Update March 2023
As already mentioned elsewhere, the pandemic feels over, some functionalities of this blog have become obsolete and I am in the process of editing more basically. Some categories have been deleted, changed to the page section or renamed. Most lesson related posts are now to be found under Things to talk about, most language related topics and activities are under Language Issues: observations, reflections and practice. Older posts from the beginnings in the mid-2010s have been marked as such.
Update January 2022
The function of this blog has changed over the years. I originally created it to share some of my ideas with colleagues and students of English as my contribution to all the good stuff out there on the internet and give something back to the ‘Great River’ 😉
Most posts were written mainly on individual course topics, and thoughts on language learning and teaching as they came up. I started in 2013, and wrote most in the following three years with my page on the Verb Structure Circle being my most important project at the time.
Originally, this note was just intended to point out that the site had an inbuilt dictionary. That’s a long time ago. Then it turned into a kind of diary, maybe also not too helpful to you, the reader.
Basically, my blog has retained its original purpose, but I’m constantly adding and restructuring; changing categories and pages in order to make it as useful as possible. Some posts are more specific to teaching, others to issues of learning and a vast majority just general interests. However, I am trying to restructure in such a manner that the differences become more clear, and the general interest topics include lesson suggestions.
In other words, constantly under construction.
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 a problem concerning the programme or is it the busy lines. I had never really cared about online teaching, or online meetings before and had not intended to any time soon.
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.
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 sharing.