Blast from the Past! – new old article

Just posted another old (or should that be ‘vintage’?) article of mine that I dug up.  Re-reading it wasn’t too embarrassing so I thought I’d share.

I can see lots of connections to now: the ideas about learner independence explain why Howard Vickers’ talk at the Dogme Symposium resonates so much with me, and the focus on exploring learner language chimes with my emergent, unplugged leanings – so an interesting piece of nostalgia for me, but hopefully a useful read for some of you!  Here’s the link:

Please let me know if you find it was worth reading!



  • Personally I think recording students can be really productive. As you say, the affective filter goes up, but it’s reassuring to hear that things settle down. I recently recorded some children while they were doing Language Garden, using screen-capturing software. They were a bit scared at first, not wanting to be laughed at in the playground, but actually really enjoyed it. I didn’t do all the activities you suggested afterwards as they were English-speaking children, but agree with what you say – there should be.

    • Thanks for commenting, David, and thanks for sharing your experience with those young learners. Face saving is very important for children; they need to feel secure in order to take risks, but if we get this right, they can deliver the goods in royal fashion 🙂

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