I honestly believe that learning a language is a lot closer to learning a musical instrument than it is to preparing for a school exam. I also clearly remember the day that I shared with my guitar instructor that I'd finally bought a case for my guitar - surprisingly, he wasn't thrilled and simply asked me why I'd chosen to waste the money on something that would actually hamper my development. The rationale was simple: if the guitar was in its case, I'd have to open the case...

Last month I posted half of my public school student-teachers’ reflections on what they used to think when they began their careers as teachers. Now it’s time to know what the other half wrote on this topic. You will see how their beliefs on topics such as methodology, use of textbooks, native-like pronunciation, and students’ and teachers’ roles have changed as they have gained more knowledge, experience, and, most importantly, understanding about teaching.   I used to think the teacher needed to be the focus in the process of...

Have you ever thought about what you used to think about teaching when you started and how this has changed as the years went by? This was the topic of my very first class with a group of experienced public school teachers. After reading a blog post by Shelley Wright entitled I used to think…, my student teachers were asked to reflect upon their own assumptions and the surprises they’ve had along their careers. This month and next, I’m going to share their thoughts with you, and we...

Is it December already?! I’ve just been reading a new book about beliefs in language teaching and learning and, as with any good book, it’s got me thinking.  As teachers, how often do we stop to think about what our beliefs are about how we teach and how students learn?  In my case, “not very often” is the answer and yet, our beliefs are right there in the activities we choose in class, how we talk to learners and how we respond to learners and their output and contributions. ...