Showcase: Darren Elliott

 

In this edition of Showcase, Darren Elliott introduces his website, the lives of teachers, and discusses his passion for interviewing ELT teachers and researchers.

 

Showcase

Darren Elliott

In 2005, I was working on a dissertation about teacher development, and the interviews I recorded with other teachers, the stories they told, the feelings they shared, were a joy. I had an inkling of an idea that the kind of interviews I had recorded might make interesting listening for someone out there as podcasts, but with no idea of how to put such a thing together I left the idea on the back burner.

Four years later, back in Japan, I was tinkering with various online teacher development activities. One blogging experiment had run its course, when I noticed that vocabulary superstar Paul Nation was coming to town. I managed to get in touch with him and he magnanimously agreed to do an interview. One way or another, the podcast idea was now a go… Since then I have recorded videos and audio interviews with a number of teachers, researchers, and writers in ELT, mostly as they pass through Japan for conferences or training sessions.

The project has strayed from its original concept somewhat—each of the people I have spoken to so far has had an unavoidable “thing” which needed to be discussed. How can you sit down with Scott Thornbury without referring to grammar or the “dogme” movement, for example? But as I continue, I do hope to meet more teachers from “the chalkface”, to get more personal stories, and to give voice to those who otherwise don’t get a platform. One of my biggest concerns is that non-native speakers are shamefully under-represented amongst the interviewees so far, something I am hoping to address. So, if you have a Skype connection, and a story to tell (who doesn’t?), please get in touch!

Darren Elliotthas been teaching and training teachers in Japan since 1999, and currently works at Nanzan University in Nagoya. His research interests include teacher development, reflective practice, and technology in education. He can be contacted at <darrenrelliott@gmail.com> and his website can be found at <www.livesofteachers.com>.

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