A job in ELT is definitely not a cushy number. It will surely take a long time before you find yourself at the top of the ladder, and you are likely to hit several glass ceilings on your way up. Committed English language teachers are known to slog their guts out, but are seldom handsomely paid. Many of us, however, are still brimming with motivation to pursue professional development and participate in conferences throughout the year, take online courses, attend webinars and even muster up the courage to...

Using students’ L1 (their first language) has come under a lot of criticism for several years. According to Scrivener (2011), this ‘bad press’ is due to ‘an over-strong reaction to some traditional teaching styles in which teachers only used L1 in class’, which prevented learners from hearing or using any English. As a consequence, many teachers feel discouraged from using L1. Nevertheless, there is a growing number of ELT professionals who are trying to promote a paradigm shift and encourage teachers to embrace the use of the mother...

January is already over, and I hope you have managed to soldier on with your resolutions through this first month. In December, I set myself the goal of learning more about language development and shared the first part of an article summary on language awareness (LA) for teachers. In this post, I summarise more content from the article and briefly reflect on some of my personal experience tackling language awareness. A methodological framework for LA activities Based on the set of LA activities mentioned in the first part of this...

It’s the end of another extraordinary year and many people are making their New Year’s resolutions and hoping to stick to them at least until the end of January. I consider myself one of them, so I have decided to set the wheels in motion before 2017 comes to an end. Then I’ll be able to say I kept my resolutions for about two months – which is not half bad. All joking aside, I have taken upon myself to learn more about a topic I’m very passionate about:...

In Part 1, I mentioned I don’t see myself as someone who is constantly striving towards perfection, but I can’t deny the results I got after taking the more advanced exam left a bitter taste in my mouth. Frustration boiled over at first and its effects lingered for some time, so much so that it took me about six years to gain enough confidence to sit CPE, an exam dreaded by students and teachers alike. I used to tell myself life was getting in the way – novice...

Deciding to write about my journey with English has taken me on a trip down memory lane, and some other teachers said they had the same impression when they read part 1. This is extremely motivating since I think this kind of reflection helps us realize how far we have come and it might prompt us to make more progress. On that note, passing the first exam back in the day proved to be a catalyst for change in the sense that it enabled me to see that I...

How did passing a proficiency exam help me improve my teaching? Once you have passed the exam, where do you go from there? I plan to address these questions while I share my experience of preparing for the Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE) exam and what happened after passing. Far from being a guide for exam candidates, this series of posts will be a more personal account of the trials and tribulations of a teacher trying to become a better model for his students. I hope some teachers can relate...