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Feb 2019 - Year 21 - Issue 1

ISSN 1755-9715

To The Editor

Letter 1

Dear Hania

Thank you for the HLT  which I always get with great pleasure. It really makes me feel very close to you . I have appreciated     the  new   edition, an   example of  how something can be renewed  respecting  tradition.

Another posirtive quality  is   the more and more growing  number and variety of teachers  who contribute to the success of HLT.  I really hope  it  can continue  to inspire so many teachers all over the world  encouraging them to master the art of teaching.

I really congratulate  you and  the whole staff on keeping it alive for such a long  time, (20 years!) with continuous updating of everything connected with teaching.

Lots of wishes  for the New Year.

Leda Galiero


Letter 2

Hi there,

Have you ever (really) thought about why you learn the language(s)? Have you ever (really) thought about why you teach children the language? Have you ever (really) thought about why were languages invented?

I believe the answer is ... to communicate. In my new blog-post, I talk about how I approach young language learning for communication. It's step 4 in the PBA.

If you find it useful, share it. Have a great day,

Mija Selič


Letter 3

Dear Hania,

For many years I have been interested in HLT and very much appreciate your journal’s emphasis on

innovative, creative approaches to language teaching. I am the founder of the Scenario Project

( at University College Cork. From our recent Scenario Forum Symposium

(Hanover University – 21-22 Sept 2018) arose ‘Recommendations for the Promotion of a Performative

Teaching, Learning and Research Culture in Higher Education’ (click here

Would you as editor of HLT perhaps be interested in making these recommendations available to HLT


Wishing you a great start into the New Year,



Professor Manfred Schewe

Department of German, School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

National University of Ireland – University College Cork

Cork, Ireland



Letter 4


I found this popular account interesting in itself and also for the links. Might be worth sharing?

All best as always 

Philip Prowse


Letter 5


I'm particularly pleased with my newest article:

A former German minister of foreign affairs has also contributed an article. It's great to know I'm among such distinguished contributors on the KT site. 

You're welcome to share my article - please include the source.

And this one on ELT


Have a good weekend,

Adam Borowski


Letter 6

Hi Hania,

you might be interested in these books written by me. They contain some of the articles written for HLT but also other material that hasn't appeared in your pages. If you'd like to, you can select any of the articles for future publication,, , .

Robin Usher


Letter 7

A call for help

Early last year, a teacher friend of mine posted a call for help on Facebook. It went something like this:

Fellow teachers –
I need your help.
Later this week, I have to teach a class on the subject of misunderstandings. I am desperately trying to find a video to introduce the subject. So far I haven’t found anything suitable. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Now, as a language teacher, I have always loved this topic. Misunderstandings can be comical and delightful. Rather than being representative of communication failure, we should embrace them and celebrate them.

Misunderstandings can provide us with opportunities to see language in a different way. And every misunderstanding that has ever taken place between two human beings is a potential story to be shared.

Last month, as part of my Storytelling Membership programme, we held our first ever online open-mic storytelling event. And the theme was:

Miscommunications and Misunderstandings

Here is anecdote that came from teacher Angela Viola.

There is a Scarface in the bath

A receptionist in an international hotel received a call from one of the guests – an Italian gentleman who had just checked in. The Italian guest was furious at finding “a Scarface in his bath”. The receptionist was understandably confused and sent someone to investigate. It turned out that the bathtub intruder was not Al Pacino, but a cockroach. This was apparently a case of first language interference: the Italian word for cockroach is scarafaggio.

The Italian guest in question was actually a friend of Angela’s. And recently, Angela has been sharing her story with her students in an attempt to get them sharing similar stories of their own.

I am sure that if you start thinking about it, you will be able to recall a few anecdotes like this. Which leads me to go back to the Facebook post that I mentioned above.

A question

Imagine you were going to introduce the topic of misunderstandings in your classroom. Which approach would you prefer: to share a short personal anecdote like Angela’s cockroach incident, or to turn to video and look for generic materials to do the job for you?

I am going to guess that you would prefer the former. But for many language teachers, the idea of beginning a lesson with a short story is just not an option for consideration. When I spoke to my teacher friend about her Facebook post, she agreed that it would be better to use a short personal anecdote but conceded that the idea just hadn’t occurred to her.

Strange, isn’t it? Somewhere along the lines, we have been led to believe that the teacher’s voice has no place in the language classroom – that teacher-led storytelling is necessarily teacher centered.

How did it get to this? What happened to us as a profession? Why do we feel that we have to turn to videos and other materials to provide the narratives?

Human beings are fascinated by other human beings. And although you may not realize it, your own students are fascinated by you – their teacher. Your own stories provide one of the most powerful and compelling language resources that your students will ever meet.

Isn’t it a bit uncommunicative not to share them?

Jamie Keddie


Letter 8

10 books for CELTA trainees and new teachers

In her latest blogpost, Chia Suan Chong looks at the type of books that are most recommended for newly qualified teachers and those embarking on a teacher training course. Of course, these books can be complemented by other supplementary titles that course providers might recommend to enrich the teacher training experience and which are pertinent to the teaching context.

Read Chia's latest blogpost


Relationship building across cultures

The way we build relationships with some might mean the relationship goes awry, or even ends up catastrophic in others. How can we help our learners interact in English successfully and build solid relationships with the different people that they meet? In her latest blogpost, our ETp blogger Chia Suan Chong explores the different issues that we should be discussing with our students.

Read Chia's latest blogpost


Overcoming a fear of the unknown

Who are we when we speak a foreign language? Is proficiency measured by how successfully we can transfer our personalities from our first language? How might the different cultural conventions change the way we present ourselves when speaking in the foreign language? Chia Suan Chong, our ETp resident blogger, considers these questions in her latest blogpost.

Read Chia's latest blogpost


Letter 9

In our complimentary article, the editor of MET Robert McLarty writes about when he made it back into the classroom to teach a three-week course, after being out of full-time teaching for over 20 years. He describes how it felt and what lessons were learnt along the way.
After over 20 years writing, training, managing, marketing and publishing in various roles in the ELT industry I had the opportunity to go back into the classroom to teach a monolingual group for a 60 hour course spread over three weeks. I was nervous that they would notice I was not that used to teaching, particularly as most of them were not born the last time I had done it. On the other hand, I have been so close to so many changes in approach, methodology and materials over the years that I was confident that they would get a better shaped class than they would have had with the younger me. I was using new material, some I had actually published, the learners were all motivated, the classrooms were fine and I had a week or so to get ready, far more than most teachers get. What could possibly go wrong? I kept a journal of my thoughts and explored some of the areas where theory and practice do not always make easy partners.

Read the full article

7 principles of practitioner research

In this week's featured subscriber article, Jonathon Ryan describes seven key aspects of practitioner research suitable for any English language teacher. He stresses the importance of being sensitive to the local context.
Jonathon writes about:
1.    Doing research to develop your professional practice;
2.    Forgetting 'best practice';
3.    Allowing teachers the space to grow;
4.    Finding out what we know, varying what we do and tackling problems;
5.    Keeping moving or going stale;
6.    Being systematic;
7.    Sharing. 
Read about ways of setting up your own research

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to purchase a subscription to MET from as little as £31 per year. Subscribe before the end of December to get your January issue in time.
Our future issues are themed around:
•    Learner-centred approaches and techniques (January);
•    Coursebooks and other learning materials (April);
•    Teacher development (July).
We are always keen to get articles from new writers in different parts of the world. Contact our editor if you would like to contribute. Remember to send the idea first before we commission you to write.
Modern English Teacher
T: 01273 434943


Letter 10

Dear Colleague,

In continuation to my previous video on Supercomputers, I am back with another educational video. This video covers the facts related to technologies, the future of human values and the future of education. Specifically, it covers the following: 1) the disruption caused by AI – Artificial Intelligence, 2) the effect of these disruptions, 3) the crossroad where the humans stand and 4)  Thoughts of Nelson Mandela, Jack Ma and my reflection on the Vedic life.

Under the given situation, it becomes mandatory for us to reflect upon. We will be happy to hear your comments and views.

Click this link to watch full video

Best regards

Ravi Kumar, Community Builder and Networker

Managing Director

Modlingua Learning Pvt. Ltd

K-5B, Lower Ground Floor, Kalkaji, New Delhi -110019
Web: |



Letter 11

Hi Ms. Kryszewska,

My name is Linda from Discover Business.

As you probably know, if you want to opt for higher education in any academic institution where instruction is carried out in English, high TOEFL scores play a crucial role in ensuring that your application is viewed favorably.

The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a prospective students very first stepping stone if they want to enroll for overseas education in an English speaking program. This mandatory test evaluates your ability to communicate with others in English as well as comprehend ideas presented to you in this language.

As part of our collection of college and career resources, our in-house experts Prof. Dennis Masino and Jackie Giuliano, Ph.D. along with 15 independent test prep consultants made a simple but comprehensive starter resource to help prep for the TOEFL.

We do not charge for this resource, and no login information is required to access it:

The Discover Business Degrees: TOEFL Guide

Chapter 1 – An Introduction to TOEFL

Chapter 2 – Your TOEFL Journey Start preparing now.

Chapter 3 – TOEFL Test Format and Scoring

Chapter 4 – Reading

Chapter 5 – Listening

Chapter 6 – Speaking

Chapter 7 – Writing

Chapter 8 – Bonus – Tips on Quelling Test Jitters

Thank you,



Tagged  To The Editor