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Professional Development - Authors Profile

Originated by Birmingham MA TEFL/TESL students

Author's Profile

MASH began in 2006 as a small study group for distance-learning students on the University of Birmingham's MA TEFL program. Inspired by the course contents, the original 4 students decided to Meet online, Ask questions, Share ideas & Help one another in order to get the most they could from this exciting learning opportunity. With almost a hundred members now, the MASH network continues to grow - organically, creatively and flexibly - as it uses synergy to further professional development through collaboration. It offers ELT educators at every stage of their professional development an array of meaningful opportunities: 1) connecting with like-minded EFL educators, 2) exploring classroom research, 3) publishing academic work, 4) improving presentations and 5) building networks. There is only one secret to the success of MASH; we all share a commitment to each others' growth. If you would like to "know more" or "get more" in your professional life, please contact us because we always have room for more.

Steven Herder

sh.jpgSteven arrived in Japan in 1989 for a one-year adventure. He has progressively evolved into becoming a professional EFL English teacher. A combination of sensitivity in the classroom, 20 years of experience and the MA TEFL has brought him to this exciting point in his career. He believes that being a teacher means a commitment to learning. “We have to first connect with our students, and then expect them to grow in some way; the rest we just work out day by day.” He is very interested in extensive writing, extensive reading and exploring Nation’s four strands approach in the classroom.

Mark De Boer

mdb.jpgMark has been a teacher here in Japan since 1997. He teaches at two universities and owns two successful private language schools. His school has embraced many new technologies such as using iPods in the classroom and introducing a MAC lab for students. The school boasts its own school blog for students: to work on personal diaries. A current cutting-edge project explores Second Life on-line teaching and professional development through collaboration. His research focuses on Vygotsky in the TBL classroom and how social interaction in an “inauthentic” classroom creates the best learning environment for language acquisition.

Philip Shigeo Brown

psb.jpgPhil loves teaching and learning, as well as reflecting and growing. Teaching in a variety of contexts in Japan is a meaningful way to connect with a wide range of people. From kindergarten, high school, and university, to private corporations, juku (cram school), and government ministries, he explores the learning process from many perspectives. An avid collaborator, he has been both a leader and a prolific contributor to the Birmingham MA TEFL online community and an active organizer in Japan. His main pedagogical interests include vocabulary acquisition, learning strategies, how we learn, and professional development.

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