“So, you’re a teacher?”

​-It must be great to have all those long holidays !

-Well no actually, I’m actually busiest in the summer. In fact, I never take a holiday in July or August.

-Oh, so you’re not a proper teacher then ?


-What kind of teacher are you then ?

-I’m  an English teacher.

-Ah, Shakespeare and all that. You must love books !

-Well actually, not that kind of English teacher.

-Ok… I think I’m going to talk to someone else now…

Continue reading

Is Donald Trump the Humblest or the Most Humble Person in the World?

There may be one advantage to Donald Trump being President of the United States (only one!), though it’s quite a selfish one: he certainly gives me a lot of food for thought. Sometimes I really don’t want to write about him, or even think about him, or exist in the same universe as him, but he can be hard to ignore, particularly when he demonstrates his unusually dysfunctional relationship with the English language.

Last week he gave us another addition to the evergrowing list of did-he-actually-just-say-that? moments:

Continue reading

The Power of Prepositions

 No teacher likes to be observed. I still remember my first teaching practices when I was training to be a teacher. It was terrifying, because I’d never done anything remotely like teaching beforehand, and then suddenly had to stand up in front of a group of strangers and help them understand a list of words. This was made even worse by having an experienced teacher observe me, along with three fellow trainees. Being in that position really makes you doubt yourself. Whenever you see them make a note, you think about what you must have just done wrong, and hesitate about what to do next.

Continue reading

Practice Makes Perfect. Or is that “Practise…”

This post is something of a companion piece to yesterday’s.

Up until early February 2008, I never gave much thought to the spelling of the word practice. Or practise, for that matter. What happened then, in the last depths of winter, to change that?

I wrote my lesson plan for my first teaching practice on my teacher-training course, that’s what happened. Somewhere within that incredibly detailed plan, I wrote something along the lines of Students practice using the target language. Continue reading

Talking about Language

One of the interesting things about learning to become a language teacher is just how much your vocabulary improves. There’s a lot of jargon related to different aspects of language that one doesn’t ordinarily come across in life. So here’s a fairly random sprinkling of some of the more interesting (to me!) words we language teachers learn to use: Continue reading