Helpful resources for language teachers and students, writers and translators

I built this site as somewhere I can provide you with helpful resources.

But it’s become clear that I need to update and migrate thanks to a broken WordPress installation. Images and uploaded files in the media library have gone missing (they are still there in the back-end!) Plus, WordPress plugins only partially function. This is the third time software problems have got in the way of a smoothly functioning site.

This time, I’ve taken the time to sit and think about the direction I want to take this site in the long term.

Limitations: time & energy

I receive many requests each week for cheat sheets, lesson plans and tips from teachers, students and writers from around the world. Both via this site and from my articles on the Hubpages sites. As I’ve been recovering from the cancer operations, I only had enough energy for my day job.

But I have become more and more disgruntled with the limited scope of tasks assigned to me. I don’t want only to write and translate, but also to help language teachers, students and more. I want to produce useful resources that you can use in your studies, when teaching classes or simply to have fun with language. Creating such helpful resources to make teaching and learning fun is something I’ve loved doing ever since I was a teenager teaching music and music theory.

Unfortunately as I’m not actually teaching right now, any new resources I create need to be developed around the jobs that pay my monthly bills.

But I want to help teachers & students!

Recently, I’ve discovered platforms like Patreon and Teachable which let everyone support creators of videos, art, training courses, etc. Places where you can access resources that you find valuable, for just a tiny fee or monthly commission. Having seen a few of my friends successfully transition to such platforms, helped nurture this idea.

I could create lesson plans, puzzles, conversation prompts, language games, teaching and translation tips, writing prompts and more! My patrons’ small contributions would help me reduce my reliance on a day job AND let me let me regularly create teaching and learning resources for you. This is an idea that makes me excited and happy!

So…. here’s a preview of my super-secret Patreon project!


New resources: Launching in June!

I want to have a library of helpful resources already available for when new patrons join.

Teachers and students will be free to use these resources as they are provided, to teach language classes or to study. But these resources can not be used reproduced for commercial purposes, or submitted as material for their secondary or tertiary assessments.

I do plan to migrate the free resources from this website before I rebuild this site, but they’ll be public (free) posts there too.

Learning a language: Don’t just listen, interact!

While listening to audiobooks and podcasts, watching movies or playing games will definitely help you learn a language faster, it's still slower than if you are using it to communicate with people. I'm not saying these things aren't worthwhile, just … [Continue reading]

Learning Japanese without a teacher

Jizo statue in Fukushima in winter

I learnt Japanese successfully, mostly on my own using, the Pimsleur audio programs, a few textbooks noted below, and a handful of iPhone apps. How long did it take?Within just a few months of starting to learn Japanese, I was … [Continue reading]

Gaming conversations – a class for language learners

Do you have a conversation class with many younger students who haven't traveled much? Perhaps they are interested in gaming! Of course, there are many different types of gaming - computer and console gaming, collectible card games, role playing, … [Continue reading]

Basic questions for beginner conversation classes

What does vegemite taste like?

Questions, questions, and more questions! Beginner conversation classes can be very difficult - students are often scared to talk when they are starting to learn a new language. But, talking is one of the fastest ways both to build confidence … [Continue reading]

An unconventional approach to translation

Translation - computers required

Firstly, a disclaimer: I'm not a trained translator. I'm well aware that my approach to translation is not how translators typically work. I have worked with several professional translators in the past, so I know my approach is not the … [Continue reading]

Write about a dream: Language activity for intermediate+ students

Where two oceans meet, Western Australia

Dreams are great to write about - there are plot twists and turns, fantastical characters, unlikely situations and worlds to explore. Many people like explaining their strange dreams to others - you can laugh about them, discuss likely (and unlikely) … [Continue reading]

Mistakes in a second language – cool! Mostly

Fountain pen

I've recently moved areas from East to West Germany, and amazed at how much more comfortable everyone here is with using English. In Leipzig, very few people could speak any English, and it was always a (good!) surprise when a shopkeeper asked me … [Continue reading]

Cheat sheets for English conversation classes

English Teaching Books

Someone has asked to see examples of my grammar cheat sheets from when I taught larger EFL conversation classes. That's why I'm posting a few and hoping that they will help conversation class teachers everywhere. It's been a while since I have … [Continue reading]

Why you must prepare to teach a conversation class

Why You Must Prepare To Teach A Conversation Class

I've been teaching English conversation classes for nearly 7 years now. My students have been a varied bunch. From teenagers to seniors over 90 years old. Students, job seekers, employees and retirees. Travelers, immigrants, artists, doctors … [Continue reading]