|EVENTS-002| SBS Events

Hello Exam Seekers,

Well, as you already know, the last week of July was quite busy in terms of workshops for teachers. Today we are talking about the two workshops that SBS offered in São Paulo: SBS Teacher training: ideas and solutions, and Compass Teacher’s Day: Creating a world of possibilities.

Both workshops were held at Novotel Jaraguá, in São Paulo. The event area at Novotel is small, however, there was a great number of people attending them.


SBS Teacher training: ideas and solutions was held on July 25th. Susan Holden was the speaker in the morning – she had a plenary and two short workshops, and Peter Sokolowski gave a lecture in the afternoon.

In the morning, Susan Holden – who has been visiting Brazil regularly over the last 25 years, as a publisher, textbook writer and teacher trainer -, started with a plenary on “Teaching English today: The Big Picture.” In this case, ‘the big picture’ was the relation between English and Education. By starting off with this topic she helped us reflect on the changes in teaching English. She compared how English was taught 10 years ago to how we teach it nowadays. However, not only did she mention the role of


the teacher in the English class but also the role of the learner and how much their needs have changed in the past 10 years. Developments in the technology area, the independence of the student towards their own learning and the shifting population were some of the topics highlighted to talk about the teaching of English in 2018.

Another issue that was touched on by Holden was the way teacher training courses are conducted. She questioned if teachers are being trained to teach in the real world. By that, she meant giving attention to the needs the learners have nowadays when learning a language and also the abilities which should be developed. She mentioned personalization for exercises, that is, making students relate to the language or topic taught more personally, and also critical thinking, which is a 21st-century skill.

For both issues, she opened up for discussion so that those who took part in the session could share a little bit about their experience.

After that, she divided those who were present into smaller groups to discuss the context each scenario was happening on – such as general adult education, teaching kids, teaching teens, and so on and so forth. Each group had to sum up the context these classes take place and some concerns that should be considered when teaching each group.

sokolowski-1Even though there was an afternoon lecture with Peter Sokolowski – which I assume was highly interesting – I couldn’t stay for it.

Still, I talked to some people who were there and they shared that Sokolowski explored the way lexis is chosen to be added to a dictionary and the difference between the advanced dictionary and the one used by a native speaker.

What makes a person look up a word? When do you use a dictionary? Looking up a word in the dictionary is an intimate act for each of us as individuals, but the words sought by millions of users put together tell us a surprising story about the English language. By watching trends of lookups on a heavily consulted online dictionary, lexicographers track which entries are being consulted at any given moment. Some words are perennial sources of curiosity, while others show spikes of interest triggered by news from the worlds of politics, entertainment, and sports. Some words express the general mood of the culture; others reflect a poignant specificity. At the same time, this Web traffic tells a story about the changing business of dictionaries — and what is expected of a dictionary in the 21st century. Peter Sokolowski joined Merriam-Webster in 1994 as the company’s first French-language editor and has since defined and edited entries for many of the company’s dictionaries. 


Compass Teacher’s Day – Creating a world of possibilities happened on the following day, on July 26th. We arrived at 9:00 and we had almost an hour to make the registration, eat and socialize before we attended the welcome ceremony.

The two speakers of the day were James Hall and Victor Cruz. Both have been involved with teaching and teacher training for a while now and they are publishers with Compass.

Provided by SBS, Compass came to Brazil to show a little bit of what it can offer teachers and students.


They initially synthesized CLIL and the 21st Century Learning skills before providing the workshops on Compass books: Integrate, Three House, Big Show, Hang Out, Interact and Blueprint. Each lecture was linked to one of the books, so they focused not only on the theory part but also on how it is put into practice.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In this century, English teaching is going towards the bilingual teaching, which is a big step from what we have so far, especially considering the Brazilian scenario – which is the one we are more familiarized with. So teachers and researches on these areas are trying to show teachers and schools, how to get there by working with CLIL, therefore these books seem to be very relevant to achieve these goals. Additionally, something to be taken into account as well are the changes – or lack of them – that have been happened in the education system.

Just like Susan Holden, James Hall also compared the education nowadays and how it used to work before. As he said, the focus in the past laid on memorization of information, while nowadays it is to apply and access information and use the data you have the best way you can. Therefore, as teachers, we should think about what our students’ needs are regarding their education. What will matter most to them in their workplace in the future?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

They also worked with CLIL, 4 Strands TheorySTEAM and STEALTH LEARNING and how it can make our students learn better and absorb the language easier. Nevertheless, we won’t go further into these approaches since we are going to write extensively about it soon!

We hope our content has been useful but try and attend these events by yourself. They add a lot to your own learning towards the English language and teaching, that will improve your abilities. Moreover, it’s content worth studying and sharing, so don’t forget to share and like it.

Have a great weekend,
Eve and Patty

Leave a Reply