The Minimalist One-to-One Classroom

  Sometimes I think the ideal one-to-one class is just two people talking about things that matter to them. No distractions, no course books, no technical gadgetry, no fancy materials……and most of all….no gap-fill exercises! Can we actually teach English with nothing more than a pen and something to write on?   “By reducing the…More

The Curse of Knowledge

Do you ever despair of your learners and wonder why they can’t understand your explanations of grammatical structures? You can’t understand it. You studied the grammar diligently until you knew everything about the structure you were going to teach. And yet, when you shared your knowledge with your learners, they looked at you in that…More

English teachers are now in the improvement business

The times they are a-changin’ Back in the old days of TEFL, learners could count themselves lucky if their teacher used a course book that had pictures in. They could count themselves really blessed if the classroom was equipped with a cassette player to play audio materials, usually performed by impoverished drama students intoning phrases…More

5 best books for TEFL teachers

A former trainee asked me which TEFL books she should buy to improve her teaching. Naturally, I admonished her for not having bought my best-selling e-book A Short Guide to TEFL (shameless plug) but she promised me that she would and I dutifully went home and inspected my bookcase. Over the years, I’ve amassed about…More