Latest blogposts

Error 404 – my website has gone screwy

Hi everyone. You’ve probably arrived here hoping to find something and it’s not here. Sorry about that. You should be able to find some of my content at http://mikeharrison.wordpress.com in the...

read more

Prepping for an interview – the mini teach

Hey everyone! I’m not posting here anything like as regularly as I used to, for that I can only admit that at the moment Life Is Happening (and blogging is taking a back seat). Also, this is a bit of a self-indulgent post as I’m writing it to help me work...

read more

Takeaways from Topolsica

This time last week I’d just heard the opening plenary at the 23rd IATEFL Slovenia Conference, held in the comfortable location of the Vesna in Topolšica. I’d also spent part of the morning enjoying the fitness and spa pools the hotel has, jumping up and...

read more

How we work now (How we teach now)

I’ve just read a piece on the Guardian website styling itself as ‘secret office diaries’. A few of the comments, as you’d expect maybe, were taking pops at these alleged office diarists and how much actual work they seemed (not) to do....

read more

Sitting outside a pub

I am writing this sitting outside a pub on a Friday afternoon, having just visited the location for a film shoot I’ve helped plan. It’s fair to say that this is a far cry from what I would have been doing had I remained in my previous job. I’d...

read more

Upcoming workshops in Bosnia sound interesting…

I’m writing this blog post in preparation for a series of workshops that I will lead for the Tuzla English Teachers’ Association in Bosnia and Herzegovina next month. In these workshops I hope to be able to encapsulate all the work I’ve done up until now on using...

read more

Writing teaching materials for volunteers

I’m currently involved in a project with BBC Learning English that aims to support people from certain communities living in the UK to take their first steps towards learning English. The target areas for the project are Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Somali...

read more

Under 500 Words On … Digital Publishing

“It is good news that the market is transitioning and making money from [digital publishing], but it is moving to a trickier situation where there are fewer booksellers.” – BBC 18.09.2012 The demise of the print side of the publishing industry is something that...

read more

Under 500 Words On… Under 500 Words

In a bid to motivate myself to write here a bit more frequently, and hopefully in a way that is going to avoid getting stuck for ideas (or even worse, proper writer’s block), I present to you a new occasional series: Under 500 Words On… Now the idea here isn’t that...

read more

Letter writing in the past, present, and future

A letter to the future me from the past me read by the present me Something that at first seemed slightly weird happened to me recently: I received a letter, with the address written on the envelope in my hand writing. On opening the letter, I found myself reading a...

read more

Plan Bs

One of the things I often hear about in the English language teaching world concerns that dreaded ogre, observations. I know there are examples of good practice here, where observations are part of a holistic cycle that really helps teachers develop, focusing on what...

read more

ELTons Awards Ceremony Review 2014

Last night I was lucky enough to attend the British Council ELTons awards ceremony. This is the annual evening that has recognised innovation in English Language Teaching (the capitalised ELT in the event’s name), now having run since 2002. I’ve never been...

read more

Last day

I started writing this blog post sitting on the bus this morning, making my way to work for my last day in my current role as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher. I’ve been doing this job for almost 6 years, and if you count my time as a...

read more

Framing your writing

In a way, this post is about something I won’t actually be able to use myself and isn’t something I have done extensively (or at least, consciously so) in the past. This week I start a new job, and I actually won’t be in a classroom environment, so that’s why I...

read more

Prompts for Tuesday morning

As I’ve alluded to in a previous post, I am soon going to be starting a new job. So, Mike, will you have a bit of a break before you start in your new role? Well, you would have thought that this would be favourable, but in the end I am working right up to the...

read more

It’s not beautiful and it’s not noble

The death of critical pedagogy? It starts in Harrogate (not the death, but the thinking) On Wednesday afternoon, we sit and we listen to a talk that questions some of the basic foundations of our profession. The status quo, as it is on many initial teacher training...

read more

A list of changes

I’m writing this post two weeks before my last day in my current job. It’s actually amazing and actually quite scary to say that. I can’t quite believe it. At one moment, it didn’t seem like it would ever happen, but in the end things came off...

read more

Keeping conversation going – SGI CPD Club seminar

Making the most of conversation classes Vanessa Mulcare SGI CPD club, St George International School of English, Margaret Street, London On Tuesday 22nd April, I went to a seminar at St George International, a language school in London, based just off of Oxford...

read more

Lexical gap fills – with a difference

This is a sort of stop-gap post, while I compose another one that will summarise a session about lexical sets I saw at IATEFL a couple of weeks ago. In a happily serendipitous, synergetic way this post is also a bit about lexis and is also something that I’ve...

read more

Wow. So IATEFL. Harrogate 2014. Very meme.

A blog post about one of the common threads that emerged at the IATEFL Conference in Harrogate. Not computers replacing teachers or anything like that, but memes! Nina Jerončič and Lindsay Clandfield both enlightened us about these weird internet things.

read more

IATEFL Harrogate 4 April 2014

And finally, I upload my last selection of photos (I didn’t really take any on the final day of the conference). Here are the snaps from Friday 4 April. As before, if you see yourself and do not wish to appear, contact me and I’ll pull down your image...

read more

Student storytellers – David Heathfield IATEFL 2014

The first session I saw at IATEFL in Harrogate, following the TDSIG pre-conference event, was given by David Heathfield and titled ‘Student storytellers: retelling a tale using mental imagery’. Stories are something that interest me greatly and I’m...

read more

IATEFL Harrogate 3 April 2014

Photos I took during the second day of the main conference on Thursday 3 April, featuring Nina Jerončič, Ben Goldstein and Chris Ozog. As before, if you’re not happy appearing here, just let me know and I’ll take down the photos 🙂

read more

Sugata Mitra at IATEFL 2014 – my reaction

OR ‘When an IATEFL plenary pushed people’s buttons in a major way’ Saturday 4 April 2014 saw the last day of the IATEFL Annual Conference in Harrogate. As is customary with plenary talks at this conference, an annual occasion when 2000-odd English language teachers...

read more

Some core tenets for teaching unplugged

This post has been written as part of a professional development project that is being run by Adam Beale at the school where he works in Spain, IH Madrid. You can follow posts from the project here: http://teachingunpluggedweek.wordpress.com To give a bit of...

read more

Rewrite Creative ESOL EFA workshop

One of the most interesting sessions that I attended at yesterday’s Rewrite Creative ESOL conference was the presentation and workshop put on by English for Action. I’d previously heard of the organisation through my volunteer work with NATECLA (the National...

read more

IATEFL Harrogate 2014

IATEFL is imminent This year, as I am not giving a session at the main conference, I’ve thought it would be nice to contribute to the IATEFL experience in a couple of different ways. I have signed up to be an IATEFL Online Registered Blogger. This is an initiative...

read more