UM PDPI – School of Education & Human Development
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Welcome to the University of Miami

“Programa de Desenvolvimento Profissional para Professores de Língua Inglesa nos EUA” (PDPI)

Six-Week English Language Certificate Program for English Teachers from Brazil

Meet the UM PDPI Faculty, Graduate Assistant, and Presenters!

Program Faculty

Program Assistant

Program Presenters


The methodology focuses on two key principles and five elements, based on the Base Nacional Comum Curricular (BNCC, National Basis for a Common Curriculum; Brasil, 2017a). The BNCC is a document whose goal is to guide what is taught in elementary and secondary schools in Brazil, applied to the teaching of school subjects from pre-kindergarten to high school. It contains learning objectives to guide the development of specific curricula in each school; it is not a curriculum to be used across the country, as specific curricula need to meet the methodological, social, and regional goals of individual schools (Brasil, 2017a). The BNCC guidelines state that the teaching of English opens “horizons of communication and cultural, scientific, and academic exchanges” (Brasil, 2017a, p. 1). A historical analysis of previous guidelines highlights the centrality of texts and the prevalence of the four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) in the BNCC (Brasil, 2017b). By taking what is included as key principles and elements in the BNCC which high school English teachers will have to implement starting in 2019, the UM PDPI uses local needs to plan a practical, innovative, and realistic research-based program. Two key principles from BNCC are used at UM PDPI:

  • Interculturality is the recognition of and respect for differences and their understanding promotes a focus on English as a lingua franca, “a language for international communication used by speakers from all over the world, with different linguistic and cultural repertoires,” not connected to specific regions.
  • Multiliteracies involve English language development through new possibilities to participate in meaning making that go beyond the verbal to incorporate verbal, visual, body language and gestures, and audiovisual resources.

These two key principles guide the following “organizing elements” which will be the focus of each UM PDPI week, with a culminating week attending to the integration of these elements:

  • Orality: comprehension (listening) and production (speaking) include oral interaction in various discursive contexts that promote learning situations of spoken elements (e.g. pronunciation, intonation, and rhythm), comprehension strategies (global, specific and detailed), and negotiation strategies (clarification skills, confirmation, paraphrasing). Teaching resources include use of movies and TV shows for significant authentic input.
  • Reading: Meaning-making in the context of different textual genres enables language learners to explore different purposes for reading (e.g. reading for general purposes, for specific purposes, comprehension of details etc). Teaching resources include pre-reading, during-reading, and post-reading activities.
  • Writing: Written production involves two aspects: 1. Process and collaboration; 2. Social practice. Written production starts with shorter texts such as messages, posters and memos in which description is predominant lead to longer and more elaborate texts (short stories, news articles, opinion texts) in which narratives and arguments are expected.
  • Linguistic and grammatical knowledge: Use, analytical, and reflective practices about the English language occur in the context of orality, reading, and writing. Vocabulary and grammar activities, involving forms and verb tenses, phrasal structures, and discursive connectors, among others, focus on inductive ways of developing systemic-functional linguistic knowledge of the English language. Instead of a focus on what is right or wrong, these activities promote reflections on appropriateness and intelligibility as well as comparisons and contrasts between English and Portuguese.
  • Intercultural Dimension: Cultures, especially in this digital age, are in a continuous process of interaction and (re)construction. Different groups of people, with different interests and diverse linguistic and cultural repertoires, experience open and plural identities. Learning English, then, implies problematizing the roles of the English language itself in the world, its values and peoples, in contemporary society as well as from a historical perspective.

Though these elements are presented in the BNCC as separate, they are in fact interconnected in social practices of English language use and should be taught in such a way in school contexts. It is language in use, always hybrid and multimodal, that leads to the teaching of its specific characteristics, and none of the elements should be treated as a pre-requisite, and especially not the linguistic and grammatical knowledge (Brasil, 2017a).

Drawing on research on effective professional development (PD) in education, we planned a continuous and on-going program with a long-term focus, providing multiple opportunities for teachers to collaborate and contribute to the professional learning curriculum/design and (Darling-Hammond, Hyler, & Gardner, 2017; Gulamhussein, 2013).

Brasil (2017a). Lingua inglesa. Retrieved from

Brasil (2017b). Historia da BNCC: Area de linguagens. Retrieved from

Darling-Hammond, L., Hyler, M. E., Gardner, M. (2017). Effective teacher professional development (research brief). Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute.

Gulamhussein, A. (2013). The core of professional development. American School Board Journal, 200(7), 36-37.

Program Schedule

The full program schedule will be available in January

  • Week 1 (1/14-21): Focus on Orality
  • Week 2 (1/22-28): Focus on Reading
  • Week 3 (1/29-2/4): Focus on Writing
  • Week 4 (2/5-11): Focus on Linguistic and Grammatical Knowledge
  • Week 5 (2/12-18): Focus on Intercultural Dimension
  • Week 6 (2/19-23): Putting it all together: Interculturality, Multiliteracies, and English Language Teaching


Sunday, January 14

1:00-3:00 PM

General Orientation to Program – how to get to the UM campus, guide to area, distribution of credit cards, Q&A, Human Bingo

Dr. de Oliveira, Dr. Menda, and Ms. Vicentini


Tuesday, January 16

10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Reporting to IIE, Overview of PDPI, Ice Breaker

Dr. de Oliveira, Dr. Menda


12:30 - 2:00 PM

Welcome Lunch: Introduction of UM faculty and review of emergency procedures

2:00 - 3:30 PM

Methodology: Overview of UM PDPI Principles and Elements, Discussion of Resources and Requirements

Dr. de Oliveira, Dr. Menda, Ms. Vicentini


3:30 - 5:00 PM

Campus Tour

Ms. Vicentini

About UM

Contact Us

Department of Teaching and Learning
UM School of Education and Human Development
5202 University Dr.
Coral Gables, FL 33124
Office: Merrick Building 222 (2nd floor)
Phone: (305) 284-4961

Dr. Luciana C. de Oliveira, UM PDPI Director; Professor and Chair
(305) 284-6495

Dr. Ana Maria Menda, UM PDPI Coordinator; Assistant Professor of Professional Practice
(305) 284-5698