IATEFL Day 2

When the day starts with a plenary such as Silvana’s on day 2 of IATEFL you know two or three things.  1. it’s going to be a very good day, 2. things are going to change for the better and 3. Silvana’s profile is going to skyrocket. I hardly know were to start.  I didn’t…

Stories from IATEFL 2016 – 1

IATEFL 2016 Day 1 Wow. Just wow. It is safe to say that this year, my 10th at IATEFL (I’ve been every other year!), was the most inspirational, worthwhile and valuable conference I’ve experienced! And I made so many stories… The first special moment involved, I’m honoured to say, the star of IATEFL 2016: Silvana…

IATEFL 2016 – Collecting stories

With the opening plenary given by David Crystal – a man who tells such wonderful stories about the English language (was it really 20 years ago I first saw him speak during my English A-Level?) and the closing plenary by Jan Blake – I’m so looking forward to her stunning storytelling (and if you haven’t…

10 life experiences I wouldn’t have without ELT

With IATEFL fever upon us I pause to reflect on my career in ELT. It is an exciting time to be part of the Irish ELT scene.  For various reasons we have had to look over the pond to our UK counterparts for the past few years for TD events, opportunities and inspiration.  The tide…

3 tips: How to make your language school REALLY good…

Ok, my SLA part 2 post is still in the drafts folder and is coming soon.  Possibly with a part 3… In the meantime I turn my attention to overall school efficacy.  During my time as a DOS, and now with the various contacts I have thanks to my work at UCD, I was/am often…

Second Language Acquisition for Dummies…PART 1

Not really for dummies. For all the very clever people reading this. Part 1 is all about why SLA is useful and then Part 2 will look at an SLA overview. It’s a pretty big field and academics are always arguing about how much SLA knowledge is even useful to teachers anyway.  The applied linguistics/SLA…

What method do you teach with?

Early last semester a student of mine on the MA TESOL asked me this question.  Thank you for the inspiration, who know who you are… And the answer is, I don’t.  Teach with a ‘method’ in mind, that is. And not because I place myself in the ‘post-method‘ era. Or because I stick exclusively to…

Being a teacher

And…just about caught my breath after Semester I in my new job!  I plan to be on here more regularly now that I have (almost) got my head around how things work there. This is the first of a few posts which look at the world of TEFL from the perspective of the teacher.  In…

IATEFL Day 2 and 3 – High Expectations, and Networking

Ah! IATEFL was great, it really was! Just brilliant.  Inspiring. It always is. Been busy since I’ve been back, lots of work waiting upon my return, so finally getting around to my blog now. Following on from day 1… As I didn’t attend a specific stream on day 2, but many talks from many areas,…

IATEFL Day 1 – Vision

From getting the train from the Boro early this morning, to retiring to my room at 7 to stay (with my feet up!), day 1 at IATEFL 2014 has been filled with inspiration. That was almost the buzz word I chose to summarise today, but in the end I plumped for ‘vision‘ as this tied…

Ode to an ADOS

I write this en route to IATEFL, leaving behind a very busy school in the midst of our ever increasing busy period. I did actually promise our ADOS, Joanne, when we hired her a year ago that while it was the start of the busy summer, in autumn/winter we have time to plan. The quiet…

Conferences…why bother?

I’ll tell you why, if you are someone who is wondering if ELT conferences are worth it.  Worth the money (and very often it is teachers who self fund to attend).  Worth the time (you may have to use annual leave to attend, or give up a weekend). I’ve had teachers say to me ‘I…