There are thousands of ELT blogs out there, so why spend your valuable time on mine?
This blog will share my reflections on English inside and outside the classroom, particularly on the key role of motivation in TEFL, through teacher-to-teacher ideas as well as practical lesson activities. I hope to be able to connect with teaching colleagues and students of English from around the world, and learn many things to improve my own teaching practices.
The founding principles:
I don’t move without motivation, clear goals and plans, and I’ve taken this from the realm of sports – from completing an Ironman triathlon to several marathons (highlight so far – Boston) and ultra marathons (highlight and it will probably stay that way – Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc) into my work as an English teacher and teacher trainer.
So everything you read on this blog is driven by a personal motivation that teachers value their profession and realise the potential of their influence, and that students are motivated to learn English. Once motivation is in place, we can find the energy to join the dots and make anything happen.
I’m committed to the principles of mindset theory in both teaching teachers and students, which isn’t yet mainstream in ELT teacher training courses. Also, the motivation to learn English should stem from a desire to connect to the world around us, if only REAL language and communication can find their way into the classroom.
A bit of CV:
I currently work as an ADOS (Assistant Director of Studies) at International House Riga, Latvia, having started there in September 2016 as Senior Teacher. I previously worked at Nessie English Centre academy in Albacete, Spain for four years, and passed the Delta qualification while teaching there, finishing the qualification in August 2015.
I’ve always had a passion for learning languages, and my degree from the University of Bath was focused on French and Spanish. I aim to transmit this enthusiasm to my students, and empathise with the joys and challenges of learning a language, having been there myself. I’ve also dabbled in learning Russian (starting with a long stretch on the alphabet!), and am getting my teeth into Italian, which is reminding me of what it’s like to start a language from scratch.
Other extra curricular activities:
I enjoy presenting at CONFERENCES, and learn a lot from other presentations I attend while I’m there. I try to accompany the presentation with a write up when I can, and post the slides on the blog. Here are a few recent examples:
Using Feedback to Build Mindset, IH Torun conference, April 2017.
Stress to Impress, IH Brno ‘For the Young Ones’ conference, October 2017.
You don’t ask, they don’t get. IH Budapest conference, December 2017.
From Forming to Performing: Group Dynamics, IH Brno ‘Imagine’ conference, February 2018.
I’m also keen on writing for other PUBLICATIONS when I can. Published highlights so far include:
IATEFL Voices, Issue 253 November – December 2016 p.3, Mindsets in the Classroom.
IH Journal, Issue 42 June 2017, Manipulating Mindset to Make the Most of Observations. Available here.
IATEFL Blog, July 2017, Me, Myself and I…ATEFL. Available here.
IH Journal, Issue 43 November 2017, ELT 2.0. Available here.
IATEFL Voices, Issue 261 March – April 2018 p.13, Inculcating a Growth Mindset.
I usually also say ‘YES’ to any WEBINARS I’m asked to present, so just ask if I can help out by giving one for your organisation. Webinars so far:
Examining Obsessions: Exam preparation classes, their effects on the individuals and society, and what we can do to reduce the negatives, Trendy English Online Spring Forum, March 2016.
Making Writing Real, Skyteach Online Conference, March 2017.
Implementing Mindset Theory in the Classroom and the Staff Room, IH Online Conference, May 2017.
Creative ELT Uses of Simple Tech, xtern.ru International Online Summer School for English Teachers, June 2017.
“PRONUNCIATION” “pronunciation”. Teaching techniques beyond drilling, Latvian Association of Teachers of English (LATE), October 2017.
Teacherpreneurship: Failing Forward – You Win or You Learn, Skyteach Online Conference, October 2017.
Riveting Revision and Overcoming Exam Anxiety, Latvian Association of Teachers of English (LATE), March 2018.
Psych Up Your Teaching, Trendy English Online Summit, June 2018.
Please get in touch with any comments or questions!