12th December 2012
I started this blog in March 2011, and its development has largely mirrored my own as a teacher. It started out as a place to share my often grammar focused lesson plans for large high school classes (you can still find these under the lesson plans tab). Since I started teaching university conversation courses, devising lessons has become less of a priority and exploring what is happening in my classroom has become more of a focus. This mirrors (pun intended) my increasing interest in reflective teaching and a general sense of confusion about how the mediation of theory and practice might best be achieved. In short, through my writings here I’m looking to better what I do in class, and in turn, what we do to better our students’ education.
I am a self-confessed pronunciation nerd, and teach a twice-yearly pronunciation course, so expect to hear a lot about that. My other new interest is how my university may benefit from a task-based approach to learning, and the difficulties we might face in implementing it. You should also expect to hear a few things about this. Of course nothing is off limits, and online communities and PD will also feature regularly, along with anything else that happens to occur to me. If this sounds like your sort of thing, check back regularly as I will attempt to post about once a week.
All this talk about the blog, and not that much about me. I’m from the UK and shortly to be the far side of the big 30. I’ve been teaching for about four years now, in Guatemala for a year and South Korea after that. I’m currently based at a technical university in the Seoul metro area teaching freshman conversation classes. I’m also about 9 months away from completing a distance MA TESOL with a British university. Along with this blog, I tweet as @breathyvowel and am also a founder member of #KELTChat, a largely online professional development group for English teachers in Korea.
A Note About the Name
I came across the name for the blog looking through some linguistics definitions. A breathy vowel sounded rather romantic, the kind of sound that might be mumrmured in a lover’s ear deep into the night. Alas, it wasn’t as romantic as I thought, and in fact breathy vowels only appeaar in a few Indic and Bantu languages. Still, that’s the name I chose, and I’m sticking with it.