My English Speaking club in Moscow…

Been busy setting up a new enterprise – an English speaking club in Moscow, where I live. Almost up an running now. What do you think of  the site? 🙂 Thanx in advance for your comments – I’d greatly appreciate some feedback (although the site is in Russian, but there are quite a few pages in English in the past sessions category (Что было?) – A BUNCH OF MATERIALS TO MAKE GREAT CONVERSATION/CLUB LESSONS.


What do you really teach (learn?) when teaching TOEFL?

This is not really a sudden idea. Another TOEFL student tonight, another discussion based on the “environment” vocabulary worksheet (thank you Ted Power!) – and another revelation: being a biologist, she enlightened me about the innovative plastic they are now developing made of starch, completely bio-degradable and not dependent on oil… (we were pondering over what life might be like when oil has come to an end). I learn such a lot of wonderful things from my future academicians! This is one reason I LOVE teaching.

Yet – and this is more important – I’ve noticed it once again today as she was responding to one of the questions against the clock (15 secs to prepare, 45 secs to speak, question # 1) – her fluency is really improving from lesson to lesson, dramatically. Academic as TOEFL is, highly formal and structured, it DOES stretch the students, since faced with the necessity to be able to speak under pressure, think quickly, write an essay on a topic they don’t give a damn about – they soar one level up twice, three times as quickly as the “general course” lads and lases…

This urges me to re-consider my methods with the general course.

Mirror, mirror on the wall… :)

File:Narcissus pseudonarcissus flower 300303.jpgOver the past few days, browsing the countless ELT blogs and tweets, not once did I run into the idea that bloggers are narcissist by nature… On reflecting about it, I cannot help agreeing 🙂