miércoles, 21 de marzo de 2018


     By Zarela Cruz

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You must be wondering why I have chosen just five ways if there are so many others. The answer is simple;  to start with: the fewer, the better. Once we master them all, we can expand the list ourselves.

After talking to a number of colleagues and friends, they all agreed on the following points listed below:

1. Make expertise the top of your priorities. Always do your best and keep
improving. Never show up to a meeting without being prepared.  The more prepared you are, the better results you will get. This also means to stay open to innovation and change.

2. Share your knowledge: The more you know, the better prepared you are. If you are eager to share what you know, this will have a multiplying effect on others. This is very rewarding in itself. If necessary, support others that are in a transitional stage.

3. Stay work-focused. Do not spread gossip or make people uncomfortable when they arrive and you are talking about personal issues on a place which is a common ground. Remember: there is a place (and moment, I would say) for everything. Keeping your personal calls and/or exchanges out of your working schedule is a good start. You may want to use your breaks to catch up with your family, if needed.

4. Communicate effectively. It is true that nowadays  technology allows us to contact almost everyone at any time. But are you choosing the best method? Are you utilizing the institutional email, a group chat, a phone call? Are you taking time into consideration? Keep it short and go straight to the point without forgetting courtesy. And last, but not least important: watch your tone. It sounds like the old school, but good manners will never be out of style.

5. Respect others. Do not look down on anyone. Life has ups and downs. You may not see eye to eye with everyone, but we all have the right to be heard at work. And, most importantly, do not use somebody else’s ideas without giving them the credit they deserve.

These may seem to be basic principles, but so far they have proved to be effective. Which others would you add to your list?

Drop us a few lines and let us know!

Zarela Cruz graduated from Ricardo Palma University as a translator.  She also finished her master’s studies in Linguistics and took some specialization diplomas in the Teaching of English and Spanish. She has also completed some online certificates:  Teaching the Working Adult, Online, Hybrid and Blended Education, among other self-study courses. She has taught different courses, programs and levels and has been a teacher trainer, a lecturer and online instructor for more than 25 years. She is currently studying a master’s degree in Translation. This article aims to reflect on the concept of professionalism at work.

jueves, 15 de marzo de 2018

Have You Started Working on Your 2018 Resolutions?

By Mayra Yaranga

The school year has already begun. To what extent are you a different professional in comparison to the one you were last year?

Have you thought of how to improve your language competence and methodological approaches? Here there are some questions that might help you do just that.

What do your answers mean?

1.    With regard to foreign language competence:
a.    It has improved and I have qualifications (language-related certificates, diplomas or degrees) to prove it
b.    I’ve been preparing to take exams
c.     I think it has improved but I can’t prove it

2. Think about these activities: Watching foreign language films, reading in the foreign language, using the foreign language when socialising.
a.    I do them a lot more often than last year
b.    I do them more or less as often as last year
c.     I do them less often than last year

3.    Have your colleagues helped you identify areas for possible improvement in your lessons?
a.    Yes, they’ve observed me several times
b.    No, but I’ve arranged for it this year
c.     No, I haven’t thought about it

4.    In the last year, how many academic events related to foreign language teaching have you attended voluntarily?
a.    Several
b.    One or two
c.     None really

5.    Compared to this time last year, how aware of the Peruvian educational policies are you?
a.    Significantly more aware
b.    Slightly more aware
c.     Equally aware

6.    In the last year, your opinion on the Peruvian educational system has become…
a.    better informed by facts and statistics that I remember well
b.    somewhat better informed
c.     no difference

Mostly A:
You seem to be very highly committed to your profession. Hopefully all the improvements you’ve made will have a very positive impact on your teaching.

Mostly B:
You’re on the way but remember that actions speak louder than words. Working on your language competence, methodology and educational issues will certainly take you further.

Mostly C:
It’s never too late to start. There might be many obstacles to devote time and energy to develop these areas but all the changes in the teaching profession start with you!

Mayra Yaranga (1985) has completed Doctorate studies in Education at UNIFÉ; Master’s Degree in Media, Culture and Identity from Roehampton University (London) revalidated by PUCP, a Bachelor’s Degree in Education - UPCH and the Professional Title of Licenciada - IPNM. Currently she is Cambridge Oral Examiner and Member of the Research Area for Universidad del Pacifico Language Centre. She is also ESP coordinator and Pre-University Centre Director at UNIFÉ.

martes, 6 de marzo de 2018

THE skill for successful teachers

                                                      By  María de la Lama


Much has been discussed since Dan Goleman published his book Emotional Intelligence in 1996. The author defined the term as the ability of being aware of our own emotions and those of other’s and knowing how to handle them so as to make a positive impact on other people´s life. The term made a huge impact specially since intellectual intelligence, measured by IQ tests, was believed to have a direct impact on success in any environment: academic, professional, personal, at work, etc.

Emotional intelligence is very important for developing a successful teaching career. In fact, I’ve worked with teachers with promising teaching careers and important academic degrees but who didn’t achieve the high level of performance achieved by other teachers with the same level of academic preparation. What seems to make the difference? By far, the development of their emotional intelligence.

Teachers who have developed this important skill show the following characteristics at work:

  •  They are builders of positive environments by knowing how to work with    other peers in a constructive way.
  • They have developed empathy, which helps them to avoid any kind of  interpersonal conflicts with peers, students or staff.
  • They enjoy working in groups and because of their empathy skills it’s easy  for them to take leaderships roles. 
  • They contribute to the institution’s organization and growth.
  • They understand their students´ feelings, needs and learning styles. This understanding makes them flexible enough to adapt their teaching styles to tailor students’ learning styles. Thus, teachers with a good level of Emotional Intelligence become very effective teachers.
  • They develop and keep good relationships with their students.
  • They cope with stress by controlling their own levels of stress.
  •  The know what they want and enjoy their daily work. EI teachers are self-motivated professionals.
  • They are assertive individuals able to take initiative, act on opportunities, and look at their own lives with optimism.

The good news is that emotional intelligence is a skill that we can work on and develop gradually. The benefits for our personal and professional life are countless. 
Shall we start?

DE LA LAMA, MARIA, Bachelor in Education, has a master's degree in Applied Linguistics and a Bachelor's in Linguistics, both obtained at the University of California, Davis. She also holds an MBA from Universidad del Pacífico. She currently serves as the Director of the Language Center at Universidad del Pacífico.