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“Make eye contact with the audience. Use strong gestures to reinforce your points. Give a clear self-introduction to start.”    Hmmm, really?   I wonder if we are teaching presentation techniques that are unsuited to our students’ needs and purposes. I also wonder if we are often teaching presentation techniques that are outdated or irrelevant. […]

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There I was sitting in my office, admiring my own busyness, when I first noticed it. Dribbling in ominous trickles, oozing like molasses through the cracks in the wall, slimy vines  were creeping through the ventilator, gelatinous tentacles forcing open the windows and slowly encircling my desk. Pulling away in a mad frenzy from the sucking, gurgling goo I […]

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  Having seen hundreds of trainee teachers ‘in performance’ I can say with some authority that the biggest difference between the obvious novice and the skilled pedagogue is the latter’s ability to manage space, time, and people. The former often have little or no sense of audience, they lack sensitivity as to how the message is being […]

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Why do we make children tell data about themselves in front of uninterested strangers and regard it as a language learning staple?   So, how do you introduce yourself in English, anyway? Not so easy to answer, is it?      “Good morning. My name is Roland Dropkick, I’m Junior Vice-President of regional bottling and […]

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‘Some of this misrepresentation seems to me to be willful, or, willfully ignorant’ Because Japan lies on the globe’s geographical, cultural, and linguistic periphery (assuming one is using a Eurocentric model) it lends itself particularly well to being misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misrepresented. But some of this misrepresentation seems to me to be willful, or, willfully ignorant. Perhaps […]

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  “A test is valid only if it measures that which has actually been taught.”        How many of you agree with the above statement? Offhand, it sounds quite reasonable, doesn’t it? But I would say that it holds true only for a minority of tests, specifically achievement tests, and doesn’t make a […]

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The temptation often comes in the form of elegant handwriting. Seeing the alphabet rendered with a caring, skillful hand acts as a salve for the weary essay grader. After deciphering near-illegible scrawls for the previous 40 submissions, you swoon at the sight of well-rounded loops, taut linearity, and balanced proportions.   But you jar yourself from […]

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