How language teachers can engage with policy (and why they should)

Teachers are busy and getting busier, and so many of us would shudder to think about adding learning about government policy to our growing list of duties. When teachers undertake their pre-service training, there are  rarely classes in educational policy, and discussions about policy are usually limited to the current curriculum model. It can be easy to see how school-based policies have an […]

Tips on how to use it, so you don’t lose it

I’ve been a learner of several second languages over the years, and I think I can speak from experience that the term ‘use it or lose it!’ rings true. Language attrition has had some focus in the field of Second Language Acquisition for a few decades, and theories abound about what it is, how it occurs, and why it occurs. […]

Building a support network

After spending five years researching language teachers’ social capital, and ten years supporting language teachers through various online and face-to-face projects, perhaps the time has come to write a post about support, after all that’s what this blog is all about. Why support is important What I have learnt from my recent research, and this mirrors the […]

The great language and coding switcheroo

This article came to my attention yesterday (click headline for link). Don’t get the headline wrong. What it should read, is ‘Updated curriculum replaces languages with coding’. Basically the school is sidestepping its requirement to provide students with language education in years 5-8 (a state Department of Education policy) by calling coding a language, and a […]

It’s not stealing!

I’m interested in teachers’ use of the word ‘steal’ when talking about using the resources and ideas offered by other teachers. It’s a phrase I’ve heard numerous times in professional discussions, both face-to face and online, and not just between those involved in language education but all disciplines. ‘Oh, that’s a great resource, can I steal that?’ ‘I’ve got […]

Lessons from Natsuko Toda

Last week my university was privileged to host Toda Natsuko as a guest speaker. For any Japanese person who has ever watched a Hollywood movie with Japanese subtitles, it is very likely that they were reading her words. Possibly the most prolific subtitler in the world, she has provided Japanese subtitles for over 1500 movies including ET, Indiana […]