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Monday, January 25, 2016

Google Docs & Classroom Collaboration using Mobile Devices

In this video, I share my  successful experience of having students (adult and teenagers) enhance their lexical and communicative skills by collaborating in real time using the app Google Docs in their mobile phones. 

I show the evolution of their first drafts and attempts to their current usage and how that has impacted their written and oral production.

Just to contextualize my practice, I am a teacher of English as a foreign language (EFL) in São Paulo, Brazil.
Over the course of twenty years of classroom practice, I have given classes to all CEFR levels from A1 to C2, children, teenagers and adult learners.

I have been an EdTech blogger since 2011 and have very intensely researched apps to enhance both self study and classroom experience of students and teachers.
I am an enthusiast of using tech resources in my classroom practice, as long as they have a clear learning purpose.

Here's the video with my participation in the 30 Goals On Line Conference
where I explain how the idea came up and the step by step + purposes to using docs in my classroom practice.
I want to thank +Shelly Sanchez Terrell and +Jake Duncan for the opportunity and the support.
Google Docs is a free app available for both iOS and Android operational systems.


How about giving it a try? If you feel like, share your experience in the comments below.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween fun with TV series & Cartoon

It's Halloween Week !!!!

Here's a selection of popular world wide TV shows in their Halloween episodes.
Below the selected scenes and a quick activity which is a treat.

Firstly, some background information on the celebration. If possible students can scan the qr code below and check the infographic in their handheld device. 

Halloween Infographic

The Big Bang Theory (Halloween Prank)

 Activity: Students watch this hilarious scene and match the typical Halloween pranks.
They use the words in the box to complete the pranks mentioned by Sheldon.

  witch’s /blood/haunted/walls /ghostly

A ________ moan
The  _______cackle
The ________dripping _______
How are the people who play tricks on Halloween called ?      P_________

 Modern Family 
(season 2 episode 6 Halloween)
A Family who loves celebrating Halloween but are having some arguments...

  ***  HALLOWEEN KIDS  ***

   Peppa pig - Fancy dress party

Match the characters and their costume:

1.dinosaur    2.pirate    3.witch   4.carrot     5.fairy princess   6.clown    7.nurse
George(   ) Susie (     ) Peppa (    )  Danny(    )    Candy(     )      Rebecca(     )     Pedro(     )
Who has the best costume ? __________
Halloween Song :  Skeleton bonés
More on Halloween sitcoms and activities
***   Happy Halloween   ***
Follow me  @Rach_Gonzaga
                    +Raquel Ribeiro Prado Gonzaga 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Brazil Summit Featuring Google for Education

Brazil Summit Featuring Google for Education was held at St. Nicholas School on May 16 & 17, 2015..
This two-day high-intensity event focused on deploying, integrating, and using Google Apps for Education (and other Google tools) to promote student learning in K-12 and higher education.
The sessions catered for the different levels of expertise with educational technology, ranging from basic and intermediate to advanced and leadership.
More detailed information on the event site
Global Calendar of 2015 Summits
EdTech Summits throughout 2015
I presented three sessions: *Collaborative work with the app Google Docs
                                         *Google Docs in mobile environment: possibilities 
                                         *Google Docs & collaboration in mobile devices

Saturday, April 11, 2015

IATEFL 2015 Highlights

It's been an amazing opportunity to be here in Manchester to take part in IATEFL 2015.

I intend to share here some key points from the talks and workshops I manage to watch.
It's important to highlight the fact that even being far away,  you can follow the conference on line at
Also,  follow the Twitter feeds @iateflonline

Day 1 April 11th:
Opening from the IATEFL President, Carol Read.

Plenary Session with   Donald Freeman : Frozen  in thought?  How we think and what we do  in ELT.
He brings up the concept of Distributed responsibility (teacher & students), as opposed to Shared responsibility and uses the metaphor of  a chess game:
One action shapes the action of what comes next.
Concept of boundaries :
Rethinking Proficiency as plural- proficiencies, multiple literacies.
Reframe and challenge our myths as English teachers.

Communicating communicative competence- Peter Rutherford
Knowing what to say and how to say depending on the context.
discourse seen from four perspectives:
He explained the usage of photo radar charts .The idea came from video game pro evolution soccer.
Very often there are unrealistic expectations from the part of the students,  so  it's important dealing with them and the charts can certainly help.

How social media is changing the DNA of professional development  
Ann Foreman

There are many possibilities when it comes to using Social Media and it certainly gives professional development a point of need.
Teachers should move from only keeping up to date to participating more actively.
She mentions that ELT bloggers have inspired her classes with the ideas they blog about.
Teachers need to build an online presence,a network.
The importance of using social media for Professional Development (Social Media & CPD)
She mentions the website

Emotional engagement for adult students   Herbert Puchta
In learning our brain doesn't reward  us for understanding. Achievement is rewarding.
Adult learners need to have a perception of relevance when it comes to what they're studying.
Learning a skill is not simply a behaviour or a mental process. Appropriation has a connotation of
challenging the students.
The impact of emotional engagement in learning is highly important.
Recent findings in in cognitive science indicate the brain is "an organ of emotion".

IELTS Academic reading skills needed for IELTS success  Pauline Cullen

She mentions the importance  of going beyond test-taking strategies and focusing on developing the language skills required for the different question types.
Listening evidence to improve oral health.
Search strategies / Core skills required by the reading task:
*first sift : scan systematically
*second sift :  read further to assess relevance
*detailed reading
*understand paraphrase and choosing information to use

Warmth-recognition-sense of belonging: a framework for success  Karina Nazzari

The schools are expected to establish an environment which is conductive to enhance students' development in a more holistic perspective.
The learning process is a result of active interactions within the school environment.
Students have to feel that the school is a safe environment.
Three elements: empowering students, cognitive development and creativity
The importance of praising the effort, not the person when giving classes.
Empathy plays a key role in establishing bond.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Connecting Classrooms_Brasil-Inglaterra

Connecting Classrooms

Estão abertas as inscrições para o Connecting Classrooms - programa do British Council que une salas de aula do mundo inteiro, apoiando o aprendizado de assuntos globais. Para participar, professores brasileiros devem elaborar um plano de trabalho com uma escola no Reino Unido, escolhida dentro do programa.

Sobre o Connecting Classrooms
O Connecting Classrooms reúne cerca de 5.200 instituições de ensino de 184 países. Os principais objetivos são formar cidadãos globais preparados para o mercado de trabalho e fornecer ferramentas e recursos para o professor transformar positivamente a sala de aula.
Para saber mais, acesse:

                                Mais informações Connecting Classrooms British Council Brasil-Inglaterra

“O professor é fundamental para o desenvolvimento do programa na escola. Ele tem a chance de conhecer professores de outros países, trocar boas práticas educacionais e desafios”, explica Fernanda de Medeiros, diretora adjunta do British Council. Ela afirma também que os professores estrangeiros ficam impressionados com a criatividade dos brasileiros ao criar e desenvolver os projetos juntos.

Escola Brasileira que participou do projeto: 

Sobre o British Council O British Council é a organização internacional do Reino Unido para oportunidades educacionais e relações culturais. Seu trabalho busca estabelecer a troca de experiências e criar laços através do intercâmbio de conhecimento e de ideias entre pessoas ao redor do mundo. Atua em cinco áreas: Educação, Língua Inglesa, Artes, Esportes e Exames. A organização está presente em mais de 100 países, com parceiros como os governos em diversas instâncias, organizações não governamentais e iniciativa privada. No Brasil, tem escritórios em Rio de Janeiro, Recife e São Paulo. Para mais informações, visite o site

Monday, December 22, 2014

Goals & Innovation in EFL

This is part of What is your story challenge, by Vicky Loras.

I'm a Brazilian tech-savvy teacher, researcher and blogger on the integration of handheld devices to enhance the opportunities of learning English as a foreign language.
My area of expertise is mobile learning, ways of integrating apps in and outside the classroom. 
Collaboration in real time and the usage of handheld devices to work with vision impaired students have been my main targets lately.
I also focus on using video passages from movies and TV series very regularly in my classes as to illustrate language features and expose students to more authentic English.

Since I started blogging to share my classroom experience, positive things have happened, such as:

*Speaking at an International Conference in 2013, blogging at Teaching English
*Being selected for the Google Teacher Academy and having become a Google Certified Teacher.
*Meeting like-minded teachers with such a passion for education from all over the world, which is such a reward.

As for my challenges in 2015:

*Presentation at IATEFL Manchester 2015 on Apps for learning independence and inclusion
That’s my first time at IATEFL and I will share my experience on working with a vision impaired student within a group of sighted classmates.
*To keep on sharing findings on free apps and sites that can be effective for both learners and teachers in the two blogs I write for.
*To work with the preparation of Business Students to sit for Cambridge Business Exams.

I appreciate this opportunity given by Vicky Loras in her blog. She has been an inspiration to EFL educators all over the world.

Follow me on Twitter @Rach_Gonzaga
or Subscribe to the blog ;)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Working with social media in the classroom

It is an immense honour to have Carolina Marques guest write on Informed Teachers.
Carolina Marques holds a degree in Translation and is currently taking a post graduation in Bilingual Education. She's an EFL teacher and coach at Cultura Inglesa SP.
In this post, she writes about her experience with social media in the EFL classroom.

It is not fair to say I chose to work with social media in the classroom. In fact, that was something that happened almost organically in my case. One may argue it is because of the so-called Generation Y, also known as the Millennials, who have been plugged into technology since they were born. Others may blame it on this high tech world we live in. Either way, the truth is that we cannot simply ignore technology anymore – neither in life, nor in the classroom.  

Creating a page on Facebook for my Saturday groups has been a very positive experience, in the sense that it helps bringing students together as group, even when they are not at school. Not only does it work as a different channel of communication between teacher and students, it also improves student-student communication.

With regard to content, the News feed on our group page is by no means an online version of what happens in the class, in other words, it does not display only class-related content. We share inside jokes, comments, ideas on how to brush up our English, word lists, collocations, grammar tips, photos, interesting articles, etc. On top of that, since the group is open, any member can post or share anything they like.

I am inclined to believe that this sense of community and collaboration combined with intense online interaction has a knock-on effect on the development of group cohesiveness. Therefore, I can say from experience that working with social media in the classroom has a lot to add to both language learning and teaching.

Carolina Marques da Silva
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