Verônica de Castro Caetano Baumhardt, Director and Teaching Co-ordinator, holds a Master’s Degree in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) from Marshall University, West Virginia. She has extensive experience as a language teacher – twelve years teaching Portuguese and more than twenty teaching English. She also spent two years as Portuguese Instructor at Marshall.
The school was founded in June 2007 by Verônica Baumhardt following her completion of a Master’s Degree in TESL. The degree course had transformed her vision of language teaching: using the new concepts she had learned as a foundation, she decided to create an environment where she would be free to offer a more natural kind of teaching, tailored to the needs of her students and respecting the learning pace of each group.
In contrast with the traditional style of language teaching, we do not follow any specific course book. Our approach is based upon the theory of Constructivism established by Paulo Freire, according to which the teacher should act as a “facilitator” in the classroom.
This theory is closely related to methods of second language acquisition in use today, which call for students to assume responsibility for their own progress, taking an active role and seeking from the first day of class to express themselves in the language they are studying.
When we are preparing teaching material for a particular group of students, we therefore take into consideration their interests, their age range and their learning objectives, in order to provide content which has a meaning and relevance for each learner. We place great emphasis on oral communication, without ignoring writing, reading and listening practice.
• Library (with books in English and Portuguese);
• Video library (our catalogue contains approximately 550 DVDs);
• Material with cultural information on different countries (maps, menus, tour guides, atlases, etc);
• Various educational games.