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Professional Development

XXIII Rules for Student-Centered Language Teaching (by John F. Fanselow)

Note from Barb: 25 years ago, John F. Fanselow published Breaking Rulesencouraging teachers to really see what was happening in their classrooms, and then considering alternatives. John’s work had a powerful, positive influence  on my own teaching, and I’m thrilled that iTDi is working with John to offer a truly unique five-week course starting in November: Breaking Rules Live. It’s a rare opportunity to work interactively with someone who is certain to challenge your thinking, revitalize your teaching, and inspire you as an educator. (more…)

Little teacher me in the big ELT World (by Yitzha Sarwono)

Note from Barb: I know that attending an international conference is a major decision for teachers — big conferences tend to require a serious investment of both time and money. Since some of you may be facing similar decisions, I thought you might appreciate Yitzha’s reflections about her first international conference experience. (more…)

The Myth of the Perfect Teacher

Note: This post was originally published on June 26, 2012. On October 14th, I did a presentation at JALT 2012 in Hamamatsu with Chuck Sandy and Ozge Karaoglu, during which participants created this prezi. So, I’m adding the prezi to the original post and opening it once again to comments. What are the stereotypes of a perfect teacher? What are real teachers like? And, how can we help each other become the best teachers we can be? (Barb) (more…)

The floor is ours! (by Arjana Blazic)

Teach Meet International

TeachMeet is a life-changing experience. Those who have never taken part in one won’t understand what I’m talking about; those who have, are most probably hooked for life. (more…)

Upon reflecting on how I became an EFL teacher in Venezuela (by Miguel Mendoza)

“Sometimes the slightest things change the directions of our lives, the merest breath of a circumstance, a random moment that connects like a meteorite striking the earth. Lives have swiveled and changed direction on the strength of a chance remark.”-Bryce Courtenay


I have been teaching English for more than 20 years. From teaching children to adults; from teaching students to training teachers; from EFL to ESAP; from using board and chalk (I still do!) to computers, flipcams and smartphones; from teaching F2F to emoderation; from being trained to teach able-bodied students to “training” myself to teach and care for functional diversity students; and from contemplating a career in arts to choosing my second best: teaching English. And from this last revelation, and maybe you sitting on the edge of your seats, you might be wondering how I ended up taking the road of teaching – and not exactly the one less travelled! Sorry about that Mr. Robert Frost and Sir Ken Robinson. No regrets, though. (more…)

More than six ways of motivating our students

Motivation

Image: rosipaw (flickr)

This week, the iTDi bloggers are talking about motivating students. As always, they come at the topic from different angles, and (as always) they gave me plenty of ideas to think about. (more…)

More than six ways of using technology in language teaching

This week, the discussion question over on the iTDi blog is How do you use technology in your classes? I’ll be honest … I sort of expected that all of the posts (except for my own) would gush about the wonders of technology in teaching. I know that’s a dreadful generalization, but almost all of this week’s authors are digital natives, and quite tech savvy. This generalization sounds worse and worse, doesn’t it, especially when I know that the whole digital native and immigrant distinction is rarely worth the space used to describe it. But sometimes, in online networks, saying anything cautionary about using technology in teaching seens about as popular as saying anything favorable about coursebooks :-) (more…)

Community, Collaboration, and Leadership at Nakasendo 2012 (by Chuck Sandy)

Every once in a way you hear someone say something so true that everything inside you shifts a little. Lights go off in your mind. Pieces of things you’ve been thinking about for years suddenly get tied together, and all at once you wind up with a new frame for the window you use to see the world.

This happened to me a few years ago when I heard community activist Bob Stilger say, “every community is full of leaders just waiting to be asked to step forward”. Those words from Bob helped me to reframe and redefine my thinking, the same way that Steven Herder’s now famous statements about collaboration did. When I first heard Steven say, “Anything I can do, we can do better (together)” and “collaboration provides just the right amount of pressure to get things done” similar bright lights went off inside me as a new framework took hold. It is now not too much to say that these statements have come to define how I think about community building, collaboration, and leadership. (more…)

More than five approaches to planning lessons

Lesson Planning

image: Fuschia Foot

I’ve been out of town, so am just now getting caught up on the last round of posts on the iTDi blog about working with difficult students. If life happened to interfere with your chance to read those posts, please do. They’re as inspiring as always.

This week’s topic is lesson planning, and there was quite a range in the way the iTDi bloggers approach their planning. (more…)

Listen: You’ve Got To Be The Change You Need to Be (by Chuck Sandy)

“Let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.” – Bob Dylan

Chuck in his gardenListen. Although I had a chance to tell you all this in my recent post on the iTDi Blog, I didn’t. Rather than write about staying healthy, I wrote about motivation. Then I read Chiew Pang’s wonderful post How To Stay Healthy The Cheap and Easy Way and decided to tell the whole story, and by doing so, the truth. (more…)