If you’ve ever attended one of our ‘What’s going on with you these days…’ sessions, you’ll know the ‘game’ of Workshopping that we play at the start of each session. If your not has very simple, and not very gamelike, rules:

  • Before the session we think of a category. These range from the silly (and often pun- based) to the more serious.
  • Mike, Tim and the guest each come up with three ideas that meet this category.
  • We take turns sharing our ideas.
  • We discuss aspects of the answers and how they relate to the field and our experiences.
  • We declare the guest the winner.

We enjoy this game as a warm-up for our sessions. Because it’s slightly ridiculous, it creates a good atmosphere. Watching your hosts brainstorm ELT figures if they were rappers and hearing ideas like “The Postmethod Man” is a bit silly and helps set a good mood to talk openly.

Last week, Mike made a passing comment about how we should make a book on Workshopping. While this started out at least 90% as a joke, we quickly workshopped (very meta) this idea into a plan to publish a book. The categories would be useful for anyone running a teacher training workshop, teacher meetup or staffroom meeting. As Mike wrote: “OMG, sometimes the best ideas are patently ridiculous.”

After somehow taking this idea seriously we decided to:

  • Publish it for charity because that’s a) a nice thing to do and b) the book was too ridiculous to launch for profit.
  • Donate the money to the Hands Up Project, a charity for language and drama education for Palestinian children.
  • Solicit ideas for workshopping categories from the wider ELT community.

As a result, we’re asking you for your ideas that we can include in a book of workshopping categories. If you want to take part, you can complete this Google form to submit them. If you have more than one idea, feel free to complete the form more than once. Please also let us know if you’d like us to include your name with your submission. Keep in mind that we might change the wording of your idea around (in other words, we might workshop your idea).

To help you think of ideas, here are some of our favourite categories so far:

    • Authentic materials that sound cool but would be frowned upon.
    • Teaching resolutions you should stick to but probably won’t.
    • ELT Christmas puns.
    • ELT personages as rappers.

Let us know if you have any questions. We’re looking forward to seeing your ideas.