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Observatory launches interactive platform with data on English teaching in Brazil

The Common National Curriculum Base, under implementation from 2020, establishes the teaching of English from the 6th year of secondary school and this brings an opportunity for the democratization of language teaching. However, knowing the scenario in which this happens through data and evidence is essential to support decisions and definitions of goals for language teaching in the country.

Who teaches English in Brazilian basic education? Who are the professors who leave universities and how does this teaching take place in the most different places in the country?

These were some of the questions that motivated the study “English teachers in Brazil – Portraits of a profession from the School Census and the Higher Education Census” (in Portuguese) carried out by the Observatory for the English Language Teaching, an initiative coordinated by the British Council, as part of the UK-Brazil Skills for Prosperity programme carried out by the British government.

The survey results are available through an unprecedented interactive platform, which allows users to immerse themselves in the data and make their own crossings, generating information about their local reality. There is data on the supply of English in basic education, the profile and training of teachers of the language and the workload of these teachers in different years. Data area dashboards can be accessed from the website’s main menu at the top of the page.

The idea is that this data will help to plan actions, according to local realities, on key themes such as: the profile of teachers to be hired, their workload, priorities for the continuing education of teachers, among other aspects.

“The objective of the study is to deepen the look at who are the English teachers working in Brazil in the municipal, state and federal public networks, as well as in the private network”, says Cíntia Toth Gonçalves, senior manager of English at the British Council. “Generating knowledge about the English teaching staff in Brazil and aspects of their professional practice is an essential step to promote advances in the teaching and learning of the language, with positive repercussions for the whole society”, she adds.

The research information is added to the other resources offered to the Observatory’s audience — teachers, educational managers, policy makers, decision makers, technicians, researchers — with the aim of improving English language teaching in the country, making it more equitable, diverse and inclusive in Brazilian schools.

Keeping an eye on English teachers, today and in the future

The study, carried out in 2021, analyzed data on education, workload, age, gender and race of more than 172,000 English teachers in basic education in Brazil, based on the most recent data made available by the National Institute of Educational Studies and Research Anísio Teixeira (Inep), in the 2020 School Census.

The data reveal that four out of five English language teachers in Brazilian basic education are women. The average age of the teachers in general is 41 years old, and each professional teaches an average of about 300 students. Regarding academic titles, 16.7% of teachers do not have completed higher education.

The survey also provides information on the more than 99,000 students undertaking licentiate or bachelor’s degrees in Portuguese–English Language and Literature or English Language and Literature, based on the 2019 Higher Education Census, also from Inep. The objective is to understand the characteristics of graduation and the profile of professionals who will work in the future teaching English in the country.

Check out some general survey data in the video below:

Observatory launches original podcast on English teaching and learning in Brazil

To mark the dissemination of the survey on the profile of English teachers in the country, the Observatory for the English Language Teaching launches its first original podcast. The debut episode deals precisely with the importance of data work on English teaching.

The content is aimed at English language teachers, managers and education professionals. The objective is to offer qualified information and discussions about teaching English, with interviews that contribute to the listener’s understanding of the Brazilian scenario of English language teaching and learning.

The first season has six episodes that feature interviews with experts from different regions of Brazil – they discuss topics such as critical racial literacy in the classroom, the importance of assessment, English in the 21st century, among other current topics in the sector.

The episodes will be released weekly, always on Thursdays, on the main audio platforms, and made available at the Observatory. The complete series can be found here.

Check out the teaser:

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