It was a challenge but also an honour to edit the 10 Years of Brazilian Scholarship, which is a collection of articles written by Brazilian Hornby Trust Alumni and published by the British Council.
My heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed with a chapter and to everybody who has supported the project, especially Graeme Hodgson and Sara Walker.
Click on the link to download the book 10 Years of Brazilian Scholarship
Being a Hornby Alumni I always try to attend the Hornby Scholars’ presentation at IATEFL because I think it is important to support people presenting for the first time and working so hard to contribute to the profession. It is also a way to keep listening to the voices of those who have a closer contact to other teachers in countries around the world than the contact I have myself at the moment.
Their presentation highlighted two major problems: language proficiency and teacher motivation. presenters singled out language knowledge as a key factor contributing to teachers’ lack of confidence, sense of frustration and fear of losing face in front of students. They also pointed out that teacher training programmes tend to ignore this fact focussing on methodology and failing to provide some language development lessons.
Another factor brought up in the presentation was teacher demotivation due to poor working conditions and low payment. Thanks Gifty for such a passionate and inspiring delivery 🙂
Some solutions were proposed and they also presented the state of English language teaching in Kerala, India, as a case study and a model to be considered.
An event that can be somehow related to their presentations was the British Council signature event on the Role of English in Developing Countries
Another thing that really made me happy at Brighton was to meet Oscar Montoya, my Hornby colleague at Marjon in 2008-09 . It is always a pleasure to me someone from the Hornby Family 🙂
Just coming back from the British Council/Hornby Trust Seminar in Oxford. It was a great experience indeed because I could meet all the other Hornby Scholars and besides working hard we had a whale of a time together. The highlights were the visit to Oxford University Press where we attended a short presentation by John Simpson, the chief editor of the Oxford Dictionary, and also the visit to the press museaum. That was fascnating! The museum is quite small but it has amazing pieces and I wish had more time to read about its history and make more questions to our very knowlgeable guide.
On Thursday Penny took us for a very brief walk around Oxford and again it’s a pity we could not explore more, but perhaps it was just alright because before going to visit Oxford again I’ll read more about it – I cannot really play the tourist and walk around without knowing and fully appreaciating the centuries of history that surround you.
We arrrived in the UK last Tuesday and after a couple of hours in London calling on friends and walking around Trafalgar and St James’s Park we took an evening train to Plymouth.
My son Edward is also with me because he is going to do his BA in English Literature here at Marjon and we are both staying on campus. The staff of the International Department at Marjon gave us a very warm welcome and they have been really helpful in these first days of adaptation. We have already got our way around the campus and the departments, sorted out the settling in tasks and have already started to enjoy a bit of the city life.
Last Friday we visited the Hoe and the Promenade. These are the seafront areas of Plymouth where the famous lighthouse stands and where there is an impressive monument to all the Navy troops who fought in the First and the Second World Wars. It was here that Sir Frances Drake played bowls while waiting for the Spanish Armada!! The area is now a huge park overlooking the sea and it was created in Victorian times. The view of the bay is simply breathtaking. We also visited St Andrews Cathedral. The original church was built in medieval times but the whole of the city centre was bombarded during The Blitz in the WWII and the Cathedral was almost completely destroyed. Few parts of the original building remain, but the people of Plymouth did not surrender and started rebuilding it even before the end of the war.
Last Saturday we went to the Barbican. The Barbican is the historical part of the city where Drake and Raleigh once weighed anchor and it is now the marina. It was from the Barbican Steps that the Mayflower left England taking the Pilgrim Fathers to America. It is full of pubs and quaint little speciality shops selling antiques, jewellery, pottery and paintings. It also hosts an Elizabethan house which first belonged to a prosperous Plymouth citizen. The house has undergone restoration work and is now a period house open to the public. We wrapped up the visit to the Barbican with a pub meal of fantastic British homemade food in The Navy, the oldest pub in the area.
I’m looking forward to meeting the other Hornby Scholars – there will be five of us this year at Marjon – and I’m also looking forward to meeting my tutor and starting my studies. Certainly, I will not have much time available for travelling around but we are determined to get to know as much of the country as we can and make the most of our British way of life.