Newsletter #9

Newsletter #9
Good morning

Another week gone already - how did that happen?! I hope you've had a productive one and that you're looking forward to what I have to offer this time. I've got an inspirational story for you, a teaching challenge and another recommendation for a brilliant website, so settle in- here we go....

Inspirational ELT stories
One of the things that has kept me happy in ELT for over 30 years is the wonderful teachers I've worked with. People often come to English language teaching from a wide range of backgrounds (my first degree was in Agriculture...) and also find all sorts of ELT niches to work in - English for Business, Peacekeeping, Academic Purposes, Flower Arranging even (I kid you not!). Through the website, I often get emails from people with really great stories and I thought that I'd like to pass some of them on. Partly this is because they're a heart-warming read, but also because they might give you some thoughts about possible ELT career avenues to explore. This week, I launched an occasional blog post series called 'Inspirational ELT Stories' and we kicked off with Evelyne's story, proving that you are never too old to do CELTA. I hope you enjoy it and if you have a good story, do let me know.

Sneak preview
Last week, I asked you to record one of your classes and this week, I'm setting you the first of four observational challenges to investigate your practice. You can do this at any stage of your career and we're starting off with a topic that will probably resonate with a lot of you: teacher talk! The video is here and the exercise will take 20 minutes of your time - it's a small time investment for what will be really interesting- I promise! Feel free to let me know how you get on.

Finally, a useful website for you. If you have ever been to the IATEFL conference, you'll know that it is a really special event. Thousands of English teachers, trainers, writers, publishers, researchers from all over the world gathered together for a week. As I mentioned above, maybe teaching English tends to attract my kind of folk- but certainly when I'm at IATEFL I always feel as if I'm with my 'tribe'. Of course it was cancelled this year and it is (in any circumstances) a not inconsiderable expense and so out of reach for many English teachers. However, it's still possible to see many recorded plenaries and talks on the British Council website here. If you want a couple of personal recommendations, I really enjoyed this plenary by Lourdes Ortega -What is SLA research good for, anyway?' and this plenary by Silvana Richardson on 'The 'Native' factor, the haves and have-nots' brought the house down in 2016. Also, if you like a good debate, this one between two of my ELT heroes- Scott Thornbury and Catherine Walter on 'Published course materials don't reflect the lives or needs of learners' is worth a watch, too!

OK- enough! Hope that you find all of this interesting and have a great week.

Jo Gakonga

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