Showing posts from September, 2018

A blind eye

I pride myself on being able to blend in to different groups; to quickly establish rapport with those who cross my path. This mutability, however, has numbed my senses to issues like the one in this post. Funny, I usually joke with my students about the fact that when people hear my full name, they imagine someone white skin and blue eyes, probably of European origin, only to meet a fellow who looks as Brazilian as one can get. A llight-hearted way to look at assumptions about racial equity and native speakerism. I confess I have never felt discriminated against for being a "non-white native speaker of English (or maybe I have been blind as a bat to it all along). Yet, the post got me thinking if I would have been given the same opportunities if I were a native Brazilian.

Always on rewind

If you are an English teacher, then you have had the chance of dealing with the Present Perfect, a tense that boggles the mind of 99.99% of English learners, and whose existence native speakers are usually unaware of. Getting students to understand why we use it instead of a Simple Past form in explanation that makes sense to us teachers/users of the language is the million-dollar challenge, especially in sentences like these:
I've known my best friend ever since we were in primary school. 
I haven't bought another car since I sold the last one four years ago. 
The run of the mill explanation is that we use the form "have + past participle" to indicate something started some time in the past and continues till the present moment. The fact is the adverbial phrases already reveal the connection with the past (we know that I met my friend when we were in primary school and that I sold my last car four years ago). The use of the verb tense seems to serve more of a nostalgic…

When the Box is a Good thing

"The box" has become synonymous with something traditional or old-fashioned, representing the status quo or an age-old, undisputed ideal. It is seen as the buzzkill to innovative practice or critical thinking, limiting us to pre-established models that seem unable to meet the needs of a society under constant change. 
The info on the box in the image, got me thinking as to the importance of the "box" in our lives. Here, it guarantees the quality of a given product and makes the user aware of what they should pay attention to and demand from the manufacturer. It represents the paradigm, the benchmark, the theoretical and practical frameworks needed to validate research and foster new ideas. Thus the importance of grounding our work in set theory and tested research. 
Without the box, there is no thinking; in or out of it.