A summer in the life of a (busy) ELTer
By jonhird, Nov 4 2017 03:33PM
A recent Facebook memory reminded me that it's a year since the grammar-devouring Awarewolf first appeared (see post below). It also alerted me to the fact that it's a year since I last wrote anything here. I truly admire those who blog frequently and have blogging as part of their output and profile, but with me I just never manage to find the time or maybe, and perhaps more to the point, the inspiration. I really should, but life is busy and days turn into weeks, into months and, like now, into a whole year. So, here are a few words about the recent (busy) life of this ELTer.
Since the end of Trinity term back in June and the end of my regular teaching for the 2016-2017 academic year, the past few months have been pretty well non-stop. First, there were a number of teacher training and teaching courses as well as a few one-off sessions for the University of Oxford. This included a course for a group of Finnish teachers on teaching teenagers, a brand new course of five workshops on dyslexia and teaching English, both held at Worcester College, the wonderful two-week English Language Teachers' Summer Seminar held each year at Exeter College, which is always one of the highlights of my year, and then it was back to Worcester for a four-week academic English course for students from Kyoto University. Over these courses, it was, as always, a great privilege and learning experience to meet so many wonderful teachers and students, who came from around 30 different countries. By the end of all this, the University was feeling very much like a second home.
Since the summer in Oxford, I have had a very busy time on the road, which has so far seen me conferencing in Italy twice, Poland and for my first ever visits to these countries, in Peru and Cyprus. I'll shortly be back in Italy for the TESOL conference in Rome, then an EAP conference in Moscow, where I'm very much looking forward to visiting for the first time in a few years, and then I'll be back in Italy, this time in Reggio Calabria in the south. My talk and workshop topics have included dyslexia and learning English, the features of and the assessment of spoken English, extended speaking (which draws on my own MA TESOL research), grammar games and contemporary English. Partcipants have included teachers, school managers and directors of study and in one of the talks, around 200 education and pedagogy students.
During my travels, I have been very fortunate to be able to take time out to visit some amazing places, highlights of which include the incredible city of Cusco and Machu Picchu in Peru, Etruscan tombs near Tarquinia in Italy and the fascinating city of Nicosia in Cyprus. It has also been really great to meet many old friends and colleagues, some of whom I haven't seen since we first met on courses I was teaching here in Oxford and also to meet some wonderful colleagues and teachers for the first time.
Alongside all this, I have co-written the B1 level of a new course book series, to be published in 2019, and I have just started writing some grammar material for another. A new editon of my grammar book for Italian students with dyslexia is also soon to be published. And in terms of teaching, we are now five weeks into the 2017-18 academic year at the University, where in Michaelmas term I have classes and tutorials three mornings a week.
So, with that in mind, it's time to prep tomorrow's classes. But before I do so, here are a few images from this very busy and very enjoyable and rewarding past few months.