Monday, January 18, 2010

The world's English mania (OR a coming out, of sorts)

I have every intention of posting a review of the decade just passed. Time at the moment does not allow me the space to do so just yet, but it's planned and will come out before too long. In the meantime, I thought I'd throw a little something out there that is part New Year's resolution and part coming-out (of sorts).

For the past few months, I have had my head down while getting on with my study for the Cambridge DELTA qualification. It'll be taking up much of the coming year as well, so I've had to basically set aside all the rest of my intended projects to clear the deck for getting back down to academic study again. Doing the course is frustrating, fascinating, exhausting, enlightening and any other combination of positives and negatives one could have with simultaneously studying and working full time, but I'm delighted to be doing it and it's great to finally be doing some proper study again after so long away. I'll perhaps blog a little more about it at some point, but that time is not today.

I'm someone that has carefully constructed assorted contrasting identities over the years - rock singer, writer, charity founder, web consultant and traveller were a few of the ones I built up in Japan - and although it's a job keeping the different masks away from each other, I usually try and avoid crossovers between these different identities. Sometimes though, they have a tendency of running into each other and there's little I can do to stop it. This time, I'm going to pre-empt things and come out a little more into the open about another aspect of my life that rarely features in my online outpourings.

I am an English Teacher and have been teaching the language to non-native speakers on a full-time basis since 2003 (and on-and-off before then from 1996). I've never quite been able to put my finger on why I've not been more open about this through things like this blog, but I felt that it was about time I did. I've recently discovered that the Web is a massive part of the job I do and it's something I feel the need to embrace more deeply in order to be better at what I do and to make further connections with those in the same line as me.

That's about all I'll say on the matter for the moment, but I will leave this post with a few words about the video above. In another of the many fascinating TED Talks available for download and redistribution (via a Creative Commons licence) through their site, Jay Walker of Walker Digital describes the current global mania for learning English - a fact that has kept me in work for the past seven years and which shows no sign of abating. I've made it a bit of a plan this year to upload a new video to the Globalism Films channel every couple of weeks, and this seemed like a good one to get started with.

There'll be another video along in a fortnight, with a bit of a dig through the Shelf Life vaults, but in the meantime, a belated happy new year to you all!

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