Number one for English language teachers

Anecdote: Academics and teachers

Type: Anecdote

A winning anecdote from Clara Lupi on why academics don't always make the best teachers.

After a prolonged period of inactivity while he applied for a Phd, a good friend decided to embark on a TEFL course. Despite having a higher than average IQ, my friend had real difficulty empathizing with his intermediate-level learners, especially when it came to tricky grammar points. One evening, in a bid to get him through his teaching practice the following day, we were discussing how to teach the passive voice. 'Put yourself in your learners' shoes,' I said. 'Give me an example which clearly illustrates the passive voice.' 
He thought for a few moments. 'I see what you mean,' he said. 'How about: The tree was felled.' 
As I'm sure you'll agree, not all great academics make great teachers. My friend gave up TEFL teaching for a career in academia shortly afterwards!

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