Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The chasm and the colander

Colander in my ELT kitchen

Burnout, Biomimicry, use of students' first language, and future technology in teaching: like fresh
apples, they're filling the colander of my IATEFL Hungary Veszprém experience.
Struggling to shake the colander and decide what's good for my practice, I muddle off to my
lessons without even leafing through the handouts or browsing the IATEFL conference blog.
No time! Zero prep! Tired from schlepping my backpack between bus stops, office buildings, and
I am angry! What's wrong? Have I attended too many conferences? Am I just too nose-to-the-grindstone to change the way I apply materials? Why this chasm between the excitement of
plenary talks and the execution of (nonexistent) lesson plans?
No more! Change was in the slogan of Veszprém, so let it be mine as well.
Trying to get a handle on the colander
Two columns: ­ left column, conference topics; right column, my current students
Match the topics in the left column with the names in the right column. Rather arbitrary,
but at least it's a start, and it's familiar, like the matching exercises in ELT course books.

Concept questions (Rachel Appleby "The Joy of Discovery") --> ­ my pre­int systech learning present perfect
Green teaching (Jane Petring's plenary) ---> ­ my teenager heading for a school leaving language exam
Turnabout translation (Philip Kerr "Translate Your Coursebook") ->­ my internal auditors who are learning to translate their findings into English
Creating personalized google maps with students (Nagy Nóra - Digital Reading) --> my IT consultant making a map about his clients
YouTube genres (Barbara Bujtás) --> my logistics manager learning phrases for reacting to news ('DumbWays to Die')

After this, maybe I'll try to digest Clandfield's exposé on technology and Komlósi Edit's research in emotional intelligence. Then I'll feel I've done the 24th IATEFL Hungary conference justice!


  1. I find your technique for applying new knowledge useful, practical and inspiring. I have been having the same problem for years after conferences. I will go ahead and copy your technique. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thank you for concurring. It took me a long time, too. Good luck!