenge:

 if you are tagged, here is what you need to do:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

Let’s starts:

  1. I am crazy about music… I used to play Guitar and Piano in my sweet sixteen! Now I play Guitar Hero with my kids!
  2. I have a fantastic family,  two kids and my husband whom are my inspiration…
  3. I love driving even in traffic jam!
  4. I love cinema… principally Tarantino’s films and my favorite actor is Ewan McGregor.
  5. From Barcelona – Spain to Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
  6. My name came from Elvis’s Presley Wife, whom my father was a huge fan.
  7. My mom was an english teacher, and she is my inspiration to be a teacher as well.
  8. I am an only child… YES! I LOVE IT!
  9. I used to work in a Newspaper in Brazil as ad translater and because of that I read everyday 3 different Newspapers in 3 languages (Portuguese, Spanish and English)
  10. I never drink alcohol but I love coffee, and pepsi sometimes Fanta (Orange flavor).
  11. I graduated with a Bachelor in Language Degree (Latin, yes from Virgil  – The Aeneid)  but I never taught Latin!

And  now I will answer Vicky Loras’s questions:

1.If you were not an educator, what line of work would you imagine yourself in?

Af first, The art of teaching is in my blood, many people from my family including my mother was a Teacher and when I decided to enroll the university, I knew that Teaching was a “calling”. However, things changed in the way and I felt in love with translation, so if I weren’t a teacher I would be a translater.

2.Which person in ELT would you like to meet in person and why?

I would like to meet not just one person, but 4 and here They are: Rose Bard, Roseli Serra, Vicky Loras and Juan Uribe… They were my first friends in ELT communities. I learn everyday with them and They are simply the best!!

3.What new activity / hobby would you like to start?

I will take in January surfing Lessons… so let’s see how’s going to be, I know it is not easy but I will try!

4.Which is the best book you have recently read? Why? 

Well, This year was the most theorical one; I have read some books about Critical Pedagogy:  Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux and  Michael Apple; These readings have engaged me to search and change my point of view about teaching in my Country.

5.If you decided to write a book, what would it be about?

I would write a guide to help teachers to deal with students with “Special Needs” in Brazil. We are so far away for “including” these kids in our society even in our school. Thus, Most of “novice” teachers do not know how to deal or work with these kids. I had good and hard situations that would help out teachers to engage and motivate them to learn.

6.If you could change one thing in the world, what would that be?

It’ a difficult and challenge question, It’s so complicated to change peoples mind. I reckon that the change must begin within us (in our family and after spreading over our neighborhood, city, State and Country) our actions can change poverty, hunger, illness but if we really intend to do it by heart!

7.Which is the nicest destination you have visited so far and why?

I have been in my part of the World, but the nicest destination is a place called San Marino. It’s the oldest Country in the World and it’s where my husband family came from… It’s a pleasant place to visit and sooooooo small too.

8.What is your favourite song this period?

It’s Atlas by Coldplay

9.What is your favourite and least favourite food?

My favorite is Hot Philadelfia…. So delicious!!! and the least vegetable soup… I can’t eat!!!

10.Which is the next conference you plan to attend?

Braz-Tesol in João Pessoal and after it I will go to the beach!!! It’s the place of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil!!!

11.With whom from the PLN was your first meeting in person? What was it like?

I haven’t had the pleasure to meet them face-to-face, but I hope this day could come  soooo soon!!!

Here are the bloggers I’d love to see take up the challenge, if they would like to:

Rose Bard

Ozlem Yagcioglu

Juan Uribe

Shirley Rodrigues

Malu Sciamarelli

Ika Chieka

Nihal Hamandar

Marisa Pavan

Roseli Serra

Bruno Andrade

Natalia Guerreiro

Here it is my questions:

1- What is your favorite movie?

2- What is/ was the most challenging moment in your career?

3- Would like to teach in another country?

4- What was the most memorable moment in a Conference that you had been?

5- What could you do if you had to teach in a public school in the country side of your Country?

6- What is your favorite band?

7- Do you have a special song? If does, what is the name?

8-How many languages do you speak?

9- Did you have a teacher that inspire you?

10- How many books did you read this year?

11- What “Teaching” is in your point of view?

I learned a lot with you guys, looking forward to hearing from you…

Big Hug and Happy Holiday!