Monday, December 12, 2005

Innovate Live Webcasts

Scheduled Webcasts Applying Gaming and Simulation Techniques to the Design of Online Instruction
Carolyn Rude-Parkins, Karen Hughes Miller, Karen Ferguson, and Robert Bauer
December 12, 2005, 12p.m.EST

Technology and Pedagogy: Building Techno-pedagogical Skills in Preservice Teachers
Lorraine Beaudin and Corey Hadden
December 12, 2005, 1p.m. EST

Taking a Journey with Today's Digital Kids: An Interview with Deneen Frazier Bowen
James L. Morrison and Deneen Frazier Bowen
December 14, 2005, 1p.m.EST

Implementing Organic Education: An Interview with Hugh Osborn
James L. Morrison and Hugh Osborn
January 10,2006, 3p.m. EST

Designing e-Portfolios To Support Professional Teacher Preparation
Tu Tran, Robert Baker, and Margo Pensavalle
January 11, 2006, 3p.m.EST

All times are in EST. The world clock site might be helpful in converting to your specific time zone.  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Learning University

Each week prior to Learning 2005 we will post video, audio and text segments to trigger conversations and dialogues in the learning field. All content is in the public domain and accessible to all. Get started now with Free Content from Learning 2005!
 Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 24, 2005

learning environment

Many thanks for your email, Arnold. :-) I was hoping that some of the teachers in this group would jump in and asnwer your question... I'll give it a shot and please feel free to share your ideas and opinions:

I would like to quote a text from productive learning environment,
"What is a learning environment? A learning environment is all the influences that surround a learner and cause him or her to be interested in learning.

In order to help learners learn, one of our main tasks is to create a good learning environment."

And in creating a good learning environment, it has to to be productive so learners could be productive, too. This can be done in many ways. One is through seating arrangements. I think Mei has a lot of experience on this matter :-) In addition, the classroom has pictures, teachers tell stories, classmates are friendly, student sing songs, interesting information, a caring teacher, and a comfortable classroom that surrounds the students. In a productive enviroment, students are excited about learning. They like working with friends, asking questions, and playing games.

There are a few factors that we need to consider in creating a productive learning environment. They are:

physical conditions: Is the classroom too hot? Too cold? Too dark? Is it clean and tidy? Are there enough desks and seats? Are they safe?
¡Pclassroom layout: Is there a chalkboard? Does the teacher use good teaching aids? Do the learners have books and paper and pencils? Are they easy to reach and use?

roles and rules: Do the learners know how to answer questions? Do they know how to ask to leave the room? Do they know the rules when working with other learners?

learners' relationships: Are the learners fighting? Do they like their teacher?

I think many of the conflicts that arise in language schools are more related to factors 3 and 4, roles and rules, and learners' relationship.

The issue on teaching style that was discussed here has something to do with factor 4. The student simply did not like the teacher. This issue was also brought up a few months ago by April when she moved to a new school. The students were reluctant to have a new teacher. There were attitude problems, but I think all this have been resolved, right April?

Acccording to the learning environment program,

Learners' relations with the teacher could be improved when teachers show or exhibits the following behaviors:

the teacher should model caring behaviour: being gentle, smiling, asking questions, helping learners if they have trouble, asking learners to help other learners.
learners should feel free to ask the teacher questions.
learners should feel free to talk to the teacher outside of the classroom.
learners should feel free to touch or hug the teacher if they wish. (This varies from culture to culture.)

I would appreciate comments from the teachers in this group. Do you agree or disagree with any or points made above? Any opinions, suggestions, clarifications?

I look forward to hearing from you.

I've got to go and attend the conference at Wen Zao where I hope to meet Joy.

Cheers everyone!


arnold wrote:

Hmm. I think you've got many different implicit questions here (no doubt
related here and there). I'd like to have a closer look at teaching and
learning styles perhaps and the implications thereof.

Obviously different teachers teach differently, they have their own
different styles - much in the same way that students also differ in the
ways they learn (best) or think they learn (best). Where they necessarily
meet (in the classroom situation), how much tolerance and patience is there
among both parties to "deal" with these differences. On either side there
will always be a degree of "otherness from how one would like to see things
done oneself" that cannot be ironed out for the sake of a theoretically
perfect match. It is an illusion to think this could be done and a mistake
probably that it should be done.

I think neither the teacher nor the students should be scrutinized too
heavily on this point. Maybe we should concentrate more on the learning
environment instead.

The richer and varied the learning environment that teachers and students
create together is, the less important it is to give a lot of attention to
the notion of different teaching and learning styles. I think that teaching
or learning to (assumed) styles can be so intrusive that it may stunt the
development of the various other learning powers that are always latent in
every student.

Assuming there is some sense in the above assumptions and I would like you
to bear with me on this point, one key question to start with would be:

What are charactistics of such a language learning environment?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

CEF conference in Kaohsiung CEF(Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment)  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Reflective teaching: Exploring our own classroom practice

Reflective teaching: Exploring our own classroom practice
Julie Tice, Teacher, Trainer, Writer, British Council Lisbon

Reflective teaching means looking at what you do in the classroom, thinking about why you do it, and thinking about if it works - a process of self-observation and self-evaluation. By collecting information about what goes on in our classroom, and by analysing and evaluating this information, we identify and explore our own practices and underlying beliefs. This may then lead to changes and improvements in our teaching.
 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Scholar Google Search

Online search is getting better and better, not to mention- easier! Posted by Picasa

My Lesson Plan published in IATEFL Computer Special Interest Group


by Aiden Yeh

Wen Zao Ursuline College of Foreign Languages,

Kaohsiung, Taiwan
 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Who needs Education schools?

Teaching for Teachers: Who Needs Education Schools?
What colleges teach. What teachers need to know. And why they're not the same. Posted by Picasa

Great Articles on Blogs

Special Report on Blogs, Guardian Unlimited Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Online discussion at Alado

Online Discussion at Alado, June 25, 2005 Posted by Hello

The online discussion started later than scheduled because of me. I had a technical problem: my mic wasn't working. I thought that it had something to do with some malfunctions on my keyboard. All the people present were very helpful, providing me suggestions on how I could make my mic work. But after working on it for 15-20 minutes, I just had to give it up because time was running out. Dafne offered to repeat or reading what I've written on the text board. It worked but it was a bit frustrating because I really wanted to be 'heard'. Nonetheless, the session went smoothly. Alejandra, Gladys, Dafne, Teresa, Chrissan all made wonderful contributions. Sus and Vance dropped by to say 'Hi' and this somehow made me feel relaxed and confident that everything would be alright. Why? Because webheads were there. Greta, a student of mine, also dropped by. She even managed to say a few words.

Here are the main points that were discussed during the session: pre-writing, picture description, email exchange, and blogs [which would integrate all other activities that were discussed]. There were many suggestions that were given and like what everybody else online said, it would take time to be able to practice everything that was discussed tonight. But what is important is that we were able to encourage Joy to start thinking about other activities that could make writing more fun for her students. We will just wait and see whether she'll use some if not all the things that were discussed tonight. Like any other meetings or conferences, the time is always not enough to discuss everything that we wanted to share. But we did, however, achieved the goals of this session.

This session was recorded and uploaded online, and it can be viewed at

The recording is still uploading as I write this, it is a huge file, afterall.

I hope that it gets uploaded, 'will let you know.


Happy birthday, Gladys!

Happy birthday, Gladys! Posted by Hello

Click play to hear the music.

Many thanks for spending a few hours of your special day with us, Webheads and Joy. We will never forget this event. Happy birthday once again and may you have many more to come!

Online Discussion on Teaching Writing to Young EFL Learners

Online guests for Aiden Yeh's online discussion on teaching writing to young EFL learners. This online session is part of Joy Chiu's teacher development training program.  Posted by Hello

What: Online chat
Time: 9:30 pm Taiwan time
Place: Alado, http://www.aladonet/webheads
Login: Type your name, No need for password, click 'enter'
Date: June 25, 2005, Saturday

Topic of discussion: Teaching writing to young learners
For: Buxiban teachers

Guests: Teresa Almeida D'Eca, Gladys Baya, Alejandra Weser, Prof. Dafne Gonzalez

Online Resources for Teachers of Young Language Learners [Reading and Writing], click here.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Attention: Mei

This message goes to Mei, who I find quite difficult to find :-( these days.

Mei, I saw your brief message on my tag board. Thanks for the message :-) I am not sure if you have changed your email address since you mentioned that you have not been receiving emails from me. Could you please let me know your new email address?

The group still meets at our YG, click here to go there.

Here's an update of what we've been doing lately and what we will be doing in the following weeks.

Joy Chiu [Fina] will be observing her Writing class at her new school, Garden, today, June 24, Friday. She will record her class. To do this, I lent her my videocamera which she will be returning in a week. Fina also be joining an online discussion with other foreign teachers who have various experiences in teaching writing to young EFL/ESL students. This online session is scheduled tomorrow, on Saturday at 9:30 pm Taiwan time. The place of the chat is at Alado, to go there, just click on the link above. Click on 'Log in', enter your name, NO need for password, and click 'Enter'

I hope that you could make it tomorrow.

You asked me if there's anything you could do for me. Well, my answer is YES, I'm asking a very big favor and I would be deeply indebted if you could help me on this one.

First, you will need to think of an area in your teaching that you would like to learn more, improve or enhanced. Fina chose 'teaching writing to young students', what about you? The area is not limited to learning skills but could we also explore classroom management, if you want.

Second, you will need to observe your class, record on video for observation purposes, then, we will ask the experts to contribute their knowledge and opinion about your query.

Third, observe your class again for the second time, this should be done after we talked to the experts.

If this isn't clear to you, please let me know and I'll explain it in detail.

I hope to hear from you, Mei.



On sharing...

I visited NNEST Caucus's blog and I know that Lucie has been working real hard to keep the site going. In one of her rumblings ;-) she mentioned something about sharing and this has caught my eye. I've touched on that topic here on my blog and on our Taiwanese YG, and now it has resurfaced again, this time on an international caucus group.

I posted a comment and here's what I wrote:

Hi there,

Apologies for not being so active lately. I've been busy with school, wrapping things up- now that we're on our last week of school. But I still have to take care of grading a listening and speaking test for an admission test that we gave this week. Anyway, I read your message and this statement caught my attention, "Maybe not ideas about presentations, since we don't want other people to use our original ideas, write the same proposal, and compete against us." You know, Lucie, I think, this is the very culprit why people hesitate to 'share'. I also find this to be true among taiwanese teachers. Having said that, I am beginning to think that this is not a cultural thing. It happens everywhere and to all of us. It's part of being human. People are willing to share for as long as it they deem it safe and productive. However, people also tend to protect themselves and their personal interests, as well. Just like what you said about competing with each other. If you let your guards down, there is always that fear that others may take advantage of the situation [vulnerability or whatever that is].

you're doing a good job Lucie, keep it up ;-)

This is something that I should keep in mind and should be mentioned in my thesis!!!


Friday, June 17, 2005

Trial session with Joy and webheads in Alado

Trial-Run with Joy, June 17, Friday, 15 GMT at Alado. Online discussion on teaching writing to young EFL learners is slated on June 25th Saturday, 13:30 GMT also at Alado Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

in response to Alejendra [call for experts]

Many, many thanks Alejendra. I was thinking about my use of the word 'expert'; it sounds 'daunting', is it?

The online discussion is not intended to be a formal lecture. It's more like sharing about what you've been doing in your writing class, things that have worked with your students, and activities that are fun and stimulating. I have been out of the 'TEYL' (Teaching english to young learners' stream for a long time, and I think that I'm not doing quite a good job with my own children. It's difficult teaching your own children. In my case, I get too cranky. My expectations just shoots up and down. I'd rather hire a tutor to do formal lessons. My husband and I occassionaly speaks English to our children but this isn't enough. Miki (my husband) isn;t worried, though.

Anyway, I think Joy and I could learn a lot from your experience. I'll let you know when the fixed date is, ok?




I'm also collecting URL links to teachers' online resources on teaching writing to kids. If you know of any, I'd appreciate if you could pass them along. :-)

aleweser wrote:
Dear Aiden and Joy,
I have classes every other Saturday, but if I happen to be at home on
the day you plan your webcast you can count on me to share my
experience. Not that I consider myself the expert you are looking for
but I have been teaching 6th graders (11-year-olds) for over twenty
years now so I might have a few ideas to share and I have no doubts
there will be a lot more I can learn from you.

I really look forward to hearing from you.

Alejandra Weser

call for experts on teaching writing to young efl learners

Dear Webheads,

As some of you may know, I’m doing my post grad studies on Taiwanese teachers’ professional development. I am now on the 2nd stage of my research. I have three Taiwanese EFL teachers teaching at supplementary schools (cram schools) who have agreed to take part in my research. Two have created blogs to help them reflect on their teaching and things that they want to learn. We are now about to go to the observation phase. This phase is divided into two stages, before and after the online discussion/lecture/sharing (I still don’t know what to call it). Joy (one of the teachers who agreed to participate in my study) will have to document her teaching, in particular, how she teaches writing (her choice). She will then join an online discussion where my invited ‘expert’ will talk about/share some tips and fun activities that could motivate students.

Joy works Mon-Sat (am) and is willing to devote Saturday evenings (anytime from 13-15 GMT – an hour to an hour and a half) for special online discussions where she could learn something invaluable and something that she could do in her own classroom.

My dilemma is I need an expert on this topic, teaching writing to young learners. You do not have to be a teacher trainer, but you must at least know and have experienced teaching writing to young students. If you know some successful writing activities that you would like to share with Joy, then I also encourage you to join us.

This online discussion/sharing will not only be part of my study but most importantly, part of Joy’s professional development. Many Taiwanese EFL teachers in private language institutions share the same fate that Joy is experiencing: lack of teacher training support from the government and from the school that she works for. TPD for these teachers are considered to be unimportant because they are after all, what many locals consider ‘just a language school teacher’. Compared to Elementary school/high school/college English teachers, they are not really recognized as ‘teachers’. However, this does not mean that they are not good enough. I know some language school teachers whose English proficiency is far better that junior college teachers. I believe that with the right support and encouragement, these motivated teachers could experience the personal satisfaction of engaging in TPD. Joy has created her blog where she posts her thoughts and opinions about things that she’s learned in f2f conferences. She has attended 3-4 local conferences, and in one of these conferences, she was the only language school teacher who attended- the rest where college/university teachers. She was not intimidated by this, as a matter of fact, she was very active, participated in the session, and even raised some questions. Other teachers who were present were not as active as she was.

You may say that she’s different. But what makes her different is her tenacity to learn and improve herself (like Webheads)- all this without financial remunerations or the constant prodding of an employer or teacher. I think that she’s not at all different from the rest of us.

If you are interested in sharing your knowledge and skills with Joy, and if you are willing to spend an hour (or perhaps an hour and half) discussing some fun activities on teaching writing for young EFL students, then please, join us.

There is no fixed date yet, but it’s going to be a Saturday, 13-15 GMT, probably Alado or Learning times.

Many thanks in advance and I hope to hear from some of you.


Aiden Yeh

teaching writing [response to Joy]

Many, many thanks for your email. It's certainly nice to hear from you. So, you've finally accepted the job offer from Garden. That's good news. How is it?

With regards to your topic, I think that it is very interesting. I'll line up some topics and will get in touch with lecturers. Saturday night is cool.

I'll keep you updated.


Chiu Joy wrote:
Dear Aiden,

Sat nights are fine. Just let me know which day.
And because I've just started my only new class at Garden
this week, I need a little time to set up the class.
The observation will take place once before and once after
the online lecture, right?

So as soon as you lend me the equiment (let's say,
sometime between mid June and the begining of July),
I should be able to record the first part.

As to the second time, maybe you can come in if
you like. Or I can tape it, but first we need to schedule
a date for the on-line lecture. The topic I want to discuss:
ways/methods/games/activities that help Ss learn how to write.

I guess I need to be more specific, but I don't have a clear
idea myself yet. Will let you know later.

Look forward to the online lecture already!!!
Talk to you soon.

PS. I've got so many wonderful experience with Garden.
But don't have time to put them on my Blog yet.
Hopefully, I can have that done this weekend!!!

Fina aka Joy

Need help badly

Hello guys,

This is an urgent call- a very, very urgent call for help ;-)

I need to start doing my observation, and as you know, time is running out. I know you have been very busy with your careers, some of you may be starting new ones, some of you, maintaining and rejuvenating your jobs. Likewise, I have been very busy too and I'll be starting online courses this summer, not to mention, my f2f (face-to-face- classes in Wen Zao). Your blogs (Mei and Fina) have been very successful and I would like to congratulate you on that. Not many teachers, even in higher education, have the willingness and tenacity that you guys have. April? When are you going to start your own?

The messages that you've posted on our taiwanese-efl-yahoogroups have been very helpful and the reflective approaches have somehow influenced your professional development. I hope that you all will continue on what you have started.

Now, back to the purpose of this letter ;-)

I want us all to participate in a more active stance of your tpd (teacher professional development). I really wanted you to engage in an online lecture to be conducted by one of my invited foreign guest lecturers. I've got so many volunteers. I asked you one time about the time and date of your availability and many of you wrote Saturday, evening, so I am looking at Saturday evening from 8-11 pm. The session won't last that long but will go on for an hour or an hour and a half. This is what I want you to do (you must do!)

1. Think of a topic that you would like to learn more. This must be classroom oriented i.e. teaching reading, teaching spelling, teaching grammar, or even classroom management. The topics may vary and the topics may be divided into 2-3 online sessions. We could line them up.

2. Based on what you will be learning online, you will then practice or adapt in your classroom the things that you learned from the online sessions. This will be observed by me or via video (which I could lend you for observation purposes).

Are you ready for this?

If you don't have computers at home, please let me know so I could arrange for us to meet at home and we'll have a blended learning session (I'll provide the computer, internet and webcam so we could meet our online guests).

Are you with me so far?

If you're experiencing any difficulties with my requests, I would appreciate if you could let me know ahead of time.

Many, many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.


Friday, May 06, 2005

NNESTs Topics and Issues

As posted to TESOL's NNEST-list serve on May 06, 2005

Hello everybody,

I hope that after reading the newly circulated newsletter you now have some ideas for TESOL 2005 caucus presentations. Two weeks have passed and nothing has been said much about this. I'm wondering if it's possible to pair people- like pairing the novice with the experts. This will help novice NNESTs to experience presenting in TESOL. I'm not sure if some of you will even consider doing this but I think it will be a good chance to encourage others to share what they know.

Presenting in TESOL can be overwhelming sometimes. It takes a lot of courage and confidence. It is only when we believe that we could do it can we come out and shine like a star. NNEST list serve is like any other online groups. We're striving to make a sense out of our participation from this group. The content and tone of our messages posted to this list create a virtual environment showing how friendly, welcoming and professional our community is :-) (or at least we try to be). A member's success (whether it's a scholarship, book releases, presentations in conferences, etc.) is our group's pride and achievement as well. We have 179 members, more or less, yet I don't think that all 179 have actually participated either in discussions or presentations. Now, we are here because we share a common cause. Let's continue where our great leaders and moderators have left off.

Let's start sharing.

Sharing. It's a simple word but loaded with meaning. The act of sharing could also be influenced by our culture and traditions. Many people may find it difficult to share because there are consequences: job security, insecurity, self-interests and what have you. Do you sometimes feel afraid that somebody might steal your ideas? Has our profession really been commercialized to the point that it has become a dog-eat-dog business?

As NNESTs do we often rant about the NS-NNEST dichotomy, compare salaries and benefits, and worse, compare skin colors. 6 years ago, I used to get carried away with these topics. My MSc thesis is heavily based on these issues! It was only 3 years later when I realized that I've had enough. To constantly look at the differences won't make me feel any better; it does not alleviate the situation. The discrepancy will always be there. That's when I thought of a topic for my PhD research, NNESTs' teacher professional development (TPD). Many of us here have completed our MAs and MScs and others are in the process of obtaining theirs. But in our own local contexts, a huge number of NNESTs in private institutions are not as lucky as some of us are. They don't have access to good trainings. What can we do to help them? Do you have any ideas on how to encourage the less privileged teachers to engage in TPD?

Apologies for this long post! I easily get carried away ;-)

Anyway, I hope that this gives you some fresh ideas for your (individual or team work) presentations. When submitting to TESOL, make sure that you submit at least two proposals because the acceptance rate is low (thanks to lucie for this reminder). but this should not discourage you to submit- think of it as a healthy challenge :-)


Thursday, April 28, 2005

Definition of Scaffolding

I'm quoting a colleague and friend here, Vance Stevens, he wrote: "scaffolding is the term constructionists use to describe the bootstrapping that takes place between those interacting within a ZPD or zone of proximal development. The theory is that learning is social and that people learn from one another by feeding off each other's expertise ('scaffolding'), as we do in Webheads."

Well said...


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

David Nunan's Workshop: Motivating Young Learners

this is an audio post - click to play

David Nunan talked about the 7 principles of motivation:
1. Make learning goals explicit. Share the goals to students, make students aware fo them to become motivated. What goals are and how to achieve goals.

2. Select content that learners can relate to.

3. Scaffold the learning process.

4. Provide the opportunites for personalization. Provide students the chance to invest on their learning.

5. Encourage group cohesion.

6. provide opportunities for genuine communication

7. provide learners evidence of progress

Fina also attended this conference, and according to her, out of the 3 workshops that were offered, she felt that Susan Stempleski's workshop was more engaging. Unfortunately, I missed Susan's session. I arrived just in time for David's workshop.

I also had a chance to talk to him about the workshop on distance learning that he's going to conduct sometime July in the U.S.


Saturday, April 16, 2005

Visiting English Garden

Seen in this photo is Me (far left), April and her employer (far right). Taken in the same classroom, it can be seen on my face how pleased and happy I was. I hope that this wouldn't be the last time because English Garden is a place that exudes a garden of possibilities. Posted by Hello

April and her employer

A lovely picture taken today, April 16, 2005, at April's school. April (lady in green) is seen here with her employer, a very admirable lady, who believes in good teaching and learning. This classroom is on the first floor (or ground floor), and the glass panels make the room bright and conducive for learning. The chairs are comfortable and the tables used are similar to the ones we are using in Wen Zao. The green paint on the walls and beams makes the room livelier- it gives the room a 'fresh' look. The room has a very nice layout- far from the typical cram school or language school setting- small and narrow. I'm very pleased that I've decided to visit April today. It was worth it. Posted by Hello

Friday, April 15, 2005

Native speaker teachers

From the British Council, interesting comments regarding Native and Non-Native teacher dichotomy.

Native speaker teachers

"Are native speaker teachers automatically the best teachers of a language? Just because you speak a language naturally, does that mean you can teach it? Or does the process of learning a language to a high level of fluency make non-native speaker teachers far better equipped to teach that language?"

To view results, click here:

Thinking frames

Thinking frames
Mario Rinvolucri, Pilgrims, UK

In this article I want to share with you a major thinking frame, that has been of great use to me in my teaching and that comes from the work of Antoine de la Garanderie, a major French pedagogical thinker.

Read full article here.

Some thoughts to ponder...

This thread of messages was passed on from NNEST Caucus list-serv which I am putting here to remind me of things and issues to consider when I start writing my paper (God knows when...)

I agree that Language Proficiency of NNESTs is an important issue to be considered. There are several related issues we can examine. One idea is to explore further the strategies that teachers can use most effectively with the level of language proficiency they currently have. The other is intervention and language training as part of our teacher education programs, which can be a longitudinal study with having control groups, and the most important of all is the relationship between language proficiency and teaching as Ahmar has brought up. Some very interesting ideas were presented in the TIRF research colloquium that Lia organized. Issues examined by TIRF researchers can be looked at and researched from a more global context including countries in Asia, Middle East, and Europe.


(name has been removed)


Thank you for raising this question about teachers' language proficiency. It is one of great importance and relevance to the caucus and is only now beginning to be explored with academic vigor. In addition to the colloquium that you mentioned, concerns about language proficiency were also raised in the TIRF research colloquium that Lia organized, and in Zohreh Eslami-Rasekh's colloquium. The colloquium on World Englishes and TESOL also discussed similar concerns. While some initial thoughts were shared at this year's convention, this is definitely an issue that needs further work. The fundamental questions that we all need to ask is:
- What, if any, is the relationship between language proficiency and teaching?
And when we raise this question, we need to be willing to explore all possible options/answers - even those that some of us may not like.

(name of sender has been removed)

Dear NNEST-Lers,

One suggestion for a research topic that might make a good colloquium theme was actually suggested by Juliam Edge as we prepared for our colloquium with him, Dilin Liu, Ahmar and myself: research into ways that NNESTs can learn how to do the most with the proficiency that they have. I know that Ahmar has some thoughts on some ideas. Such a topic could be of real interest and perhaps be a genuine benefit to those NNESTs teaching throughout the world who have not had the educational access that some of us have had.

(name of sender has been removed)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Meeting April for the second time

Below is a message from April:

Dear Aiden:
My employer told me she is willing to meet you this coming
Saturday or Sunday.( She prefers Saturday morning if it is possible!)
You can also see our cram school" Garden English School". That is a
six floors building. From the first to third floors are the classrooms
and office and my employer is living in the sixth floor. We welcome
you to come and see a high quality and wonderful environment to learn
English. The address is :(Omitted)It only
takes 10 minutes from your husband's hospital to our cram school.If
you have any question, you can call (Omitted) It's so happy
to see you soon!!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Free Thomson Training

David Nunan and Susan Stempleski Free Training Sessions sponsored by Thomson. Posted by Hello

Message from Thomson:

Dear Teaching Professional,

This year we are very happy to offer presentations for English teaching
professional in Taiwan. We feature presentations by two of the most
prominent names in the field of ELT - David Nunan and Susan Stempleski - who
also happen to be past presidents of TESOL International.

Please see the e-file of invitation card as attached. Shall you need more
details please do not hesitate to contact with me directly.

Sincerely yours,

Vicky Peng
Marketing Coordinator
Thomson Learning

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Answers to April's ideas

This is in response to April's message to Taiwanese EFL teachers yahoogroup:

I would like to focus first on the last two because I believe if we could bring about change in ourselves as teachers then this group [taiwanese-efl-teachers yahoogroup] has already achieved its purpose. I also hope that in the future there will be more taiwanese teachers in cram schools who'll be joining this group. For those who are already here I hope that you've already learned a thing or two and that you'll stay to continue on learning.

April wrote: 3.Should the experienced teacher train the new teacher?--I know most of the teachers don't want to share their teaching mothod with the new teacher beacuse they think if I teach you how to teach the kids, maybe I will be replaced some day. I don't want to share the experience with anybody because "that" is my tool to survive in the area(at the cram school). I think those problems are happening to me in the past one month. I am still learning and I often question myself how to be a good teacher?
I believe that this boils down to teacher's attitude, her willingness to share and cooperate with colleagues. Protecting one's own interest is human nature and we can't force people to do something that they don't feel like doing. Let us take this group for example, many of the teachers here are Taiwanese teachers, not all contribute to the discussions. Many are receiving messages, perhaps they read them and delete them afterwards. Are they learning something? Well I hope so! Are they sharing something to the group? Some- yes, some- may be in the future. Do some of you here feel that once you share your ideas- you'll lose your jobs? Not really- since we don't work in the same school. but, do you sometimes refuse to share what you know for personal reasons? Have you ever experienced feeling insecure about losing your job hence you keep that trade-secret [good teaching] all to yourself? You may or may not post your answers but I want you to keep these questions in mind.

Should the experienced teacher pass on her knowledge to other teachers? Should she? My answer is pretty simple: if she's paid to train you, then she doesn't have a choice but to do so. That's part of her job. What kind of a teacher trainer would she be if she refused to share and pass on what she knows?

If you're talking about a co-teacher whom you find a little 'protective' of her own interest, then I say, we can't blame her. That's the way she is and so just let her be. Mind our own business, and do something that is productive. Teachers who find it difficult to collaborate usually do not have many friends and more often than not find it difficult getting along with people. In any oragnization, interpersonal skills are very important. If I were an employer I would want my employees to work well together, to form a unit that is focused on achieving our organization's goals. Teachers who refuse to work together harmoniously make a manager's job difficult. It's either you retrain her or fire her. but as a teacher who works in the same environment I say focus instead in improving yourself. Let the boss decide on her fate.

A teacher who keeps on learning, updating her self with new skills and learning and applying teaching methods tends to keep the job. If you feel that you are armed with good teaching skills and interpersonal skills then you will never feel insecure of losing your job.

As an English teacher in cram schools, you may soemtimes deal with criticisms [parents, co-teachers, etc]. How do you deal with them?

How do you become a good teacher? How would you describe a good teacher? Perhaps, Elizabeth and Arnold could share their insights on this topic.

Cheers and have a nice weekend.

I'm off to church then to a bridal shower later this evening,


Thursday, April 07, 2005

When Two Vowels Go Walking

When Two Vowels Go Walking

When two vowels go walking
The first one does the talking
In "boat" you hear the "o" and not the "a"

In "meat" you hear the "e"
The "a" sits quietly
The second vowel you see but you don't say


Just the two of us together
In "train" and "pail" and "rain"
The "a" speaks up; the "i" does not
Shh! Let me explain

When two vowels go walking
The first one does the talking
In "brain" you hear the "a" but not the "i"

In "soap" the "o" is clear
The "a" you never hear
In "say" you say the "a" and not the "y"

Shh! Isn't it neat?
Shh! It can't be beat!
Shh! It's such a dream!

Don't mean to boast
But here's a toast
We're quite a team!

When two vowels go walking
The first one does the talking
I'm sorry, number two, it's such a shame

Although it gives you pain
The rule is very plain
When two vowels walk
The first one says its name!


Yes, when two vowels walk
The first one says its name! Posted by Hello

The Taipei English Language Teaching Conference (TELTC) April 2005

TELTC aims to merge modern practices in Taiwan English Language Teaching with global research into current ELT trends. At its inaugural conference in April 2005, TELTC offers a carefully planned program of presentations conducted by internationally renowned ELT scholars and practitioners. There will also be a comprehensive book exhibition showcasing new ELT publications. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Fina's Blog- flying high

Fina's blog has evolved. She had turned it to what it's supposed to be. she's using it for her TPD, posting reflective comments adds depth and character, but I think, it's when she reflects on things and events in her teaching that learning and development takes place. I'm proud of her. I hope there will be many other Finas out there waiting for their talents to be tapped and passion for learning to flourish. Posted by Hello

April's ideas

April responded to my previous email and she has outlined three important things that she would like to explore in her working/teaching environment. And this is what I sent her:


This is good. Can you post this to our yahoogroup, Taiwanese yahoogroups and perhaps our invited teacher trainers, Arnold and elizabeth will share their ideas and opinions.

The topic, "How do kids really learn?" is quite broad. Maybe we could be specific about it. Learning- which skill are we talking about? There should also be a criteria or performance rubric to see how the students' ability have improved. For example, in reading, you could give a new reading material and ask the students to read it. See how many they know or don't know. Do it for a week or two and check again. See how many words have been learned and retained. If you put your observation in a table it would be easier to see the improvements. Which language skills are you interested in? Let me know and I'll give you a list of activities that could help you in your class.



april wrote:
Dearest Aiden: Hi! How are you today? I think about some issue are related to teaching such as to communite with the parents-- I know most of the parents are too busy so they don't know how the English teacher teaches their childern and what do the kids learn, how much do they really leaen at the cram school? Some parents think they pay the money and the English teacher should take the whole responsobility for teaching.I mean if the kids don't learn English well, it would be the teacher's problem.2. How to have a good relationship with your coworker?3.Sholud the experienced teacher train the new teacher?--I know most of the teachers don't want to share their teaching mothod with the new teacher beacuse they think if I teach you how to teach the kids, maybe I will be replaced some day. I don't want to share the experience with anybody because "that" is my tool to survive in the area(at the cram school). I think those problems are happening to me in the past one month. I am still learning and I often question myself how to be a good teacher?

Meeting April's Employer

I received an email from April about a week ago but was too busy with school work that it got burried in my piles of unread messages. I had a chance to clean up my mail box the other day and responded to messages that badly needed attention. April's message was very encouraging, yes, at a time when I don't see the importance of continuing my studies. Depression hits hard. Anyways, I told April that I would love to meet her employer. I've heard good words about her, so I think it's about time to meet her in person. However, I told April that I'd like to do that and perhaps observe her class, too. She agreed. I think that trust has been established- and I think that April knows that other than the fact that I want to earn my degree, deep in my heart, I want to help- those who want to improve their teaching and most importantly- themselves. I think with April and Joy [Fina] I think I've accomplished my goal. Success here is intrinsic- but so powerful and I find it difficult to describe it- perhaps in due time.


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Foreign teachers and teacher trainers to join Taiwanese YG

The recent requests of colleagues from different countries to join in my Taiwanese Yahoogroup have sparked a new sense of hope and motivation, and renewed faith that what I'm doing is worth the pain and sacrifices. I'm noting here what they've sent me:

From Michael B.:
Comment from user:
I am very interested in how bu-shi-ban teachers
can better both their careers and their teaching with or without encouragement
and help from those in a position of control.

From Arnold M. [I invited Arnold because my group and I could learn a lot from him.]
Comment from user:
Hi Aiden, I will gladly accept your invitation to this Yahoo group. TPD has
always had my interest and reflective practice is close to my heart. Cheers,

From Elizabeth H-S:
Also--anything I can do for you with the TPD YG? I am really interested in your project and hope to start something like this in the future.


Now, I think my plan is working. I've got to clear out the road and start walking.


Monday, February 21, 2005

In response to Arnold Muhren's comment on TPD

Hi Arnold,

many thanks for posting a comment on my blog. I'm forwarding your message to my Taiwanese yahoogroups because I think the teachers in that group could learn something from your message.

I agree with what you said:

"1) The reflective student teacher may have a "master teacher" around for mentoring, coaching and surely some modelling as well.

2) The reflective student will want to find clarification and support for their own hypotheses, theories, intuitions, actions, behaviour, hunches, etc. in the literature or in discussions with more experienced colleagues"

I am hoping that what I'm doing would somehow influence these teachers to become reflective teachers and like what michael butler mentioned in his email when he joined the group that he wanted to see how they become better teachers without their employer telling them. Me too. Taiwanese teachers in cram schools deserve to learn more not only teaching methodologies but how to reflect on their teaching as well.

I invite you to join this group and feel free to toss in your two euros!


Discovering your own teaching style

Hi April,

From what I could gather from your emial below, your ex-colleague got fired. She did not resign. She got fired. Why do you think your employer fired her? Why do employers fire employees? She must have done something that irked your boss. If she's good, your boss would not have let her go. Simple.

Fast teaching? Is it a strategy? Is your boss referring to the pacing of your lesson, or pacing of your presentation [or how you teach in class]? Or how fast you speak?

In my opinion, every teacher is different. You're different- perhaps better than your ex-colleague. To compare yourself to somebody who got fired is not a good start to develop confidence. You teach in a way that your students learn. Look at their language needs- focus on them and develop a strategy that addresses these needs. Your school has its own working atmosphere, you follow the working regulations and report to work on time. But when it comes to students, you could always suggest. now there's a technique to this. You say it in a nice way, like you're doing your boss a favor, more like confiding, telling him/her what you think then ask for his/her opinion.

Another point that I wish to stress is that, I think your boss wants you to be able to gain your students' interest. Make it a fun learning experience for them. now it's not all about games, but how you arrange your activities.

I hope this helps.


any chance on putting up your blog, April. This is an interesting thread that you brought up here. You could continue on reflecting on this on your blog. Are you available Saturday evenings, say 9-10 pm for online discussions?

April wrote:

I am teaching one class in my cream school now. The students are
about 2~3 grade students who have been learning English for 2 years.
Because their first teacher who has 10 years experience was fired by
my boss so I replace her position. I have pressure when I teach
English because the students get used to their first teacher's style
already(very fast teaching style). Including my boss,they think the
tempo of teaching English should be as fast as possible.Do you agree
or not? They think when teacher's tempo of teaching is fast, the
students can pay much attention to the class and also they can learn
more .....Should I be like her or just be myself?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Mei's answers to buxiban teachers on tpd

I always ask myself these questions. I like kids. I really want them
to feel happy in learning English. I am glad to know my cram school
has the same thought with me. :)
But there are some unbreakable concepts in Chinese society. For
example: Parents always want to see their kids get higher grade
instead of knowing how much or how better their kids learn.
Especially in town. City parents are more educated than town
parents. I don't mean to offend anyone, I just make a comment out of
personal feeling. I used to teach in the city cram school, now I
teach in town. Are we changed when we become parents? We want our
kids to get the best, so we forget we used to be young, to be judged
by the grades?
Being the teacher, I totally agree what the author said. We have to
have the right will to move on. That will be the best to our next
generation!! ^^"

PS: Sorry for typing too much...... >"<

Monday, February 14, 2005

Applying the benefits of blogs on TPD

According to Brock, Yu and Wong, 1992 in Richards and Lockhart, 1996, 'keeping a journal can also be beneficial when one or more colleagues share their journals and meet regularly to discuss them.' Since your blogs are available online, we don't have to meet face-to-face to discuss what's on your blog.

In blogger, you are allowed to comment on somebody else's blog.

It is in this spirit of collaboration that I ask you to leave a comment on your colleagues's blog. I suggest that you do this regularly, as in once a week, so we could learn more from each other.

I should note, however, that we should practice professionalism in the midst of camaraderie. All comments that will be made must be taken in the light of constructive criticism. We comment on the topic and the issues being addressed and not on the person making the comment nor the person who wrote the topic that we wish to comment on.

To also foster reflective writing on your blogs, I will ask other teachers [mostly foreign teachers living abroad] to comment on your blogs] to generate more ideas.

I look forward to reading your blogs and comments.



Approaches to classroom investigation in teaching

Approaches to classroom investigation in teaching
Richards & Lockhart, 1996, Reflective teaching in second language classrooms. UK: Cambridge

Richards and Lockhart (1996) state that in every lesson and in every classroom, event occur which the teacher can use to develop a deeper understanding of teaching. Teachers sometimes fail to exploit these events. These experiences can serve as the basis for critical reflection, if teachers can find ways to capture the thoughts of and reaction to these events, as well as ways to gather fuller information about the events themselves.


1. Teaching journals- written or recorded accounts of teaching [Your blogs]
2. Lesson reports- written accounts of lessons which describe the main features of the lessons [see mei’s blog]
3. Survey and questionnaires
4. Audio and video recordings
5. Observation
6. action research- implementation of an action plan designed to bring about change in some aspect of the teacher’s class with subsequent monitoring of the effects of the innovation.

Let’s start with Journals [Blogs]

A journal is a teacher’s written response to teaching events. Keeping a journal serves two purposes:

1. Events and ideas are recorded for the purposes of later reflection
2. The process of writing itself helps trigger insights about teaching. Writing in this sense serves as a discovery process.

The following procedures are recommended for keeping a journal {Bailey, 1990; Porter et al 1990; Walker, 1985}

1. make entries on a regular basis, such as once or twice a week or even daily if possible. It may be useful to spend five or ten minutes after a lesson to write about it or record it.
2. Review your journal entries regularly. Ask yourself these questions:

 What do I do as a teacher?
 What principles and beliefs inform my teaching?
 Why do I teach the way I do?
 What roles do learners play in my classes?
 Should I teach differently?

Questions to ask yourself as a language teacher

1. What is the source of my ideas about language teaching?
2. Where am I in my professional development?
3. How am I developing as a language teacher?
4. What are my strengths as a language teacher?
5. What are my limitations?
6. Are there any contradictions in my teaching?
7. How can I improve my language teaching?
8. How am I helping my students?
9. What satisfaction does language teaching give me?

Questions ask yourself about the students?
1. Did you teach all your students today?
2. Did students contribute actively to the lesson?
3. How did you respond to different students’ needs?
4. Were students challenged by the lesson?
5. What do you thinks students really learned from the lesson?
6. What did they like most about the lesson?
7. What didn’t they respond well to?

Mei's answers on Models of teacher learning

About message 112, my point of view is choice 3 is more
effective for me. That is what I learned from my cram school. When I
was new teacher in my cram school, I had to observe the experienced
teachers’ classes in order to get the teaching experience. Then I
recalled my memory of previous teaching or something I learned from
the teaching courses, and combined with my observations to present
my own teaching to students. I like to observe the classes from the
experienced teachers because they always give me many inspirations
of teaching. We do discussions all the time to exchange the teaching
experiences. Theory is one thing, it gives us the brief idea of
teaching; but putting it in practice is another thing. By exchanging
the experiences we gain, we all can gain the real needs of our
students. I think that’s pretty good for me and my students. ^^ [Mei]

Time availability table

I have created a table [see Database] for your time availability. CJ [Joy Chiu] has already sent me her schedule. Joy, mei and April, when are you free to join us for online meetings?

Please go to

and add your name by clicking on 'add record'

If the link above does not work, please go to our YG at and click on "database". Open the Time availability folder and edit the table by clicking on 'add record"

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to write.


CJ's time availability for online discussions

Hi Joy,

Thanks for letting me know about your time availability. I will put this on our YG files area for safekeeping.


Chiu Joy wrote:
Dear Aiden,

Thank you for the cute e-card. It was very sweet.

I hope you had a great Chinese New Year.

For the on-line meetings, I prefer Wed. nights or Sat./Sun.

My office hours are 2 pm to 9:30 pm every working day, and I have

privates to teach from 9:00pm to 3pm on Saturdays.

As long as there is no time conflict with my working schedule,

I will try my best to attend the meetings every time.

PS. I do not check my e-mail everyday,

so please text me by cell phone if there's anything urgent.

Best Regards,


Monday, February 07, 2005

CJ aka Joy Chiu has created her blog!

Hi CJ,

Thanks for putting up your blog. There's one hitch though, the link to your blog isn't working. I think you missed one step when you created your blog. You need to 'republish' it everytime you make any changes to update it.

You may check the steps here,

I think Joy Chou also had the same problem. If anyone on the list knows how to fix the problem, I'd aprreciate the help.

CJ Joy wrote:

Hi, all,

This is Joy Chiu. You can call me "CJ" so it will be less confusing
for the group discussion purpose (since we have another Joy on our

I created my blog ( this morning
and also posted my feedback on the two questions that Aiden wanted us
to answer. It was an enjoyable process…though I have left school
for two years and it hurts when I try to use my brain too much. :P

I have asked Peggy to sign me up for the seminar on Feb 23th. Hope
you can all make it there too. I look forward to meeting the

Have a wonderful Chinese New Year!


Sunday, February 06, 2005

Pumping up some answers

This goes to my subject pool [Joy Chiu, Joy Chou, April and Mei]

Since you [Joy Chou and Mei] both have created your blogs, it would be best to use them to post your answers to the questions that I have brought up and will bring up here in Taiwanese EFL teachers' yahoogroups. I do read your blogs regularly so following up on your answers wouldn't be difficult for me ;-) To April and Joy Chiu, you will also have to do this once your blogs are up and running.

I need you to write up your answers [briefly] to the questions to allow me to understand what you believe in. There are no right or wrong answer. You have got to do this [Aiden sounds pathetic.]

There are two issues that I want you to focus.

1) Please go to Message 109 Subject: working scenario of EFL teachers in buxibans: a must read Posted last jan 28.

Question to answer: Buxiban
teachers are too busy, too exhausted, over-worked yet underpaid [?]
Should any of these be a stumbling block for your learning and
professional advancement? Should you give yourselves a little nudge
and say, 'It's darn hard, but I've gotta do it for myself'

2) Go to Message 112 IMPORTANT
Subject: Models of teacher learning
Posted last jan 30

Question to answer: Which is likely to be most effective? Or, how do teachers
learn most effectively?

What’s your opinion on this?

I really hope that you could post your answers to these questions soon so we could proceed to the next topic.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Models of teacher learning [quoting Ur, 1996]

P5 Ur, 1996. A Course in Language Teaching, UK: Cambridge

Various models of teacher learning have been suggested; the three main ones, as described in Wallace (1993) are as follows:

1. The craft model
The trainee [teacher student] learns from the example of a ‘master teacher’, whom he/she observes and imitates.

2. The applied science model

The trainee studies theoretical course in applied linguistics and other related subjects, which are then, through the construction of an appropriate methodology, applied to classroom practice.

3. The reflective model

The trainee teaches or observes lessons; or recalls past experience, then reflects alone or in discussion with others, in order to work out theories about teaching; then tries these out again in practice. Such a cycle aims for continuous improvement and the development of personal theories of action (see Schon, 1983)

Which is likely to be most effective? Or, how do teachers learn most effectively?

What’s your opinion on this?


Friday, January 28, 2005

working scenario of EFL teachers in buxibans: a must read

Hello All,

Hmm, awfully quiet...[in Taiwanese EFL Teachers' Yahoogroups list]

Anyway, hopefully this message [from Peggy] would spark the fire. I'm forwarding to you her message [with her permission, of course] because I think she has given me an insight of what's it like working in buxibans. My comments are inserted and put in between line breaks.

Dear Aiden,
I just post a message on the board. I agree with your opinion about buxiban. In fact, the purpose that I would like to held this conference is for the teachers in buxiban, not really for the teachers in elementary or primary schools. For the teachers working in buxiban, they are like working in the private company. The boss seldom gave them training lessons ,especially they like to hire the native speakers to teach.
Aiden asks:

How many of you here on this list receive training sessions from your school? You don't need to name your school. How often do you get training sessions? If no, what do you think is the reason for not providing training sessions?
Peggy wrote:

Most of the teachers in big chain buxiban are from American or Canada. The Chinese teachers can only assist them. But it doesn't mean they don't have the potential to teach. As I know, most of them major in English or forignal language. But it's the tendency to keep the native speakers to do the main teaching now. I think it's not really a bad thing for them, coz it will push them to improve their listening and oral ability.

Aiden asks:

Does it matter to you whether you're not given any teaching job assignments even if your job description states "English teacher"?
Peggy wrote:

Some of them left buxiban and started up their own after 3 or 5 years.

Aiden asks:

Do you see yourselves 2-3 years from now, putting up your own language school? Yes, no, maybe? If you do, I'll be your number one supporter ;-)
Peggy wrote:

Therefore, I found a very interesting phenomenon. The bigger size buxiban will have more native speaker teachers. The smaller size buxiban will have more Chinese teachers. But it doesn't mean the bigger one is better than the smaller one. For the small size buxiban, the teacher's personal style is a very important factor to decide the quantity of the students. I found, the small size buxiban, they are more creative and would like to try any new teaching idea. It's a lot of fun to work with them. They usually gave me many new ideas and questions to think about.
Most of them would like to learn profession skills in teaching.

Aiden says:

I agree, that's why you're here.

Peggy wrote:

But there is a difficulty for them, their working time is too long. Almost from 12:00pm to 10:00pm. For the bigger size ones, they might have 2 days off. But for most of the buxiban, they work 6 days a week. If I were them, I would feel exhausted after work. When I release this news to my customers, lot of them want to join. But they have to ask their boss coz it's still their working time. Luckily, since it's free, so some of the bosses just let them come.
Aiden says:

This comment was similar to what Aaron said in his message. Buxiban teachers are too busy, too exhausted, over-worked yet underpaid [?] Should any of these be a stumbling block for your learning and professional advancement? Should you give yourselves a little nudge and say, 'It's darn hard, but I've gotta do it for myself'
Peggy wrote:

I will put ur url on my website. But I need to think how and where to put it on the website. You are doing a very interesting project. Frankly speaking, I prefer work with the teachers in buxiban to the teachers in public schools. It's more fun and they are really more creative.
Thanks for inviting me to join your group. It's nice to learn more even I am not interested in teaching at all. haha..
BTW, I have tried the reading group for around one year. It's doing pretty good. We have 3 different groups in my store on Saturday now. We didn't teach but just reading and share our opinion together. It's not easy at first for the kids who are are around 12 or 13 years old. But it's amazing that they are doing better now. Their parents are happy to see their kids to read the books automatically.
But I will close down the story-telling even in my store from this week. My store is too samll and I don't like to tell the story for the same kids every week. Therefore, I decide to go to the schools to tell the story for 30 kids instead of 3 or 4 kids.

It's like the experiments for me and I am having fun.
I will go to the group often to learn from you guys in the future.

Best regards


Well, I hope you could tell me what you think. I call the attention of my subject pool [or those who are participating in my research] to start the discussion rolling.



Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Building Spelling and Pronunciation Through Games and Activities

To those who can't attend Cambridge Day 2005, here's another great opportunity that I think should not be missed [see below]. Let me know if you're going to attend. You can just print this invitation and fax it to them.


Topic:Building Spelling and Pronunciation Through Games and Activities

講師:Todd Hess






時 間:2004/02/23(三) 1:30PM~4:30PM
地 點:福東國小 高雄市苓雅區福德三路96號 TEL:07-7510048 E xt 150




報名地點:佩績的店 (07-3135109,傳真:07-3135120)





Thanks for your continuing support. Hope we all could enjoy reading as we can.


Peggy Bookstore ( 佩績的店 )
No. 120, Chende St., Sanmin District,
Kaohsiung, Taiwan 807, R.O.C.
TEL: 886-7-3135109 FAX:886-7-3135120

Cambridge Day 2005

Jack Richards will be in Taiwan in March to hold a 2-day conference. One in Taipei and the other in Kaohsiung. I'll be attending the one in Kaohsiung. I am also taking this opportunity to invite other teachers who are participating in my research to join this conference. Unfortunately, according to Joy Chiu, this conference is limited to teachers of higher education. It's a pity, really. I was hoping that these teachers could reflect on their experience and write something about it on their blog. Well, I guess, I will have to do that for them [sigh].

Cambridge Day 2005

Joy Chou's blog

One of the teachers who is participating in my research, Joy Chou, has already created her blog! This is good news. It's a small step but at least we're going somewhere.

She raised an important issue about student's motivation. I left her a message but I think I'll try to scout some articles online and will forward it to her.


Judith's Comments

I gave my supervisor, Judith Lamie, an update of my research, and here's what she said: "This is all looking good."

Short? Yes, but promising;-)

Anyway, at least it's a moral booster, and that's what I exactly need at this point.


Why Blog?

A major part of my research is about teachers engaging in reflective teaching. I believe that we could only achieve professional development if we are critical about our teaching. The topics and activities that I have lined up are exploratory in nature, for example, creating and maintaining your online journal, observation, discussion and action research can be carried out individually, thus promoting reflection, self-inquiry and self-evaluation. In the old days, teachers record their activities and reflections by keeping a notebook or a diary. Now, thanks to the Internet, writing your reflections is a whole lot easier. The first thing that you need to do is to create your weblog or blog for short. A blog is an online journal, a notepad for your thoughts, for scribbling down the activities that you plan to do, what you do, and what you have done. It would serve you good if you maintain your blogs regularly and you could do this by posting an entry once or twice a week. Daily entries would be ideal.

There are many blog providers online, but I prefer because it is user friendly. I have a few favorite blog sites that I recommend you to visit. These are blogs created by teachers and I want you to take note of how they use it as a tool to help them in their teaching, learning and research [of their classroom].

Look at:

Renata Suzuki’s blog
Deivis Pothin’s blog
Barbara Dieu’s blog
My blog for this research

It’s your turn, Joy Chiu, April, Anna and those who will participate in my research, you need to create yourown blog. To do this, please go to and create an account. Please try to remember your password.

A step-by-step procedure with screenshots [photos] are available here:

To Amei [or Mei] since you are already researching your classroom and have aldready created your blog, you DO NOT need to create another one.

Joy Chou, you need to create a new blog, because your blog that you have is for your research writing which is focused not focused on your teaching.

Those who will be attending Cambridge 2005 you definitely need to create a blog.

Once you have done so, could you please write back to the list and report to us your blog’s url.

Help me help you go through this process.

Happy blogging everyone!


A must read: Renata's article on Blogs

Diaries as introspective research tools: From Ashton-Warner to Blogs
by Renata Suzuki
Economics English Instructor, Sophia University, Japan

This article reports on a study of the usefulness of a diary as a research tool conducted as a part of a Masters degree program in TEFL/TESL at Birmingham University, UK. The study analysed the efficacy of using blogs as a research tool compared to diaries, using the example of research in teacher use of motivation strategies, and found that blogs offer various possible advantages in the domain of action research.


This is a well-written article that provides a brief overview of the theories behind blogs and journal writing.

I suggest that you read it. We will use this article to kick off our discussion on blogs.

Happy reading!


Sunday, January 23, 2005

Joy Chiu is in the group :-)

Hi Joy,

Thank you so much! This completes my group :-) The project will be finished before September, don't worry. With regards to videotaping your classes, I could write a formal letter to your employer to inform her that the videorecording sessions would only capture your teaching and classroom management skills, and will not be used against the school.

I hope, Joy, that by participating in this research, you would learn something, be it teaching skills or research skills, and that you'd be able to apply them in your future career endeavors.

OK, let's go down to business.

First things first. You need to join the Taiwanese EFL teachers Yahoogroups at You will receive an invitation from me later. It is a discussion group where I'd be communicating to you. Whatever you send out to the list will be received by the members of this group.

Second, once you've joined successfully, kindly give a brief introduction of yourself. You could also upload a photo in our photosection.

Third, we will attend Cambridge Day 2005, it is a conference [free but with limited seats] to be held on March 6, Sun in Kaohsiung. It's a whole day event, 9:30 am - 4 pm, the speakers are well known in the ELT industry, Jack Richards and Richard Walker.

Your attendance to this conference is highly valuable.

This is it for now.

Thank you once again and I look forward to seeing you online.

Aiden Yeh

Chiu Joy wrote:
Dear Aiden,

Thank you for inviting me to participate in your project.
I will be glad to help. However, I have to first check with my
boss about videotaping classes. I will talk to her on Monday
and let you know a.s.a.p.

PS. I will go to the UK in mid-September to do my MA studies.
Do you think this is going to be a problem? (Will the project finish
before I have to leave?)

Best Regards,

Friday, January 21, 2005

Cambridge Day 2005

Dear April and all,

Cambridge Day 2005 is a teacher training event sponsored by Cambridge University Press. It's going to be held in Kaohsiung on March 6, Sunday, from 9:30am-4pm. Topics to be discussed are:
Language teaching in Changing
Strategies and Techniques for reading success
Current trends in communicative teaching materials
Harnessing the power of multimedia to motivate students and enhance learning.

All sessions are free of charge but limited seating is available.
If you're interested in attending, let me know and I'll send in your registration. I plan to attend, so perhaps, we could go together.

There's free lunch by the way ;-)


Re: Something you want to know

Dear April,

Many thanks for your email. I will be passing your message to a group of TESOL experts and we will outline an online session for you. Before we discuss the firs topic of discussion, about the basics of professional development, I'd like to wait for Mei to join our yahoogroups. Mei has agreed to participate in this research also. As you know I need at least 2-3 teachers, I have other teachers who gave me their word but it looks like that I could not count on them. So, I am back to square one which is to look for the third teacher who's willing to participate. Once I locked this in, then I could proceed to the discussion and hands-on activity.

Thanks again, April [is this your name?].

I've noticed that 3 other invited teachers joined our YG but they have not made their brief introductions yet. I hope that they would do so in time.


apriltej122 wrote:
Dearest Aiden: Here are some answers I think you are eager to know. 1. My current working scenario---I have been working at the cram school for a half year since I came back to Kaohsiung. (I graduated last June then I flew to vistit my friend in Boston. That means I started to work at the cram school from last August). My working environment is pretty good.My duty is to cooperate with the foreign teacher. I teach English one hour a day but I need to be in the classroom to deal with the children's problem when the foreign teacher teaches.(The foreign teacher teaches English 2 hours a day in my class) That means the children learn English 3 hours a day. I think I am very lucky because the foreigner who I cooperated is from "Hess". He has been trained to teach English for a period of time in Taipei. I don't need to worry about his preparation or teaching methods before the class.I learned a lot of things(e.g games , phonics, teaching story....) from him. Although I abandned this job in favor of another, I still contact with him.... 2. The teaching skill I know---Depending on different children and English level, there are some skills can be used! For example, TPR, games, activities, roll play......but I think the most important thing is to understand each kids personalities and characteristic to develope and apply the skill what we know from the books or experience. 3. The skill I want to learn and improve-- Because I always teach 7-9 years old students, I don't know how to teach higher grade students.4. The poll--- I took the poll already!! 5.What I want to learn--I would like to learn both to improve my own language skills and to learn how to teach these to my students!! Thank you !!

Inviting Aaron to join Taiwanese EFL YG

Dear Aaron,

Welcome to Weblogging Session, being moderated by a colleague of mine, Bee Dieu. My name is Aiden Yeh and I teach at Wen Zao Ursuline College of Foreign Languages. Your message of introduction caught my attention. You said you're on your senior year at Normal University, I wonder if you're teaching English [fulltime or part time at a cram school or buxiban]? The reason why I'm asking is because I'm doing my PhD research [Birmingham] about Teacher Professional Development among Taiwanese Teachers in Buxibans. I'm leading a discussion group at but not much discussion has taken place. I find it difficult sometimes to encourage Taiwanese teachers to talk. Anyway, if you feel like joining then please do so, or if you know of other teachers who may be interested in joining, I'd appreciate if you could pass on the word for me.

Part of my research is to introduce to 3 teachers blogs as part of their professional development and use online discussion tools to discuss issues that matter to them. I have already 2 and am still looking for the 3rd teacher to volunteer to participate in my research for 6 months or less.

I'll stop here but if you wish to know more please do not hesitate to write.

Cheers and happy blogging,

Aiden Yeh
My PhD research blog is at
My Research Writing Class's Blog is at
and my blog for this class is at


Hi Joy,

I was wondering if you could help me. I believe you're aware of my ongoing research; I am now about to proceed to the second step which is a case study. I need to have at least three Taiwanese teachers who would be willing to participate in the teacher professional development sessions that I plan to carry out in the next 6 months. These involve action on the teacher's part, i.e. creating and maintaining online journals, online discussions, observations [I will have to observe [videotape classes- at least for 3 sessions]. I already have two teachers who agreed but I need one more. I don't know when you'll start your MA studies but if you have the time, would you consider partaking in my research? If not, would you please recommend a teacher who would be interested in doing so?

I have also included a letter that I've given to respondents to follow-up on their answers, a general outline of my plan is included.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.



You are receiving this email because you have indicated on the survey form which I distributed a few months ago that I could contact you to follow up on your answers. I have set-up a yahoogroups for Taiwanese teachers teaching in bu-xi-bans who wish to join in the discussion forum and perhaps participate in online conferences pertaining to teacher’s professional development. The url is at

If you wish to upload your photos, you may do so; just open the Participants photo folder. I have already put mine up.

I have already finished the first stage of my research, distributing questionnaires and collating data. I am now about to embark on to the second stage, design and offer free online teacher training. I will have invited guest speakers who will be joining us [those who agreed to participate] online. These online sessions are synchronous, which means that we are going to meet online on a specified date and time. The chat tool that we are going to use requires the use of microphone and speakers to enable voice discussion. Text discussions are also permitted.

I will also set-up a discussion forum to further discuss relevant issues that you feel should be discussed concerning the working status and professional development of Taiwanese teachers in buxibans.

Your collaboration is deeply appreciated.

Yours truly,

Aiden Yeh

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Great. Would you like to learn these skills for yourself, meaning, would you like to improve your own language skills [all 4] or would you like to learn how to teach these skills to your students hence learning how your students learn? Or both?

Is this clear or am I confusing you?


apriltej122 < wrote:
I would like to learn *Language skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing because I think this topic is related to my job and I am really interested in it!!

Re: invitation to participate in my research

Thank you so much. You're heaven sent:-) You will be in good company, don't worry. OK, first things first.
This way all messages are archived. To post a message, simply write an email to and I will be able to receive your messages. This yahoogroup [or YG for short] is a discussion group. You will also be able to receive other members' postings. Not all of them will participate in my research because I could only monitor 2-3 teachers.
To participate in my planned teacher training activities, you will need to work with me for 6 months or shorter. You and I will be working together and corresponding through emails and chats. My yahooid is aidenyeh. I need to understand your current working scenario [aside from the questionnaire that you already filled in], I need to know the teaching skills that you know and skills that you want to learn more and improve. This way, I could design an online training session with TESOL professionals to help you advance professionally as a teacher and to motivate and inspire you with your teaching.
There is no monetary involve here as your participation is voluntary. The activities are flexible but focused on  your learning needs.
It is also important at this stage to develop camaraderie [friendly working relationship] between us.
All correspondences are archived at our taiwanese yahoogroups and will also be posted on my blog at
Speaking of blogs, you will also be asked to create one. I will show you and guide you on how to create your own blog when you're ready :-)
There's a poll at our YG, did you take it already?
Do you mind if you write a brief self-introduction at our yahoogroups?
Again, thank you so much. Your participation in my research is indeed very much appreciated.

apriltej122 <> wrote:
I would like to participte in your research!!

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Ready to go but no case study?

OK, big, big dilemma. I'm ready to start my research but now I'm finding myself in a deep s___t hole. I've got no case study!!! No, I've got Mei, but she's not responding to my emails. That's bad news. I've also written other teachers who [once in my lifetime] have expressed interest in participating in my study. Oh, I just need somebody to talk to, some Taiwanese teachers who are willing to talk. I just don't get it. Anyway, useless to pour my brains out for this. Better read something- a self-help book will do "How to make Taiwanese teachers talk!"


TPD among Taiwanese teachers in buxibans

This is not my first blog. This is actually my 3rd. But in this blog, I will focus and will only talk about my research topic, teacher professional develoment among Taiwanese teachers in teaching bu-xi-bans or supplementaty schools. I am also maintaining a discussion [but nothing has been discussed yet lately] group at My webpage for myesearch is at

I have already received most of the questionnaires that I distributed a few months ago and I'll be collating them,and will start recording all the responses.

For the next six months, I hope to be able to provide online training sessions for the teachers who agreed to participate in my study. I just don't understand why many Taiwanese find it difficult to talk :-{