Usually when (it) is so simple we say, “Oh, I know that! It is quite simple. everyone knows that.”But if we do not find its value, it means nothing. It is the same as not knowing. – Shunryu Suzuki in “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” – I am not sure when exactly it started, but at […]
Movement is the destruction of balance. I don’t know who I originally heard this from, but it was in the context of running theory. The idea is that in order for a physical body to move in any direction, it cannot be in a position of balance. That is to say, it cannot be maintaining […]
A 20-minute exploration of how conventional treatment of the”rules” for using the passive voice (as, for example, presented in coursebooks or standard student grammar books) misses the chance to introduce learners to a simpler, more elegant and more generative rule.
A couple of days ago I taught a short (35 minute) lesson to the teaching practice students on the CELTA course we are running in Hamburg at the moment. I had used a personal story to introduce the structure “used to” and, while setting up some controlled practice, I had told the students that I […]
Q: When is a train carriage not a train carriage? A: When it is a classroom. This is the substance of a conversation I heard on the train recently. Initially I only vaguely listened while trying to concentrate on my book, but the conversation began to grip my attention and I transcribed it. Names, while […]
I am lucky enough to be one of those invited to speak at the upcoming IH Barcelona ELT Conference, 8-9 February 2013. The event has already sold out, but if you are going to be there and have no other plans between 12:45 – 1:45pm on Saturday 9 February, then come along to room B […]
This is a summary of an ELTChat for the benefit of the #ELTChat community What do you get when you pose a question like this to a bunch of committed teachers and teacher trainers? Before anything else happens, you get an argument about definition of terms. 09:01pm @victorhugor: What’s the difference between teacher trainer and […]
This is just a short note to update you all on some new things you can find here now. BASIC TRAINING is an ongoing series at sharing in straightforward and low-tech ways how to go about teaching, simply. The first instalment is on how to get learners talking and capitalise on what they say […]
I am starting a new series of pages with the title Basic Training, where I will be summarising and illustrating some fundamentals of language classroom work (at least, as far as I see it!) Initially I thought about doing this mainly to support my CELTA trainees but then I thought that it might be generally […]
Some months ago, I had sad occasion to write a eulogy of sorts to the best teacher I ever had – Chris Foley.
In it, I wrote how he tempered me to take the edge of thoughtful enquiry (which probably sounds incredibly pompous and conceited, but if I have any intellectual sharpness, I have him to thank for it.)
The image was of the furnace, the blacksmith, the forge – and, at the forge’s heart, in the pit of the furnace, sits the crucible.
Most of us will never see a crucible of this kind in action, but I would like to suggest that we have all spent many years of our lives within a crucible of a very different kind.
Read more of this post at http://wp.me/p2DMwG-g9