When did you get into teaching? I soon got the teaching bug and back in Ireland I got a B. Where have you taught? What has kept you motivated? Also, that TEFL is so dynamic, setting the pace for so many other subjects in other educational fields.
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Here follows our questions and his answers! I was teacher training in Dublin at that time and found there was no grammar book dedicated or concise enough, or affordable enough, for trainees on a certificate course.
Pronunciation and vocabulary aspects are kept to a bare minimum online dictionaries suffice. The fact that many teachers learn a lot by using coursebooks was exploited rather than ignored; numerous extracts from these were included, thereby exemplifying how items were widely taught and practised.
Would you say that your book is an alternative to such books or a complement? I feel there is a need for candour on the part of course directors regarding set books; to assign books that will not dishearten enrollees. To answer your question, I would say that my book is a complement to the more comprehensive books, but obviously mine should be used before the latter, to allow time for the experienced teacher to reach the stage where they are equipped for the nitty gritty.
Mine also fits snugly beside the coursebook, as a comfort blanket for new teachers! Some argue that students and teachers alike are overly preoccupied with grammar. What would you say to this? I have found nearly all native speaker TEFL enrollees to express a fear and ignorance of grammar, as if this were what teaching English was all about. Another point is that coursebooks tend to follow a grammar syllabus, covertly or not, and teachers need to be prepared for their approach and terminology.
Not only are you the author of this book, but you are also the publisher. Why did you decide to do this? It is difficult to get the attention of the major ELT publishers so I self-published, convinced of the need for the product.
My father was a shopkeeper, I guess some aspect of that business is in my blood! Phil Applied Linguistics has been a teacher and teacher trainer at home and abroad for over 40 years. Lately he is devoting the majority of his time to writing and consultancy. His EFL interests are varied, reflected in his three books on grammar, phonetics and Irish history, though these evince his overriding interest in methodology.
A Concise Grammar for English Language Teachers
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