Marcelo Concario is a visiting scholar from Sao Paulo State University in Brazil, where he is currently a Professor of English as a Foreign Language. His research areas include content-based instruction (CBI), content and language integrated learning (CLIL), language awareness and the needs of advanced learners.
Concario is visiting EWU’s English as a Second Language program within the College of Arts, Letters and Education (CALE) this fall to work on a collaborative project with Dr. Gina Mikel Petrie titled, “Triangulation and content and language integrated learning: Refining parameters to inform teachers’ and students’ decision.”
Can you talk about the research you’re doing here?
I teach content-based English for special purposes in Brazil, and I have my research project there. I’ve been collecting texts and some video material that students produce for my classes. I’m interested in how advanced users of English – and that could be faculty members, language instructors, even students from different countries, or even from countries where English is the first language – and how they would respond when they see the texts that my students write. So I’m essentially looking for what we call “triangulation,” different responses to the texts that my students wrote. And if possible, some of the video as well.
My particular interests here are to get a different approach to the way that different advanced users of English will look at and respond to the kind of writing that my students do. By doing that and getting more data, I hope to develop assessment criteria, refined so that students can select more adequate materials for the classroom.
What’s it been like working with Dr. Gina Mikel Petrie?
It’s been great. This is part of a post-doctoral research, and Gina is my interlocutor. She’s been facilitating things for me and making sure that I can contact the right people at the right time. Plus, she coordinates the English as a Second Language program, so we share a lot of interests.
The idea is that after this research here, that we continue to interact online because she’s going to teach some courses in the winter that may overlap with my interests. Hopefully in the future, we can work out some kind of cooperation where her students perhaps can come to Brazil and teach as interns for the practical part of their education. We just met here, but six years ago, there was a group from the OGI here that visited my university in Brazil.
What do you think of EWU and the eastern Washington area?
I see a lot of similarities with the student population at home. A lot of the students here work and study full time, which is the same as back home. I also feel that this is a teaching institution mainly, which is also something we share. I like living in Cheney. Things are very convenient for me because of that. This is a beautiful time of the year to be here.
I’ve been to EWU Spokane as well to meet faculty, and I really enjoyed it. Spokane is a good city because, from what I’ve seen, it has everything you would need to live well in the city, but still is quiet. You don’t have the inconveniences that you would have in a very big city, like traffic for instance.
Do you have any hobbies?
I like traveling a lot, and I like cooking. These I would say are two things that I’ve been doing more of. I like to be on the move. I’ve done more traveling in Europe than in the United States. I’ve done some traveling in Brazil also, and I appreciate each of these places for different reasons.
For cooking, I eat almost anything. I think the reason I like to cook is because it’s part of the process of learning about what you can find in different places. Maybe find ingredients that are not so easy to find in my home country, or different ways of cooking. I like meats and fish, and sometimes when I miss the food from back home, I just make rice.