Thursday, April 11, 2013

IATEFL Interviews 10 April

Liverpool Online
I decided to spend the evening watching some of the interviews because there are quite a few that I haven't watched and I wanted to watch at least some of them.

The first interview I watched was with Jamie Keddie whom I really like for his enthusiasm and ideas. Jamie is also the author of a very good book called Images.

Jamie starts the interview by telling a story about a seal and a polar bear and actually because he didn't finish the story in his interview I got on his website and found the lesson plan and the video for it because I wanted to find out how the story ends. I assume that's the whole point of videotelling (a technique which combines traditional story telling with video): making the listener want to find out what happens next. I did!  Jamie's website has more lesson plans for any teacher interested in doing some videotelling in their lessons. The website Jamie recommends looking at at the end of his interview does have some interesting material.

Next interview I watched was with Jeremy Harmer and I love him a lot. Jeremy says that he is interested in finding out whether there is a relationship between the way people practise music and the way people practise a language. I also became interested in the question and did some Google searching. I found quite an interesting article which is written by Benny Lewis who asked about the similarity between language learning and learning to play a musical instrument on Twitter. Some of the replies are really interesting.

Jeremy Harmer refers to research which shows that the length of practice doesn't mean much if the practice is not deliberate, i.e. involving full concentration, problem solving, involvement and engagement. If we think of that then we may actually find that when we do something because we have to do it, we do not remember much of it later. This is the case with language learning in Armenia where many teachers ask their students to memorize texts which they do just to repeat the texts in the lesson but two days later they forget what it was that they memorized. Jeremy Harmer says that a little homework which would require problem-solving could benefit a learner more than a lot of homework which they would probably do while watching TV. I totally agree!

The last interview that I watched was with Vicky Saumell. She is a teacher who encourages the use of technology in learning. Vicky talks about getting learners work published online (wikis, blogs) and getting teachers and learners from other countries to comment on the published work so that learners know that there is going to be some interaction and their work will not go unnoticed. One project that she talked about sounded quite interesting - a type of videotelling but done by learners. I actually even found the wiki that Vicky was talking about. The amount of work that Vicky's students have done is impressive. Vicky also mentions online projects with other countries, the benefits of which I know from my own experience as we did one with a school in Uruguay last year and are doing another one with the same school in Uruguay and a school in Brazil this year.


  1. Dear Anna,
    Thanks for sharing these three awesome interviews.
    I just love to listen to Jamy Keddie's stories and so do my leaners. I think he is so right, story telling demands preparation, choosing videos, creating a story, telling a story in such an attractive way that it will captivate our audience and the questions we will ask all along our stories which are just a part of the teaching plan. I can't forget one story we did in class about the Lady of Shallot. I still keep the poem in my mind.
    Thanks again for your posts

  2. Hi Debita!

    Thanks for reading my post. Lesson preparation really demands a lot of time especially when one is trying to do something relatively new.

    Could you share your Lady of Shallot lesson plan, please?