Monthly Archives: April 2014

Teacher Development (CPD) Part 1 – #eltchinwag – 07/04/2014

A #eltchinwag by Christine Mullaney of Kaplan International English, Dublin.

Christine Mullaney

Christine Mullaney is an IELTS and Business English teacher currently working in Kaplan International English in Dublin. She is currently a communications officer on the committee for the newly established ELT Ireland, building a PLN and learning about blogging, Twitter and anything else that can help her enhance.

She is @ChristineMulla on Twitter

“Reality is that no opportunities are going to come your way unless you are prepared invest in yourself.” #eltchinwag @LahiffP

No truer words have been spoken, especially when it comes to those in the world of education. On April 7th #eltchinwag discussed CPD. This summary, coming in two parts, will first divulge some of our chinwaggers’ favourite ways to develop professionally.


What is your personal favourite way to develop as a teacher?

What was interesting here was the rich spectrum of options available to teachers to learn and develop. Twitter is, naturally, used and enjoyed by many; especially when working in the freelance world, as @EdLaur told us; ‘Twitter is vital, though addictive…’ @ChristineMulla loves how much there is to take from chats and their summaries – even the smallest comment can result in the biggest win in a classroom.


@JaneSeely uses blog posts quite a lot, “great for sparking ideas.” @HadaLitim added here that “authors’ blogs are great to get more than just the book.” So remember folks, when you buy that hard copy, look up the author. You never know how much more you’ll find online.


A profoundly popular comment, made by @Mixelina28, is often overlooked as being a huge part of development by teachers.

“…teaching as many different levels and types of class helps you to develop as a teacher.” I’m sure you’d all agree that when you first started teaching being bounced around from class to class, level to level expanded your knowledge more quickly than reading and prepping could have.


Other excellent ways to develop, favoured by many of our chatters, were

  • watching talks online (@EdLaur)
  • attending webinars (@BradELT) and simply
  • chatting to other teachers (@MaeBVee/HadaLitim).

You can find links to some of the best webinar sites available here.


@SwanDos soon took us away from tech and back into the physical world, “conferences, ELTed events, anything that shows you what’s going on out there.”

@ShayCoyne furthered this mentioning IATEFL and ELT conferences, “bringing new ideas and fresh teaching practice.”


Moving back to the classroom, @McLaughlinLou tweeted:

change focus of class, tools, position of tables helps think about how to improve.”

Not only changing your own layout, but having someone else observe it, or indeed observing another’s, can offer a wonderful mirror effect on a teacher’s style.

@MaeVBee: “I absolutely agree. I never realised how much I could learn from watching a colleague. It’s great!”


Recording yourself, although daunting and often “cringeworthy”,

brought insight into what I could work on.” (@McLaughlinLou)

“very informative because I heard what I was doing well.  It’s great for seeing how much TTT you’re using.” (@Rebecca_white83)

Give it a try and let us know how you get on @ELTIreland.


A final round up of ideas left #eltchinwag participants with sites to check out and groups to join:

  • @JaneSeely: “getting a lot out of @sandymillin and @kenwilson’s sites at the mo.”
  • @ChristneMulla: “Russell Stannard’s”
  • @HadaLitim: “#ELTchat blog and AZ of ELT (although no longer active) has a great index of brilliant convos.”
  • @McLaughlinLou: “Google 4CinELT for recordings and webinars.”
  • @Rebecca_white83: “Try joining TESOL Association International on Linkedin.”
  • @LahiffP: “am looking forward to the @ELTIreland Article Writing forum in May.” Confirm attendance here.
  • @SwanDOS: “ELTed Talks and conferences.”
  • @JaneSeely: has never led me astray.”
  • @EilyMurphy: “come back to a list of ideas…on CPD”


In this part one of our chat on CPD, I shall leave you with a final nugget from @BradELT:

In order to meet the needs of a 21st century learner and beyond, WE as teachers MUST continue to develop.”

But what does that mean for schools?

Should CPD be mandatory?

How do we encourage teachers to take an interest in CPD, especially if teaching is in a “backpacker’s teaching environment”? (@ShayCoyne)


Watch this space for our chinwaggers thoughts and cogitations. In the meantime, enjoy your CPD rummage through the riveting resources above; something is bound to get you hooked.



Sentence Starters for Journal Writing – Part 2

What a wonderfully handy list of sentence starters. They could also be used as a warm up in ELT classes.

Thoughts from a Kindergarten Teacher - Now a First Grade Teacher

Today’s blog is a continuation from yesterday’s posting.

Here are more sentence starters to get your young writer writing in his/her journal.

This list was compiled by <

In school I do my best when …
If I were a teacher I would …
I don’t like to eat …
If I were five years older I would …
If I had a million dollars I would …
I get angry when …
On Saturdays I like to …
My family likes to …
I love to eat …
Something I do well is …
At school I like to …
I feel silly when …
If I could be invisible I would …
An important person to me is …
When I become a parent I  …
I once got hurt when …
I’d like to solve the problem of …
I don’t like it when …

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