To my discredit, I’m all about the practical when it comes to teaching English. I tend to value my own experiences above those of other teachers, which I in turn value more than theoretical tracts written by Rapunzel-like figures in ivory towers.
If you’re familiar with the work of the economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, you’ll know he half-disparagingly, half-humorously describes theoretical economics as “Greek letter economics.” That pretty much sums up my opinion about reading academic work on teaching. It just does not feel relevant to me in my day to day work in South Korea.
Admittedly, that probably means I’m just lazy.
In light of this deplorable tendency of mine, I was delighted to come across the excellent blog ELT Research Bites by Anthony Schmidt, Clare Fielder, and several other ELT professionals. Together they comb through the professional literature and summarize interesting pieces into very readable blog entries. It could easily have been titled ELT Research for Dummies.
Some of their most recent works include:
- Collaborative Revision in the Writing Classroom
- To Translate or Not to Translate? The Effects of Translation Tasks on Language Accuracy
- What Works Better: Teachers’ L1 Use or L2‐Only Explanations?
- Integrating Extensive Reading with EAP Writing
- Corpus Use, Search Engines, and Writing Proficiency
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some reading to do.