‘Tackling native speakerism in ELT’ – recording of the IATEFL 2016 panel discussion

5 10 2016

TEFL Equity Advocates

Finally, we got around to publishing the recording of the panel discussion on native speakerism that me, Burcu Akyol, Josh Round and Christopher Graham did at IATEFL 2016. In it we addressed the problem of native speakerism in ELT; that is:

a prejudice, stereotyping and/or discrimination, typically by or against foreign language teachers, on the basis of either being or not being perceived and categorized as a native speaker of a particular language. […] Its endorsement positions individuals from certain language groups as being innately superior to individuals of other language groups (Haughton and Rivers 2013, p.14).

We addressed the issue from three perspectives, that of a ‘non-native speaker’ (Burcu), a recruiter (Josh), and a teacher trainer (Christopher). Each of the speakers offered practical ideas how the prejudice against ‘non-native speakers’ can be overcome. There was also a 30 minute Q&A session.

For your convenience, the recording was divided into…

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A song for a DOS

21 12 2015

Some pre-Christmas fun (at my school’s Talent show)…

Happy Christmas colleagues! And here’s to a successful, stress-free 2016 😉


Talent selfie

Communication – from a manager’s perspective

8 09 2015

Communication event flyer

As one of the IATEFL LAM SIG  Committee members, I’m delighted to be involved in organising another conference event, this time with ELT Ireland.

The them of this event is Communication from a manager’s perspective. Here is the big sell:

In modern and successful English Language Teaching Organisations, effective communication plays a critical part yet it will always be one of the most difficult and complex skills that the ELT Manager needs to develop.

Whether it be communicating with staff, students, line-managers, other stakeholders or the wider ELT community, managers need to develop wide-ranging skills, plan strategically and employ a variety of tools – all of which requires constant re-assessment.

The IATEFL Leadership and Management Special Interest Group and ELT Ireland invite you to a 1 day event on Saturday October 3rd in Dublin to explore the issues and challenges involved in getting communication right.

With plenaries from George Pickering and Fiona Thomas, ELT-ed sessions, and talks and workshops from Michael Carrier, Loraine Kennedy, Maureen McGarvey, Gill Davidson, and Mike Hogan, there will be much to inspire you and provoke thought and debate.

We are also very grateful to have sponsorship from Cambridge English Language Assessment for the day’s catering and refreshments.

Hope to see you there!

To book the event, please register here https://secure.iatefl.org/events/step1.php?event_id=97

It’s a beautiful life! (in response to Tyson’s challenge)

19 12 2013
1st bday cake

From photo by @mkofab #eltpics

To celebrate this blog’s 1st birthday (whoop whoop!), Tyson Seburn suggested I respond to a blog chain challenge, in which bloggers share 11 random facts about themselves and nominate others to do the same (why 11, no-one seems to know). Tyson’s response is here, he was prompted to do this by Carol Goodey’s post here and she was in turn tagged to do the challenge by Rachael Roberts.

The idea has a fun, festive, end of year feel to it, and is a nice way for me to finish off this first year of (occasional) blogging. I should be able to rattle it off quite quickly as well, which is another good reason to give it a go 🙂

So, here we are, 11 random things to discover about me!

1. I love a good boogie!

2. I sing in an acappella group, I’m a tenor. I have always loved a sing-song, at home, and whenever karaoke opportunities come up, but I only recently joined this group; we meet once a week, and I realise I love the process of learning and creating a dynamic song.

3. I am a retired actor. It was my job for around 10 years, I had small roles in TV and film, and did quite a lot of commercials in the UK and Europe. The most fun I had was working on new plays in theatres on the fringe. It is such an unpredictable career path that it was a relief when I finally hung up my acting boots.

4. I studied French and German to degree level. Then met my wife, who is Spanish.

5. I don’t like feeling closed-in. This has become more of an intense feeling in the last few years, so…I have to have an aisle seat on the plane and at the cinema, and sit in the front seat of a car. I am wary of packed tube trains.

6. I love playing football, swimming, and cycling. I swim once a week with my 2 boys, I cycle to work (when it’s not raining or too cold!), and would like to play footy more than I do.

7. A couple of years ago, almost suddenly, I developed a passion / obsession / strong interest in the zombie genre. Not sure why. But I now love watching zombie films (most recently the Cuban ‘Juan of the Dead’), and the TV series ‘The Walking Dead’, and I even read zombie fiction (most of which is awful, but The Remaining by D.J. Molles is a good series).

8. I would love to play the piano – and if I could, I’d play jazz.

9. I’m a terrible one for snacking; I can’t just drink a cup of coffee, I have to have something with it (biscuits, cake, bagel, muffin, flapjack…)

10. Before the term ‘Gamer’ was around, I was a gamer. I can still remember the intense emotions I experienced when I first played Goldeneye on a friend’s N64. I spent too many hours playing that; and other games like Resident Evil and Grand Theft Auto. Now I dabble from time to time on my iPad, while my kids have started getting into Minecraft (it’s creative and collaborative so I think that’s all right).

11. I am a sucker for Apple products. I love them! My first computer, as an adult, was a strawberry Apple iMac. Since then, with my wife, I have had 2 Macbook Pros, an iPad 2, an iPhone 4 and 5, and an iPad Mini.


The other part of the challenge is to tag other bloggers to prompt them to participate. So here is my nudge to a few bloggers I know and admire; Laura is a great colleague at SGI, James I’ve met at several IATEFL conferences and is an all round good guy, and the others are fellow ELT management folk, just to show that we too can have a bit of fun – come on guys, we can, can’t we?!

Laura Patsko 

James Taylor

The Secret DoS (this really is a challenge!)

Rachael Fionda

Fiona Thomas

Andy Hockley