Way back in April 2020, I wrote an article for the spring issue of the IH Journal talking about how we’d shifted IH Bydgoszcz online over the previous few weeks. What with one thing and another, the publication of the journal was delayed and it finally came out a couple of weeks ago. The editor, Chris, asked me to write an update on what had happened by the end of October 2020, and you can find both articles along with many others in issue 48 of the IH Journal. For those who read the second article where I say we’re hoping to get back in to the classroom before Christmas, we still haven’t made it and it looks like it’ll be February at the absolute earliest before we manage it.
I was interested in Claire Parsons’ article about error correction, in which she talks about using the acronym SPLAT to help her decide which errors to focus on with her students.
If you’d like to read more about our move online, there’s a whole series of posts on my blog from March to June, starting here.
Issue 47 of the IH Journal has just come out, including articles by me on Work-life balance for new teachers. Amy Gowers has written about Taming Teens, which I’ll definitely be sharing with lots of my colleagues and taking note of myself! There’s even an article called How effectively are you using your PowerPoint, which I think a lot of teachers could do with reading Here is the full contents page:
Issues 43 of the IH Journal was published yesterday, with lots of great things for you to read:
It features the first article in a new series which I’m writing, all about working with new teachers. You can read the journal online, and my article is here. If working with new teachers is something you’re interested in, or if you’re a new teacher yourself, watch out for an exciting announcement coming soon on my blog 🙂
The IH Journal has turned 20 this month, and to celebrate Dominique Vouillemin has edited a special edition of the journal pulling together the traditional columns and a selection of anniversary treats. His editorial gives you a taster of what’s available. The full edition is available for you to read online or download. My own contribution to the journal is called ‘Travelling back through our profession’, and was inspired by Chia Suan Chong and the TEFLology podcast. It’s on pages 36-37 of the journal, or is on the site.
Here’s to the next 20 years!
The latest IH Journal is now available, featuring the Developing Teachers column by yours truly. This edition the topic is moving into management, posing a few questions to help you decide whether it’s time for you to take that step up the career ladder. There’s also another management-related post describing the experience of a first-time DoS at summer school by Paulina Melichova.
The journal features articles by IH staff from around the world, covering topics such as how to use graded readers in the primary classroom by Kylie Malinowska, an alternative way to approach coursebook reading texts from Alistair Grant, recycling vocabulary by Karl Emmet and teaching games by Mike Astbury. The contents page is here, and the whole journal is here. You can also read past issues of the journal.
The latest IH Journal is now available, featuring the Developing Teachers column by yours truly. This time the topic is whether the Delta is really worth it, answering a question I’ve been asked many times.
The journal features articles by IH staff from around the world, covering topics as diverse as IH Madrid’s class book competition for young learners, a potted history of the English language and even an article in Russian about equivalents of English language teaching terminology. The contents page is here, and the whole journal is here. You can also read past issues of the journal.
The latest IH Journal is now available, featuring the Developing Teachers column by yours truly. This time the topic is International House certificates, for example qualifications in teaching young learners or business English.
The journal features articles by IH staff from around the world, covering topics as diverse as teaching teaching spelling to young learners, speaking activities with teenagers and management tips. The contents page is here, and the whole journal is here. You can also read past issues of the journal.
International House (IH) is 60 years old. It was started in Cordoba in 1953, by John and Brita Haycraft, and has since grown to encompass 156 schools in 52 countries at the time of writing. John Haycraft’s biography, Adventures of a Language Traveller, which I’ve just finished reading, is a fascinating insight into where the whole organisation came from and how it grew in its first few decades.
I’m in my sixth year with IH. I spent three years in Brno, Czech Republic, 2 in Newcastle, UK, and am now in Sevastopol, Ukraine. I also did three summer schools in the UK for the same school, although it changed from IH to Kaplan while I worked for them. During my time with the organisation I have been given a huge amount of opportunities, which I don’t believe would have been available to me in quite the same way anywhere else:
- Support with learning to teach young learners and teens, right from day one of my first summer school, the week after I graduated from university;
- Post-CELTA training seminars throughout my first year at IH Brno, building on everything we’d covered during the initial CELTA course;
- The chance to do IH certificates in teaching Business English and Young Learners, as well as the Certificate in Advanced Methodology, through IH Brno;
- Access to online teacher training via the IH Online Teacher Training Institute, in the form of the IH Certificate in Online Tutoring, as well as a short course on dogme;
- Financial and moral support to do my Delta, through IH Newcastle.
Presentations and conferences
- The opportunity to attend, and later to present at, local conferences in Brno and nearby cities, giving me the conference bug;
- The time to attend conferences in France and in the UK (thanks IH Newcastle!);
- Regular online conferences and webinars, which I’ve also been able to present at. As I write this, the 60th anniversary conference is taking place;
- The International House John Haycraft Classroom Exploration scholarship, which gave me the chance to attend IATEFL for the first time – although it didn’t have to go to someone connected to IH, the support of the organisation for potential IATEFL attendees is hugely important.
Building my career
- Shaun Wilden inspected IH Brno as part of maintaining IH standards, and during a throwaway comment, mentioned the community of teachers on Twitter – a sentence which changed my life!
- Progressing within the same organisation has helped me go from teacher to Director of Studies (my current position) at the pace I wanted, via other responsibilities on the way;
- Being given the opportunity to write a column for the IH Journal.
And the rest…
- Feeling part of a huge, but incredibly friendly and supportive organisation;
- The chance to move to different countries through the IH transfer system;
- The focus on training and development which has shaped who I am as a teacher;
- The high quality of teaching expected from all of us, pushing us to be better and to help our students to the best of our abilities;
- The affiliation system which means that every school is unique and local, while at the same time meeting the strict IH standards which give you confidence as a teacher, and recourse to complain if you ever need to (which thankfully I haven’t!);
- Being able to meet people from around the world, both fellow teachers, and particularly my students in Newcastle;
- The chance to move to a completely new country, and feel welcomed there no matter what happens;
- The influence of IH on the ELT world in general, from the creation of the CELTA, to the number of past and present IH teachers who have gone on to write coursebooks and materials, run schools, and do all kinds of amazing things. (Side note: When Brita Haycraft was presented with the 2013 Lifetime Achievement award at the British Council’s ELTons awards, Liz Soars asked members of the audience to put their hands up if they’d never had any dealings with IH – from an audience of about 400, nobody’s hand appeared!)
It’s been an amazing experience for me so far, and I’m very proud to be part of such a great organisation. I hope it’s a relationship which continues for many years yet 🙂
(Banners shamelessly stolen from the IH World facebook page)
The latest IH Journal has just been published, featuring the Developing Teachers column by yours truly. This time the topic is observations.
The journal features articles by IH staff from around the world, covering topics as diverse as teaching very young learners, pre-teaching lexis and social media. The contents page is here, and the whole journal is here. You can also read past issues of the journal.
Observations was also the topic of the latest iTDi blog, with posts by Anna Loseva, Josette LeBlanc and Kevin Stein.
The IH Journal was published today, and on page 26 you can find my first ever print article. It is the first in what will hopefully be a series called ‘Developing Teacher’. The first post is about being a reflective teacher.
You can read it here.
I’d recommend reading the whole journal, as there are lots of interesting articles in it. I particularly enjoyed reading Chia Suan Chong‘s post about the pragmatics of politeness, Lewis Waitt’s tips about surviving your first year after CELTA, and Shaun Wilden‘s description of the new IH CPD system, which I can hopefully start taking part in soon.