• guides me through the iTDi TESOL course as a mentor
  • observed me teach my Level 1 and 2 programs in 2019, 2020 and 2021
  • offers a wide range of perspectives applicable to teaching and operating a language school


Conversation 1

  • I talk about how I don’t know what my primary goal is, but I am excited because it feels like going into the known unknown. I know the terrain, but I don’t know what will be revealed as I progress a third time.
  • Phil talks about having specific strategies to move specific skills forward. The better I define what I want to improve, the more examples I can find in my recorded teaching throughout the year. 

Conversation 2

  • I am against the SWBAT methods with short-term goals but am open to the framework from a long-tail approach to learning. 
  • How can my objectives reinforce my aims? 
  • Phil talks about how convenient “can-do” statements are. 
  • 3 Stages – Introducing concepts, making progress with the concept, and showing autonomy

Conversation 3

  • Microtransaction – 3 part conversation. stage 1 -> presenting the concept, stage 2 -> practicing some of the essential language surrounding the task, stage 3 -> listening for emergent language
  • Flexibility comes from having better-defined starting and ending points.
  • I like how Phil uses mini-cycles. I often think about reusing them throughout the stages to increase the R.O.I for the language used for many exercises, activities, and tasks.

Conversation 4

  • I talk about moving into the known unknown. Phil introduces me to the Johari window.
  • I talk about being product-based while understanding the process to reach desirable outcomes.
  • Phil reminds me that it is important for me to know what changes I want to make, to be ready to make them, and to be able to commit to change by keeping it at the forefront of our minds.

Conversation 5

  • Natural Order to me is one part analytical from looking at my transcripts and one part intuitional through the experience of doing the tasks with a variety of other children in the past.
  • I am curious how I can use Pedagogical Content Knowledge to map my processes and results (objective and aims)
  • My goal is to understand the series and sequences of tasks I use for my three-year road map.
  •  To become more aware of when to de-scaffold support as the students improve.

Conversation 6

  • Talk about the progression of sentence-building strategies as students learn to build better sentences.
  • Phil said that he hadn’t drawn my attention to the types of error correction I use. It was tough for me to think. I use a direct method a lot. What is the effectiveness of using different corrective strategies at various stages of the order of acquisition?
  • How much of the day can students narrate? Do they have the language required to talk about their life?

Conversation 7

  • My beliefs and principles are becoming more defined as I become an aged teacher, man, dad, and member of society.
  • Dogma – using the lives of the students to determine how to play with language
  • Learn a new skill. Adapt the skill to different contexts. Then learn to make it more effective with the students and your teaching style.

Conversation 8

  • Certainty and uncertainty about covid and working in general
  • It’s not good enough to have a loosely tied-together curriculum. We, as parents and teachers, want improvements based on informed decisions.
  • We need to be a master of our content by knowing how to teach what we teach.

Conversation 9

  • Novice users use basic methods and best practices. Informed teachers use strategies that ground their practice in theory.
  • What opportunities do the strategies serve you and the students?
  • I want to make better decisions by getting to the root of the awareness. However, the more we talk (and research) about (the issues), the more complex things get. It can be tiring.

Conversation 10

  • Teamwork – the Common Goal or the Common Opposition
  • Phil shared a few strategies for using roles and real-life applications during tasks.
  • Setting clear parameters with starting/ending points improves motivation to complete the task to the level of satisfaction.

Conversation 11

  • How language slowly becomes more comprehensible as it is staged across the curriculum.
  • Looping through activities so that known content and tasks can be achieved with high, medium, or low support.
  • Break down tasks to use the minimum amount of essential language while focusing on the unique forms that match the gameplay.