jueves, 27 de septiembre de 2018


To continue with the same things leads us to anachronism. Innovation leads us to progress. Renew your teaching attending our 12th Congress!


Sergio is an ELT Manager for National Geographic Learning, South America; MA in ELT, University of Southampton, United Kingdom; and Bachelor of Arts, Modern Languages, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia. Certified in ELTS and DELF.
Sergio has taught English to children, youngsters and adults for more than 10 years. He has also worked for different publishers, developing English programs and  classroom management strategies. Being a teacher trainer at several institutions allow him to share this experience and joy for teaching.

Dorothy holds an MA in TEFL from the School for International Training in Vermont, USA. After teaching ESL for over 25 years, she now concentrates on writing and editing materials and conducting teacher-training workshops. Most recently she was a plenary speaker for IATEFL 2018 in the UK. Her areas of specialty an interest are teaching writing, teaching reading, business English, academic English, testing and humor. A prolific textbook author and editor, Dorothy is a co-author for Macmillan’s flagship course Open Mind and  the series consultant and co-author for the dual skills course Skillful. Website: http://dorothyzemach.com

María de la Lama holds a Maters’s degree in Applied Linguistics and Bachelor’s degree in Theoretical Linguistics both from the University of California. She also holds and MBA from Universidad del Pacifico. Currently she is the Director of Centro de Idiomas - Universidad del Pacífico.

miércoles, 12 de septiembre de 2018

Be Chained to the Textbook or be Creative?

By Flor de María Vila

When teaching English, we, teachers, always try to find the best way to help our students achieve their objective: to communicate in English. In this process, we need to take into account our students’ needs, their preferences, their interests as well as the reasons why they are studying. Furthermore, we should enable them to convey their message beyond the topics offered by the course. Thus, to offer the opportunity to express themselves regarding different themes is crucial because of the following:
1.  Students must have a real motivation. Sometimes, unfortunately, the only motivation is to pass their course, exams and so on. Probably this answer varies according to the place where English is taught. It might not be the same to learn English at school as it might be to learn it at a private institution. Nevertheless, in any of the cases, there are pupils who are studying this language because they “have to,” because of either work or studies requirements. The latter may be because they need to study abroad or they need to finish a school or university term successfully. Having further information about what engages students will definitely become a valuable asset.

2. Students must be able to use English in contexts beyond the ones presented in the coursebook. The idea is not necessarily to teach English through different contents as suggested in the article http://languageteachingblogger.blogspot.com/2018/08/teaching-foreign-language-are-we-on.htmlThe plan would be to use the same themes used in other subjects at school or propose themes that are relevant for the students who are not studying at school or university. In the first case, pupils may consider one of the themes worked in other courses. This is really advantageous because the student would have to deal only with the language (structure & vocabulary) and not the topic which many times inhibits participation. Since students would have already worked with the concept of the theme, they will find less threatening to try to communicate. In fact, they may feel more comfortable because not everything is new. For instance, if at school all courses are working with the topic of “drugs,” the English teacher can use this topic to help students communicate giving their opinions in a debate organized with students from different classes. Students from different levels and years could participate. Even more, if possible, the whole school could organize things in such a way that different places at school could display banners with information related to the topic.
Regarding our students of the second group, they will always find it more appealing and useful to exercise using English in contexts that are more meaningful for them.

3. This way of working adds variety to the lessons: Not following always the material presented in the texts makes our teaching less predictable and thus more stimulating for both students and teachers. Contemplating other themes whether they are transversal like the ones worked in schools or just different and relevant for students automatically generates a different environment in the lessons. Experience shows that students are more willing and engaged when they are challenged with useful and interesting issues they can use to communicate. 

Are there any other advantages? What about the disadvantages? Do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks?


M.A. in Cognition, Learning and Development from PUCP, B.A. in Education with a major in English Teaching. Ms. Vila is currently Pedagogic Advisor and Member of the Research Team at Centro de Idiomas de la Universidad del Pacífico and Academic Director of International Contacts (test training & foreign applications advisory). She is official Examiner for several University of Cambridge tests, freelance consultant with Universidad ESAN, experienced speaker on diverse English teaching issues for prestigious institutions, and senior international examinations trainer (GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS).

martes, 4 de septiembre de 2018

How we Teachers Use or Abuse of Evaluations

By Enrique Rojas R.
         An issue that has been discussed for a long time, without having a conciliatory answer been found, is whether class teachers should be the ones who create the exams for their students or if the tests should be drawn up by the educational institutions or someone else. There are even people who think that the evaluating tools should be produced at a supra school level and be used by the different schools.
         The problem is that assessment is necessary for different reasons and for different purposes. As professional educators, we know there exist placement, formative, diagnostic and summative evaluations. The first is to classify and place our students; the second, to ascertain the pupil-progress from time to time; the third tries to identify the learning impediments or drawback of pupils during instruction and the fourth is to assign grades to the students and determine whether they should or should not be promoted.

        So a class teacher can design a test to establish if his objectives had been accomplished, but a school may wish to know if the standards of a class are in accordance with the official program or the level of other institutions. Therefore they may be better with a standardized exam. For an educational organization which has several or many teachers delivering the same course a standard exam could just be the measuring stick to gauge teacher performance and results.
         The success of standardized international exams resides precisely in their capacity to determine the real level of learners’ proficiency in the language, something that the usual classifications of teaching institutions fail to do (Beginners, Intermediate, Advance, etc.)
         So, there is no formula to prepare efficient evaluation means without determining first what we wish to evaluate and with which purpose. The type of assessment and evaluative tool should be based on that. And different types of assessment may not be combinable but you can alternate them, although you should be careful not to overwhelm students with too many or too frequent evaluations.
         On the other hand, we cannot overlook that exams have a negative side
too. Since their outlook becomes so important for the future of students their whole learning activity becomes oriented towards achieving good grades rather than learning. Studies made in Great Britain revealed that students under pressure to perform well in tests obtained lower grades than others that were simply encouraged to learn. Another study showed that when teachers focused on their students' learning, the students became more analytical than when the teachers concentrated on their pupils' exam results. That some students get demoralized by bad exam performance and that provokes a bad attitude towards studying is also a reality witnessed by many teachers.
        In sum, evaluating should not be just considered a habit or something we have to live with or even abuse of, but when we prepare to do it we must be very clear why we do it and what we pretend to do with it and use the appropriate tools in accordance with that.

Now is your turn:
Your pupils study to learn or to get good grades?
Is taking test a positive experience for your students?


Graduated in Journalism at the PUCP, Peru, Enrique Rojas R. holds a MA in Journalism and MA in Inter American History from Southern Illinois University, USA; an MA in Literature from University of the Americas, Puebla, Mexico, all the coursework for a MA in TEFL at Universidad de Piura, Peru and BA in Education from Universidad Federico Villarreal. He has also obtained Certificates of Proficiency in English both from Cambridge University and the University of Michigan and the Diploma for EFL Teachers from Universidad del Pacifico. He is an Oral Examiner for the Cambridge University exams and has been awarded the title Expert in E-Learning from Asociacion Educativa del Mediterraneo and Universidad Marcelino Champagnat. He has worked as a professor in universities in Peru, Mexico and the United States; as a newscaster and a producer in radio and television stations in the United States and Mexico, and as a writer and editor in daily newspapers of the same countries. He has been in the staff of CIDUP for 19 years teaching English and Spanish specializing in International Exams, English for Business, ESP and Teacher Training. He has been a speaker in every Congress of English for Special Purposes organized by Centro de Idiomas de la U.P. He is also a member of its Research Area.