#KELTchat Slowburn: My #YoungerTeacherSelf. 28th April 2015, 11am–7pm (KST)

This Tuesday, we have another #KELTchat slowburn. Join us from 11am–7pm (KST)—find out what time that is in your part of the world here—to discuss what advice you would like to give yourself (if you could) and how your teaching career has developed over the years (or months).

The title of this #KELTchat is my #YoungerTeacherSelf, which is inspired by Joanna Malefaki’s post from March. In her post, Joanna wondered what advice she’d like to give her 20-something self about teaching. Her post inspired several other bloggers to think about what advice they’d like to give themselves (links below), and got us thinking that it must be a pretty popular topic.


As always, the chat can take several directions, and we encourage you to come and participate with any advice that you’d like to give your younger self. To get you started, here are a few questions you might like to consider?

  • What three things would you like to tell yourself when you were just starting out teaching?
  • Think of a moment in class that didn’t go as planned. How did you react then. How would you react now?
  • Can you remember the first class you ever taught?
  • What made you want to get into teaching? How did you feel during your first week? month?
  • If you could go back and change one thing? Would you? What would you change?
  • What’s the biggest regret you have as a teacher?
  • What’s the biggest achievement you have as a teacher?
  • How has your opinion of teaching ‘approaches’, ‘methods’ changed over time?
  • Do you have a cringeworthy moment from your early days teaching that you just cannot forget?

If you can think of any other questions suitable for the topic, please leave a comment below, and we’ll be sure to add them here.


In addition to the questions, you may like to try the following task before or during the chat:

  • Read one (or more) of the posts that you haven’t read yet and share a tidbit that speaks to you.


Joanna has shared links to all of the other bloggers’ posts on her post, which if you haven’t read yet, I highly recommend you go and do. Here are the links from Joanna’s post:

Hana Ticha, Marjorie RosenbergTheodora PapapanagiotouChristina Chorianopoulou, Sylvia Guinan, Sandy Millin, Angelos Bollas, Zhenya Polosatova, Fiona, Phil Wade, Mike Griffin, Sophia Khan, David Petrie, Ageliki Asteri, T. Veigga, Clare

We hope to see you at the #KELTchat this Tuesday, and don’t forget, the beauty of the slowburn is that you can dip in and out at your leisure.

#KELTChat: Politeness, inter-cultural communication and ELF. Sunday 19th April 2015, 8pm (KST)

We’re having a one hour #keltchat this weekend, on the topic of politeness as it relates to communication between non-native speakers of English from different cultures. However, politeness itself is a slippery concept, and may not mean the same thing even to members of a culture or community of practice. Post-modern theories of politeness see the phenomenon as dynamic and requiring a bottom-up approach rather than imposing categories from above (Watts 2003). For teachers, it may be helpful to approach the topic of politeness in the same way. In light of this, here are some questions that might be useful to think about before the chat:

  • Do you agree that politeness must be approached from the bottom up?
  • How can this be done in an EFL classroom?
  • What kinds of strategies can we use to become aware of inter-cultural miscommunication?
  • What kinds of strategies can we teach students in noticing and navigating different norms of politeness?
  • What experiences have you had of trying to teach politeness in your classroom?
  • What have your students done in class that might be considered rude? Why so?
  • Where might we get the materials to discuss politeness?
  • Do you think that there are any universal or widespread notions of politeness that might be useful to teach students?
  • Have your students ever shared stories or experiences of inter-cultural miscommunication or politeness failings?
  • How can we start discussions with students about politeness in an inter-cultural sense?

If you have never participated in a chat before but would like to start, there are some useful hints on the how-to tab above. Questions and contributions of any kind are also welcome at our Facebook page. We hope you can join us for the chat.


Watts, R. J. (2003). Politeness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

**UPDATE** Further Reading

Here are some free-to-view links related to politeness and intercultural communication that may be of interest to anyone interested in the topic.

#KELTChat Slowburn: “What role does translation have in the language classroom?” 7th April 2015, 11am-7pm (KST)

Tuesday sees another longer form #keltchat  Slowburn™, happening from 11 am to 7 pm. Slowburn™ chats are designed for people to drop in and out of the chat, and to allow topics to be developed in a little more depth than our one hour chats. You are not obliged or even expected to participate for the full eight hours.

The topic for this chat is the role of translation in teaching languages. Translation has in the past had somewhat of a bad reputation, particularly when collocated with “grammar”. However, almost all speakers of a second language seem to do some translation, some of the time. How often have you heard a fluent L2 speaker of English pause and say to themselves, “now how do you say that?”

As usual, here are some questions to act as prompts for the chat. Feel free to answer any or all of them during the chat. Tangents are also very much encouraged. However, when you first join the chat, you might want to consider sharing your thoughts on the first two questions as a way into the discussion.

  • What role do you think translation has in the language classroom?
  • Do you use any translation techniques in the language classroom?
  • What’s good to translate? What’s not good to translate?
  • Should we abandon the grammar translation approach entirely, or were there some benefits to it?
  • What are some useful spoken translation activities?
  • How about written ones?
  • How can native teachers use translation techniques even if they do not speak the students’ L1(s)?
  • How can teachers use translation with mixed L1 groups?

If you have never participated in a chat before but would like to start, there are some useful hints on the how-to tab above. Questions and contributions of any kind are also welcome at our Facebook page.