Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be an English teacher! It was because my mum was my kindergarten teacher. She was so creative, engaging and inspiring that I wanted to be a teacher just like her. I had my own chalkboard at home and I was always the teacher when we played “school” with my friends. I think I’ve always had this huge passion for teaching and, today I have been an English teacher for eight years in Istanbul, Turkey. (more…)
Committed to learning
After 20 years in the EFL classroom, I still learn new things all the time. Certainly, here in Japan, the students are completely different than they were back in 1989; in those days, they all sat up straight, had their hair braided back and always made an effort (or pretended to, anyways) whether they liked English or not. These days, things are a little more… normal, for want of a better word. The students make me work harder to get their attention, and they don’t try, if they are not interested in my lesson. I’ve had to grow as a teacher and adapt my lessons over the years. Here is a glimpse of my context, my approach and my challenges with my junior high school students at this particular point in my career: (more…)
It has been a busy, exciting year.
- Karen Frazier, Ritsuko Nakata, Carolyn Graham and I finished the 4th edition of Let’s Go.
- I did workshops on the 5 largest islands in the Japanese archipelago (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa, in case you’re curious), in Korea, and online.
- Chuck Sandy, Kate Cory-Wright and I co-wrote a course, English for Teachers, for International Teacher Development Institute.
- I wrote two columns: Teacher’s File 2.0 for Teachers Learning with Children, and Barb’s Bits and Bytes for ELT News.
- Most Wednesdays found me helping to moderate ELT Chat with Marisa Constantidides, Shaun Wilding, Berni Wall and Shelly Terrell.
- I taught. And blogged. (more…)
Whenever I teach, I do all I can to present language so that it comes to life for the students. As an English teacher, I instantly become an actor in order to convey meaning for any new language being taught. I recall the first time I was teaching in a classroom in Taiwan, where every student spoke the same language. In order to communicate with beginning and elementary level students, clear gestures and the use of realia were essential. These helped create a context for the language so the students could grasp the meaning. (more…)
One of the greatest advantages of belonging to online networks is that you have daily access to people who are talented, smart, creative, and (most importantly) generous about sharing those abilities. Events like the Edublog Awards are lovely affirmation of my belief that we really are better when we work together. (more…)