Welcome to the ELT Digest: our monthly email which rounds up the past month, looks at what’s coming up in coming months and makes some non-ELT content recommendations.

Looking Back

Talking Shop

We took a little bit of well-deserved time off at the start of January. However, the second half of the month has been busy. Our ‘What’s going on with you these days, ________?’ session with Sarah Priestley was really successful with a great turnout. You can watch a recording of the session below. We also hit a big milestone by having our hundredth mailing list subscriber. Thanks to everyone who has shared our events and posts, it makes a big difference. If you want to join us for sessions in the future, there’s a signup form at the bottom of this post. 

JALT Kyoto race and native speakerism conference

In January, JALT Kyoto held an event about race and native speakerism in ELT. These sessions are all available on YouTube. Tim has been working his way through these and most recently watched a presentation by Rob Lowe. Rob’s talk is about how teachers can frame their beliefs about teaching. For example, beliefs about language teaching, such as communicative approaches, are often viewed as superior simply without looking at the evidence for them. JPG Gerald breaks down a lot of the ways in which racism impacts language teaching. He also gives some practical solutions for racism in English language teaching.

An OPEN discussion about professional development

Mike and Tim are huge fans both of learning about approaches to professional development and Zhenya Polosatova’s blog ‘Wednesday Seminars’. As a result, we both really enjoyed this recent interview on Wednesday Seminars about OPEN: an online teacher development program. It’s interesting to see a course discussed from both a learner’s and a teachers’ perspective. There’s also a lot of good takeaways for anyone who is interested in professional development.

Looking Forwards

Dogme on the rise?

You may have seen in a past Digest that Tim enjoyed an online Dogme ELT course from ITDI. Since then, a nice little community has sprung up around people who have taken the course. There are regular online discussions on Zoom, rumours of a new online forum and the ITDI course has been so popular that it’s being run a third time in March. Could this be the start of a second wave of Dogme popularity?

Come Talk Shop with us

This month we’ll be hosting Lina Gordyshevskaya who will be joining us to talk about language anxiety. Here’s a description of the event.

See the fear on our students’ faces when you assign a speaking task? Wonder why some students just can’t stop chatting while others – and not necessarily those at lower levels! – can hardly produce a sentence? In this session, we will be looking at how foreign language anxiety (FLA) may interfere in a foreign language learning process, and what strategies can be applied by students and teachers to reduce/minimize it. The session is highly interactive so be ready to use your mic and camera!

We’ll also be hosting a ‘What’s going on with you these days, _______’ session on the 24th. We’ll have more details for you very soon. If you want to join us, sign up to our mailing list for links to the sessions. 

Content Consumer Corner

Adrienne Lenker on Tiny Desk

Tim is probably late to the party, but Adrianne Lenker’s Tiny Desk concert is raising a lot of ‘How can one person sing that well while also doing some pretty complex fingerpicking on the guitar?’ questions.

Expansive TV watching

As we pass the year mark of the world turning upside down, you might be looking for a show that’s pretty good without requiring all that much attention. The Expanse is a sci-fi show that has been hitting that spot perfectly for Tim, who has gotten through three seasons in a period of time that he’s a bit embarrassed to admit to. It’s available on Prime now.

Thanks for reading, have a great February,

Mike and Tim