On April 2, Vera Cabrera Duarte presented a talk entitled: Through the Tunnel: ​a way into​ Significant Learning​.


On this page you will find all the slides used in the talk and the bibliography of the research. We will be very pleased if you can share your thoughts about the presentation in Comment Box.

SUMMARY: This talk draws on my experience as a teacher developer, a researcher and a teacher of English to undergraduates at the Catholic University of São Paulo Brazil. I have always been concerned about the role of affect in the classroom situation, and most of my research has been dedicated to Educational Psychology, especially to the principles of Significant Learning (Duarte,2015), and to motivation as opposed to resistance to learning. As a result, pedagogical proposals to enhance learning were implemented. In this presentation, I will show how, together with the students, the short story Through the Tunnel by Doris Lessing was discussed. I will brief the audience on the story and explain how it can be applied not only as extensive reading literary material for ELT, but mainly as an example of how art can directly impact people´s emotions.  The story helps explain and illustrate more precisely what happens to humans in learning. The narrative is about Jerry, an eleven-year-old English boy who goes to a foreign country with his widowed mother to spend his holidays. The conflict emerges when he wants to prove himself he was no longer a child and sets out to swim through an underwater tunnel. Reflections arising from the analogy between Jerry´s experience as a learner and students´ own experiences include self-awareness of their own resistance versus their willingness towards learning. Students´ reflections on their feelings and discoveries will be shown.

Looking back on the 53rd IATEFL Conference

April 7, 2019

Coming to the IATEFL Conference always demands some effort from overseas teachers like myself, and it is always rewarding, but the 53rd Conference in Liverpool was even more inspiring.  Having met so many like-minded people who are engaged in humanistic language learning approaches made this experience amazing. 


I will leave Liverpool with a feeling of achievement and belonging. Special thanks to friends and people from the C Group of which I am so proud to be a member. 

Thanks to David Heathfield who introduced me to the group five years ago! His “Story Telling Around the World” reveals what sharing in language learning means. Also thanks to Alan Maley, founder of the C Group, who has been continuously supporting the group in all ways. I was honoured to have him in my talk. 


Many thanks to Andrew Wright, for his sensitive, artistic way of supporting EFL practitioners (including myself) with his story telling.

I made new friends Malu Sciamarelli and Stefania Ballotto and also shared good moments with other long-time friends: Gloria Sampaio and Estela Rondon.

Thanks to everyone!

My ELT luggage is a treasure trunk now.

Vera Cabrera Duarte

The C Group
Creativity for change in Language Education

The C Group is an independent and informal grouping of EFL professionals. It aims collaboratively to share information, promote reflection and inquiry, and encourage action through more creative and open teaching practices.


More information and membership:




C Group QR Code