Passive students

This semester I’ve had huge problems with twin classes of very passive students. These are mostly East-German adults in their twenties and early thirties who had vocational training e.g. as accountants or bankers, and are returning to college to get a BA on a part-time study program. Their English levels are very mixed, and they […]

Tandem teaching

Could tandem teaching work as a business model? So: The corporate client books a two-day course for a large-ish group of staff  and gets not one, but two trainers to come in to run the session. The trainers take it in turns: One runs an activity while the other collects vocabulary on the board and […]

Diversity, revisited

It’s been a rough ride coming to terms with new reflective insights about my teaching of a culturally diverse college class this past term (some 15 nationalities in a group of 25). But I feel much more awake to and aware of the challenges we teachers face in globalized classrooms. It was clear to me […]

Agenda-setting at a teachers’ association

Exciting times for me: I’m honored to be the events coordinator for ELTABB, the teachers’ association for Berlin-Brandenburg. I was only able to volunteer for this job because I can draw on wonderful teacher networks that have grown over the years. At the moment I am a classic “fast follower”, looking at what other associations […]

Online tools and resources for scientific writing

I’m still struggling to teach scientific writing to a diverse group of PhD candidates that I only see occasionally. My latest attempt is to give them a set of online tools to analyze their genre of target texts (published works and their own work in progress), and to tell me how they like what the […]

Focusing on communication strategies instead of language per se

Last Saturday Evan Frendo gave us at ELTABB an absolutely excellent presentation on the latest research in Business English, focusing on four key areas: English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), Communities of Practice, Intercultural Communication and Lexis and Genre/ Corpus Linguistics. His presentation and handout are here: scroll down to the bottom for all the […]

Debate and discussion

I enjoyed yesterday’s communication skills class with the Master of Public Management class at the University of Potsdam. We did discussion and debate, and I used a few resources I can recommend: After showing the students my communication triangle above (connect at the human, the community, and the (competitive, self-)marketing levels), I highlighted the skill […]