|EVENTS-003| Cambridge Day 2018 – Feedback

Hello Exam Seekers,

We posted on the blog last month talking about events that were to happen in July and suggested to enroll yourselves. Did you register? Did you go to them? Well, we did, and if you follow us on Instagram, you can check some peaks of the talks since we posted some short videos over there. However, if you didn’t attend any of the events we’ve mentioned, here is just a quick review on what happened.

Last Saturday we posted our short feedback on SBS events, and today we are posting something about Cambridge Day. How many of you were there? We are not going too much into detail in the workshops, because the topics will be further developed in the following posts. So check an overview of what happened on this event which was packed full of great talks!


Different from the other events, Cambridge Day is huge. It was at Fecomercio in São Paulo, but it was also happening live. I believe Cambridge Brasil will be providing the videos on Youtube soon for those who couldn’t attend either of them.

There were great names like Michael Tomlinson, Mark Ibbotson, Jeff Stranks and Alberto Costa sharing some knowledge on the field. Also, you can see how the idea of Content Language Integrated Learning, Vocabulary and the way to gather knowledge in this area is all connected.



At first, we had Mark Ibbotson talking about the Unspoken Truth. What is the Unspoken Truth? According to Mark, we cannot learn any language if we cannot speak!

He started his talk by saying that most of the students interviewed in a survey find speaking the most difficult thing in English. This view on speaking is also connected to how people usually feel about their language ability. The topic was then developed by mentioning the importance and the aspects of a safe speaking environment and how it generates space for speaking. Below are some ways that can offer this safe environment for students that are great to keep in mind:

  1. Time and Space for speaking
  2. Engaging, relevant topics
  3. Immersive speaking activities
  4. Positive peer interaction
  5. Supportive Feedback


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It was a great talk, he even opened space for people to debate and give their opinion. Even though there were lots and lots of people, he practiced what he preached and made us feel that we were in a Safe Speaking Environment.

author_jeffstranksFollowing Mark, Jeff Stranks talked about the importance of vocabulary when speaking. His topic was: Think Lexically, and it made us think that without vocabulary, we cannot speak in another language at all!!!

He made some jokes about us teachers making our students “deduce from the context” the unknown vocab because that’s what we actually do every time. It’s a way to help us avoid answering the meaning of a word to students when we don’t want to focus on the other vocabulary. Nevertheless, if you don’t know a specific word from a text, and this word is simply the main focus of the text, you don’t understand a thing.

So, he tried to emphasize the importance of teaching vocabulary and share some strategies to help us with that, which include:

  1. Collocations
  2. Lexical sets
  3. Fixed phrases


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Stranks didn’t give much space for the public to debate or talk, but he made quite a few jokes and made us rethink the way we’ve been teaching vocabulary.

After Ibbotson and Stands, we had a break for brunch. The variety of food was good, but maybe not so varied for the vegetarians. I would also say that there were quite a lot of people for the amount of food, and that was causing lines to form. Maybe they should rethink that.

In the same space, Disal, BIL and Cambrish Publisher were there to sell books and trips. There was also a band playing in the back making it a pleasant and comfortable place to gather. We were able to meet people and make new colleagues, we were also able to take pictures with the presenters.


After brunch we had a one hour show with Warley Santana and his “Bonecomédia”, which was quite fun. Mixing Portuguese and English he made some jokes while people came back from the long pause.

Michael_tomlinson_suit_1Then Michael Tomlinson, the writer of the Kid’s Box series, appeared to talk about the use of CLIL in his books. First, he asked people what CLIL meant, then he talked about the use of CLIL in teaching English nowadays. He even illustrated with some examples of CLIL in his series.

However, the best part of his presentation was when he taught us the Maskman Song. He showed us how to work the song with the kids and actually danced with all the teachers attending the event. It was such a thrilling performance that there was not a single person who wasn’t dancing in the rhythm with him! I shall say that after such a theoric and serious seminar, it was a pleasant surprise to see how much Tomlinson was into the teaching role.


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Unfortunately, I was unable to record the whole video of Maskman song. 🙁

The thing is that, once you CLIL and you understand the power of teaching content through another language, there is no CLIL back (LOL).

Alberto-Costa-01 (1)After that, we had Alberto Costa, Cambridge’s Senior Assessment Manager, closing the series of workshops by reminding us that as teachers we all had our own superpower!

He asked us about our favorite movie and what we thought about it and told us that one of his favorites was The Incredibles because it showed us how their family and their powers represented each one of us. Then he reminded that not only fathers and mothers had powers, but also the teacher. We have an important power, therefore great responsibilities.

Costa’s presentation shed some light on how we tend to forget about our importance and get demotivated with time. Nonetheless, it was also a great reminder of how inspiring our roles as teachers can be and how much of an impact we end up making in our students’ lives.


After his talk, we had a short break to stretch the legs. We also took the time to take pictures in the common area and to socialize some more.


After the coffee break in the afternoon, we were offered a great Live Debate with the teachers Cleide Oliveira and Giselle Santos. They talked about the difficulties and challenges when facing different types of classrooms. They were also saying how we can work well without technology in class, and how technology can also make classes even better.


First, they presented themselves and told us how they worked in their classrooms. Then, they talked about their views on the uses of resources and the lack of resources AND funds. After that, they opened space for questions from the live public and the people watching on Youtube.

It was, by all means, a great event! If you didn’t have the chance to attend this year, don’t worry, there will be more next year, but do not miss the registration period since there is just a small number of seats to fill. Lots of people were not able to be there because they missed the deadline to enroll.


Because as you can see, many people attended the event. The organizers mentioned that next year it might be in a larger space. Let’s wait and see! 🙂

20180727_235038By the way, Cambridge has just shared the pictures and I’m sure that soon they will have the video posted on Youtube. But then again, it’s better if you are really present there next time. If you go in person, you can be part of the raffle they usually offer.

Unfortunately, neither Eve nor I won the raffle. 🙁 But next year we try again. 🙂

More info on Cambridge Day and the other events we mentioned last week, we’ll post later. More into detail. Or if you want, you can ask us questions in the comment section below. 🙂

August has just begun, so take your time to enjoy it and learn every day.

Have a nice weekend,
Patty and Eve.

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