I got an email recently about a new iPhone app from Edublogs, which is the platform I use for my class blog. Since today is the day I teach at the community center (no Internet except for my phone) and I had planned to have students review language, it was a good opportunity to try it out. While it isn’t really an app for role plays, that was the use I had in mind for today’s lesson. (more…)
Reflections about professional growth and the ELT profession in general
“Let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.” – Bob Dylan
Listen. 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…)
Last night, as I browsed through the latest “status updates” from my Facebook friends, I was struck by the fact that over 60% of my friends are non-native speakers of English (NNS). Their mother tongues range from Arabic to Zulu, yet almost all of them regularly communicate with me in English. Additionally, many write blogs in English, attend webinars, use Twitter, run PLNs, and carry out other activities in English.
This set me thinking… How are NNS using English these days? Who are they communicating with? For what purposes? (more…)
There are teachers, and there are Teachers. I respect anyone who steps into a classroom, but I adore educators for whom teaching is as much a vocation as a job.
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…)
Soon after I moved back to Japan, I had coffee with Kazu Nakamura, the new (at that time) president of Oxford University Press Japan. During our conversation, Kazu outlined his goals in regards to OUP’s educational mission. Part of the conversation, paraphrased in my memory, went like this:
Kazu: I want us to provide teacher training workshops in all areas of Japan.
Me: OUP already organizes workshops every year in all regions. How would this be any different?
Kazu: I want to send authors and trainers to the rural areas that don’t usually get attention. Even if only a few teachers attend, that’s OK. I want teachers to know that they matter.
Me: That’s nice.
I smiled, and gave Kazu credit for having his heart in the right place, but really didn’t expect to hear anything about his idea again. (more…)
This is the story of a sensitive soul who decided to teach English as a foreign language. Like other such souls she was acutely aware that the world is not as it ought to be. While at university she had seen fellow students flocking to the careers fair and queuing up to become employees of the big corporations, ditching their ideals (if they had any) for the best possible pay check. She wasn’t going to ditch her ideals, and becoming a teacher seemed to be a way of joining the forces of good. (more…)
Some people fear that in the race to make Indonesian students more global, they may be losing the sense of what it means to be part of the Indonesian nation.
August 17th is Independence Day in Indonesia. Just like other countries, on this day we celebrate the history of how Indonesia became a nation. When I was a student, I felt like I was drowning in nationalism, even when it wasn’t anywhere near Independence Day.
It’s Children’s Day in Japan, a holiday for rejoicing in children’s unique personalities and celebrating their happiness. It seemed appropriate to use this post to showcase some of the ways that children around the world have worked with their teachers to respond to the earthquake and tsunami in this country. (more…)