I would like to take this opportunity to extend thanks and appreciation to those who have made a difference in my career. Perhaps this is a little unusual on a website, but whatever small measure of success I obtain in any aspect of my work is due to the fact that over the years others have encouraged me and given me the support I needed.
My career would have taken a very different turn if it hadn’t been for professor J. Donald Bowen, who suggested that I apply for a USIS English Teaching Fellowship. Professor Ruy Alencar, the founder and director of the Brazilian-American Cultural Institute (ICBEU) in Manaus brought me to Manaus in 1972, through USIS, as an English Teaching Fellow. Professor Ruy was an extraordinary man, a short man who stood taller than the rest, an inspiration to all who had the pleasure of knowing him, and a major influence on my life (as well as on the lives of so many others). And of course I cannot fail to mention the warm and friendly work environment and wonderful group of teachers at the ICBEU during the time I was a teacher there. My EFL teaching career began at the ICBEU and it couldn’t have been at a better place.
During the many years that I taught English as a foreign language at the Federal University of Amazonas, I had support and encouragement from every single administration. Also, I owe a thanks to my own department (foreign languages and literatures). The greatest part of my professional life was spent there, and I had the good fortune of having a wonderful group of colleagues to work with.
I also had terrific support outside of the University. I would like to acknowledge the support and encouragement received from Mike Potter and Tony Deyes while they were directors of the British Council in Brazil. Important support also came from “Instituto Evaldo Lodi” (IEL), specifically from Moysés Israel, and Wilson Colares, respectively Executive Director and Superintendent. IEL made it possible for me to attend and present papers at several conferences. Furthermore, it sponsored my book Point and Touch, which itself served as the basis for a series used to teach English in the public schools.
Dr. James J. Asher, the originator of the TPR approach to language instruction, gave me much appreciated encouragement me when I was just beginning my career. Had I not met him certainly my professional life would have taken a very different road.
Finally, my greatest debt and thanks go to my wife, Neusa Maria, the light of my life, my “Abelha Rainha”, who sadly is not here to witness the launching of this website.