EFL 2.0 Teacher Talk

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Tag archives for culture

Living The Languages


I highly recommend these series of videos. Not just as an anthropologist and a teacher interested in language but as a human being who understands the importance of preserving cultural/ethnic diversity, our cultural genome. I presently live in Guatemala and this episode makes a great point – our educational systems worldwide are complicit by ignoring […]

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A Lesson On Stereotyping


Scott Thornbury offered up a stimulating blog post this week titled “R is for Representation“. About how textbooks don’t represent the world of the student, the spaces they live and walk among, the people they know nor the dreams they have for themselves. I won’t relate anymore, read the post and the fine comments, my […]

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Strange stories about language learning

twilight zone

Over the years, I’ve kept my eyes and ears open for great “thought experiments” for language. Real examples and events that are so extreme, they really force you to think differently about ones preconceived notions about language learning (and by default teaching it). Here are the top 5 examples off the top of my head […]

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Stickiness – What makes what you do stick?

I’m putting together an online presentation for some Brazilian teachers and I’ll be talking about “Stickiness”. I thought it would be worthwhile to air my own thoughts specifically about what makes our teaching “stick”. In other words, how to make what we do transfer into the heads and the production/fluency of the learner (now or […]

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Language and Power – WTF?


Today, I watched a CNBC episode of their new series “What the Future” (WTF).  I’ll refrain from commenting on their narrative and how they provide pleasant propaganda to the masses about helping those less fortunate. I find their message of “choice not charity” rather simplistic and self serving to their business clientele. No, what hit […]

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The #1 translated and subtitled video material

** Not your ordinary, endless list – just what’s number 1. Get the full eBook 6 Billion Others 6 Billion Others is a video series of interviews with real people. All translated impeccably. They really teach us, through humans telling their own stories about fear, love, childhood, family, god, dreams….. If education is anything, it […]

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Getting to know about where you teach

English language teachers travel and like strangers in a strange land, try to learn about their new “home”. It is important to learn about the culture and history of the people you’ll teach. Language is about and in turn, wrapped up with culture and identity. I’ve lived now 5 years in Korea and will be […]

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Traditional Songs for teaching/learning

I really believe in using the students’ own cultural knowledge and “aspect” when teaching English. I’ve elaborated on this notion of CSC (Culturally Specific Content) on a number of occasions. There can be no more powerful cultural component than traditional song and music. Arirang is the most famous Korean traditional song. It has countless variations […]

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The #1 ….. (fun shopping game)

** Not your ordinary, endless list – just what’s number 1. The Price is Right Game A recent tweet about this amazing Price is Right inside story, got me revisiting this game I made a number of years ago. You can find many versions in our Instructional Powerpoint Resources on EFL Classroom 2.0. It’s a […]

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Culturally Specific Music for learning English

Too often me thinks, too often we unintentionally push our cultural view onto those learning English. No more subtle way than music and film. We use so many “western” songs in our teaching that we almost become immune from even a thought of all the fine music by second language singers in English out there. […]

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Culturally Specific Content

I recently gave a lecture titled, “Korean Content for Korean Students”, highlighting my contention that given the new educational environment (a global village, a wired world), we need to use more local and culturally specific content in our teaching/lessons.  I focused on Korea but the ideas are applicable to whatever the foreign context, wherever you […]

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Africentric Schools – A brilliant idea?

I heard whispers of this when I was leaving my Public School teaching job in Toronto 4 years ago. But I never thought it would become a reality. Low and behold it did! What am I going on about? Well, Canada’s first “Africentric” school, rubber stamped and approved (but with a few trustees who resigned […]

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CSC – Teaching English through the student’s own culture.

I am of late, a very big fan of culturally specific content. What I mean is English teaching material that uses the student’s own culture and environment as the backdrop and “content”. I live and teach in Korea right now, so I have been using a lot of Korean subjects and Korean culture by which […]

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The Teacher and “Cultural” conflict

One of the things any ESL / EFL / ESOL teacher cannot avoid is “culture”. We deal on this playing field, a classroom/school where cultures meet and collide, even if only our own and the native culture. So it is imperative that we teachers have a sensitive, refined understanding of how culture works and how […]

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