Update June 2020
We have been online now for three months. As noted below I commented on my experiences in brief posts over the first 13 weeks. Then things slowed down or rather just rolled on. I got the hang of this online teaching thingy and – believe it or not – have come to like it. It has quite a few good aspects to it and not having to drive is just one of them, even if quite essential. Once the technical side of things got clarified and glitches and disturbances figured out, meetings focussed on topics and participants cooperate impeccably. I’m basically quite happy.
Update March 2020:
Due to the Corona Virus, the majority of my English classes have been cancelled. We, my colleagues and me, are trying to provide some online meetings and are still in the process of finding the best ways of doing things. I’m learning a lot in the process. Sometimes just little things like: are the problems we are having due to an inaccessibility problem of the programme or is the busy lines. I never really cared about online teaching, or online meetings, and was happy that I didn’t have to.
And to tell the truth, I still believe that real life is better than virtual life, but that’s not an issue at the moment. And since nobody knows how long this crisis will last, I will have to continue on my Online Communication Quest.
I will keep a little diary of my progress in form of regular posts. If not for anybody out there then at least for myself for future reference.
The regularity of my posts had slowed down after three and a half years, as I had been working on my pages.
The most important part of this website for me are the pages about English verb grammar, especially my concept of The Verb Stucture Circle that you find underneath the telephone box. I sometimes use it to give a concise overview of the English verb structure system, commonly called tenses.
Why I am not happy with calling them `tenses’ has a reason I explain, but is a technicality that can be ignored if readers only want to understand how the English verb system works. It is very regular and everything can be explained. All the anxious worries about getting things wrong, in my opinion, are unnecessary.
Learners of English interested in the overview can skip the introduction that is mainly meant for fellow teachers.
Another important page is my gallery, which seemingly has nothing to do with language learning, or the issues focussed on on this blog. However, in advanced classes we talk about everything and so art is also a topic that comes up occasionally. And many insurance companies either have their own art collection or support art. Thus discussions on art – sometimes heated ones – erupt sometimes.
Talking about meaningful things is one of my most important principles and especially followed in upper-intermediate and advanced classes, and what people do outside their jobs is sometimes surprising. Painting and drawing (as well as playing music) are endeavors people pursue besides sport, reading, watching TV (or rather streaming) etc.
So I have updated my gallery to show in class. I have ‘posted’ sketches and photos to demonstrate and explain how I find ideas and create. This is a new class activity as not only I am shy about my creative activities. But in one of my classes we broke the ice and started to share.
In the meantime, my painting activities have ground to a stop. Instead I have started learning music and the guitar four years ago. I didn’t intend my learning the guitar to subplant my painting. It just happened. There is so much to learn and this time I wanted to do it ‘right’.
Many in my generation dabbled with the guitar when they were young, but never took lessons. Mostly because we couldn’t afford them. Nowadays you can learn almost anything via the internet. And you can. It’s amazing. I have my own guitar teacher and I love him! Check justinguitar if you are interested.
Note: This blog has an integrated dictionary. Double-click on any word and a box with a definition will pop up.