An Interview with Glenn Stockwell from darren elliott on Vimeo.

I talked to Dr. Glenn Stockwell from Waseda University, Tokyo, at the 2014 JALT CALL conference, held in Nagoya, Japan. In fact, this interview takes place in my own personal office!

Dr. Stockwell had just given an excellent plenary talk, and we discuss his ideas about teaching and technology here.

There are more interviews to follow, and if you like this please visit the archive for more. You can subscribe via iTunes, and I would appreciate reviews there if you have time. You can also find us on Facebook and twitter.

An Interview with Michael Swan from darren elliott on Vimeo.

I was very happy to speak to Michael Swan at the JALT conference in Nagoya in November 2010, and now you can listen to what he had to say too! We discussed grammar and how it should be approached by teachers, ELF and errors, and changes in methodology over the years he has been involved in teaching.

I recommend Michael’s excellent website, which is well stocked with articles on these topics and many more. A particular favourite of mine is ‘The use of sensory deprivation in foreign language teaching’ from ELTJ in 1982… read it with an open mind.

An Interview with Penny Ur from darren elliott on Vimeo.

I had great opportunity to meet one of my ELT heroes, Penny Ur, when she visited Japan for the JALT National Conference in Kobe in the Autumn of 2013. Her plenary went over very well, and I spoke to her after she had given another talk to a packed room. You can see the slides from those talks here, but first please check out the interview.

An Interview with Jeannette Littlemore from darren elliott on Vimeo.

It was great to see Jeanette’s workshop, and to talk to her afterwards about the research she has been engaged in regarding metaphor and gesture. As teachers, we need to be aware of the ways in which our gestures may be interpreted… whether they support or contradict the words coming out of our mouths (which are quite likely to be metaphorical themselves). We also need to understand the messages our students are sending through gesture. It’s a fascinating topic. Some things you might like to comment on.

Teachers who gesture more are perceived to be better teachers.

The idea that gesture can betray an ‘accent’ in L2 users, or conversely, that adoption of an L2 physicality can give a more positive impression.

Incorporating gesture into teaching may enable learners to connect more powerfully to the target language.

You can find a list of Dr. Littlemore’s work here.

UPDATE Dr. Littlemore kindly sent me a copy of the article she published in the pre-conference edition of The Language Teacher, which includes further readings. The original can be found at…
Littlemore, J. (2010). Metaphor, gesture and second language acquisition. The Language Teacher, 34.4, 35 – 37

This is the first of four interviews from the JALT conference in Nagoya, Japan…. more to follow!

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I talked to Larry at the JALTCALL conference  in Kyoto about his career, technology, the future of higher education and had a great time! Please enjoy!

His presentations, via Prezi, are here… and worth a look.


an interview with larry davies from darren elliott on Vimeo.

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an interview with kip cates from darren elliott on Vimeo.

Kip Cates is an English teacher based in Japan but with an interest in collaborating with teachers and learners across Asia and the rest of the world. Just over twenty years ago, he founded the Global Issues in Language Education (GILE) SIG in JALT to help network with likeminded global educators.

Kip was representing his SIG at the PanSig conference, a yearly get together for members of the association special interest groups for cross-pollination. This year, we met in Osaka. In this interview Kip and I discuss the Asian Youth Forum, what global education is, why it is important and how technology can facilitate it, and Kip’s own experiences in Europe as a young man. We didn’t have time for the peace boat, Temple University or life in the Middle East! Maybe we can do a part two some day….

Kip’s website is at

This is my first simultaneous podcast and video release. You have a choice of formats today!

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This is the audio version of my video interview with Hayo earlier this year.

I’m by no means a gamer*, but I was fascinated to hear Hayo address the question ‘Do computer games really contribute to language learning?’ as keynote speaker at the 4th International Wireless Ready Symposium in Nagoya, Japan. The answer? They can, but…..

I meant to ask a little more about the institutional obstacles to success in incorporating technology into language learning. One thing Hayo alluded to in his talk was the difficulty in controlling who and what learners come into contact with in the online world. Here in Japan the age of majority is twenty, so technically many of my students are still children! My personal preference would be to give them a little training in online ’smarts’ and let them free, but I realise life is not so simple and that we have a duty of care. How should we approach this problem, then? Do you think fears about security / ‘bad’ language / inappropriate content are justified? Or that firewalls and filters just end up shackling us?

It was great to finally meet Dr. Reinders and he gives a great interview here, despite being on a nine-hour time difference from his home in London. I first came across his work when I started looking into self-access learning and learner autonomy, and we discussed these topics too. For all things ‘Reinders’ I recommend his website “Innovation in Teaching”. As well as many, many fine articles you can find a clip of Hayo on Pakistani breakfast television…..

*apart from ‘Urban Dead’, but that’s more about my love for zombies than my love for computer games

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This is a podcast version of the video interview available here.

If you have ever taught children, you may well have come across the ‘Let’s Go!‘ series, now on the third edition and a multimedia behemoth! I met with Barbara, one of the authors, at the ETJ Chubu Expo in October 2009 and she was kind enough to give this interview. She is delightful company and I wish I’d left the camera running because we talked for as long again after I turned it off. She has a lot to say about teaching children and professional development in particular, but we also touched on a few other topics. If you haven’t already, you should check out Barbara’s blog and have a look for her on twitter (@barbsaka ). Being in this part of the world opportunities to meet members of the online ELT community are limited, so it is always especially enjoyable to catch up with someone as lovely as Barbara… even if it is only a few times a year ; D

If you like this, please subscribe via iTunes as there are plenty more on the way.

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I talked to Professor Jennifer Jenkins about English as Lingua Franca, what it is and what it means to us as teachers. As usual, a google scholar search turns up quite a lot of good reading in this area, but I would recommend this short article as a good starting point.

Barbara Seidlhofer’s name came up in the discussion too, and I recommend this article as a very important one in the development of the field.

Seidlhofer B. (2004) ‘Teaching English as a lingua franca’. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics Vol.24: 209–239

The Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English is an ongoing attempt to build a sample of non-native interaction in English.

Here is a review (mine!) of her 2007 book ‘English as Lingua Franca: Attitude and Identity’

And finally, some commentary on David Graddol’s book (and a free pdf download of the whole thing) which we mention later in the podcast.

From this particular conversation? I am still in agreement with the philosophy behind ELF… but it ELF doesn’t need my permission, as a native speaker, to exist and thrive. The fact is that non-native speakers are now driving the language forward. My difficulty, as a teacher, is what I do about it. What is a mistake, and what is just a difference? How does this impact on my writing class? How long have I got to become fluent and fully literate in another language, before I become obsolete? Listen, enjoy, and comment please. But play nice – I know this topic can get particularly feisty….

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Angela is a texbook writer, teacher, teacher trainer and sometime commenter on this very blog! You can see her interview in video form here.

If you like this podcast, please subscribe in iTunes, and write me a review! More are available in the archive – just click the ‘podcast’ tag below. I am always interested in talking to people, so email me if you would like to be interviewed for future episodes at