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Showing posts from May, 2016

Self-Directed Professional Development at an Intensive English Program

I am interested in teacher agency the extent to which English language teachers seek out professional development on their own.  After nearly a year as curriculum coordinator at an intensive English program (IEP) at a regional public university, I have informally observed my faculty colleagues' approaches to professional development as a prelude for a more formal study I may initiate in the following year.  This blog synthesizes my observations with Dr. Jackie Gerstein's blog User Generated Education, specifically her post on self-directed professional development at

Acknowledging Differences Dr. Gerstein's blog seems to be mainly aimed towards K-12 educators of all disciplines, whereas my interest is specifically focused on English language teachers (ELTs) but broadly focused on ELTs in many contexts, including public and private K-12 schools.  For this blog pos…

Flip That Grammar!

An experienced teacher should be able to know their strengths and weaknesses.  Although I don't enjoy teaching grammar, I'm not bad at it.  However, I know that enjoying teaching a subject can make you a more effective teacher because your enthusiasm can positively affect students' engagement.

I've been effective at teaching verb tenses this term, but then I noticed that the curriculum called for about an hour of class time to review articles.  I have never had great success teaching articles, perhaps because there's no instant reward to this.  It takes students a long time to master articles (if you don't believe in fossilization), and the more time spent on explaining articles and their usage, the less effective I become as a teacher.  Because students have already learned articles in a previous class, I found no risk of flipping this one class and do some informal action research.

Before Watching the Videos After wrapping up the previous unit, I told the cl…