|credit to Will Clayton|
As time was freed up, I found myself browsing ELT blogs more often. Hooray for everyone who posted reflections so freely and honestly! While ESL is nowhere near as isolating an experience as EFL can be, teaching offsite and hitting the main office for an hour every two weeks really limits contact with other teachers, you know? It's so nice to have access to insights, ups, and downs from other real people who love ELT. I can't express how valuable it has been. It inspired me to blog more wholeheartedly myself, so there you have it!
One major discover from blog-browsing was Dogme, or teaching unplugged. Obviously, less dependence on materials would benefit a free range teacher! But that wasn't actually the main appeal for me. It was the compatibility of its main principles with practices I was already trying to follow in other aspects of my life -- in short: paying attention to "now", viewing life as a dynamic process that I don't control but I may influence by my choices, not being attached to "stuff" (or to not needing "stuff", for that matter!). And there's the connection to linguistics research supporting the notion of learning/language as a dynamic process. I feel as if I'm making progress with unplugging my lessons and am working on a post about that to get the new year going.
In the meantime, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! I'm heading to the shell-strewn beaches of Sanibel Island for drinks with paper umbrellas and maybe some birdwatching ...
|from Ken Douglas|
PS: while I was writing this post I noticed that Teaching Unplugged is now a Kindle book! I can stop carrying my battered paper copy around, yippee!! If you're unfamiliar with the book, you can browse it a bit at the link.