Newsletter #6

Newsletter #6
Good morning!

Jo here again with a few more thoughts and ideas. But I need to start with an apology and a small embarrassment....You might have noticed last week that I pointed you in the direction of a template for a weekly planner ...and then forgot to include it. Sorry. My bad. I've put an idea for how this could work at the end of this blog post, if you are still interested. Maybe it's a good opportunity to have another go at using it!

Don't be afraid to start something new
This got me thinking about the 'steam ahead, good enough is OK and pick up any pieces that you've dropped afterwards' philosophy that I tend to live my life by. I make LOADS of mistakes (trust me on this one!) but I try to learn from them and I do get quite a bit done using this approach.... Does this resonate with you, or are you more of a planner? Is there something that you've been thinking about doing in your teaching but were worried that it might not work? My call to action for you this week, is DO IT! John Faneslow advises teachers to 'Try something new'. Even if it doesn't work out, you'll know what not to do next time. And on that note, here's an idea for you that you may not have tried yet....

Sneak Preview
We're all getting much more used to an online environment (well, I guess that's true for a lot of you, anyway) and whilst I'm missing my face to face classes and I'd be the first to say that this is the ideal for most reasons, there ARE one or two areas of classroom practice where it actually does work better online. For me, writing is one of those. I've been doing some writing using Google docs with my ESOL class and I love the ease of it and the way that I can see everyone's work at the same time. I've made a little video about it here, so check it out and if you've never done this before- have a go!

Website(s) of the week
I definitely feel that teaching is the kind of skill that's best learnt by doing it, but as you probably know, I work in a university on MA and BA programmes, so I may be a bit biased towards the academic and there is certainly a lot to be learnt from research. Most journals are hidden behind high paywalls, but there are some great things that you can access for free. One example is the ELT Journal. It's a paid-for publication but every issue, there is a free article and the archive is here. If you'd like a recommendation, this one on Reflective Practice is great. They also have a free archive of what they call Key Concepts in ELT that has lots of bite-size articles on a range of things. Want another recommendation? This one on top down and bottom up approaches to listening from John Field is old but still very relevant. Enjoy!

Right, that's it for today- hope that you enjoy these murmurings and that you find the planner useful if you have a go at it!

Jo Gakonga

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