Aug 142013
 
Simple English please!

This sign spotted on a Czech train, which does the Prague-Copenhagen run regularly, reminded me that native English speakers have a responsibility to use simple English especially in this case which relates to an emergency situation when a non-native English speaker might not be thinking clearly. Why not “Do not go in the direction of […]

Mar 042013
 
Simple English now!

This is a plea for the mindful use of simple English. I recently had a short assignment which was called English teaching but in reality turned out to be a very tough assignment not really concerned with learning English. The clients were a local professional company which offers services to local businesses in my part […]

Dec 062012
 
Mobile English

Here are two interesting trends: 1.    Many countries in Europe and beyond expect much public sector activity to happen digitally within a very short time. Eg 2014 in Denmark and 2016 in the UK. This means that even mundane activities such as registering a change of address, registering your child for school, paying your taxes […]

Sep 122012
 
Teaching English in rural China

There is a shortage of qualified Chinese teachers in rural areas because trained Chinese teachers will prefer the higher salary and better facilities of an urban area. The gap year solution is one way of giving rural children the opportunity to learn English which is fast becoming essential in China. But what would it be […]

Aug 312012
 
Gap year China

In spite of tough economic conditions the idea of a gap year just before or after university or at any stage of life can be very attractive. There is now a huge industry built around offering gap year experiences and these are usually very expensive requiring a great deal of fund raising beforehand. So an […]

Apr 172012
 
Short, sharp globalisation lesson

Over the past week I’ve been talking to a European company about being an online teacher of English. Everything seemed to be going well. They liked me. They wanted me on their books. These people seemed professional and fair. The internet is bristling with online language teaching sites. Most of them seem to be thinly […]

Dec 212010
 

The sessions for the 2011 round of EVOnline workshops aimed at EFL teachers have been released. Although you cannot sign up until the beginning of January it is a good idea to browse the available options so that you can decide which ones you want to join. The organisers recommend that you join no more […]

Sep 162010
 

Mike Marzio has been on my list of potential interviewees for a long time because of his innovative Real English video materials. But the reason that I finally got round to interviewing him for the Absolutely Intercultural podcast is that he has a personal project for which he needs to raise €30,000 to cover the […]

Aug 232010
 

Learn a bit of structured language and go out immediately into the real world to practice it, where real world really does mean real world and involves the students interacting with the public in libraries, cafes and parks. That’s the idea behind Languages Out There and in March I explored the concept with its founder […]

Dec 112009
 

I have justfinished a blended learning business English course which was an experiment to find out whether people would like to learn 50% in the classroom and 50% online.These were definitely in the pre-intermediate category. I had an extremely mixed group including cable fitters, fish processors, yeast factories, tourist office and ferry companies. I decided […]