We are entering into exciting times here with the launch of new blog and vlog series for Pavilion ELT, and two new bloggers for English Teaching Professional. These add to our excellent blog series written by David Dodgson for Modern English Teacher and represent teachers from all around the world in a variety of contexts. We are delighted to be sharing a bumper bundle of blog and vlog content with you in this festive season.
To kick things off, you will find our latest blog post from David Dodgson for Modern English Teacher. David joined the team back in September 2017 and has successfully blogged from the Middle East, Asia and the UK on topics ranging from value of self and time to LEAP to his recent EAL journey. His latest post, How the Grinch Stole Christmas-Themed EFL Activities, may make you reconsider what type of lessons to teach in the run up to Christmas.
You will also find blogs from our two new bloggers for English Teaching professional, Michelle Ocriciano and Chiara Bruzzano – they will be writing alternate blogs every fortnight. Let me introduce them to you …
Part of ELT for over 20 years, Michelle Ocriciano has worn many hats – teacher, teacher trainer, academic manager, researcher and learning and teaching consultant. She holds a BA in Linguistics, a BEd Secondary, a BA in Pedagogy and an MA in Applied Linguistics. She is currently an EAP teacher at the University of Queensland in sunny Brisbane, Australia and has embarked on a new MA in Psychology and Counselling, which she hopes will help her support her students and peers better.
When Michelle Ocriciano started teaching, she had a 5-year degree in Linguistics and teaching, and thought she could conquer the world. She felt that she basically knew two things very well: 1) language teaching is social and 2) knowledge of how language works is essential. But the fact is that she still had many questions, and the more she taught, the more those questions bothered her. Her first blog post, Shedding light on the mystery of how students learn, describes what she discovered about the way students really learn.
Chiara Bruzzano is a PhD candidate in language education, MA tutor and teaching assistant at the University of Leeds. She also teaches ESOL and IELTS at a Leeds-based charity and writes materials on listening instruction.
Chiara has taught EFL and EAP in the UK, Italy and Spain. She holds a BA in interpreting and translation, an MA in TESOL and translation and a DELTA M1. Her main interests are EFL listening, teacher cognition, ESOL and English as a Lingua Franca.
Chiara talks about a recent learning experience in her first blog post, Paraphrasing strategies: turning failure into development, that you might well relate to. You know that feeling when you plan a lesson well (you’ve already done similar things before) and you’re feel confident. You go into the classroom and it doesn’t work at all. Does this sound familiar? Sometimes, no matter how well we plan (and how many good questions we ask ourselves questions before setting up an activity), we can’t seem to produce the results we expect. Chiara was teaching an IELTS class recently when this happened, but despite the frustration, it turned out to be a great opportunity for development.
Adding to these blog series for Modern English Teachers and English Teaching professional, we have a new blog and vlog series for Pavilion ELT – this will feature topics linked to our books as well as our magazines, and discuss topics and issues pertinent to the ELT world.
Within the Pavilion ELT series, there will be a monthly blog post by Gerhard Erasmus.
Gerhard has been involved in ELT management since 2006 as senior teacher, academic manager, and director of studies. He is currently based in Taiwan where he is responsible for his organisation’s professional development and training. He is also a Trinity Certificate TESOL, TYLEC, and Trinity Diploma TESOL tutor. Alongside all of this, Gerhard is a committee member of IATEFL LAMSIG (Leadership and Management Special Interest Group) and draws lots of his inspiration from the connections he has built with managers and leaders in ELT from across the globe.
His management interests involve learning and development of managers, specifically those starting their careers as teachers, and it is also the focus of his current Educational Doctorate studies.
In his first blog, Gerhard talks about how as a manager, he aims to provide his teaching team with as many opportunities and skills as they are ready for because when the next big promotion comes up, they better be ready. He says he celebrates their promotions probably more than they do themselves, even feeling like he’s succeeded when they succeed! Consequently, when he had a discussion with one of his teachers fairly recently – someone he rates quite highly as a teacher – he ended up being slightly annoyed by the fact that this person had avoided taking up opportunities to present on training days or mini-conferences they’d arranged and also declined becoming a line manager for a part-time teacher. This led to a bit of a rethink – as much as he wants to make everyone around him a manager and a leader, the conversation made him realise that management isn’t for everyone and teacher training isn’t for everyone. Read his post, To manage or not to manage? Is that really a question?, to find out what happened next.
We are also launching an exciting new vlog series. In this series, we have two vloggers, Damien Herlihy and Rubens Heredia, who will be taking it in turns to vlog each month.
Our first vlogger is Damien Herlihy, who has nearly 20 years teaching English, with six years of running his own language school in Thailand. He is a former IELTS-examiner, an award-winning teacher, and following his Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language, is also an online teacher, a journal article writer and a conference presenter … Alongside all of this, he has also been working on a website for students of English called English Riot and regularly writes blog posts, makes YouTube videos and produces a podcast for the site.
His first vlog, The Internet as a Virtual Textbook for English Language Students, discusses how as English teachers we like to believe the magic happens in the classroom, but that's probably not the case. If you only see students for 1–2 hours a week then the magic is most likely happening outside the classroom. Ollie Richards labels this outside time as ‘the big prize’ for students, so in this video, Damien talks about the concept of students using the Internet as a virtual textbook as an introduction. By the end of the series, you'll be able to better help your students practise English outside of the classroom.
Our second blogger is Rubens Heredia, who is a freelance CELTA trainer and co-founder of whatiselt.com, a website and social media platform dedicated to helping English teachers and teacher trainers with definitions of common ELT concepts as well as examples and tips on how to use them more effectively in lessons. He began his teaching career in Brazil, where he taught one-to-one lessons and groups of children, teens and adults. Rubens has been involved in teacher training and course design for the last 7 years, and is currently based in Barcelona. He’s a frequent speaker at international conferences and you can catch more from him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @whatiselt.
In his first vlog, 7 things you need to know before teaching abroad, Rubens talks about how being an English teacher allows you to work in many different places around the world with your skills and knowledge being the key criteria, not your place of origin. He also discusses what you need to know before you decide to pack your bags and move to a different country, and asks what are the most important things to bear in mind when working abroad. Throughout, Rubens draws on the most important lessons he’s learnt from his experience living and working with ELT in different countries.
We hope that gives you plenty to watch and read! Please let us know what you thought of our new series, and what topics you would like us to cover, in the comments or by contacting Kirsten Holt firstname.lastname@example.org.