IATEFL Glasgow talk-warmer: Willy Cardoso Q&A


As the IATEFL GLASGOW 2012 vibe hots up…. we hear from another of the SGI A-Team, Willy Cardoso (@willycard) about his imminent talk.

In case you missed it earlier today, click here to read the warmer for the ‘sure-to-be-a-barnstormer’ talk on CPD from SGI DoS, Josh Round (@JoshSRound)


In true, TEFL-Conference, warm-up styly, here’s a Q&A with the Pele of TESOL…

1. Introduce yourself to the tens of readers in exactly 66 words

Firstly, I’ve been described as an iconoclast, and lately as a pre-legendary, bespectacled, TEFL-leftfield brainiac. I don’t know, I think I’m just a teacher, in ways I think teaching is more interesting, that is, less conformist and more provocative. My motto in fact is ‘forget teaching, focus on learning’, which shows where the starting point of anything TEFL should be placed, at least in my opinion.

2. Please give us a few brief details of your session:

Wednesday 21st March – 16:10-16:40
Room: Boisdale 1

The abstract reads: By analyzing dialogues between teacher trainers and trainees, we can see that the processes that occur in teacher learning extend those of sociocultural participation, in which dialogic processes serve as a “thinking device”.
This talk is an exploration of the critical aspects of dialogues and a contention that co-construction of knowledge in learning how to teach is more relevant than trainers’ input.

Here’s a blogpost I wrote to introduce the topic.
– Feeback sessions in teacher training: http://www.tesoltraining.co.uk/blog/feeback-sessions-in-teacher-training/
3. Why are you talking about what you are talking about? Are you actually interested in it?

My interest in how teachers learn their art aroused just a moment after my first CELTA input session started. This was about 5 years ago, and although I was taking what is considered to be a pre-service training, I had already been teaching for 6 years before that. All other non-native speakers had already had some teaching experience as well. Therefore, in practice, only native-speakers were completely new to the job (although there were two women coming from UK ESOL, so I presume they had a PGCE as well as some experience). But the interesting fact is that a good number of them had some sort of teaching underlying their careers. And in any case, all of us had gone through an “apprenticeship of observation” (something I will mention in my talk)

At first, as a trainee, I was intrigued by two things:

Firstly, by what the courses’ underlying principles were. By this, I mean the theories of language and the theories of learning that sustained what was a highly practical course. To be honest, these underlying principles, or theories, were rather blurry, covert, or neglected.

Secondly, I was intrigued by the fact that trainers were not interested in the lives and experiences of those undertaking the training. Not interested in our previous experience as teachers and as learners, especially as language learners, which all of us were at some point in life.


4. Will your audience learn anything?

I don’t know. Ask them 😉  I don’t believe in Lesson Aims and prescribed learning outcomes. 


5. Can you please give a quick plug for your blog?

Yes. Here for SGI of course, and at authenticteaching.wordpress.com (there’s a video there on the righ-hand column in which I talk about my blog)


6. Why have you shelled out money to travel to a teaching conference and for a potentially dodgy hotel?

Primarily, to see if anyone can raise the dancing bar set by Bren Brennan at TESOL Spain 2012. Secondarily, everything else a conference involves: meeting twitterati in flesh, going to talks, checking out publisher’s stands and making myself a celebrity (hahaha).


Thank you, Willy Cardoso!

Good luck with your talk. Hope it’s better than your speech at TESOL Spain – JOKE!


Bren Brennan

About Bren Brennan

Bren initially trained here at SGI and then joined the staff in 2005. Since 2006, he has taught abroad in Budapest, Berlin and now at Mondragon University in Spain. He returns to teach at SGI London every summer and completed the SGI Trinity DipTESOL in 2011. He also regularly writes posts for students here.
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