Home » Archives by category » Methods and Musings

The Benefits of Age, Professorships, and PhDs

I used to think that showing deference to someone simply because they were older than me was illogical and irrational. Not surprisingly, I thought this when I was young. Now I’m in my late fifties. The people at my university who held the power when I first entered twenty years back have moved on to […]

Read more

Consider the following post to be wisdom based on almost 30 years’ teaching experience in Japan and not the product of an objective, in-depth research study (in other words, this has greater peer-to-peer reliability) 🙂   The question is this — Who among my Japanese students come to speak the best English? The students most […]

Read more

Rather than pummel readers with a Big Thematic Blogpiece today, I’d like to throw out a few EFL nuggets that I’ve been digesting recently and hear what commenters have to say:   Whatever happened to notebooks and notepaper?   Remember when college and university students actually brought notebooks to class? Each year the number of […]

Read more

I sit on the editorial board of three ELT-related journals and conduct reviews for two more. Respect me now! Yes, this is where old teachers go once we’ve grown weary of the conference circuit. I’m happy to help young ELT researchers spruce up a manuscript (certainly more so than when writing my own).    In […]

Read more

‘The notion that she had studied the language in public school seemed to her to be a perfectly sufficient explanation for her fluency’   Recently I was invited to a university in Taiwan for research and presentation purposes. After arriving at the university-affiliated hotel late, hungry, and thirsty, I immediately went out to check the […]

Read more

A lot of readers will be familiar with the scenario: A relatively unqualified or inexperienced white ‘native-speaking’ English teacher gains a position over a more highly-qualified or experienced Filipino or Singaporean because, well, this better suits the hiring committee’s myopic notion of what foreign English teachers are ‘supposed’ to look like. This is not a […]

Read more

  “I hope you prove me wrong — by acing the next evaluation”   I think everyone would agree that one of the main purposes of teaching, beyond actually enabling people to learn a skill, is to enhance their motivation to keep learning. So what do we do when our teaching apparently has the opposite […]

Read more

    Celebrity Academics arriving at the 2016 IATEFL Conference     Conferencing has a bit of an image problem. Many members of the public, including certain hard-core conference attendees themselves, see them as thinly-disguised holiday junkets. A four-day hard-drinking, luxury-hotel-bed-snoozing, sample-the-local-whatever indulgence package given as a reward for bearing the year-round drudgery of the office desk […]

Read more

I’ve met more than a few English teachers who’ve had their eyes set on that plum university job because, apparently, “University teaching is the gravy train.” Only 6 classes a week, long vacations, generous research and pay packages, full medical, pension, and retirement benefits, … hell, you can even eventually enter the secret university faculty […]

Read more

As a frequent traveller I regularly use popular travel websites to make my hotel reservations and a major factor in determining my choices are the reviews of my fellow travelers. I have a few regular haunts throughout Asia — my well-trodden comfort zones — but I am often perplexed to see how many reviewers say things such as, […]

Read more

Page 1 of 3123