Stephen Louw's blog on ajarn.com.


A good teacher

Who gets to decide what it means to be a 'good' teacher?

I have to admit that it is easy and tempting to think about teachers in shades of 'good'. But perhaps the reality is that there is no such thing as a good teacher. Or, if you are a glass-half-full sort, every teacher is good (in their own little way).


Do you teach pronunciation?

If you choose not to, your decision is easily justified.

When the class is struggling with remembering vocabulary, fighting with grammar rules, and also grappling with the whole notion of motivation to study English, taking time to perfect pronunciation seems like a real stretch of the imagination.


Who is worth working for?

In search of the holy grail.

Is there a Holy Grail of ELT jobs? Why are some teachers happy, while others suffer under a yoke of abuse? Who are these employers that are spoiling our fun?


A question of vocabulary (part two)

Getting to grips with Google N-gram

If time and resources allow, another way of handling questions of vocabulary is with the Google Ngram Viewer - a really useful tool for English language teachers!


A question of vocabulary

Helping students suffering from synonym-itis

It's such a pleasure to have students who are motivated to learn, and curious about the language. However, there is the little problem of how easily these enthusiastic learners can catch you out with curveball questions.


Phones in the classroom - a teacher's curse?

Should teachers tolerate telephones in the classroom?

Telephones have become an integral part of modern life, to the extent that they are an intrusion and compromise the long-term goals for our classrooms. I present the following arguments to support my position.


A cog in the wheel

The eternally pointless blame game

The participants in a school's operation are called stakeholders. Parents, teachers and students are perhaps the key stakeholders. Any (or all) of these contribute to, and can have a say in how things are run in a school.


My students don't even try!

The power of expectations

During my training as a teacher, we were told never to call a student stupid. Or lazy. Or bad. Or any other such pejorative. It seems like a sensible prescription, right? Criticize the behavior, not the person.


Language learning

The curse of the native speaker

Let's face it - language learning is stressful stuff. There are words to memorize, grammar codes to figure out, rules that can't be broken, messages that have to be decoded and recoded, strange contortions of the lips and tongue, and frustration as everything comes out back to front.


Teachers in the movies

Fictionalizing our reality

I love watching movies about classrooms and teachers. A lot of movie classroom scenes are blatant parodies of the real thing, which makes them strangely insightful.


Learning vocabulary

Let's start with Chinese household appliances

I had always taken teaching and learning lexical sets as a given - but perhaps in language teaching, there are no givens: it's a constant search for ways of doing things better.

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Featured Teachers

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    Australian, 55 years old. Currently living in Australia

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    South African, 42 years old. Currently living in Thailand

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    Australian, 50 years old. Currently living in Thailand

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    Indian, 26 years old. Currently living in Thailand

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    Filipino, 35 years old. Currently living in Thailand

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    Filipino, 35 years old. Currently living in Thailand

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    Canadian, 43 years old. Currently living in Thailand

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    Filipino, 42 years old. Currently living in Malaysia

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    Filipino, 24 years old. Currently living in Philippines

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    British, 57 years old. Currently living in Indonesia

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The Hot Spot


Will I find work in Thailand?

Will I find work in Thailand?

It's one of the most common questions we get e-mailed to us. So find out exactly where you stand.


The dreaded demo

The dreaded demo

Many schools ask for demo lessons before they hire. What should you the teacher be aware of?


Contributions welcome

Contributions welcome

If you like visiting ajarn.com and reading the content, why not get involved yourself and keep us up to date?


Teacher mistakes

Teacher mistakes

What are the most common mistakes that teachers make when they are about to embark on a teaching career in Thailand? We've got them all covered.


Renting an apartment?

Renting an apartment?

Before you go pounding the streets, check out our guide and know what to look out for.


Can you hear me OK?

Can you hear me OK?

In today's modern world, the on-line interview is becoming more and more popular. How do you prepare for it?


Air your views

Air your views

Got something to say on the topic of teaching, working or living in Thailand? The Ajarn Postbox is the place. Send us your letters!