About this blog
I have set up this blog primarily to share ideas on the use of text chat and other forms of technology in the language learning classroom. However, as I am a firm believer of balanced classes that meet varying learner needs, my teaching interests go beyond CALL. And so on this blog I will, on occasion, also share more traditional, tech-free teaching ideas.
About this blogger
My name is Mark Oliver. After graduating from Cardiff University and a brief spell working in London, Brighton and Gloucester, I left the UK to start teaching English as a foreign language in 2002. It was a decision that was to change my life forever.
Over the last fourteen years I have lived and taught in Australia, Japan, Brazil, Portugal, England, Thailand, Singapore, Lebanon, Borneo, Taiwan and Sri Lanka. I have also worked as a TKT teacher trainer in the Palestinian refugee camps of Northern Lebanon and a teacher mentor in ten rural schools in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. In Sri Lanka, I recently held the post of ICT coordinator at the British Council’s Colombo teaching centre. I currently work for the British Council in Singapore.
In 2013 I undertook a master’s in TESOL at Sheffield Hallam University. The focus of my dissertation was the role of text chat in language learning, particularly learner noticing of hybrid recasts (a form of corrective feedback combing the features of a recasts and metalinguistic correction) in a text chat environment.
After completing my master’s, I developed a series of text chat tasks that teachers could use with their students: individuals, pairs and groups. I collated the tasks in a resource book which I self-published on Amazon under the title Text Chat Activities. In this book, I also discuss the benefits associated with text chat and provide clear instructions about how to set up the tasks.
In February 2016 I self-published my first Snow Owl digital graded reader. The title is Brian British: Part-Time Teacher, Full-Time Detective. It tells the story of a detective who goes undercover as a trainee English teacher in order to catch the world-famous Shadow thieves. It is aimed at learners at the end of Pre-Intermediate (A2) and start of Intermediate (B1).
In my free time I enjoy surfing, scuba diving, exploring, watching Gloucester RFC and sipping a fine ale in the comforts of good pub.
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