Foreign language and education

Research projects:

Approaches based on text genre: its impact on academic writing and cognitive development

Description: The project aims to fill a gap in the area of studies on text genres. This area of study comes from a conceptual approach, therefore less empirical, of genre, from educational programs based on this category and from a systematic assessment of its impact on the learning and cognitive development of the student. The current project will implement two courses of academic writing in English to graduate students in priority areas of knowledge to the Brazilian government. The programs will follow the Australian school and conceptual assumptions, and they will be offered to the target audience with intermediate level of English.

Professor in charge: Marília Mendes Ferreira (


Designating knowledge: representations of cognition and relationship with knowledge of English teachers in public schools

Description: Study on the concept of proficiency and non-proficiency of foreign language, investigating: (i) effects on school context produced from an imaginary constituted around the ideal of total knowledge (domain) of a foreign language; and (ii) implications for the construction of the identity of teachers and students of English in public schools.

Professor in charge: Deusa Maria de Souza-Pinheiro Passos (


Corpus Linguistics and English Teaching

Description: This project aims to examine the role Corpus Linguistics plays in various aspects of EFL teaching and learning as, for instance, teaching English to pilots, to elementary school students, to college students etc. As part of this project, the ComAprend corpus  (Corpus Multilíngue de Aprendizes – will be redesigned so as to allow for a variety of searches to produce data for teaching-learning studies, mainly concerning specific difficulties of Brazilian learners.

Professor in charge: Stella Esther Ortweiler Tagnin (


Foreign language teaching and learning in the discursive perspective

Description: The project aims to deepen scientific knowledge around the relationship between mother tongue and foreign language starting from the analysis of discourses on these languages and of their teaching and learning in various discursive fields. Its general objectives are: a) to contribute to studies on the constitution of subjectivity, as well as on learning language (foreign and mother), questioning the view that polarizes both as if they were independent and inert; b) to strengthen links between research and elementary and high school, creating opportunities for discussion and exchange of experiences among researchers and teachers; c) to contribute to the education of teachers, developing material for reflection about the identity constitution of the subject, just deceptively stable and established.

Professor in charge: Marisa Grigoletto (


Teaching of English language writing in different institutional contexts

Description: This research project aims to investigate the teaching of writing skills in the English language in different institutional contexts (language school, public school, formal school, private lessons) and with different objectives (general English programs, English programs with specific purposes, Languages and Literature programs). The theoretical basis consists in the Australian school of text genres (Eggins & Martin, 1997; Martin, 1989, 1993), the Davydovian pedagogy of the movement from the abstract to the concrete (Davydov, 1984, 1988, 1990), and the socio-historical-cultural theory (Vygotsky, 1987, Leontiev, 1981, Engstrom, 1987).

Professor in charge: Marília Mendes Ferreira (


The teaching-and learning of  foreign languages based on  Cultural Historical Activity Theory tenets

Description: This project aims at investigating the foreign language teaching-learning process using  Cultural Historical Activity Theory principles (Vygotsky, 1987: Leontiev, 1981; Engstrom, 1987). As a result of this research, pedagogical actions to promote development, as it is conceived by Vygotsky, will be suggested.

Professor in charge: Marília Mendes Ferreira (


The investigation of multiple aspects of academic literacy in English and Portuguese

Description: Due to the increasing pressure of funding agencies on academics to publish internationally and the expanding internationalization of Brazilian universities, Brazilian researchers urgently need to develop not only literacy in L1 but also in English. This project aims at investigating several aspects involving the learning of  academic literacy, such as the following: teaching resources, teacher training for the academic skill, students’ challenges with mastering the academic discourse, geopolitical and sociological issues. This project intends to offer, as a result of the research, pedagogical material and academic writing teacher training courses in English and Portuguese. This project is linked  to the Laboratory of Academic Literacy in Portuguese and Foreign Languages at the University of São Paulo.

Professor in charge: Marília Mendes Ferreira (