Home » Archives by category » Methods and Musings

Observations from the beginner’s seat: What studying a third language has reminded me about teaching

I’ve very rarely taught English to absolute beginners. To be honest, after years of teaching university students and adults in graduate programs, I would probably be far out of my comfort zone facing a student standing at that very first step.   For this, I’ve always been grateful to those L1 (for most readers that […]

Read more

  I was as guilty as anyone, I must admit. There was a time that I thought critical thinking was an essential tool in the English teacher’s arsenal and I indulged. It was arrogant, wrong-headed, and I’m damn sorry. I’ve reformed.   Here’s why. A critical thinker should sense the rich irony, the obvious paradox, […]

Read more

Scene 1: ‘Let me introduce Daniel Filibuster, our chief of international relations.’ ‘Hi. Call me Dan.’ ‘Nice to meet you, Daniel!’   Scene 2: ‘I’d like you to meet Vice-Regent Professor Emeritus Montgomery Hardwhistle.’ ”Nice to meet you Monty!’   It doesn’t take a Professor Emeritus to realize that the respondent in both cases above […]

Read more

“From this activity I learned that I should listen to my patients.” “I realized that I have to study English more and more.” “I came to know the importance of cooperation with others.” “I was surprised to see cultural differences.”   “…if taken at face value, they are all pretty much lies.”   At some […]

Read more

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

Page 1 of 3123