Another Great Pecha Kucha: Mark Andrews’ Bridges & ELT

Mark Andrews

What makes a Pecha Kucha great? I’ve seen so many Pecha Kucha’s lately, that I think I have a clue. Here goes:

First of all, enthusiasm. There is something incredibly infectious, in a positive sense (if infections can be thought of positively). When the presenter is having a great time, enjoying the presentation, it carries over to the audience, almost by osmosis. Put another way – you are having an enjoyable moment, and I’ll enjoy it with you.

Secondly, great imaginative slides, used creatively, in a surprising way. Let’s take Mark Andrews, for example. All of us know the history of ELT. It’s a topic that rarely gets a positive nod for inclusion at a conference nowadays. I mean, if you want to ensure that your conference proposal gets rejected, submit a proposal for a talk on the History of ELT. Yet here Mark adds a new twist to the retelling of our ELT roots – he connects it to bridges.

So, what does bridges got to do with ELT? Have you ever seen a bridge teach an English class before? What methodology would a bridge use? Grammar-Translation? Audio-Lingual? Communicative? Lexical? Corpus-based? You get my point. This idea, bridges and ELT, arouses our curiosity, our interest, and we know, we gotta go, we gotta be there, because to miss it is unthinkable.

Again, creativity is a must. But what else? Yes, let me add the obvious. A great Pecha Kucha is not something that just, “happens”. It’s not magic. Behind the smooth, polished, graceful, elegant, inspiring, enthralling presentation, there lies a lot of hard work. Preparation, practice, ordering, re-ordering slides, working out what the words will be, where spontaneity will be allowed, where smoothness will be planned, the use of the voice, the audience interaction, etc. etc. etc.

Here’s my point: The great presentations are no accident.

To finish, here’s the latest addition to the Great Pecha Kucha’s: Mark Andrews’s – Bridges and ELT, given at HUPE 2011 in Opatija. Enjoy…

About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
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4 Responses to Another Great Pecha Kucha: Mark Andrews’ Bridges & ELT

  1. mark andrews says:

    Thanks very much for writing about the Bridges Pecha Kucha Thomas. I loved putting it together and the Krk bridge, the Mostar bridge and the last teacher association slide are for me really important. So important to connect with your audience and, as you wrote, enthusiasm and finding a fresh take on familiar topics are key things. I think the introduction of Pecha Kucha to our ELT world has released lots of creativity and has given us lots of fun. Is it Lindsay Clandfield that we have to thank for this? There were some great PKs at ISTEK Istanbul last weekend.


    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks for the privilege of being one of the first to see your fantastic Pecha Kucha. It was quite a treat. Congratulations to you on your wonderful work.

      Yes, I agree with you. Lindsay Clandfield and Gavin Dudeney, among others, have done quite a lot to popularise this – dare I call it this – “art form”? I am using it with my high school students (9th and 10th grades).

      So I can testify that the Pecha Kucha has a bright future ahead of it in ELT, if my example and yours be any indication of the future. Finally, let me close by again saying it was a pleasure seeing your unique and creative Pecha Kucha.

      Best regards,


  2. Stefka says:

    This PK is as nice as the PK which I saw in Sarajevo! This “art form” has future – obviously!


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