Harold R. Keables

This website is for those doing a postgraduate course in Applied Linguistics and TESOL. It is completely independent, and has no support or connections with any university.

Check out the Resources Section, which offers:

* Links to articles on all aspects of the MA.
* A Video section offering lectures by Dörnyei, Crystal, Nunan, Larson-Freeman, Krashen, Scott Thornbury (who??) and many others.
* Suggested useful blogs and web pages.
* Presentations

Academics work in universities. Their job is to teach and to do research. Most academics prefer research to teaching and are not taught how to teach. So, if you study in any good university you’ll be taught by experts who haven’t been taught how to teach. Nevertheless, if you’re a good student, you’ll get an excellent education. This leads to the suggestion that in tertiary education, teaching methodology matters little: it’s the student who counts. The students who go to the best universities are carefully selected, and a key criterion in the selection process is the student’s ability to study without spoon-feeding. A good student does her own studying and knows how to draw on the resources offered. When you sign up for a post-graduate course know that you are in charge and that you, and you alone, will determine the outcome. Your tutor is an expert, not, usually, a teacher. Your job is to use your tutor’s expertise, which means asking the right questions. Don’t ask “What should I do?”, or “Please suggest a topic”. Ask for comments on your own drafts, ask for guidance on reading; ask for clarification. Get into a dialogue with your tutor; shoot the breeze; get familiar; build a relationship, but remember: your tutor is your mentor in the Greek sense of the word, not your teacher.

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8 thoughts on “Hi

  1. It’s great to see such a site, put together by expert commentators, as I think it sorely fills a need for people doing an MA in TESOL/AL, especially those of us who are doing a distance course.

    I know Geoff, Gabi and Jeff as tutors from the MA Course at Leicester, so seeing them as contributors here gives me confidence that this site will be worth reading on a regular basis.

    I’d like to make a couple of suggestions if I may.

    1) The most recent posts should be at the TOP. This is pretty much universal for most blogs I’m sure and allows frequent visitors to see if something new has appeared (yes I know you can also ‘Follow’ the blog).

    2) The post should show the contributor after the title (i.e. on the line below). It’s interesting to know whose ideas they are but it isn’t always apparent from the post.

    That’s all. I think it’s worth spreading the word on other social media also to increase the level of engagement. I can put a link on my own Google+ community to get the ball rolling for you.

    Also, I’m sure you’re not intending to monetise this (!) but you may also want to consider SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to raise the visibility of the site. It all looks promising so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t show up high on Google searches for ‘MA TESOL discussion’ etc. :-)

    Anyway, good luck with the site.

    Tim Harrell

    • Hi Tim,

      Thanks for kind words and suggestion. I have deliberately manipulated the date of the posts; the first one has to stay on top, and I’ll try to keep the rest in order of date published.

      All the posts were written by me, and I’ll signal that in further posts (when I hope other “authors” will be in evidence) .

      I’ll have a look at SEO and then probably ask Gabi and Jeff to do it!



      P.S. I removed your subsequent additional remarks about ordering the posts as I think we’ve got this sorted.

  2. Congratulations on getting this up and running; it looks useful, and I shall pass it along to the discussion forum (listserv) of my alma mater.


  3. Hi Geoff
    From what I’ve read so far, this is an excellent site- look forward to reading more.
    Well done Geoff, keep up the good work!
    Best wishes

  4. Hi again Geoff,
    I’m having trouble accessing the comments on some of your older posts. For example, if I jump to your post on Motivation via the menu bar on the right, there doesn’t appear to be any link to the comments. Am I missing something?
    I spent an agreeable half hour scrolling back through your posts to see if I could get to the Motivation post that way and while I got pulled into reading other posts on the way, had no joy finding my pet subject. Could you help?

    • Hi Jessica,

      All comments before 22nd of September have gone. I’m afraid I might be the culprit; I wanted to delete a couple of comments and may have inadvertently deleted a lot more. Sorry about that.

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