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January 28, 2014

ELT People | Business

English UK appoints new Chief Exec

eddie-byers.jpgLeading English language teaching association English UK has appointed global marketing expert Eddie Byers as its new Chief Executive, reports The PIE (Professionals in International Education) News.

Byers said that he hopes to continue and evolve the work of English UK, particularly with regard to engaging with political structures in the UK and Europe over issues such as student visas.

“This industry already makes a powerful and positive contribution to the UK’s global reputation,” he said. “English UK has played an important role in this over the last decade as a great advocate and support for the sector.”

No stranger to the international education industry, Byers has held director-level positions in both the public and private sector, most recently as Managing Director of the British Council’s Programmes and Projects arm. During that time he dealt with clients such as the UK and Scottish governments, the EU and a range of national agencies.

Read the full article from The PIE News.

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January 23, 2014

Japan | Publishing | ELT People | Business

Ryoji Fukada appointed as Chairman of CUP Japan

ryoji-fukada.jpgRyoji Fukada has been announced as the new Chairman of Cambridge University Press, Japan.

Fukada-san brings to the Press a vast wealth of experience in the international publishing industry, serving most recently as Chairman of international subscription agent, Swets Information Systems, Japan.

Prior to joining Swets, Fukada-san spent six years as Managing Director of Springer Japan, and before that, was Managing Director at Elsevier Science Japan, which included Elsevier’s Electronic Journals platform, ScienceDirect.

Tony Lund, Managing Director of Cambridge University Press, Asia, said: ‘Asia is a key area for future growth for the Press so we are delighted to welcome Fukada-san to the newly-created position of Chairman to unlock the potential in Japan. The role will help to provide strategic leadership to all the Press’s business in Japan and Fukada-san’s experience is a very good match for such a task.

Commenting on his new role Fukada-san said: "It’s an extremely exciting time to join Cambridge University Press as we seek to maximise the opportunities open to us in the important Japanese market. I very much look forward to working closely with Tony and hope that my experience, coupled with the Press’s rich portfolio of product, will help realise the full potential of the market in Japan."

Cambridge University Press in Japan provides academic and English language teaching materials throughout Japan. Based in Tokyo, Cambridge representatives work directly with libraries, universities and education professionals and also promote to booksellers – in turn allowing them to supply the many customers with some of the highest quality research and teaching materials available.

Read the original press release from Cambridge University Press, Japan.

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January 16, 2014

ELT People | Japan

RIP Kevin Cleary

kevin-cleary.jpgWe were saddened to hear of the death of Japan Association of Language Teachers (JALT) President Kevin Cleary. We do not have any details. If anyone would like to write something via ELT News, we would be more than happy to post it.

A veteran of over 20 years in Japan, Kevin was an Associate Professor at Tokyo Medical and Dental University. He also taught accounting at the Meiji University Graduate School of Accountancy and "English through Cinema" at the Sophia University Community College. He was the author of more than a dozen works, mainly on the area of adapting scientific articles for language learners.

Kevin first got involved in the running of JALT when he became treasurer of the Tokyo chapter in 2003. He held a variety of other positions within the organization and was selected as president in 2010. He lived with his family in the coastal town of Kamakura, near Tokyo.

The above is from a brief profile of Kevin on the JALT website.

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December 18, 2013

ELT People | Education | Iraq

The view from an American veteran teaching in Iraq

andrew-slater.jpgNew Orleans Public Radio interviews a veteran of three tours of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Army who later returned to the country to teach English.

Connecticut native Andrew Slater served three tours of duty in Iraq as a U.S. Army infantry and special forces officer. He came home. But then he went back to the country he fought in.

Slater now teaches English at the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani. That’s in the Kurdish part of the country, which has been more peaceful that the rest of Iraq, but even that area has been touched by the violence that has plagued the country this year.

Slater has his students read Faulkner, Melville and speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr. He joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss his students, who are the future of Iraq.

Listen to the interview on New Orleans Public Radio.

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December 05, 2013

Education | ELT People | Tanzania

Teaching English abroad is about educating the people who really need it

ellyharris-learning-centre.jpg
Victoria Harris has taught English as a foreign language for almost 13 years and has set up a school in Tanzania for disadvantaged children.

Victoria Harris has travelled the world teaching English as a foreign language. Now her quest to make a difference through education has led her to start her own school in Tanzania.

My heart has always been in Africa. I taught in Hong Kong for three years, but although I loved the city, it was very materialistic – all about money and shopping centres. I just wanted to do something completely different so decided to become a volunteer. My parents had both been English teachers in Kenya and we lived in Africa for a couple of years when we were kids. I had always wanted to go back, so I found a small non-profit organisation called the MondoChallenge Foundation which sends volunteers to various countries. The original plan was to return to Kenya but they needed people more in Tanzania and they set me up with a placement there.

Improvisation is key to an ESL (English as a second language) teacher's survival. I came to Tanzania for three months, living with an African family and teaching at a primary school with 120 kids in the class. There was no electricity and no running water. At the time, I had six years teaching experience so I was ok. But I think if I had done it earlier in my career it would have been a struggle. You have to improvise. You have these huge blackboards, but the chalk is such bad quality that it just disintegrates. You would be writing something on the board and it just dissolves into powder. It's therefore important to find ways to get the kids involved. If you've got 120 children in the class with some sitting right at the back who can't even see the board, a lot of it is just about getting them to take part. So, I used songs and games where they had to come up and write something on the board.

Read the full article from The Guardian.

Photograph: EllyHarris Learning Centre

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October 29, 2013

ELT People

RIP Dave Willis

dave-willis.jpg

We were saddened to hear this week of the death of Dave Willis, a name widely associated with Task-Based Learning. Dave and his wife Jane were co-authors of several ELT titles, including The Collins Cobuild English Course, a title that in 1988 was ahead of its time. Their last title was the Doing Task-Based Teaching in the Oxford Handbooks for Language Teachers series. Dave was twice winner of the English-Speaking Union’s Duke of Edinburgh Prize for ELT publications.

The ELT Chat website has posted a brief collection of Facebook posts, links to interviews and other articles about Dave, and will be hosting a couple of special chats tomorrow (Wednesday, October 30).

Leo Selivan's blog, Leoxicon, also has an extensive post about Dave, his work and the debt owed to him by those of us in the ELT world.

Read the full post on ELT Chat.

Willis-ELT is the website run by Jane and Dave Willis.

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October 23, 2013

ELT People | Awards & Competitions

Ex-JET wins Pearson Teacher of the Year award

crispin-chambers.jpgA former English language teacher in Japan has been recognized for the outstanding work he has done to teach and promote the Japanese language in the UK.

While a participant on the Japanese government's JET Programe, Crispin Chambers taught English for two years in Awaji-shima, Hyogo Prefecture before spending a year as a JET programme co-ordinator in Tokyo. After returning to his native UK he gained an MA in Japanese at Sheffield University. In the mid-1990s he took up a position teaching Japanese and French at Tavistock College in Devon. He now heads the Japanese department at the secondary school. There are 1,200 pupils studying Japanese at the school, from Year 7 to A-level, which makes it one of the biggest Japanese departments in the country. The school has an annual exchange visit to Tokyo and the Japanese embassy has described Mr Chambers as a "trailblazer" for promoting the language.

Earlier this year he won a regional teaching award for the South West of England, which earned him a position as a finalist for the Pearson National Teaching Awards 2013. It was the first time a teacher of Japanese, and an ex-JET had been nominated.

The national awards ceremony was held on Sunday night at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London and was attended by 66 regional winning teachers, awarded schools and colleges. 10 national prizes were awarded.

Read more about Chambers on Pearson's Teaching Awards website.

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October 01, 2013

Online | ELT People

Startup Stories: Vocabla’s CEO, Michal Dyrda

vocabla-michael-dyrda.jpgThe folks over at eltjam have posted a brief interview with Michael Dyrda, CEO of online vocabulary learning tool Vocabla, a story we picked up from them recently.

Following on from our post on LangApp’s Vocabla platform earlier this month, we thought we’d get a few words from the company’s CEO to learn more about how the company operates.

Michal Dyrda is the CEO and founder of Vocabla. He is an entrepreneur with eight years experience in online business and management and focuses primarily on the educational field. He has worked for and/or founded well known and large web businesses in Poland such as ciufcia.pl, futbolowo.pl, dziecisawazne.pl, kiddystarter.com. He is father of three and husband of one :)

1. Choose five words that best describe Vocabla:
a. English
b. Vocabulary
c. Gamification
d. Technology
e. Startup
… these best describe what Vocabla is as an app/ business, as well as our work here.

2. What was the opportunity you were responding to with Vocabla? What drove you to create it?
The Internet and the mobile revolution has changed the way people develop themselves, read, watch, and learn about anything. If you need high quality content to make progress in your professional life, there’s a high chance you can find it only in English.

Read the full interview on eltjam.

Related story: Vocabla: The Words On The Street

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September 19, 2013

ELT People | Awards & Competitions

Richard Day receives Milne Innovation Award

richard-r-day.jpgRichard R. Day, the Founding Chair Emeritus of the Extensive Reading Foundation, has been awarded the John. A. Milne Innovation Award in the Service of Extensive Reading. The award was presented at the 2nd Extensive Reading World Congress, held at Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, Sept. 13-15, 2013.

Richard Day is Professor in the Dept. of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai’i. He has been active in promoting Extensive Reading for over three decades. In addition to being the founding chair of the Extensive Reading Foundation (ERF), Day is the co-editor of the journal, "Reading in a Foreign Language." He is also the author or co-author of numerous articles, book chapters and books on Extensive Reading, most notably "Extensive Reading in the Second Language Classroom" and "Extensive Reading Activities for Teaching Language," (both Cambridge University Press, co-authored/co-edited with Julian Bamford).

Day has been a visiting professor at Ubon Rajathanee University and Assumption University in Thailand, Ha Noi University of Foreign Studies in Vietnam, and Ashiya University in Japan. He has also led teacher development workshops in China, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Marc Helgesen, Chair of the ERF, said at the ceremony, “Richard has been and remains a promoter of Extensive Reading and a teacher, mentor and friend to reading teachers around the world.”

The Award is named in honor of John Milne. As creator of the Heinemann Guided Readers series in the 1970s, Milne believed that the traditional grading of vocabulary and structure was not enough to make a book suitable for language learners. He therefore took a different approach, basing his series on good, clear writing, relevant content, careful explanation and control of information, and intuitive word and structure control. These innovations have been crucial in the development of language learner literature.

The Extensive Reading Foundation, founded in 2004, aims to promote Extensive Reading as a highly effective means of language learning. To this end, the Foundation offers annual awards to the best new graded reader titles, maintains an annotated bibliography of research into Extensive Reading and conducts other activities to promote research and the implementation of Extensive Reading.

Visit the Extensive Reading Foundation

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September 06, 2013

India | ELT People

From Anglophobia to master of English

munawar-zama.jpgThe head of an English-language training and personality development institute has been helping under-priviliged Indians to get life-changing opportunities.

In early 1985, a nine-year-old Muslim boy from a middle class family in Nalgonda, 100 kms from Hyderabad, sat glued to his transistor radio as Indian cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin prepared to score his third consecutive century against a formidable English team.

English-language cricket commentary emanated from the radio for 15 minutes, followed by commentary in Hindi. Every time the commentary went into English, the boy – who couldn't understand a word of it – became restless.

He impatiently waited for the Hindi commentary to hear how his hero Azharuddin was playing.

In those brief moments of excitement and restlessness, the Anglophobic boy made a decision: he must learn English.

In a posh New Delhi hotel in the August of 2013, the boy, Munawar Zama, now the CEO of an English-language training and personality development institute, was honored with the "Indian Youth Icon Award 2013" for his contributions to changing the lives of thousands of students across the country.

Read the full article from World Bulletin.

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August 27, 2013

Online | ELT People

Scott's got a brand new blog

scott-thornbury.jpgMany thousands of teachers worldwide were avid readers of Scott Thornbury's "An A-Z of ELT" blog, which he put to rest in June. Now Scott's back, with "The (De-)Fossilization Diaries."

I’ve been living in Spain for nearly thirty years, and my Spanish (never very good to start with) appears to have fossilized. That is to say, if someone who had interacted with me in Spanish twenty years ago were to talk to me again now, it’s unlikely they would detect much improvement. Worse, they may even note a distinct regression (aka attrition): not so much fossilized, as atrophied!

But, taking heart from Ellis’s comment that ‘there is never a complete cessation of learning’, I am going to attempt to redress the rot, as it were, and to ‘de-fossilize’. I am going to do this using a number of means, including formal instruction, vocabulary memorization, extensive reading and (if I can find it) informal interaction. At the same time, I plan to inform the process by occasional reference to the literature on second language acquisition (SLA), including such issues as motivation, age effects, aptitude, exposure, fluency, error correction, and identity formation. I imagine that there will be implications to be drawn in terms of language teaching methodology.

In short, I am going to devote as much time and effort as I can possibly manage towards dispelling the myth that language learning just stops.

This blog will be a record of that journey.

Read The (De-)Fossilization Diaries.

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August 12, 2013

Republic of Korea | ELT People

The $4 Million Teacher

kim-ki-hoon.jpgThe Wall Street Journal travels to South Korea to meet an English teacher who earns a "rock-star" salary and looks into the "shadow system" of after school tutoring.

Kim Ki-hoon earns $4 million a year in South Korea, where he is known as a rock-star teacher—a combination of words not typically heard in the rest of the world. Mr. Kim has been teaching for over 20 years, all of them in the country's private, after-school tutoring academies, known as hagwons. Unlike most teachers across the globe, he is paid according to the demand for his skills—and he is in high demand.

Mr. Kim works about 60 hours a week teaching English, although he spends only three of those hours giving lectures. His classes are recorded on video, and the Internet has turned them into commodities, available for purchase online at the rate of $4 an hour. He spends most of his week responding to students' online requests for help, developing lesson plans and writing accompanying textbooks and workbooks (some 200 to date).

"The harder I work, the more I make," he says matter of factly. "I like that."

I traveled to South Korea to see what a free market for teaching talent looks like—one stop in a global tour to discover what the U.S. can learn from the world's other education superpowers. Thanks in part to such tutoring services, South Korea has dramatically improved its education system over the past several decades and now routinely outperforms the U.S. Sixty years ago, most South Koreans were illiterate; today, South Korean 15-year-olds rank No. 2 in the world in reading, behind Shanghai. The country now has a 93% high-school graduation rate, compared with 77% in the U.S.

Read the full article from The Wall Street Journal.

Photo: Wall Street Journal

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July 26, 2013

ELT People | Online | Events

IATEFL Webinar with Jeremy Harmer - July 27

jeremy-harmer.jpgThis time tomorrow you'll be able to tune in to watch one of ELT's leading lights. Jeremy Harmer will be holding a webinar on IATEFL BESIG on July 27 from 3pm to 4pm (BST).

The theme of the event is 'Yes, but why do we need teachers at all?'

We all think that teachers should motivate their students and help them to become successful learners - but what does that actually mean? And what is the balance of 'the-teacher-as-motivator', and the teacher who knows - and knows how to help students know? Furthermore, in a world where people are offering digital solutions to learning problems, how has/will the teacher's role change?

This session will look at opinions from English language teaching - and from outside the field - to come up with a new way of looking at how we can help our students to be more effective.

Jeremy - a frequent presenter, seminar leader and teacher both in the UK and, more frequently, around the world - currently works as as an online tutor for the MATESOL at The New School, New York.

To join the webinar please go to http://iatefl.adobeconnect.com/jeremyharmer/. Ensure "Enter as Guest" is selected; enter your name and country; and click "Enter room." You do not need to register in advance to join this webinar.

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July 17, 2013

India | Publishing | ELT People

Manas Saikia, MD of CUP India, announces retirement

manas_saikia.jpgManas Saikia, founding partner and Managing Director of Cambridge University Press India, has announced he will be retiring at the end of April 2014.

Manas has had a long 28-year association with Cambridge University Press, since he joined in 1985 as a sales representative. He created Foundation Books with his partner Vinod Vasishat, after an exchange crisis made conditions difficult for importing books.

In 2006, Cambridge acquired a stake in Foundation Books which then became Cambridge University Press India. Cambridge increased its share in 2009 and has now agreed to acquire the remaining shares to give it full ownership. Manas has announced his retirement from the Board, but agreed to stay on as Managing Director during the transition period until the end of April 2014. Recruitment for a new Managing Director will start immediately.

Cambridge University Press India has seen huge growth under Manas’s leadership. He has also facilitated the representation of both Cambridge International Examinations and Cambridge English Language Assessment in India.

Read the full announcement from Cambridge University Press.

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July 16, 2013

ELT People | Online

WizIQ Announces MOOC for Teachers on ELT Techniques

fluency-mc.jpgIn a press release issued this week, WizIQ lay claim to being the first provider of a MOOC for English language teacher development, led by Fluency MC. WizIQ is an online education platform used by over 220,000 teachers and 3 million learners in more than 100 countries.

WizIQ today announced that it is hosting a free English Language Teaching (ELT) Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for teachers commencing on July 29, 2013. The self-paced 4-week course is first of its kind dedicated to the development of English language teaching professionals.

The MOOC will be led by Jason R. Levine (Jase), also known as Fluency MC, who has fifteen years of experience in ELT as a teacher, teacher trainer, and materials writer. He is the creator of ColloLearn, an approach to English language learning based on the songs he writes and performs as Fluency MC.

An Ambassador and Knowledge Entertainer at WizIQ, Jase teaches in the online MA TESOL program at the New School and writes songs and chants for several publishers, including Oxford University Press. His YouTube channel ColloLearn, receives hundreds of thousands of views per month and his Fluency MC Facebook page has thousands of members from over 50 countries.

Read the full press release on PR Newswire.

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July 10, 2013

China | ELT People

Foreign teacher's different approach gets results

English-Teaching-in-ChinaA Chinese news website reports on an Oxford University graduate who is achieving great success as a high school teacher in the city of Foshan with his "different approach".

XINHUANET: Under China's college entrance exam system that is widely believed destiny-shaping, English teacher and form tutor Neil Porteous has amazed others with the excellent scores his students achieved in the test in June.

All 45 students in his class in Shimen High School in the city of Foshan, south China's Guangdong Province, passed with good enough results to access the country's key universities.

Six of them ranked among the top 100 in the province, where 727,000 students took the exam, also known as gaokao.

The 31-year-old Brit said the students were smart, while his pupils and colleagues said his teaching and tutoring methods were the reason for the success.

Read the full article from Xinhuanet.

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June 26, 2013

ELT People | Awards & Competitions

Jeremy Harmer gets award for "ELT book of the year"

jeremy-harmer.jpgApologies to Jeremy Harmer for not posting this earlier! A couple of weeks ago, Jeremy received the 2nd British Council Award for English Language Teaching (ELT) Writing for his book "Essential Teacher Knowledge - Core Concepts in English Language Teaching" (Pearson).

The Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy presented the £2,000 award, which celebrates an outstanding contribution to the field, at the Society of Authors’ awards party at the Army and Navy Club in London on Thursday 13th June.

Anna Searle, Director English Language at the British Council, said the award, "was introduced to celebrate authors who turn their talents to educational writing - specifically writing which benefits more widespread and better quality teaching and learning of English worldwide." She added, "we hope that millions of new readers will discover works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry in the English language - along with a genuine love of reading."

The British Council Award was judged by Jan Bell, Desmond O’Sullivan and last year’s joint winner, Catherine Walter. They described the winner as: "A magisterial work of real importance and authority, without doubt it is the ELT Book of the Year."

Check out Jeremy Harmer's blog.

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June 25, 2013

Australia | Publishing | ELT People

The pity of war

ELT-publishingThe West Australian reports on an ESL teacher who is creating a series of fiction books for young readers about children triumphing over adversity in the world's war zones.

Little Safiyo arrived in Australia with a lifetime of conflict and hardship already behind her. At the age of seven, she had never been in a school or even held a pencil - but she was desperate to learn how to read and write.

When Safiyo first arrived in Australia, having fled her troubled homeland of Somalia, the children at her school frightened her. They were aware of the differences. Today, she is a top student and has made many friends. She now enjoys the admiration and respect of her classmates.

As an English as a second language (ESL) teacher, Lyn White has taught many children like Safiyo.

"I have had the privilege of listening to some incredible experiences of refugee and newly arrived children who had been displaced and traumatised by conflict," she says.

A passionate primary school teacher-librarian as well, White knew the power of story and considered the idea of creating a series of fiction books for young readers that would pay tribute to the courage and perseverance of these children.

Read the full story from The West Australian.

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June 24, 2013

China | ELT People

Famed English teacher's ex demands money

Teaching-English-in-ChinaThe high profile divorce dispute in China between "Crazy English" founder Li Yang and his American ex-wife, whose marriage was ended several months ago on the grounds of domestic abuse, is back in the news.

The former wife of a famous Chinese English teacher has asked him to give her the money he owes her according to the conditions of their divorce.

Kim Lee, ex-wife of "Crazy English" teacher Li Yang, submitted her application to the Beijing Chaoyang District Court on Thursday, demanding Li pay her 11.75 million yuan (about $1.9 million).

According to Lee, Li has paid 150,000 yuan in child support from July 2012 to December 2013, as well as 300,000 yuan in property distribution money.

On February 3, the court granted a divorce to the couple on the grounds of domestic abuse. According to the verdict, Li was ordered to pay Lee 50,000 yuan in compensation for her psychological trauma and a one-off sum of 12 million yuan in consideration of the property the couple shared, as well as an annual child support payment of 100,000 yuan for each of their three daughters until they reach 18 years of age.

Read the full story from China Daily.

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June 17, 2013

China | ELT People

ESF teacher's quest to visit every province in China

Teaching-English-in-ChinaThe South China Morning Post today reports the story of one English teacher's quest to travel largely unseen parts of China and the 600-page book that resulted from the journey.

The strangeness of English Schools Foundation teacher Chris Taylor's quest to visit every mainland province dawned on him as he sat down on a bench in a town square in Ningxia - an obscure northwestern chunk of China most foreigners have never heard of, let alone considered visiting.

Alone and nearly 2,000 kilometres away from his family in Hong Kong and his job as head of senior school at Sha Tin College, the 43-year-old suddenly found himself surrounded by a throng of locals. "They just sat really close to me and stared and stared," he recalls.

"As soon as I did anything like get my notebook out, everyone would be really interested and lean over and stare. I distinctly remember just wanting to be left alone and sitting there doing nothing until people finally dispersed and gave me a bit of space."

Read the full story from the South China Morning Post.

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May 14, 2013

ELT People

Do you have a question for Chuck Sandy?

Chuck-Sandy"Chuck Sandy is a very busy man. An old friend of ELT News, Chuck was already a well-established teacher, author and presenter when I interviewed him back in 2003 and he was a regular contributor to our popular Think Tank column. Since then he has helped bring about initiatives that are making the world a better place for teachers, and us all - Design for Change and the International Teacher Development Institute (iTDi).

This weekend Chuck will be in Jakarta for iTDi Day, an opportunity for teachers from all across Indonesia to meet, learn and celebrate the huge and growing online community that he co-founded. And a couple of weeks later he will be heading to Slovakia, where he is plenary speaker at the ELTForum.sk 2013 conference. In advance of the event, he recently spoke with Martina Bednáriková. Links to that interview are below.

Somewhere in between the two events, Chuck will be taking time from that busy schedule to talk with ELT News. So if you have a question of your own that you'd like to ask him, please comment below or email them to me here.

See also:
Education Matters: “Good teachers really do have the power to change the world.” (ELTForum.sk Interview, Part 1)
Making the World a Better Place (ELTForum.sk Interview, Part 2)
iTDi Website
Design for Change
ELT News Interview, April 2003

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About ELT People

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to ELT News in the ELT People category. They are listed from newest to oldes.

Education is the previous category.

Entertainment is the next category.

Many more can be found by looking through the archives.

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  • IATEFL"Linking, developing and supporting" ELT professionals worldwide
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