Two Little Letters

It’s amazing how much of a difference two letters can make…

I love technology in my personal life and I’m open to it in the classroom too. It’s part of my principled eclecticism approach to teaching, my own personal grab bag of techniques and concepts that inform what I do in the classroom. Forgive the simplistic examples, but while I love to unplug, at the moment I use a coursebook, I love to be as communicative as possible but I’m not averse to drilling, I love to treat language lexically but sometimes will go into the grammar, and I love technology but spend most of my time getting students to use their notebooks while I use the only the whiteboard. It’s messy but then so is language learning, so its suits me, at least until I decide that I was wrong about something and try a different way, which does happen fairly regularly. Continue reading


Can Technology Save The Day When Times Are Tough?

To inaugurate their blog, TESOL Greece invited bloggers to answer the following question:

”During an economic crisis, resources (books, budgets, infrastructure) are limited but high standards and qualifications are required so that learners can survive on the job market. Can the use of technology help learners and teachers overcome this problem? If so, how?”

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Video Games Unplugged

I’m currently reading Kyle Mawer and Graham Stanley’s Digital Play, published by DELTA, for a book review (which I’ll share with you as soon as it’s online). So far it’s a great book, passionately and convincingly arguing for a place for video games in the ELT classroom.

The second part of the book, and the biggest, contains a myriad of activities, including ones that are about video games rather than using video games. I was particularly struck by an activity on page 39 called Game Chatalogue. The essence of the activity is that students use video game catalogues to discuss what they find interesting. Continue reading

Why the music festival should have been unplugged

Note: This post is not an anti-technology piece as it may appear. I’m simply suggesting, as I have before, that tech should be employed only when it is necessary and adds something to the student learning experience. I’m also aware that I previously argued that we should put this discussion to bed, but this experience was too perfect a representation of my beliefs to ignore. Yes, I’m a hypocrite...

In May I was lucky enough to attend an amazing event in Barcelona with loads of like-minded, interesting people. I was entertained, enriched and absorbed in a wonderful occasion, and I hope can go back next year. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the IATEFL Teacher Development SIG Unplugged Conference, but the Primavera Sound music festival.  Continue reading

T is for…

letter T


two years which is more or less how long I’ve been involved in the online ELT world (not much I know), and if there’s been one recurring debate in that time, it’s been about the desirability of technology in the classroom. It’s the discussion that just won’t quit. Every now and again it flares up, with the technophobes and the technophiles battling it out. Continue reading