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Mike Guest
Stories written by Mike Guest
Michael (Mike) Guest is Associate Professor of English in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Miyazaki (Japan). A veteran of 25 years in Japan, he has published over 50 academic papers, 5 books (including two in Japanese), has been a regular columnist in the Japan News/Yomiuri newspaper for 13 years, and has performed presentations and led workshops and seminars in over 20 countries. Besides ranting and raving, his academic interests include medical English, discourse analysis, assessment, teacher training, and presentation skills.

My Final Blog Post: Ten ELT Opinions and Ideas I Bequeath for Posterity

After twenty years of writing feature articles or blogposts on English teaching for the Daily Yomiuri/Japan News (Indirectly Speaking/Be My Guest), ELT News, ETJ Japan Journal, the old ELT website (The Uni-Files), and finally here on the Language Teaching Professionals, I’ve decided that it’s finally time to hang up my keyboard, to close down shop, […]

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So there I am baking in my car in the intense July sun about to leave my parking space in the half-empty Aeon lot. However, I don’t do anything more than nudge the very tip of my nose out because someone is about to drive past me. They have the right of way – but […]

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Many people who claim to ‘know a lot’ about grammar actually misunderstand how grammar works. And it is the resulting misapplication in teaching that is partially responsible for creating students who may hold considerable passive (albeit often very confused) grammatical ‘knowledge’ but have difficulty actually communicating.   Analyzes paralyzes   Have you ever heard the […]

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Japan is a country in which people hold meetings about holding meetings, rehearse for rehearsals, and conduct tests to help prepare test-takers for other tests — such is the degree of fastidiousness and meticulous preparation that makes so much of this country both hyper-efficient and exasperating. Indeed, if you have children who’ve gone through the […]

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Those of you who’ve been living in Japan for a while know how convoluted all this can get   The textbooks would have it that Mr. Brown asks “What’s your name?” and Ms. Smith duly answers with, “Karen Smith” (before calling for the manager, naturally). Simple as that. But real life is a little more […]

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  “An unhealthy dose of social awkwardness”   I’ve written previously about how the propensity to teach and practice fully grammatical sentences can lead to increased difficulties in producing speech for non-native English speakers, as well imbuing that speech with an unhealthy dose of social awkwardness. Moreover, when we reward fully grammatical speech forms with […]

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What they do care about is that I submit a REPORT about it   For the most part, everyone in Japan is an office worker. Office work is real work. Teachers are office workers. Police officers are office workers. Shopkeepers are office workers. You are only really working when you are sitting at your desktop […]

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  “The rising sense of desperation that English teachers feel when a deafening silence envelopes the classroom”   People might tell you it’s because the students are shy. Or that they are afraid of making mistakes. Some will venture that they lack opinions and yet others will argue that it is actually an integral, acceptable […]

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It’s been almost 35 years since I started teaching English, back when the internet meant some kind of reinforcement fabric, when cell phones were those contraptions that wardens called on to give death row convicts last-minute reprieves, and Krashen was what teenagers did with their Chevy Novas on summer nights after quaffing too much Baby […]

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I know that many language teachers in Japan blanch at hearing the infamous ‘We Japanese…’ response (and yes, that includes many Japanese teachers). You know what I mean. That loaded preface which marks many international conversations in Japan: Foreign human: So, what’s a good place to grab a lunch around here? Japanese human: Well, we […]

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