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An Ideal World(trademark pending)

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

In an ideal world all English teachers would be CELTA/TEFL/TESOL certified and hold four year teaching degrees. They would all speak perfect American or British English, and be from the USA, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, Barsoom, East Anglia or whatever we designate as a nation of Native-English speakers.
Wouldn’t those conditions be wonderful?
Who would the conditions be ideal for?
For government officials anxious to score points and make quotas, perhaps. Unlikely they help students anymore than the current system in South Korea has benefited anyone … not teachers, not school owners, not recruiters, and not the students in need of teachers.
Students need teachers who are knowledgeable, informed, willing to learn, active and involved. They do not need a particular accent, nor do they necessarily need a degree-trained teacher. Their teacher needs the structure that an intensive teacher-training program offers, especially one that is grounded in current practices and theory and makes use of real classroom situations.

Please inform me of one English major who acquired actual teaching skills in university. Having knowledge of Mark Twain, Chaucer and Cervantes is all well and good, but it doesn’t help you teach a class of 14 year-old 2nd language speakers whose world view is shaped by four hours of Warcraft every night.
It’s time for governments, South Korea, Indonesia and China to wake up and smell the white board.
Students and schools don’t need teachers with good papers, they need teachers who can elicit intelligent feedback, encourage interaction, and motivate good communicators. Train the teachers who are here, and hire those who wish and show an aptitude to teach. Hire teachers based on what they teach like, not what they look like. Hire local and foreign teachers. Cultivate a culture of awareness, improvement and involvement.
If a new paradigm is to be embraced let it be one based on need, common sense and sustainability.

Passages strange,inevitable and regrettable

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

It’s completely in your hands where you want to place the items in the brief list I’m about to share with you. Is it a strange, inevitable or regrettable event?

My holiday is coming to an end this week and it seemed that I should make an effort to put words to digital paper. Our holiday was largely unremarkable and for the most part,enjoyable. Wyatt graduated from Kindergarten and will move into the first grade. I will continue for a third year with Singapore National Academy. Tefl Indonesia continues as before, but is in need of agents in North America and Australia.

Heart-breaking news as Adrienne Colan passed away. Adrienne is the wife of Marvel/DC comics artist Gene Colan
I didn’t know Adrienne, nor do I know Gene. I’ve had the pleasure of following Gene’s work over the years and took a moment in 1999 to send a note of appreciation. Gene and Adrienne responded. The responses were usually short, but always thoughtful. Over the next few years I sent an occasional note and received an occasional reply.
For Adrienne … Go in peace.

This time of year also marks 12 months since my younger brother Troy passed away. Before this gets too morbid, we were traveling through Central Java, stopping in Solo and Jogjakarta, and I was thinking how much Troy would have enjoyed the place. I’m posting a few pictures over at another site. Stop by and take a look.

All the best,Wayne

Details and duty

Monday, April 18th, 2005
We talked about what was possible,doable and useful. Should I fly to Canada? Mom had died. I had suspected as much after the first cryptic email. Or, to be more precise, I had an inkling of this after the first email and the ... [Continue reading this entry]