Friday, 24th March

1. Andy Hockley’s giving a talk for NATESOL at 10:00 UK time this Saturday, 26th March, entitled From Teacher to Manager. More info and registration here and home-made PDF of flyer below. NB! You need to register by 17:00 UK time

2. Alexandra Mihai’s latest blog post is Growing together: What’s the key to a successful learning community? She’s just moved to Yale University and has noticed that faculty learning communities feature much more prominently among faculty development activities at Yale than at the European universities she previously worked at. So, characteristically, she thoroughly researched these different approaches to community building and facilitation. Her usual excellent reading list.  Scroll down the page for links to guest blog posts and other good stuff.

3. David Crystal had an online audience of 10,000 for his China TESOL masterclass last Friday on The Future of Englishes. He asked (and answered) the question, What are the consequences of the global status of English for the future development of the language? and reviewed statistics, historical reasons and trends affecting English world-wide, both formally (in relation to grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary) and functionally (in relation to cultural diversity). David also briefly considered the implications for language teaching. Recording here Best enjoyed over a cup of coffee?

4. The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) here in the UK has just published the first report in their The Skills Imperative 2035: Essential skills for tomorrow’s workforce programme: What does the literature tell us about essential skills most needed for work? Here’s a blog post on their key findings and I’ve attached PDFs of both the full report and the executive summary below. One of those key findings is that “Problem solving/decision making, critical thinking/analysis, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation are transferable skills which will be in high demand in the next 15 years and beyond as technology becomes more embedded in the workforce”.

5. Two bits of listening, one to exult in and one not to exult in: Frank Vignola and Ken Peplowski play ‘Tiger Rag’ and a New Yorker piece (text and audio versions) on ‘How Putin’s Oligarchs Bought London’

6. Today’s poem for Ukraine is Pax Axe, by George Jacobs and Roshni Nagaria

Pax Axe

When bad threatens and arises

Good often appears and surprises.

When greed rears its consuming head

Generosity may find ways to spread.

When anger vehemently lashes out

Kindness can find the courage to shout.

When bullies convene and bullies attack

Compassion could be mirrored back.

When cowardice is known and expected

Bravery, instead, can be selected.

When seeds of hope we seek and spot

Let us not utter words of ‘cannot’.

When we unite to nourish the seeds

We, together, meet people’s needs.

When we post and stream hopeful news

We trust our fellows with power to choose.

When we join hands in another’s parade

We offer to them our support and aid.

When we challenge pain, hurt, and sorrow

We sow and nurture good for tomorrow.

With these shared words, perhaps we can see

Even an axe can morph into a tree.

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