ISTEK Schools Third International ELT Conference

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Introducing… Willy Cardoso


In the lead up to the ISTEK Schools 3rd International ELT Conference, we’ll be introducing some of the presenters on the blog. Next up is Willy Cardoso…

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

The CV-like, past experience description of my activities can be found at At the moment, I’m travelling around Europe to present at conferences and to find inspiring places where from I can focus on my writing, which consists of teacher training and development materials, and the last bit of my MA research paper. I’m also looking for interesting freelance work.

What is your teaching background?

I started twelve years ago in Brazil, where I’m from, and spent the first half of my career teaching a variety of courses in private language schools. I then became a Business English teacher for a school in São Paulo and shortly after their Director of Studies. In 2011 and 2012 I taught EFL and Business English in London, which I also enjoyed loads.

610005Tell us a bit about your session.

After participating in some Open Space Technology events (aka unconference) I decided to try the same approach with my language students; I also tried to find some structure and sense of continuity while teaching without coursebooks and in a highly conversation-driven manner, so I started to use video cameras to record all that and realized every class should have a camera. So this talk is a report on that, plus insights I’ve had doing my MA research (while also filming lessons).

Why are you interested in the area you’ll be presenting on?

I’ve been learning to see (and theorize) the language classroom as a ‘culture’, as a social context, in which students and teacher – apart from doing the usual work you’d expect – are constantly negotiating and co-constructing this social space. Underlying all that there are questions of authority, power, status, etc, that are usually held by the teacher, so what I am trying to do here is to see how we can open a pedagogical space that addresses these questions but that is at the same time practical, tangible, and sensible for the teacher.

What should your audience expect to learn?

My talks are usually open-ended, by that I mean there isn’t a clear learning outcome. I’m happier when I’m able to make people think (or rethink) about different aspects of their teaching. Different people will learn different things from this session, I hope. Having said that, the message I would like participants to take away is that you can empower yourself to let go of some control structures imposed by books, curriculum, tests, etc; once you are motivated to come up with something better and once you’re willing to involve your students in that too.

What are three phrases that sum up your session?

Classroom culture, video cameras, social context.

Which other presenter(s) are you looking forward to seeing?

Divya Brochier on action research, and Jamie Keddie on teacher talk.

Do you blog? Tell us about it?

I’ve been blogging for quite a while at For the first couple of years it was definitely my main professional development activity, the learning curve was pretty steep, and the connections and friends I made were life-changing. I wouldn’t be going to ISTEK and answering this questionnaire if it wasn’t for blogging, I’m sure.

Can we find you on Twitter or Facebook?

I’m @willycard on twitter.

My most recent social media activity is The Cardoso Book of Quotes on Education, a facebook page:

Have you been to Turkey before or is this your first time?

I’ve been to Istanbul twice. In 2011 for the 2nd ISTEK conference, which blew my mind to be honest, what a great conference! In 2012, for the IATEFL LTSIG & TDSIG conference, also at Yeditepe.

What other aspects of the conference are you looking forward to?

I always look forward to meeting old friends and making new ones.



  1. Reblogged this on welcometosuccess and commented:
    Reblogging! 🙂

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