So, what’s the deal?
The basic idea of ‘1000 Words Weekly’ comes out of a bit of frustration…and an ensuing challenge I want to set up for myself. You see, I’ve been blogging – a bit on and off, with steadily declining frequency, but just enough to say “I’ve been blogging” yeah? – for a little over a year now. I’ve also been tweeting. And tweeting. And tweeting some more. And finding, over time, that the tweeting slowly but surely supplanted the blogging. Each month a little more. The constant tweeting has become something like over-energetic snacking that eventually just replaces sit down meals. And geez, Louise…I don’t want to never cook, never dine.
I’ve been teaching English for 20 years. I love teaching because it allows me to improve myself. I’m married and have two kids. They are twins. So mostly I engage myself with them. I love reading. If I weren’t a teacher, I’d do something related with comparative literature. Literature makes you grow up, realise and take action… I love music, any kind…as long as it’s good.
I’ve been an English Teacher for almost 20 years now. One might think I have learnt something along the way. Well, I’m not quite sure. I have taught English in Hungary, trained teachers in the Middle East, worked for a publishing company in the UK. I lived in Iraqi Kurdistan for 9 fantastic months. Worked at one of the most exciting airlines in the world in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. I taught in a secondary school and mentored a brilliant group of fantastic English teachers in Sharjah, UAE. In 2010 I came back to Hungary with my wonderful wife and my 4-month-old daughter. Since then we have lived in a small town in 34 kms from Budapest.
I’m an ELT writer, teacher and teacher educator. My main area of interest is in primary education, working with children between the ages of 3-12. For more details, visit my website.
The aim of this blog is to share practical ideas, tips and resources for teaching young learners which I’ve accumulated over the last 25 years or so, as well as occasional illustrative anecdotes from my own teaching experience. In order to give the blog a structure and keep me on track, my plan is to do this in the form of an ABC. I intend to work through the alphabet chronologically, posting an entry every week or so if I can. In theory, this means I should get through the alphabet twice this year. But let’s see! This is early days and I’ve still got a lot to learn! I’m also hoping that the direction the blog takes will be led and informed by you and all contributions, comments and suggestions will be very welcome.
In getting started, I’d specially like to thank Lindsay Clandfield for his encouragement and for suggesting the ABC idea when we were at a conference together in Romania last year, and James Matthews for his patience in teaching me some of the basics of how to go about it.
Just as artists use charcoal or paints or clay to create an experience, teachers use research, best teaching practice and personal insights to craft the best learning experience for their students. I consider what I do to be an art form. I’ve worked hard to learn my craft, and I’m still learning. I always learn from my experiences…why something worked well or didn’t. And I always learn from my students…what helps move them forward faster in their goals, and what doesn’t.
I’ve lived in Spain since 1981. I worked at ESADE, Barcelona for 28 years, first as a language teacher and then as Director of Studies. With my boss, Pat Mills, I helped to organise and run an MA TESOL programme, run jointly by the Institute Of Education (London University) and ESADE from 1994 to 2003.
Since 2004, I’ve worked freelance, doing English immersion courses at home, working with post-doctoral students at the Universitat Politecnica de Barcelona and as an associate tutor in the Distance Learning MA in AL and TESOL pogramme at Leicester University.
My main academic interests are: theories of SLA, psycholinguistics, teaching practice and computational linguistics.
Hobbies: chess, listening to Dylan, Charlie Parker and Bach, waiting for Pynchon to write another good novel, walking in the forest with dogs and donkies, and watching my wife gardening.
Hi! I’m Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto. I’m an English teacher currently living in Kitakyushu, Japan. I’ve taught English as a Second or Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) for a little more than 20 years, and in those years I have taught all ages in many different environments–private language schools, public schools, businesses, community centers, my home, and even a university extension class or two.
Why do I use three names? Well, my married name is Sakamoto, and most of my friends know me as Barb Sakamoto. However, I’m co-author of a children’s English textbook series called Let’s Go, and most of the teachers who use Let’s Go know me as Barbara Hoskins. So, to be safe, I use all three names!
I’m passionate about teaching, especially about teaching English to young learners. I want to learn about anything that will make me a better teacher. These days, that includes learning how to use web 2.o tools and virtual worlds in the classroom and for professional development, learning about new teaching methodologies and techniques, trying to keep up with research about how children learn. Luckily, I have found generous online friends who help me learn. Hence the title of my blog: Teaching Village. I know that I’m a better teacher when I can work with others. I think we all benefit from sharing with each other.
I’m hoping that Teaching Village will help me connect with EFL teachers I’ve met in workshops around the world, and to make new friends, too!