A whole afternoon of learning and connecting with amazing people! That’s what the first joint BRAZ-TESOL RN Chapter (BTRN) and UFRN event was all about. Held at the Centro de Ciências Humanas Letras e Artes (CCHLA-UFRN), Bloomsday 2018 brought together around 80 participants from Natal and beyond, who filled auditorium “D” to its full capacity!
Thiago dos Santos during the opening of Bloomsday 2018. | Photo credits: Marcelo de Cristo.
To get the whole event underway, Thiago dos Santos welcomed participants with a motivational opening talk about the benefits of joining BRAZ-TESOL and its role in supporting teacher development programmes in all types of teaching institutions in Brazil, such as this year’s BLOOMSDAY in partnership with UFRN, and in organizing national and regional conferences, meetings and seminars. He encouraged everyone to register for the 16th BRAZ-TESOL International Conference to be held in Caxias do Sul-RS (July 19th-22nd), and to volunteer and help strengthen our local community of teachers. After recalling some highlights of last year’s seminars and meetings organised by BTRN, he thanked the Local Board for putting together another great event and reminded participants of the association’s motto: “The more we are, the stronger we become”!
Download Thiago dos Santos’s SLIDES HERE >> Thiago dos Santos – bloomsday2018
John Corbett during his talk at Bloomsday 2018. | Photo credits: Dyêgo Saraiva.
Participants then welcomed Bloomsday’s guest speaker, professor John Corbett, author of several works on the intercultural dimension of language teaching and on the role of classroom activities in developing intercultural communicative competence, who presented a funny, interactive and highly inspirational talk entitled Teaching Culture: Activating the ‘5Cs’ in the Language Classroom. John Corbett, a member of BRAZ-TESOL’s Intercultural Language Education (ILE) SIG, insightfully advocated that Culture and intercultural communicative competence, a fifth “C” according to him, “permeate and can activate” the most widely spread 21st century skills targeted for innovation and learning:
- Communication (information exchange and relationship negotiation)
- Collaboration (working effectively in groups of people with different attitudes and values)
- Creativity (responding to the familiar world with fresh eyes and new insights; adapting ideas from the unfamiliar world to your own context)
- Critical thinking (addressing issues and solving problems in inclusive, empowering and environmentally sensitive ways)
Participants networking during the coffee break. | Photo credits: Dyêgo Saraiva.
During the coffee break, participants had the chance to socialise and chat with fellow teachers while enjoying a good cup of coffee and delicious food, allowing existing acquaintances to be deepened, but above all also enabling new relationships to be forged. They could walk around the sponsors’ stands displaying some their newest releases, stretch their legs and have good conversations with colleagues.
Bruno Lima during his talk at Bloomsday 2018. | Photo credits: Dyêgo Saraiva.
Both talks on the programme pitched the idea of the importance of promoting intercultural awareness in the classroom, and Bruno Lima’s session entitled Exercising Critical Cultural Awareness with Language Learners proved the perfect follow-up to John Corbett’s session. After highlighting some key principles, among which the concept of ‘culture’ and the notion of ‘critical cultural awareness’, Bruno, a professor at Instituto Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (IFRN), reported on some practical classroom activities he had carried out with his own high-school learners. But his examples were merely the springboard for an interactive Q&A slot which opened participants’ minds to a theme that is becoming more and more present in teaching practice. And, hopefully, in those of our students …
Download Bruno Lima’s SLIDES HERE >> Bruno Lima – bloomsday2018
Dyêgo Saraiva during the closing of Bloomsday 2018. | Photo credits: Marcelo de Cristo.
Finally, Dyêgo Saraiva drew the event to a close by thanking Ana Graça Canan and Marcelo Amorim for embracing BRAZ-TESOL RN in making this a historical event and expressing the Chapter’s wishes that the partnership with UFRN can be a long-lasting one. He also thanked participants for taking time off their busy routines to attend the event, and John Corbett and Bruno lima for their amazing presentations – John Corbett now has a huge fan base in Natal-RN! He then moved on to express the Chapter’s appreciation for the unconditional support offered by all the national and local sponsons, and moved on to the traditional prize draw before the final selfie!
The final “selfie” at Bloomsday 2018. | Photo credits: Thiago dos Santos.
It was definitely an event to be recorded in the history of English Language Teaching in Rio Grande do Norte and beyond!
To all our incredible sponsors. This event wouldn’t be possible without your support!
BRAZ-TESOL Rio Grande do Norte Chapter