On Being a Good Teacher

I recently got an e-mail from one of my former students.  He’s training to be a teacher and is about to walk into his first classroom next week.  He sent me an e-mail asking for teaching advice.  I was searching for something to say that would help him and I realized that just having a […]

Assessing Classroom Participation

Today, I want to reveal my thoughts on assessing classroom participation, the topic of a #keltchat way back in May. Looking at the rubric provided prior to the chat, I was pleasantly surprised that I agreed with most of it.  Let’s break it down a bit and see how it would apply to my own […]

Learner Beliefs about Coursebooks

A recent #keltchat discussion got me thinking about how coursebooks fit into teacher and learner beliefs and expectations.  I realized that I had a story to tell that illustrates the differences that can exist here and how I reacted to them. About six years ago, I picked up a part-time gig working as an online English teacher for […]

Introverts as Language Teachers

A while back, there was an #eltchat about whether or not introverts could make good language teachers.  I have to admit that I am one of these people they were talking about.  Given the choice between a smashing good party on a Friday night versus a good book, I will take the book pretty much […]

Catharsis and Teaching

I recently read Micheal Griffin’s great blog post called “Talking about Talking about Teaching (Volume I)” and he posed some really interesting questions in his article.  One of the questions he asked was “Is complaining about teaching ever cathartic or helpful?”  I’d like to chime in here and add my own thoughts.  First off, I […]

Misconceptions about Learning & Teaching

I just read Ljiljana Havran’s great blog post on student misconceptions about learning and teaching over on her excellent blog and I thought I would share my own struggles in this area.  If you haven’t read Ljiljana’s post, please do so first. Go ahead – I’ll wait here. Finished?  Okay, here are the similar and divergent points […]

Helping Students With English Study

As a teacher, I must often think about the central question of how to help my students with their English study efforts. Many of my students recognize that they need to work hard outside of the classroom to improve their overall English ability.  The question of “what to do” then becomes central in their minds […]

Lesson Feedback

I’d like to respond to Zhenya’s fantastic post titled “Did You Like My Lesson?” over at the wonderful “Wednesday Seminars” teaching blog.  In the post, she talks about the tendency to give vague positive feedback to a teacher who you’ve just observed and is expecting praise in return.  The questions she asks in the article are […]

Vocabulary Activities and #KELTChat

On Sunday, June 21st, I had the pleasure of taking part in a #keltchat, which is kind of a discussion on twitter with other language teaching professionals.  Although the “k” stands for “Korean”, I’m not a teacher in Korea.  That hasn’t stopped me the community from welcoming me.  I’ve had nothing but positive experiences on […]

Vocabulary Learning: Making Words Stick

I was really excited to see the June 21st #keltchat topic was about vocabulary learning.  Vocabulary learning is something that I place a good deal of importance on in my classroom.  Consequently, I spend a lot of time trying to help my learners increase their English vocabulary.  I recently read Scott Thornbury’s excellent blog post called “V is for […]