Long time no listicle

  1. Long time no post, too. Well here I am posting after avery long lay-off. Let’s just get right into it.
  2. I hope, dear reader, that things are going well or as well as possible for you.
  3. I am doing very well considering *gestures* all this . I’m fine and good.
  4. There is so much happening in the world which makes what I might want to write on this blog feel extremely trivial.
  5. Listicle is considered a spelling mistake by WordPress or Google or whoever I’ve got doing the spellchecking here. You can probably guess the first suggestion. If you can’t guess all I will say on this very clean ELT blog is that it’s more like testes than tests.

    Get it? Because it’s an ELT blog I mentioned assessment.

    Perhaps I erred. It seems like the first spelling suggestion is legalistic. Anyway.
  6. This one of the worst listicles ever because there is not even a theme.
  7. I think I once told a friend that the key to getting back into blogging was to just post something and build the momentum from there. I suppose this might contain some truth. Let’s see.
  8. Point 4 is something of an excuse for this long layoff from blogging but not a particularly interesting or compelling one.
  9. But I mean, really, does anyone care about what I think about the finer points of pre-teaching lexis in a reading lesson?
    (Rhetorical question).
  10. While I have not been blogging here I am the editor/curator of the New School TESOL blog, Uncharted TESOL, and there have been some great posts there lately (with more to come, in fact).
  11. This new “block” business on WordPress sort of sux takes some time to get used to. This is not an excuse for not blogging at all. Just an observation.
  12. I wrote/revised three abstracts for a conference today. That seems like a lot. I didn’t see anything about a maximum on the website.
  13. It might eventually turn into a blog post someday but I was 0/2 for this same conference in terms of acceptances last year. To be quite frank it was a bit of a blow to the old ego as I’d been on a nice streak of acceptances.
  14. I get the sense that the conference organizers for this particular one want super hyper practical stuff and I guess that is not really my interest at the moment, especially in terms of sharing some hot new idea and then giving participants a chance to practice or something like. No disrespect or shade to the organizers or those who are into that sort of thing.
  15. I had a look at the page on this blog where I listed the sessions and workshops I’ve done and realized a) that page is outdated b) there is not so much practical stuff there. If I squint I can see a trend sort of getting away from practical sessions. I wonder if this is common.
  16. Note to self: Go ahead and update that about page soon, big fella.
  17. This is the sort of hard-hitting breaking news you read this kind of a post for. Only two abstracts are allowed to be submitted for that conference and now I need to decide which one to cull. That was fun.
    (I had a feeling only two were allowed and I was feeling sort of unethical about sending three anyway.)
  18. I am thinking that I will cut the abstract that seems least fun to me and least like the one I want to do. Uncoincidentally, I also think it would be the most likely to be accepted.
  19. You might have been wondering about all the above business about a conference and thinking I am confused, foolish, or overly optimistic. This conference is scheduled to be in Vietnam and that is where I am now. This article from the IMF explains how Vietnam handled/is handling things with the virus. Also, this piece from an American English teacher offers a more personalized view.
  20. Depending on how you count it, in the past few weeks I had my 20th anniversary of being in ELT.


  1. alexcase

    1. Welcome back.
    2. I’ve refused to switch to the WordPress block editor, so that might mean you can also switch back to the old way that I’m still using

    • mikecorea

      Thank you for both 1 and 2. I had a feeling that 2 was the case but figured I’d just muddle through and get used to it.
      (I think there is a benefit in terms of placing pictures where you actually want them, which is something I struggled with in the past.)

  2. alexcase

    3. I think your reaction is more typical, but as I get older I find I’m less interested in yet another theory with rubbish experimental support and more interested in just polishing up my classroom activities as well as I can

  3. mikecorea

    Thank you for the thought-provoking comment. I guess I am not (was not?) interested in more theories either but rather just a chance to discuss things with others since we made all the effort to get to the conference and be in that place. I know that is not for everyone but that is what tends to be more of interest to me. I really have a hard time focusing on a talk that could have been a paper and I could get all the info from in 10 minutes but rather need to sit passively for an hour for. I guess everyone has their own tastes and PD needs and all.

    You say, you are “more interested in just polishing up my classroom activities as well as I can” and I wonder what that might look like in practice in terms of conference sessions and all. That is, what (what sort of session) do you think would be best/most beneficial in this regard? Thank you again for the response!

  4. Matthew

    “But I mean, really, does anyone care about what I think about the finer points of pre-teaching lexis in a reading lesson?
    (Rhetorical question)” Is it kinda rude to answer a rhetorical question especially one that has been explicitly labeled as such by the…rhetoritician…themselfs? Because I’m gonna do it: ACTUALLY YES. ;P

    • mikecorea

      Darn it, I had a feeling that might happen. I should have chosen a less interesting and world-changing example.

      I will tell you this though since you took the time to leave a comment.
      Back in 2004 when I did my CELTA in Bangkok in one of my lessons I decided NOT to pre-teach any vocab and it was hailed as a bold move by all (expect maybe the students who probably didn’t care much either way).

      • Matthew

        “Back in 2004 when I did my CELTA in Bangkok in one of my lessons I decided NOT to pre-teach any vocab and it was hailed as a bold move by all” as a tutor I like the acronym PTV because the P can mean Pre- or the P can mean Post- OR the P can mean POSSIBLY…or even PROLLY NAW…

      • Matthew

        So wait…I’m puzzling stuff together (20 years in ELT, and – already knew this but – CELTA one year before me…in the same spot, also known) and realizing a small but interesting thing: whereas I had 1 year of teaching experience when I did my course there the next year…and I have 16 years in ELT..that mean you had 3 years of pre-CELTA experience? is my MATHew correct? I’m curious what training or what conditions were for those…feel free to comment as another listicle if your listicle wheels are stilll spinning hot

      • mikecorea

        Your MATth seems correct to me. In 2003 I only worked a few months (mostly immersion camps in Korea). I’d worked in a language school in Korea for 1 year and then 1.5 years at a technical college.
        (I also had some experience with TESOL in my undergrad days volunteering and observing and somehow writing about course development). It’s quite interesting to think about those olden daze. Thank you for the question!
        Further replies forthcoming. 🙂

    • Matthew

      …even if by “finer points” you mean the “finer points” of WHY the “finer points” of X or Y or Z aren’t something you think anyone would/should/does care about. I mean, especially if that. Your preference of workshop style is something I hope you do continue to rant, review, and reflect on here past list item #20…it’s actually something i’m REALLY interested in.

      I feel like there’s something about career cycles and selves here, something about how many of us go through “collecting” phases, maybe more than once, but also go through reflecting stages and others, and…well, there are books about these things. Some of which I’ve read or kinda read or didn’t read but got the big idea of. But anyway, what’s around and under this kind of antipathy (sounds way to negative but hey) towards “talks that could be pieces of paper”?

      Cuz I definitely can relate to that. And I still want to go to conferences in our __topian (fill in the blank) future! But I’m completely and utterly unsure WHY EXACTLY now.

      Give us item #21 in long form! Or…prompt us to do something or discuss it rather than read your ‘piece of paper’ blogpost. I just bought my own Pro Zoom account for the year (my birthday present to me) if you want to turn a blog comment dialogue into a Zoom room chat. We could invite a bunch of people who’ve probably all gotten session abstracts dissed.

  5. Karl

    15. I am seeing a similar trend—though not quite a smoothly linear one—and I am facing a little inner tension over it. I have spent most of my time heavily endorsing the idea of the more practical the better, but I have always been a “thinker” and now find it at least as enjoyable to go and do some thinking aloud or sharing of recent thinking when I get the chance. I think the recent shift of EVERYTHING to online has been something of a catalyst, since it makes practical that much more challenging.

  6. Helen L

    Still chortling at ‘testes’, but your points in 14 and 15 (i think ? -bad short-term memory) I think are really important. I think there is a shift in what constitutes ‘quality’ CPD away from large presentations (and not just because of covid restrictions) towards more *discussions* about stuff. I initially thought it was linked to experience (as Matthew said above) but maybe it’s not just that. I’m not sure. I suppose costs and more more confidence in localised teaching contexts help, as well as possibly more awareness about discussing among even less-experienced teachers. I don’t know. I love the talking about stuff.
    Good to see you back, listicles and all 😂

  7. Sandy Millin

    1. Welcome back.
    2. Thanks for making me laugh.
    3. If you put /wp-admin/edit.php (I believe) at the end of your blog address, you don’t have to deal with any odd this newfangled WordPress nonsense.
    4. The discussions are the thing, at least according to Reflection in English Language Teaching by Mann and Walsh (well worth reading!)
    5. Happy anniversary.
    6. Looking forward to 21, 22, 23…

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