— Thomas Jerome Baker (@profesortbaker) January 18, 2014
This book is a book of books. It is not only for English teachers, but all teachers, at all stages of their careers, from beginner to seasoned veteran. Teacher professional development is an always evolving, never-ending process. It concerns all teachers, at all stages of their careers. This book covers four critical areas that are most often left to chance by English Language Teachers worldwide: 1. Teacher leadership development, 2. Dealing effectively with standardised tests, 3. The use, misuse and abuse of the students’ first language, the “Mother Tongue”, and 4. Connectivism, or self-initiated, connected learning in the digital age. I like to call Connectivism, “Constructivism on Steroids” due to its exponential capacity to bring people and knowledge together.
I sincerely believe there are 4 things every teacher of English, worldwide, should know:
1. The Mother Tongue
2. Educational Leadership
3. The National English Test
I therefore set out in this book to bring these four topics together, in a coherent, non-sequential fashion. The “Mother Tongue” responds to research and practical experience that says teaching English, in English, is how we get our best results. “Educational Leadership” fills a gap by raising our awareness of our individual leadership potential, while the “National English Test” is how we are currently defining the quality of our teaching on a collective, national level. Finally, “Connectivism”, as a theory of learning for a digital age, gives a view of what the future holds up as a promising way forward in ELT pedagogy.
I am sure your teaching practice will be positively affected & enriched by the reading of this book. I hope you enjoy the journey of discovery that lies before you….
To write and publish such a book as this one, there is an army of people who play a role. In self-publishing, however, there is an army of one.
I am that “army of one”. I felt a need to bring together four topics which are rarely spoken of in ELT in any consistent or exploratory manner, though by no means taboo topics: 1) The Mother Tongue, 2) Leadership, 3) The National English Test, and 4) Connectivism. My hope, obviously, is that this book will make a contribution to fill the existing gap betwwen theory and practice. In reflection, dialogue, and ultimately, in our practice, we seek to find the secrets of becoming the best possible teacher we can be.
Self-publishing, as we can see by my example, is a valid way for teachers to ask questions, raise issues, explore profoundly, consistently, and durably, to inform the knowledge and practice of other teachers.
It is with this in mind that I encourage other like-minded teachers to self-publish, as I have done, and in anticipation of your future efforts, rejoice in your contribution to the development of our knowledge about what works best in English Language Teaching.
Available on Amazon Kindle: Click this link