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I’m an English teacher, teacher trainer, conference speaker and writer of materials for learners and teachers of English. I’m originally from England, but I grew up and went to school in Canada. I have written books for learners and teachers of English, it’s actually most of what I do now. My biggest project was the course Global, published by Macmillan. Other projects I’ve started include the blog Six Things, and the e-publishing collective the round.
I have been very active online, and tried out a lot of things (blogs, wikis, social media). I’m a latecomer to the world of podcasts, but boy oh boy do I love them now. My first introduction to podcasts was the amazing Radiolab. I quickly moved onto This American Life, and then was primed and ready for Serial when it launched. I regularly listen to Reply All, NPR’s Culture Happy Hour and Macpowerusers. All this podcast listening made me really want to do one, which I did in 2014 with Shaun and James (Shaun will tell you about that below). The TEFL Commute is our latest exciting project.
I have been involved in English language teaching for over twenty years. and currently live in Oxford where I work as a freelance teacher trainer and materials writer. I am currently the International House World Organisation Teacher Training Co-ordinator and the joint coordinator of the IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG, as well as moderator of the social networking #eltchat group. My interests lie in the use of mobiles and tablets in learning, a topic on which I am currently writing a book.
I’ve always enjoyed listening to audio on the radio, and podcasts are the natural extension of that. Given the amount of travelling (I can’t call it commuting) that I do, my mp3 player is always full of different podcasts. From Freakonomics radio through to No such thing as a fish via Make it so and Plumbing the death star to the sadly now defunct Perfect Ten (on which I managed to get a question). I love the eclectic world that podcasting brings. Chatting with Lindsay a couple of years ago led to us making the edtechconcerns podcast and about half way through that, when I invested in a portable home booth to improve my recording quality, I knew I was hooked on making, as well as consuming podcasts.
Originally from Brighton, UK, I have taught EFL to adults in Brazil, South Korea, Belgium and Costa Rica. I’m also the former President and a co-founder of BELTA, the Belgian English Language Teachers Association. I’m also a very active member of the online ELT community, and you can also find me moderating #ELTchat, blogging and presenting at conferences, online and offline. I was a pretty early adopter of podcasts, starting back in 2008 when I got my first iPod. Every year I listen to more and more and it’s now reached the point where I think my headphones might become a permanent part of my body. I took over the #ELTchat podcast a few years ago and have published that every now and again, and now I’m delighted to be working on TEFL Commute.
Essential listening for me includes The Bugle, Comedy Bang! Bang!, and The Dead Authors Podcast for comedy, The Football Ramble and Guardian Football Weekly for football, The Adam Buxton podcast The Danny Baker Show for fun, Freakonomics and The Skeptics Guide To The Universe for thinking, and Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Podcast and WTF for interviews. And as a podcast producer, I am in awe of Radiolab!
Most of the music and sounds in the podcasts we made ourselves but from time to time we dip into www.freesfx.co.uk and their wonderful wealth of free sound effects, and from incompetech.com.
Rock Over London Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
The photo we use on this website is taken from the wonderful resource for teachers that is eltpics, taken from the set ‘Working Week’, taken from http://flickr.com/eltpics by Brenda Engberts Kaya, used under a CC Attribution Non-Commercial license, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/”