Welcome to Teacher Training Unplugged 2011

whiteboard brainstorm - practice types
Let trainees simply “notice stuff” and see what you end up with…!

First of all, let me say sorry to those of you who have visited here over the last few months only to be rewarded with inactivity.  This blog has been decidedly quiet since mid-year 2010 and there is nothing to do but apologise.  In my defence, I suppose I could say that the following things took priority:

  • actually continuing the work of unplugging our CELTA course;
  • writing up articles and dealing with other correspondence to do with our unplugging experiment;
  • preparing ideas for IATEFL 2011 and a couple of other conferences (more on that later);
  • deciding to maintain this blog alone after my colleague decided they preferred to focus their energies on doing rather than reporting our work;
  • trying to make headway on my own MA studies;
  • running a CELTA centre.

But a new year is here and a new opportunity to explore and share what we have been doing in the Hanseatic North of Germany has come around.  I resolve (in the long tradition of New Year’s Resolutions  – hopefully those which get kept!) to post here at least once a month with an update, plus any incidental posts I can find time for.

So in the coming months you can look forward to:

  • Teaching unplugged for Beginners – Lesson #1
    (a post or series of posts building up to a short talk during the symposium Dogme: doing more with less at IATEFL 2011 in Brighton UK)
  • Unplugging days 4 & 5
    (to wrap up our blow-by-blow exploration of how we tried initially to unplug our CELTA course, I will outline our approach to the second part of week one.  This will involve how we changed our approach to looking at grammar lessons and lesson planning, as well as reporting on the kind of listening and reading skills lessons that trainees tried out)
  • To B or not to B, that is the question…
    (a reflection on what justifies a “higher grade” (in terms of standardisation) on courses like the CELTA and how far this can be reconciled – or not – with the kind of expectations that an unplugged approach to initial trainingmight inculcate in trainers)

There will be more, I’m sure, but that is as much as I am prepared to promise for now.  If you are still interested and willing to read about our work and interested in taking this conversation further, I’m more than happy to hear fro you and burn the midnight oil in response!

Best wishes,



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