TEFL questions about real-world, frontline teaching answered by experts

An expert panel answered TEFL questions about real world issues from an audience of Directors of Studies from around the world last year at a DoS-only conference.

Answering the ‘real issues’ questions were Jeremy Harmer, Nicky Hockly, Luke Meddings, Chia Suan Chong and Robin Walker.
Please feel free to comment on any/all of my questions below.
Some of the points covered were….

1. What are the most important developments in EFL methodology, apart from Dogme and technology?

Interesting answers covering Pronunciation and Dogme

2. Working in a region where the number of complete beginner adults is increasing and there’s only one coursebook available that addresses this low level, a more Dogme approach is necessary, but where do you start. You have a class of 16 childish Bedouin lads who have messed around all through school, a total rote learning system and they’ve been sent to you to learn English. Where do you start?

Interesting answers: Utilising global PLN via twitter

3. How would Luke Meddings provide a convincing case for the use of Dogme/Teaching unplugged to the minister of education of a country concerned with improving the English language teaching in primary and secondary classes?

4. With the dominance of exams, mainly main suite and the way candidates are graded on pronunciation how can we integrate ELF pronunciation and still meet the students’ needs and should the grading of the exams reflect ELF?

Interesting answers: A shift moving away from native-speaker accent based rubriks towards intelligibility


My questions to you the reader/viewer:

  1. Which was the most important question raised?
  2. Who answered the question with the best answer?
  3. Did you disagree with any particular answer?
  4. Was there an answer where you think something fundamental was missed and needs to be added?
  5. What question would you have liked to ask this panel?
  6. Was there an entire area of TESOL that you felt was neglected by the questions?
  7. Should the panel have been given the questions beforehand in order to prepare a measured answer or is it more valuable to put the panel on the spot with a tricky question?
  8. Is this type of expert panel exercise valuable? Would you like to see more (or less) of this at conferences and/or online?
  9. Would you have liked to have seen any other particular expert added to this panel to hear what they had to say?
  10. Who was the most impressive expert overall?
  11. Who was the least impressive expert overall?



Bren Brennan

About Bren Brennan

Bren initially trained here at SGI and then joined the staff in 2005. Since 2006, he has taught abroad in Budapest, Berlin and now at Mondragon University in Spain. He returns to teach at SGI London every summer and completed the SGI Trinity DipTESOL in 2011. He also regularly writes posts for students here.
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