I, Ian Charles Rowcliffe, am an extremely experienced English language teacher who recently worked for more than 20 years at the University of Porto. There, I developed English for Academic courses for each of the four year Sociology undergraduate courses. I also formulated courses in the four year English Language Course. See here for the second year programme. I also created a post-graduate course for translation students hi-lighting advanced theory - Functional Grammar which blends syntax with semantics - with the Next Step - post graduation career trajectories. Moreover, I was employed as a teacher trainer and evaluator in schools around Porto such as Amarante. Prior to all this, I worked, at times, in various European countries for a great variety of language schools including the British Council in (O)porto as well as working privately for well placed individuals in the professional class such as lawyers, executives and doctors.
At this stage of my career, I am working on a reformulation of English teaching, English for Equine Assisted Education, to complement the traditional one. This is basically an existential course centred around Authenticity, Integrity and the quest for Truth, complemented by interaction with horses making use of their ability to detect pretence over sincerity. At the upper end of the scale, this would interest advanced speakers such as English school teachers needing refresher courses and a completely original perspective to their students' needs, including an understanding of the ensuing, empowering dynamic revealing a compelling bright new future for Portugal. This motivation occurs through the chance to interact with horses and advances to a vision of a life-style reflecting an integrated set of fundamental values in tune with the next Era - the Post-consumer Era, Slow Food and The Good Life.
Within our own environmental context promoting tourism, an extension of the process would be to prepare Equine Facilitators to receive interested visitors from other EU countries. At the other end of the scale, the basic approach can be introduced using a light hearted and fun children's course called 'Horsing Around With English' complemented by memorable horse paraphernalia, which links in with our Leading Through Reading project - see menu above for further details.
Clearly, there is nothing new under the sun and you can find similar approaches being formulated around the globe with Linda Kohanov spear-heading the movement for Equine Assisted Education to be integrated into the school system in the US. Of course, what makes this course unique is the horse powered English it produces.
I am launching this approach from my estate in Celorico (already a complex based on sustainability and complemented by five horses) convinced that it incorporates the interests of the area and those of Portugal in general.
It is time to create a new tradition and show that we in Portugal have responsible far- reaching perspectives that are relevant, remarkable and incredibly realistic.
In sum, history tells us that the English/Portuguese vector is a winning paradigm that has opened up the world to new perspectives and can do so again.