Welcome to Issue 48!

From Chris Ożóg, Editor

Welcome to the 48th edition of the International House Journal.

First of all, to everyone reading this, I hope this edition finds you safe and well. Everyone this year has faced enormous challenges and so we send our sincerest best wishes to all our readers. I know we have readers who have had to move whole schools online, who have lost jobs, lost loved ones, who have had lives turned upside down, and who have shown great resilience throughout. There is nothing we at the Journal can say that will adequately address everyone but we hope this edition provides some escape as we focus once again on our teaching.

It may come as a surprise, but this is our ‘spring’ edition. Originally scheduled for May 2020, COVID-19 meant we had to postpone publication. This edition is, therefore, something of a hybrid. The majority of the content was written for the spring, before COVID had become the global pandemic it is now. We have the usual inspiring mix of classroom ideas and discussions on management and teacher training, but we also have some articles written about online learning and the impact of COVID on teaching in the network.

The first of our articles on the impact of COVID-19 on our schools and teaching comes from regular contributor, Sandy Millin. In fact, Sandy writes two articles, the first looking at the state of play in IH Bydgoszcz in April, with the second illustrating the situation in September. Anastasiya Shalamay then has some timely advice for moving lessons online and how to plan for and teaching online classes. Finally in this section, James Egerton discusses issues in remote teaching and offers some practical solutions to overcome them.

For younger learners, Xana de Nagy tells us what she misses about teaching children. Keely Laufer offers some ideas for teaching creative writing with poems with young children, while Cecilia Cabrera outlines Inquiry-based teaching and its benefits. In the adult classroom, Ethan Mansur dissects common issues for Spanish learners with their English pronunciation, with Thomas Entwhistle sharing his ideas for working with monolingual classes. Clare Parsons completes our adult section with some ideas for corrective feedback with upper intermediate learners, ideas applicable to other levels too.

We are delighted to publish an article on storytelling in the classroom by Andrew Wright. Andrew will be familiar to many readers for his inspiring and highly practical writing on storytelling over the years. Indeed, Writing Stories (written with David A. Hill) is a book I often recommend to Delta candidates looking to work on their Experimental Practice Assignments. Further, as a young teacher, I was certainly very grateful for Andrew’s Five Minute Activities (co-authored with Penny Ur) and Games for Language Learning (written with David Betteridge and Michael Buckby), ideas from which books I still use in my teaching now.

Our regular Management columnist, Simon Cox, borrows an idea from Mikhail Bakhtin – chronotopes – and looks at how it can apply to running ELT institutions. Simon draws on different disciplines and examples to show how thinking about chronotopes can actually help us not only manage schools, but also how learning happens in classrooms. In Teacher Training, columnist Arthur Laing writes very interestingly of his recent experiences working with a Visually Impaired Candidate on a CELTA course. This is essential reading for teachers and trainers alike, with training in this area not common in ELT. Finally, in book reviews, Hall Houston reviews Powerful Teaching by Pooja Agarwal and Patrice Bain.

As a last word from me, I hope you enjoy reading our 48th edition and a big thank you to all our writers for the patience they have shown in getting this far. This edition has been a long time coming and we are happy to finally be able to share it with you now. Here’s to a boring 2021!

Editor's bio: Chris Ożóg is a teacher, teacher trainer and writer, based in the wonderful city of Kobe, Japan. He’s been involved in English Language Teaching for long enough now to have white hairs appearing, usually working for International House, and is the current editor of the IH Journal. Chris also tutors on online training courses with NILE, Bell, IHWO, and Distance Delta.