Part of the British Council’s mission is to foster the English language worldwide in order to build cultural and educational relations between nations. To contribute to the discussion about the Common National Curricular Base (BNCC) and actively collaborate in strengthening basic education in Brazil, we have prepared a critical analysis of the third version of the document where the focus resides on the English language. The full file is available for download at the foot of this page.
Generally speaking, the study presented to the National Council for Education on November 8, 2017 defends the teaching and learning of English “in use and for use”, in other words, based on practicing the use of the foreign language in different social contexts. It opposes teaching in the traditional manner, which is fragmented and out of context and emphasizes the learning of vocabulary and stand-alone rules of grammar. It stresses that teaching the language plays an important role in the students’ overall education, by expanding the possibilities for communication and cultural exchange.
Although the text of the Base protects the right to a comprehensive education and proposes dynamic teaching that encourages the use of English in real life, the practices put forward in the document contradict this idea. That is why the critical reading undertaken by the British Council indicates the need for coherence between the theoretical assumptions and the content.
A further five recommendations have been made. These are: clear learning objectives; flexibility for adapting syllabuses at regional level; clear progressive learning over the years; efficient teaching of the language, especially the paramount importance of investment in educational policies for teacher training and qualification; and proposals that reflect the requirements of the 21st century, highlighting the “digital” mode in which the new generations think, learn and communicate. Each of these points is accompanied by justifications and suggestions.
The preparation of this study was coordinated by Cíntia Toth Gonçalves (British Council) and carried out by three leading specialists in English language teaching in Brazil, namely: Prof. Andreia Cristina Alves de Oliveira Silva (Escola da Vila), Prof. Kyria Rebeca Finardi (Federal University of Espírito Santo) and Prof. Lívia Pretto Mottin (Vale do Taquari University – Univates).