Monthly Archives:


Irish Instrument of the week – Irish Flute

This week’s instrument is the Irish flute. The picture to the left there was taken at the Sean’s Bar sunday session while a very patient damsel awaited my photographic portrait of her instruments before plucking one of the three from the table and proceeding with the next song. Shown in […]


From Scott Sommers’ Taiwan Blog: Why Native Speaker Programs Don’t Work

Scott Sommers’ blog recently featured his thoughts on why native English speaker programs don’t work. First of all, do keep in mind that he distinguishes between native English speaker teachers (individuals from a range of backgrounds, from no EFL qualification or degree to MA holders) and programs (country strategies that […]


Film As Extended Listening?

Some teachers warn against using film (only) as extended listening: is this a valid criticism? Students do tend to be enthusiastic about film, but if all it really provides is listening practice, there are plenty of good reasons to avoid it in favor of more communicative activities — or to […]


An Ireland of firsts

Moving swiftly into the 21st century; that’s our modern Ireland. In 1990 Ireland elected her first female president. When I visited Ireland in 1996 with a dark-skinned Indian friend of mine he was the subject of blatant, but friendly, curiosity on the streets of Dublin. Even then, the diversity of […]


Karang Bolong: West Java

Every once in a while it is nice, if at all possible, to get away from the metropolis that is Jakarta, with all its traffic congestion and choking pollution, and head for the coast to get some sun, sand and reviving sea air.