Welcome to the Teaching of Language website, focused on delivering content and information that you can instantly apply to improve and diversify your language teaching.
This site is built upon two main components – The TOL Podcast, and TOL Articles.
In the podcasts, I interview people who work in some capacity in language education. The majority of these people are classroom teachers, but I also interview language consultants, authors, publishers, other content creators, and sometimes even learners of language. If I believe that they can help you improve your teaching in some way, whatever your context may be, I try to share their experiences with you.
Since you are new here, let me offer you some recommendations on what you can do on my site for this session.
The Teaching of Language Podcast
Check out these episodes, which I think are a good starting point for your TOL Podcast journey.
This is the introduction episode. If you would like to know how I have conceptualized the podcast, what my goals with it are, and what I hope to accomplish, you can listen to this episode.
This episode is a tribute to my French Teacher in high school, who guided me through French in my Sophomore and Senior years of high school in America. If you want to understand what sort of philosophical influences have had an effect on my pedagogy, this is one episode you should listen to.
These episodes introduce us to the textbook publishing industry. If you would like to know more about how textbooks are created, and how you can make the most out of them, I can honestly say that these episodes have been very informative. And,I usually hate textbooks!
The Teaching of Language Articles
I have chosen these articles to best represent my pedagogical approaches.
Inspiration. If you are looking for inspiration, I think these shorter articles might just be the right read for you.
- Do what YOU want to do! An article arguing for considering teacher interests and motivations.
- The Clown in the Classroom. Relax and take it easy in the classroom. Laugh at yourself and have your learners laugh at you. Interesting learning opportunities can emerge.
Teaching Vocabulary. My colleagues have told me I have strange views in teaching vocabulary (and grammar, as I don't think they are fundamentally different from one another). Here are some articles explaining some vocabulary teaching strategies.
- The Problem with Word Lists. We as teachers are sometimes obsessed with Word Lists, both as a pedagogical tool and as a teaching tool, even though how we use them might differ. I try to convince you that a focus on words in a language learning is misguided.
- Expressions: Effective Vocabulary Teaching. Focus on expressions instead -- how do you say ideas. I hope the ideas in this article can help you develop better learning activities.
- Expressions-Based Learning Activities. Here are some activities you might try implementing into your classroom to help your learners develop their vocabulary in a natural way.
Autonomous Learning. I am a strong proponent of helping learners develop their autonomous learning. This includes directing them towards self-study, making sure that they take charge of their learning in and out of the classroom, and helping them develop very strong learning habits and routines. These articles can help you do the same.
- The Learner-Centered Classroom. In this article, I propose some ways you can make your classrooms more learner-centered, therefore making their needs and interests the center of a language classroom.
- Three Ways to Promote Learner Autonomy. I discuss three ways to help your learners learn take charge of their own learning.
- How to Train Learners to Set Effective Goals. Having learners decide what they want to learn and how they want to learn it really helps them become invested in it in a very natural and intrinsic way. This helps you guide learners to do that effectively.
Teacher Reflection. I’d like to think that I am very reflective person, especially in terms of teaching. These articles will help you develop a virtuous cycle of reflection.
- Approaches to Teacher Reflection. I try to offer some ways for you to reflect on your teaching in a way that doesn't take too much time.
- The Different Roles Teachers Play. Not necessarily directly related to reflection, but it is something you can think about every time you plan lessons.
The Teaching of Language releases articles and podcasts discussing the craft of language teaching. Podcasts are released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Articles are released every Tuesday and Thursday.