Last weekend, I was working on a book that contained a lot of numbers. I frequently found myself unsure as to whether to write numerals (e.g., “50″) or whether to spell the numbers out (e.g., “fifty”). More
This article was originally posted on the “Teacher Talk” blog at azargrammar.com.
People often ask me how long it took me to learn Japanese, and I normally tell them that it took me about six months. When they look surprised, I add, “But it took me about two years to learn how to learn it.” More
This article was originally published on the “Teacher Talk” blog at azargrammar.com.
When I was about ten years old, my father announced one day that we were getting a new car. Now, there is very little in the world more guaranteed to arouse the interest of a 10-year-old boy and his younger brothers than a new car, and naturally, we wanted to know what my father was planning to buy. He told us that we were getting an “Opel Mantra.” More
This is a video of a presentation that I gave to Japanese learners of English at a conference on self-access learning held at Nanzan University on February 2, 2013.
The aim was to teach some simple guidelines that I hoped would help them when they did their own presentations later in the day. If you disagree with my approach or feel that I have missed something important, feel free to leave a comment. I hope that those of you who like the video will recommend it to your own students. More
Every English teacher who comes to Japan will, at some point, find themselves having to teach a “conversation” class. To many, the word “conversation” simply means “chatting,” but for those who are serious about doing a professional job, the reality is far more complicated. More
Here is a video of the presentation I gave at the 2012 JALT Hokkaido Conference at Hokkai Gakuen University in Sapporo. Apologies for the occasional focus problems. I have posted a video of the slideshow below the main video. The notes for the presentation follow the videos. More
Thank you to everyone who attended my presentation at the JALT National Conference in Hamamatsu last Saturday. Even though it was labelled as a commercial presentation, I think there were around thirty people there, so it seems that a lot of teachers are interested in this topic.
As I said on Saturday, the point is not to give perfect presentations every time, but to be constantly striving to give better ones. I have lost count of the number of presentations I have watched over the years that have been completely ruined by the presenter’s lack of preparation and / or inappropriate use of technology. If you google the phrase “Death by Powerpoint,” you will find that I am not unusual in this respect! More
In a previous post on my blog for azargrammar.com, I suggested that any teacher who wishes to be popular with their students will need to make a serious effort to learn and remember their names. Of course, I’m sure there are many teachers out there who are popular even though they don’t know all their students’ names, but I would argue that they would probably be even more effective if they did. More
This article was originally published on the Teacher Talk blog at azargrammar.com.
Language learners all over the world will no doubt be pleased to hear that I have finally discovered the definitive technique for learning a foreign or second language. I am so confident of its effectiveness that I am prepared to guarantee that anyone who follows it will be successful. I can also say with a high degree of certainty that anyone who chooses not to adopt my Method will be doomed to failure. More
Many years ago, when I was just starting out my career as a part-time university teacher, I was given some advice by an older colleague who was already well established in the profession. He told me that I needed to do two things in order to work my way up the career ladder. The first of these was to publish as much as I could, as quickly as I could. More