Skip to main content

Something to think about

The original text was written in Portuguese but the message was so striking that I thought it might be worth doing a version of it in English:

I'm going to present you a slideshow.
Are you all ready?
The topic is an ordinary one; you've probably seen these images before
And who knows have even got used to them
It begins with famished children in Africa.
Those with bones clearly showing under their skin.
Those with flies in their eyes.
The slides flick on.
Populations en masse fleeing.
Starving people.
Poor people.
People with no future.
For years, decades, we have seen these images
On Discovery, National Geographic, in photo contests.
Some have even become masterpieces, in renowned photography books.
Images of misery that compel.
Images that form government manifestos.
They create NGOs.
They create entities.
They create social movements.
Misery in any corner of the planet causes commotion, be it in Uganda or Ceara, in India or Bogota
Year after year, talks are held to decide what to be done.
Years of pressure to draw the attention of the infinitesimal number of leaders of the most powerful nations on the planet that come and go.
It is believed that it would take 40 billion dollars to get rid of the problem of global hunger.
Got it, "get rid of"?
Wipe away
No more will there be a terribly skinny and hopeless young boy on the face of the Earth.
I have no idea how they came up with this figure.
But let's say that this number is under calculated.
Let's put it at twice that much.
Or thrice as much.
120 billion would probably do the trick.
There was no march, political or philosophical speech to get people's attention.
No documentary, NGO, lobby or political pressure that would do the job.
But in one week, the same leaders, the same powers, waved 2.2 trillion dollars (700 billion in the US and 1.5 trillion in Europe) out of the hat to feed those who already had enough on their plate.
Banks and investors.


Popular posts from this blog

My takeaways from BrELT on the Road

Just in!

Coincidence or not, propositions and concepts echoed through the plenaries and concurrent sessions I attended (apologies in advance to those I could not even attend in spirit at the same time).
Jamie Keddie encouraged us to use video to let students create their own narratives and not to limit this resource to practicing target language. Thru video, students can see there are multiple perspectives that contribute to a story and we have individual interpretations of that story. In so doing, they understand there is no right or wrong - we construct meaning based on our pre-conceived notions of reality. This awareness pivotal to critical thinking. The beauty of it all is that we benefit just as much from this method as our students.
Prodding students to see differently or see the unobvious was at the heart of Claire Venables' session "Not a box". By asking students to find new uses and meanings for a box, we are giving young learners a chance to learn language that i…

Yes we can speak English

Guess I'm a sucker for projects and project-based learning. Although this latest endeavor might not be considered a project in itself.
A simple Google search on the use of Whatsapp or other instant communication tools for English-speaking skills development came up with an extensive list of results.
The idea of creating a group to practice speaking had a specific target group - English teachers who are taking an online postgraduate course on language teaching. Many of them miss the chance to brush up on their oral skills, for the simple reason that the classes are online and interaction with the professor and colleagues comes only through text. 
The initiative rekindled a professional goal I had set for myself when I created the blog Help a teacher with their English (it has been discontinued - all related posts will show up here in the future). Nothing like being able to follow through on an idea and see it materialize into something you had not even fathomed in the first place.

Learning is truly ongoing - practicing too