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Professional Development

Yes, you can! (write for Teaching Village)

We’re better when we work together.

This isn’t just the tag line for Teaching Village, it’s what I believe. I’m a big fan of teaching degrees and licenses–I have a handful of my own, and value what I gained in the pursuit of them. However, I also believe that great wisdom comes from teacher experience in the classroom, and that we are all better ELT practitioners when we learn from each other. (more…)

Fun, in practice

At the end of January, I wrote a post inspired by Volkswagen’s Fun Theory competition. (If you missed the original post, it’s here: The Fun Theory in Language Learning) As often happens, as soon as I had “fun” on the brain, I started seeing posts and information related to this topic all around me in cyberspace! (more…)

My Perfect Classroom (by David Deubelbeiss)

boy-on-laptop“The problem with our profession is that there is too much teaching and not enough learning”.

I said this recently during a discussion and I think it is such an important point to understand about “teaching” a language – that we have to get away from delivery systems that are teacher directed and more towards models where students are self-paced, self-motivated and learning independently.  The future IS learning not teaching. (more…)

Teaching: a love story

playing schoolThis Valentine’s Day, since all the chocolate in Japan goes to men, I’m enjoying spending some quality time with the longest (non-family) relationship in my life: teaching. (more…)

Mind Mapping for Writers Part 3 (by Hobie Swan)

Part of the series: Stuff All EFL Teachers Should Know

Mind Mapping for Writers Article 3

We’ve come to the last of three posts about using mind mapping for writing. The first article looked at using mind maps to brainstorming, capture and organize ideas. The second talked about focusing on an idea and adding details. This final article will look at how to use what you’ve entered into the map to help you write your article, play, novel or, yes, even your school or business report. Mind maps are content- and purpose-agnostic. Use them for anything that requires thinking, planning, organizing, or writing. (more…)

2011 Challenge: Become a Beginner (again)

A few of the things that gave me that beginner feeling

 

This year

Try something that makes you feel foolish.

Something that guarantees you’ll make mistakes.

Something that frustrates and overwhelms you.

In other words, do something that helps you remember what it feels like to be a beginner. (more…)

Thank you for an amazing year!

 

 

 

Thank you, my beautiful Guest Authors!

 

It’s the last day of 2010, and a good time to reflect on the year that’s nearly done. This is the 110th post since I began this blog in June of 2009. I know that’s not a lot compared to really prolific bloggers, but it’s enough to thrill me. I began this blog as a way to learn more about connecting with teachers online, but wasn’t really sure how well the experiment would work, or what direction it would take. I had a vague idea about creating a community where EFL teachers around the world could share stories about their unique teaching environments and share wisdom garnered from their teaching experiences. (more…)

Meeting Challenges in the EFL Classroom/ Part 1: Read-aloud activities (by Christina Markoulaki)

Branko M., Assistant Professor of American Literature of the English Department (Faculty of Humanities in Serbia),  has been so kind as to give me the opportunity to present in a webinar some of the challenges teachers worldwide need to face if they wish their teaching to result in efficient learning on the students’ part. Although I feel fortunate to have been trusted with students of all ages and levels, the difficulties posed on the way have been numerous, also allowing me to take delight in their resolution. (more…)

Very Cool Events: Free Online Conferences for Language Teachers

In the time I’ve been exploring online opportunities for teachers, I’ve come across a number of incredibly cool people who organize workshops and conferences, create tools, nurture groups, and try to make the world (both virtual and real) a better place for us all. Just in case you haven’t already met these people or heard about their efforts, this post begins a new series introducing them. I’m calling it ‘Very Cool’ because, well, that’s what they are and that’s how I actually talk :-). When I wrote the first draft of this post, I focused on the people who make everything happen. However, I realized that they usually choose to stay in the background and would much prefer to shine a spotlight on their heart-projects, and so I changed the focus. (more…)

What You Can Learn From My PLN Quiz #6 (ELTAS Tech Tools Day Edition)

I had planned on taking a bit of a break from creating quizzes based on blogs by members of my Personal Learning Network. Then Anne Hodgson (one of the members of said PLN) sent me a message on Twitter, telling me about an upcoming event in Germany—ELTAS Tech Tools Day.

Now, I would do just about anything for Anne, so here’s a special edition of my PLN Quizzes, especially for Tech Tools Day participants. (Of course, you can take the quiz whether or not you are at Tech Tools Day!)

The quiz has five questions, based on five blog posts. Each has something useful to teach about technology and education.

Read the posts before you take the quiz. The main point here is to direct you to some excellent reading. You’ll also do better on the quiz. If you don’t like your initial score, you can take the quiz again. Again, the main point is learning, not grading. However, you will get a lovely certificate at the end of the quiz to display proudly on your own blog or web page :-)

If you want to read about the motivation behind these PLN quizzes, go here. (If you’re unfamiliar with the acronym PLN–Personal Learning Network–read “What is a PLN, anyway?”)

This quiz is based on the following five blog posts:

The Best Kept Secrets of Highly Successful Edu-Bloggers Part 1 by Karenne Sylvester

Microblogging for EFL with Plurk by Nik Peachey

Wikis by Lucy Mellarsh

Creating your Digital Self Part 1 by Ozge Karaoglu

Commercials in the EFL Classroom by David Deubelbeiss

Click here to take the quiz –> What you can learn from my PLN quiz #6