June 07, 2016

Questions about Affective Language Learning

During the course that I recently gave, one of the last assignments I proposed the group was for teachers to write ten questions that they still had about affective language learning. My idea there was to spark teachers' curiosity about different aspects of affective language learning and to help them choose future paths of research. I was also very curious about which questions would come up as these would give me important course feedback as well let me understand a little about what was happening inside their minds. 

I was thrilled to read their questions and wanted already to start answering many of them. I am happy to share these interesting questions here with you. I am going to group them and my plan is to have them also as a list of areas that are important for me to address here in the blog. In other words, I am going to learn a lot based on my learners' curiosity. I feel great about it! 

Understanding the concept of affective language learning

Why didn't I hear about affective learning before?
What is the history of affective learning? When and where did it come from? 
Is there any research regarding affective language learning?
Has there been much research in to the effectiveness of affectiveness in the classroom?
How different / similar is it to building a good rapport with students? 

Is affective learning an approach / method? 
When did it start?  Where did it come from? How much is it related to psychology?
What is the relationship, if any, between affective learning and positive discipline?
Shouldn't all teaching be affective by nature? 
Aren't many teachers affective but they just don't know about it?
Is affective learning exactly the same as humanistic learning or are there any differences?
What's the difference between an affective and a humanistic language teacher?
Are there hard 'don'ts' in an affective learning approach? What are they?
Can I say that in the school I work we promote affective learning thru affective teaching skills?
Does affective language learning have any possible relation with positive reinforcement? 

Affective language learning and the curriculum 

Is there an affective language learning framework for lesson planing? 
How do I default to an affective style for planning a lesson for YL whenever possible?
Most course books are still organised around a grammar type syllabus if you produced an affective coursebook series for ESL how would you organise it?
How do I balance the dual and mostly opposite demands of affective learning planning, delivery vs. curriculum completion?
Is affective learning as we know it only applied to teaching a foreign language?

Affective language learning in the classroom

What are the 5 most important activities to implement in a classroom to show affective language learning?
Can affective learning help teachers involve new students joining the course late (after having built an affective kind of atmosphere in class) ?
Can affective learning be particularly helpful with certain skills (like speaking) or it's just a classroom management tool that generally helps set tasks and get the best of them ?
What are the best ways to carry out proper differentiation with slow and fast finishers according to affective learning?

How can affective language learning be applied to stop bullying?What to do to stop name-calling?
How do I make finding/identifying the moments in delivering a lesson when an affective approach would be the best?
What can you do when students get frustrated because they can't perform in the language?

Affective language learning and assessment

Should there always be evaluation in affective learning?
How do I assess learners when using an affective learning approach?
How can we use a Needs Analysis at the beginning of a course to decide what kind of affective learning we need to adopt?
How long does it take to see the result of affective language learning in students?
In compulsory education, would an affective learner fail his/her students or envisage doing without the pass/fail system?
How is affective learning perceived by parents?
How can we turn evaluation into an affective stage of the lesson too? I know that we cannot skip testing, so how do we make it affective too?
How do you counter the argument from the parent who says this is just lovey-dovey crap you need to be teaching my child grammar and how to pass tests!

Affective language learning around the world

How to go about showing affection without being able to speak their mother tongue?
How can affective learning help us get learners of different nationalities engaged in a course more?
Is affective learning included in the curriculum in any country?
Why most private language schools around the world are looking for native speakers (ONLY) and don´t care about affective language learning?

How popular is affective learning and where is practised, by who and in what kinds of environments and institutions? 
Is affective teaching embraced in many countries at a national level and integrated into the curriculum of all schools?
Education systems around the world are shifting towards more tests is this at odds with affective teaching?

Affective language learning and adults

How do I use affective learning with older YLs i.e 11+?
How would an affective teacher best deal with a teenager who rejects English altogether ---as I have found during my practicum?
How different can affective language learning be with adults ?
Is Dogme: Teaching Unplugged written by Thornbury and Meddins a adult version of teaching affectively?

Affective language learning and technology 

Is technology an appropriate tool to use in the affective classroom?
Where do reward systems such as Classdojo sit in an affective classroom?

Teacher development on affective language learning

Were we affective teachers before this course?
Speaking a language perfectly doesn't mean we are going to teach effectively, does it?
How can we feel the difference between an affective teacher from a regular teacher?
What might make some teachers better than others in affective language learning?
How can I motivate my co -workers to be affective teachers? by telling them? By acting like one?
How do you help teachers feel comfortable teaching affectively, in particular using puppets in the classroom? 
How can I create a training session on affective language learning? Which areas/ what kind of content? 

Wow, so many questions! 

How was it reading a post with only questions? 
Was there any that you wanted to start answering straight away? 
Would you like to add any other questions? 
Which ones would you like to answer first here in the blog? 

I would love to hear you! 

Sending you all a huge hug,

Did you like it? Share it! 
Thank you! 

June 06, 2016

Teaching Young Learners Affectively

During the month of April I lived an amazing experience!
I gave my very first online course on Teaching Young Learners Affectively!

Everything started when Chuck Sandy kindly offered me to teach an online session on affective language learning at iTDi's Summer Intensive last August. I rapidly accepted it and got ready for my online debut. I was a little nervous at first, but slowly I got more and more comfortable with this means and I was overjoyed at the end. The marvellous feedback I got showed me that I had an opportunity to pursue!

Last December in talks with Barbara Sakamoto I told her I was interested in giving an advanced course on affective language learning. She agreed and we scheduled it for April of this year.

This was one of the banners used to promote my course:

I had four weeks to share my 20-year journey learning and discovering affective language learning with young learners and I decided on the following program:

Week 1: Introducing Affective Language Learning concepts to get you started. 
Week 2: Empowering resources for you and your learners to learn affectively.
Week 3: Unleashing creativity and fantasy through storytelling and puppeteering.
Week 4: Making grammar and writing enjoyable and meaningful.

We started advertising the course and slowly participants from many different countries started enrolling. In the end there were 31 participants from 13 countries. The countries were Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Egypt, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the USA. Wow, what a privilege to be able to learn and share with such an audience!

Then the first day was getting closer and closer. In the previous week Steven Herder gave me a course on how to use the Adobe platform and also gave precious hints to make the course run smoothly. Here are some of these:

My computer was on boxes for me to be better on screen.

I had a lamp with a sheet of paper to difuse the light.

I had earphones to avoid echo.

I had all my slides printed in a list I had by my side.

Each session lasted an hour and sessions happened on Sunday mornings in Brazil and that worked fine as most participants could watch the session live without having to be awake in the middle of the night. Participants also the opportunity to watch the recording of the sessions or even watch these again to get more details.

This is the screen that I had in front of me while delivering the course. I had to manage time to cover all the planned content in one hour and also to keep an eye on the running chat box to comment on and answer the questions that were coming from the participants.

Affective learning has to do with responding to students' demands, so my challenge was set there!

I was very happy by the end of the first session that I even cheered on screen. Facebook feedback was also great. Then I was ready for the second component of every session: the google community forum. Every session I present three tasks from which students had to choose two to share their views on the forum. One of the first tasks was to take a picture that represented affective language learning for them. Their pictures and the motives were brilliant. Check some of these below:

One area that we had in the Adobe platform that I like very much is the lobby. The lobby is a customizable area where I welcomed participants while they were waiting for each session to start. 

One affective strategy that I used was to display there some of the pictures that participants had shared in the forum the previous week as a way to validate their work and celebrate our learning. 

I could clearly notice how teachers were excited to see their pictures in the lobby. I will certainly do this again in my next courses! 

Another important moment was circle time when we shared about what we had thought since the last session. It was also a great way to acknowledge the great work that was done in the discussion forums. 

Throughout the course we explored how to foster affective language learning through everyday objects, storytelling, and puppeteering. In the last session we focused on how to engage young learners in writing and grammar in meaningful and creative ways.

Participants also recorded lovely videos of how they would present puppets to their students. Here I would like to share here a special video made by Damien Herlihy from Thailand in which he even used chroma key. Check it out! 

Every week I had the most adorable time engaging in dialogue through the participants' discussion forum posts. There I was able to bond individually with each teacher validating their dedication and commenting on their ideas. A highlight were the puppets that teachers made and their sharing of how they introduced them to their students using the techniques learned in the course. 

The ending was a very special moment that I will always remember. We turned on our cameras and we were able to see each other around the world. Many of us got emotional, including me, and we were all very excited to celebrate these four intensive weeks in which we share our experiences, lives, and dreams. I feel that lots of the affective learning seeds are already germinating!!!

I am certainly going to give many more online courses as I simply loved this experience. I met lovely teachers all around the world, discovered online tools, and learned a lot about affective language learning.

I would like to thank iTDi for this amazing possibility and in special to Barbara, Steven, Chuck and Gareth for all the all the support and attention!

There are always great courses, given by passionate teachers, happening at iTDi .
Check here iTDi's advanced skills courses and choose the next one you will join!

Sending you all a big hug,

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Thank you!

May 25, 2016

Interviewing Affective Educators: Beatrix Price

Have you ever thought about going to a country and staying there just to learn from one particular person?   I thought about doing so as soon as I met Beatrix Price at IATEFL last year. I was already planning how long I was going to stay in Budapest, when I learned that Bea and I would be working together for two weeks. I could not believe it, I was so happy! I immediately wrote Bea and she was happy as well!!!

The two weeks were great and we were able to learn a lot from each other and enjoy each other's company having lots of tea. But I would not let her go without interviewing her first for our blog. 
Here is our interview!

Juan: Let’s get started. When did you discover that you wanted to become a language teacher?

Bea and I met at IATEFL in 2015.

Bea: That is a good question. When I was a child I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher because my mother was a kindergarten teacher. Then later when I went to school I still wanted to be a teacher and my desire had never changed. I was 14 or 15 when I first met English as a language and then I decided to become an English teacher. But as I grew up in a communist country, where it was impossible to learn English, it took me quite a long time to learn it, so only when I was twenty seven I finally started learning English. Before that I was a Russian teacher and a Hungarian literature teacher.

Juan: It is very interesting that you have mentioned that your mother was a kindergarten teacher. How did she influence you? Were there days that you would go with her to school?   

Bea: Unfortunately at that time it wasn’t possible to do this in Hungary. But somehow I picked up the abilities or skills to work with children.  And there was also another very important experience that I lived when I was a child. We lived very near the Croatian border and my parents had friends from Croatia. In fact, these were their best friends, so we visited them and they visited us very often and there was this constant contact between us. Unfortunately they didn’t have any children , so I didn’t get to learn Croatian fluently, but I always heard this other language in the background. My father was sort of the interpreter in the family as he told us where we were going and what we were going to do.  One fascinating thing that I discovered just a couple of years ago is that my mother didn’t speak any Croatian and  her friend didn’t speak any Hungarian and even so they were friends for thirty or forty years.  It was a wonderful experience to have so many holidays together. Now looking back, I recognize this communicative competence that is so important in the lives of language teachers and language learners.  

Juan: Wow, what a beautiful memory! It’s truly amazing how your mom and her friend were able to communicate.

Juan: I saw your presentation this year at IATEFL in Manchester and I was fascinated by the way you promote language learning while you play with children.  How important is affect when learning a language and how do you incorporate in your teaching?

Bea: We all know about  emotional intelligence nowadays because it has been a buzz word for years but if you just look at natural cultures and how mothers, grandmothers take care of their children, then we can learn a lot. You have to feel the children and children have to be at ease with you when you are teaching them, if they are afraid of the atmosphere or the situation, then learning doesn’t take place, but if they love what surrounds them, then learning will happen in a much more effective way.

Juan: How did you become an English teacher of young learners? 

Bea: About fifteen years ago and before that I had never thought I would end up becoming a teacher of young learners.  Life brought me this experience as my children are bilingual  (English/Hungarian) and I had to teach them together with other children who were in the same classes. So I had to discover a method, something that my children who already spoke English would be happy in the class, just as well the other children who came to learn English. So then I started searching for games that are global and multicultural, so I collected a lot of different activities that are played all over the world and that are enjoyed in different cultures, regardless of language, and then I added the language element to it.

Everybody was happy in my class all the time and then I saw how much the other children learned, those who came to learn English. They had a massive vocabulary through the rhymes, songs, poems,  and everything that we enjoyed doing together. Everybody knew it wasn’t about language learning, it was about having a great time together. I think it is so important for children to enjoy what they are doing because many times we adults impose our own will on them and then they end up not having much choice.

Juan: Could you tell us a little bit about your ten-house model?

Bea: When I did my masters’s degree I wrote my thesis on movement accompanied by language learning, and the ten houses were the skeleton for my thesis.  I also included Vigotsky’s and Krashen’s theories in my thesis.  The houses really go through the natural development of the child, when we imagine that the baby is born and the child is in the cradle, the first thoughts that the baby has are his own hands and fingers, and the baby looks up and starts playing with his own fingers. A little bit later when the children are a little bit older, mothers take the children and gets them in their laps and start playing with their palms, their fingers with ticklish games and all that those that belong to the children’s body. In previous cultures  there were no plastic toys and Disney films and other things to entertain the children, so mothers and their children would build very beautiful rapport and that’s how children started to learn language through this emotional bond.

So the first things are the finger games, which are not only important because the mother plays with them or children play on their own, but they are also very good for fine motor skills. And this is what educators nowadays neglect totally, because children grow up in front of screens, they only touch buttons or they are just watching something. Their fine and gross motor skills are not developed nowadays and children get clumsy to the point they can’t even climb trees.

The other activities in the ten-house model are those that children enjoy in social interaction such as  bean bag games, circle games,  skipping games, and string games. We can find these in every culture,and they are enjoyed by the children because they share. Social interaction is another very important element, because I think a lot of children lack social competence in our world because they are just interacting with cell phones. Playing together has another educational value in my system.

Finger games, bean bag games, string games, and circle games incorporate singing, which is very important. That's because singing is in a different sphere. And then when I take children through these activities that are always a  little bit more difficult for the children and they want to learn that skill that is very important for them as well. These manual skills are always a little bit higher than their actual competence, just as Krashen says that comprehensible input should just a slightly higher than the child’s language competence. In my model I put the skills competence, so they want to learn the language together as well.

These activities are always accompanied by authentic English nursery rhymes, songs, and verses,  so children can build a very big vocabulary doing these activities and then after a  while, they start being introduced to real poetry. So after a couple of years of teaching children through these rhymes, I introduce very simple authentic poems to and after this stage we learn in the realm of literature and that’s the finest stage in my learning curve, that’s the last house,  when I can already introduce authentic novels to these children obviously through graded readers or simplified versions or I myself make them accessible to them.

I think that children deserve to be introduced to Narnia in English when they are small as well as Robinson Crusoe, which is my other favourite book. These are all layers that are built one on top of the other.  I think that when we introduce literature, they will become readers, that’s another stage and then authentic learning takes place. And they are able to learn in English and look after their own language development.

Juan: Which advice do you give to teachers of young learners?

Bea and Anastasya sharing their storytelling board. 
Bea: Learn lots of songs and  look at mother goose nursery rhymes and choose the ones you will teach according to your taste. It’s most important that you teach according to what you like, just believe in something and teach through that. And children will love it because they can see you are enjoying it and you will love it too. I think we can never stop learning and learning children’s rhymes is not a childish thing. We can learn from each other and even nowadays meet other colleagues around the world and then share our treasure with them. We should not hide what we know, we should make it accessible to everybody.

When teaching children it is very important not to simplify the language, as when you look at natural language acquisition, when a child learns in her own environment, everybody speaks in full sentences with lots of language, and I think that in second language acquisition we should do the same, providing a lot of authentic language to children.  I try to do it in a rhythmic way  because rhythm carries language, specially in songs, chants, verses, and nursery rhymes that have this natural rhythm that lives in the child’s system or body. As a result children are introduced to a lot a language and they will deduct meaning from this rich language for themselves and that’s how language is built up. Not specifically taught to them saying that this is this and that is that, but allowing the child to recognize the words in the songs, in the verses, and in the poems.

Juan: You have given me this amazing rainbow string. Where did this idea come from and which other tricks do you have in your teaching?

Bea teaching Kasya the witch's story in Paris

Bea: First of all, I felt that as an adult I wasn’t able to learn any of the tricks, but fortunately I had a very good friend who knew many of these tricks. And he happened to drop in my English lessons and he didn’t speak any English and he enchanted the learners in a second. I was a little bit jealous and I wanted to learn those tricks too.

As I wanted to enchant the children as well, so I looked for my son's book on string games and I learned one trick which was a huge success.  It took me a long while to learn other tricks and the most interesting thing is that when I introduce it to children they just pick it up in seconds.

I only know three or four stories altogether and I see that storytelling with strings is amazing not only for children but for adults too. These are well known in many cultures such as in Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, in central Europe, Western Europe, well everywhere. So I encourage everybody to learn a couple of string games.

Juan: Being a very affective teacher educator, what do you consider important for teachers of young learners to experience in their preparation courses?

Bea: Well, it comes naturally to me it’s and it is also a very conscious process. I try to build very good rapport with my colleagues, I prefer to call them my colleagues instead of participants.  I like to draw their attention to the importance of being an educator as we we have a very big responsibility for the future generations. I see that teaching young learners has become a very big business around the world and we have the responsibility not to let children be harmed by all this business. As appropriate learning is very important, we have to see who our learners are, language teaching ought to be almost like a therapy for children with lots of singing and lots of good things. 

Juan: Do you have a favourite quote to finish our interview? 

Bea: We only remember 10% of what we hear, we remember 40% of what we see, and we remember 90% of what we are involved with.

Juan: Anything else you would like to say? 

Bea: I love you Juan and Buddy too!

Juan: Me too!  

Wow, what an amazing interview with Bea!

Would you like me to interview any teacher in special?
Let me know and then I will get in touch with this person and give it a try!

Sending you all a big hug,


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Thank you!

March 13, 2016

My BrELT interview with Priscila Mateini!

It is with great pleasure that I share my interview with Priscila Mateini on behalf of BrELT. BrELT is a thriving Brazilian ELT community with over eight thousand members that is dedicated to the continuous professional development of ELT in Brazil. BrELT hosts an exciting chat with themes selected by members every other week. Check out BrELT's page and become a member at no cost. 

Priscila has been my friend for many years and I had the pleasure to finally meet her last year at IATEFL in Manchester. We have exchanged a lot over the years and I really enjoyed our talk. 

Here it is! 

This Buddy is so much fun! But sometimes he gets on my nerves...

Sending you all big hugs from são Paulo, Brazil! 


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October 30, 2015

Interviewing Affective Educators: Jason R Levine

"Love yourself and your expression, you can't go wrong"

This last August I had the great pleasure of meeting Jason R. Levine, also known as Fluency MC, and working with him during one week in the Gallery Day Camp in Italy. During this week I was able to see Jason promoting learning through rap and I discovered that Jason and I are artisteachers in our own ways. I couldn't have let him go without interviewing him first. Here is our chat: 

Juan: I am really happy that we are working together here in Italy as I had heard a lot about you, but only being here makes me able to better understand your work. Have to tell you that I am your fan.

Jason: Likewise, I follow what you are doing as a teacher and as a teacher trainer around the world. It is interesting to see how my work and your work complement each other. It's really exciting. It's a great feeling to be here.

Juan: I will start our interview by asking the classic question: Who is Jason R Levine?  But don't go thinking that this interview will be an easy one!

Jason: It's funny, there are a lot of Jason Levines out there and I put my middle initial  R to differentiate myself. I do both content creation and also training. I have this persona Fluency MC that I use for the music and the videos.  For me Jason Levine is more the trainer, what is left of the academic side of me.  Fluency MC is the guy that is out there on the ground as well as into content creation and materials design.

Juan: I believe that I identify with you as I believe that I am also a mixture of an artist and a teacher. I can clearly see your very developed artistic side in your teaching. Please tell me how this integration has happened in your life.

Jason:  Glad you see it that way because it hasn't been that long that I have been doing what I do with music. I was a pretty traditional English teacher during the first part of my career. It wasn't really until nine, ten years ago that I really started bringing music and video into it. From the start I was into creating material, in this sense I might be an artist, but what you see me doing is pretty recent. During the first years I was pretty shy.

Juan: I can't imagine you being shy!

Jason: I have a video to prove it, but I am not at the point that I am ready to show that video to people yet! My students used to tease me and they have certainly helped me discover my talent. This is a beautiful thing about teaching, when both students and teacher support and encourage each other in the process.

Juan: What do you take into account when you write your raps?

Jason: I am a big corpus linguistics guy, a collocation guy, and definitely for me what sparks me and gets me going is the lexical side of what I am working with. So if I receive a unit with certain vocabulary, certain structures, I love what I can do with these. I am also very motivated when I see what frustrates teachers and students, such as boring or difficult grammar structures, things that even with a lot of studying and learning students usually do not make much progress with.

Jason: I enjoy thinking about the acquisition, the repetition, and the humour in the songs. It's definitely the linguistic side that moves me in the beginning, but then as I write the songs I often get into storytelling.

Juan: I can see you put a lot of humour in the pictures you choose as well as in the lyrics.

Jason: Humour absolutely! I think that every good artist in some level does something with humour.

Juan: I really like the secret messages that you put in your raps. How do you go about these?

Jason: Thank you. I'm always moved by social messages in art, whether about inequality or about the environment or other important issues. I believe that the subtle messages are the ones that strike you, if it's a comedian who sneaks it in a joke or a singer that inserts it in a song. I don't like it when the message is explicit and  hits you in the head as it is hard to reach people that way. I want people to discover it themselves. To tell you the truth, I don't always notice myself doing it. The other day a teacher pointed it out to me. I can say that I am really influenced by many singers and authors and I like to do it that way.

Jason: Stick, Stuck, Stuck is the first song that I wrote and it is still the most popular song. People point out that there is a message within it and when you listen to other songs the messages are definitely more out there.

Here you have the famous Stick, Stuck, Stuck by Fluency MC :

Juan: I follow your career and I see that you have been travelling a lot and you have been in contact with lots of students around the world. How do you make sense of all this? How has this experience touched you?

Jason: I've been thinking a lot about this lately. The other day I saw some pictures of when I was with students in Palestine and it seems it was such a long time ago. I'm sure you also have this experience of feeling time in a different way when you travel and you have lots of intense encounters. On the other hand, I feel it is strange sometimes as I have had these intense encounters but I haven't seen these people again and I'm not sure what they are doing. As fun and as interesting it is to travel, it can also be hard.

Jason with students in the Palestine!
Jason: What grounds me is the fact that we are all connected through social media, like one student from Palestine can write me tomorrow and say "Hey I watched your video and I remember when you were in Ramallah". I feel really lucky about it. In the past, without this new media, it would have been tougher. I feel lucky to be teaching at this time in history.

Juan: I heard you are coming to Brazil next year, tell us about it.

Jason: I have wanted to come to Brazil for a really long time. Mainly because many Brazilian encouraged me when I taught in New York and also because I have many loyal followers from Brazil. There is certainly a musical connection between American and Brazilian hip hop and I believe the idea of practicing with music appeals a lot to Brazilian teachers. People tell me all the time to come to Brazil so I've got to do it. And it is great to be connected to you and also to other teacher trainers who supported me.

Juan: You are going to have such an amazing time in Brazil, Jason. By the way, I know that you have created an innovative language learning program. Please tell us how the Weekly English Workout Program works and how you have come up with this idea.

Jason: Thank you for asking about the Weekly English Workout. I'm very excited about it as it's a new project.  It's a speaking practice program based on Video Workouts, live classes, and a private Facebook group. It provides intensive practice to enable you to use English in your everyday life. This practice, I believe, is the missing piece for most people. It's been a lot of fun and I'm excited about getting the program into schools around the world so that students can use it out of class to improve their English fluency.

Juan: What message would you leave people that have a talent and would like to fuse it with language teaching?

Jason: That is a wonderful question. Just get out there and do it.

Juan: Any message for the students?

Jason: Wherever I go, I meet one or two students that are really fluent, really excited about English. Some people would assume that they have lived in the country where the language is spoken, that they must have had these great lessons, or that they have the gift for learning another language. But nine times out of ten it is because they really got excited about English from media, they watch a lot of movies, they listen to a lot of music, they read a lot of comic books... The best use of time for teachers is to get their students excited to get out there and go for things that they really enjoy.

Juan: Thank you so much for this interview!  It's been great working with you here at the Gallery Day Camp.

Jason: That was fun!

Do you have a special talent you have incorporated in your classes?
Let me know and you can be the next teacher  interviewed here in the blog!

Sending you a big hug from Hokkaido in Japan,


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Thank you!

October 09, 2015

Follow my Playing to Learn column!

It's with great pleasure that I share some good news. I have a column of my own!
It is entitled "Playing to Learn" and it is published twice a month with Gallery Teachers and iTDi. My very first column will have 12 posts and there I invite you to explore practical ideas and playful activities that can make your classes memorable, engaging, and fun. More than that, my intention is to awaken and strengthen your playfulness and empower you to create and live play with your group. 

On galleryteachers.com  you will be able to learn with amazing ELT bloggers and writers such as Barbara Sakamoto, Shelly Terrell, Luke Meddings, Christina Rebuffet, Jason Levine, and Chuck Sandy among others. Topics range from culture to critical pedagogy to cooking and there's something for everyone. Each column post comes with a downloadable PDF full of ideas, activities, or a lesson plan that you can take into your classroom or use for your own development. 

Do pay me a visit and leave your comment giving me feedback on how you liked it and what you would like to talk about next. I write it for you. 

Hope you have enjoyed these news as much as I do. It's really exciting!

Send you all a big hug from Seoul, South Korea!


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Thank you!!!

September 03, 2015

My first webinar on Affective Language Learning!

"One of the most important areas we can develop 
as professionals is competence in accessing and sharing knowledge." 
Connie Malamed

I am here to share about something I am really proud of being part: iTDi. 
I love iTDi because it has made the cutting edge of ELT knowledge available to teachers around the world in a very democratic way through free and affordable online courses and webinars. 

One of iTDi's initiatives, together with Gallery Teachers, was the Summer Intensive for Teachers, an online free series of speakers sharing their views on issues that they are passionate about. And I was invited to be one of them!

Due to my travelling and course schedule the only day I could present was July, 31st which was even before the official opening on the next day. I hosted my very first webinar and guess what? I loved and it was great fun! 

Buddy and I were super kindly hosted by Chuck Sandy and Jason Levine with the great theme song that made all of us full of energy. I was a little bit lost at first, but with time I got more and more comfortable with this new webinar format. I would like to thank everybody who made the effort to attend it live. You guys rock! 

You are probably saying "Come on, Juan, where is the link?". Right here, without further delay.
It is very easy to watch my first webinar. Just click here and sign up for a free account with iTDi. Then just log in and find the Summer Intensive for Teachers. My webinar is the very first one.

Get yourself some coffee, tea, or lemonade and enjoy the course with Buddy the Frog and me.

It was a great experience and I look forward to hosting another webinar. I am then officially open to invitations!

Which part did you like the most?
Do you have any hints for my next webinars?

Sending you a big hug, 


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