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It’s summer and everyone is having fun. Aren’t they?.


Summertime is here, ELLs are making headlines and some of the oldest shibboleths are being challenged, Melanie Butler writes.

Well, Betsy DeVos certainly seems to be enjoying herself, as our page 12 article suggests. When the US education secretary isn’t supporting guns in schools ‘to protect from potential grizzlies,’ she is busy watering down the federal regulations which hold schools to account for the education they give their English language learners (ELLS).

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Living precariously.


The conditions that can lead to poor mental health are ripe in English language teaching, argues Melanie Butler.

Sometimes work cracks me up – in more ways than one. Some years ago I got so stressed, I began to lose the ability to speak English. I peppered my sentences randomly with bits of Italian and Spanish.

Halfway through proof-reading an article I would stop and stare at a word: ‘congestion’, ‘token’, ‘subsidy’. The all looked familiar but I had no idea what they meant.

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In it for the money?


Let’s make fair pay and conditions our performance target, says Melanie Butler

Teachers are the lifeblood of EFL.’ This tweet, emanating from a conference of European language schools, is stating the bloody obvious. Teachers are the lifeblood of any and all forms of education.

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From Mad Hatter’s tea party to global Aladdin’s cave.

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The world of ELT no longer wears a British face, writes Melanie Butler.

Thirty years ago, EFL conferences reminded me a little of the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Handwritten cards marked the doors of the tiny rooms where genteel British ladies with cut glass accents held court to audiences of (mostly British) language school teachers.

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Very British problems.


When reporting on ELT from a London office, it’s easy to get obsessed with the UK, but the future of English is global, writes Melanie Butler.

‘Never forget you’re British’. That was the sobriquet bestowed by a Hausa speaking radio presenter on a BBC English by Radio course I once produced for broadcast in West Africa.

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