Wednesday, August 27, 2014



I came across the word in a blog post today:

The blogger in question, used it like this:

I told her to provide me with feedback however she would like, the only rules are, be honest and give me some 'feed-forward'. So off she went with a smile on her face, ready to critically analyse her teacher.

It got me to really understand what they mean by feedforward and how different it is from the omnipresent feedback

Feedback diagnoses how well or how poorly someone has achieved a task.

Feedfoward outlines what someone should achieve at the end of the process.


Still eager to get more insight on the concept, I found this definition in the Business Dictionary (after failed searches in other online dictionaries):

Reverse of a feedback, it is the 'self-fulfilling prophesy' process that turns logical cause-effect relationships upside down.

What it states is that if you act on what you believe will happen, it probably will. It's more than positive thinking, it is putting in place what you envision or imagine. Sounds very cliché nowadays, don't you think?

How does this apply to teaching someone to learn a language or to learning a language by yourself? 

Here are the scenarios:

If I believe I can learn this language, will I get there by putting more time and effort into the procees?

If I tell students exactly what they are going to be able to do before I start a lesson, will they make a more concerted effort to fulfil my prohesy?  

What are some other aspects that need to be considered in each scenario? 

(It might help to understand concepts like cumulative learning.) 

To leave on a humorous note, remember the difference between feedback and feedforward? How would the boss' feedback in the cartoon below transform into feedforward?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Business is (or can be) social

Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus is what we can call a real "down-to-earth" person.

In this video (same video - one with English subtitles and the second with Portuguese subtitiles), he talks about he struck a deal with Danone to address the problem of malnutition in Bangladesh.

As you watch, consider the following questions:

From 0:00 - 1:28 

  1. Was the meeting planned?
  2. Why did he want to make a partnership with Danone?
  3. Why did he think the idea would work? 

From 1:29 - 2:39

  1. What is a social business?
  2. Why did he think Danone's chairman misunderstood his English?
  3. How did he make sure the chairman understood?

From 2:40 - 3:30

  1. How did his initiative help people who used to be beggars?

From 3:41 - onwards

  1. What's the difference between charity and a social business? 

Are there projects like these in your country? How viable would they be?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Practicing - Writing with the lyrics of a song

Here's a new way to look at the lyrics of a song:

A song is like an expository or argumentative essay: it has a thesis statement, topic sentences, supporting statements and a conclusion.

We've all had to write an essay sometime in our lives, but let's look at an example here

But what do the terms above mean? Match the term to the definition. 

  1. Conclusion
  2. Supporting arguments
  3. Thesis statement
  4. Topic sentence

  • A sentence or group of sentences that provide examples to confirm the idea of a paragraph
  • The part that summarizes for the readers the thesis statement and the arguments you presented
  • The sentence or two that contain the focus of a text and tells the reader what the essay is going to be about
  • The sentence that helps the reader better understand the idea of the paragraph

Now read the lyrics and listen to the song. When you are finished, complete the chart. Parts of the song may be used more than once. 

Thesis statement

Argument 1(Topic sentence 1)
  • Supporting sentences

Argument 2 (Topic sentence 2)
  • Supporting sentences

Argument 3 (Topic sentence 3)
  • Supporting sentences   


 Here are the lyrics, in case you didn't get all of them from the video:

You sheltered me from harm.
Kept me warm, kept me warm
You gave my life to me
Set me free, Set me free
The finest years I ever knew
were all the years I had with you

I would give anything I own,
Give up my life, my heart, my home.
I would give everything I own,
just to have you back again.

You taught me how to love,
What its of, what its of.
You never said too much,
but still you showed the way,
and I knew from watching you.
Nobody else could ever know
the part of me that can't let go.

Repeat Chorus

Is there someone you know,
you're loving them so,
but taking them all for granted.
You may lose them one day,
someone takes them away,
and they don't hear the words you long to say

Repeat Chorus 

Curious about the answers? Go here

Friday, July 18, 2014

Back then versus Then

You might be wondering what I mean by the title.

The term "then" is used to refer to a period in the past. "Back then" would be a period prior to the first past moment. 

What conclusions can we draw from the information provided below about the two periods: The Great Depression and the Credit Crunch

What do the numbers tells us in terms of ...  

Similarities beween each period?
Differences between them?
Impact on society? 
Social and political contexts?

Other ideas?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hero or Villain - The irony of team sport

It is certainly a privilege to live in the country hosting a World Cup. And when it is in Brazil - hands down the Mecca of football - then you could only imagine how honored I feel.

Yesterday's Best of 16 game between the home team and Chile was a roller coaster of emotions. In a country where second place is as useless as last, the pressure on the players is inconceivable for us mere mortals. Brazilians don't accept losing at football, no matter the talent of the adversary.

I guess this mindset is what nurtures the habit of choosing a scapegoat - or simply a villain- when all falls down and a hero when there is a happy ending.

Brazil's goalie, Julio Cesar, was deservedly chosen the hero of the day. He saved two penalties which stamped the country's passport to the quarter finals.

Four years ago, his slip caused Holland to come from behind and eliminate Brazil in the South Africa Cup, rendering him the "title" of the sole culprit or one of the culprits. Four years of "ostracism" and "suspicion" didn't come to an end when he was capped months before coach Scolari announced the final 23 to play the Cup.

All of this to get to my point: when a team wins, everybody wins; when it loses, everybody loses. So why do we tend to put the burden of losing on the shoulders of ONE? Why do applaud today the same person we jeered and wrote off before?
What if he messes up again- will he still be a hero?