Saturday, March 7, 2009

The TeflTrade Conference! (Repeat)

So, it's time for one from the archives again, as I really can't be bothered to cook up something new. Anyway, now that the dreaded 'TEFL Conference Season' is approaching, here's a relevant offering from December 2006, which turned out to be quite popular at the time (the article I mean, not the year, dolthead!)

Can you believe it?! After lengthy negotiations in numerous seedy European cafes and ‘amusement arcades', Sandy McManus has pulled off a feat that is virtually unknown in the brief history of trendy Tefl teaching. Yes indeedy, coming your way soon will be the very first TeflTrade EFL Conference, due to take place on an as yet undisclosed date at the Mountain Grill Café, Portobello Road (Full English Breakfast, only four quid). The Conference will be taking place under the theme of "Spam, double egg and chips", and a wide range of Tefl gurus, groupies and junkies have been booked to appear (whilst certain others have been paid to stay away).

Just look at this for a line-up...!

Jim Screwdriver - Lesson planning and how to avoid it

Trainers and trainees often view the lesson plan as an act of writing - but lesson planning is essentially a thinking skill. In particular, it entails thinking up reasons to avoid writing one in the first place. How can teachers avoid planning more successfully? How can trainers help teachers to avoid the dreaded LP in more thoughtful ways? There'll be some concrete suggestions for helping pressed-for-time Teflers avoid making a wide range of different plans for their chaotic ‘lessons'.

Jim Screwdriver is currently an inmate at Hastings College in the UK, having recently been released from an eight year sentence at International House in Budapest, Hungary. He is adapting heroically to not being an IH inmate any more, after having unfortunately wasted most of his career in the organisation. The new edition of his block-busting book "Unlearning Teaching - Forgetting your Way to Success" has just been published, and he's nervously waiting to hear how crap everybody thinks it is.

Adrian Underpass - The Unlearning school: a way of transforming work?

How ready to unlearn is your organization? And what might happen when unlearning is not just a product, but part of the contemporary systems-based organizational operating paradigm (what??!)? In this interactive mumbo-jumbo session, the well-known and celebrated Mr Underpass will outline the principle of the unlearning organization, describe two or three practical unlearning strategies tried by an actual ELT school, discuss the possible effects of entirely forgetting your clients and staff, and look at the issue of competitive unlearning. There will be time for questions and sharing of spliffs before, during, and at the end.

Adrian Underpass was for some years director of the International Teacher Training Institute at International House in Hastings. Then he studied an MSc in Irresponsible Business Practice at the Nigerian Institute for Ethical Business Affairs, and realised how ripe for manipulation EFL was. He now works with some of the most unscrupulous EFL outfits in the country, teaching them how to screw over and humiliate their gullible employees and sell it as "Professional Development". Currently he is also masquerading as a training adviser to Embassy-CES, and this summer will be offering a course on the Pilgrims programme entitled ‘Leading as Unlearning, Unlearning as Leading - What the Fuck do I know?'.

Jennifer Joking - English as a Lingua Flatulenta: past empirical, present controversial, future uncertain (NB: sponsored by Heinz Beans)

At the start of the 21st century, English is spoken most frequently (and badly) as a lingua franca among its non-native speakers. Yet, paradoxically, it is still assumed that the non-native majority should defer to the native minority for models of acceptable usage. In this presentation, Mad Jenny will outline her obsession with majorities and minorities, show off her recent ‘research' into English as a Lingua Flatulenta (ELF), discuss the controversy that she thinks she is provoking, and go on to consider two phenomena implicated in ELF's chances of survival: global warming and methane emissions.

Jennifer Joking is Senior Bonkers Lecturer at Kings' College London. She is the author of a wide range of unreadable books about how the English Language is responsible for cultural imperialism, world poverty, and almost everything else that sensitive unemployable middle-class Brits like her enjoy wittering on about. At present she is unfortunately writing a third book, English as a Lingua Flatulenta: Gone with the Wind?

Martin Budgerigar - What grammar should we teach? And why? And how? And where?

This talk explores the difficulty grammar poses to semi-literate EFL teachers in terms of comprehension, as well as speaking coherently and doing joined-up writing. It argues that current approaches and materials neglect some of the most crucial features of modern EFL staffing problems - that few modern Teflers ever read anything more than ‘Viz' and ‘Loaded', and wouldn't recognise an ergative verb if it shat on their shoes. The talk is aimed at teachers, teacher educators and materials writers, and extensive illustrations are provided for those EFL professionals who have reading problems.

Martin Budgerigar has bored learners in classrooms all over the world for 30 years. He is the author of 'Basic Grammar for English Language Teachers', winner of the 2000 Dukes of Hazard Award for Prime Bullshit. He currently teaches English language and literature at the Lycée Bill and Ben in Ruwanda.

And finally, there's the headlining act...!

Mario Rinvolucrative !!

"We will start with a warm-up, as sensitive work is not possible without it. We shall then snog each other for a bit, and exchange our socks. Only then, after a symbolic exchange of body-fluids and skin-tissue has taken place, shall we take a close look at Ana Marbles' use of NLP (Numerous Lucrative Paychecks) in her quest to understand the very different ways several of her students failed to learn anything at all from her after three years of classes, but continued to stump up 200 Euros a month each. We will then do an active investigation of how two or three members of our group manage the minor miracle of self-correction while in full flow in an L2 that they speak, at the same time as taking a shower, reading The Bible, and walking the dog." [Woof-woof!]

"Benefits to you if you attend the session: If you already speak NLP (and I hear it as a language) you will see, hear and feel NLP techniques and insights being applied to unearthing learner process. If you don't yet speak NLP, you will meet it in warm and sickly action. If you dislike NLP and all it works then come along anyway, as I could well come a cropper and you could enjoy a comfortable sneer. Or I just might kick you in the bollocks."

Mario's first CD Rom for students, ‘Mindgames - how to psyche out your teacher', was written in collaboration with his therapist in 2000. Mario's other books include ‘Humanising your Principal', ‘Using your Mother's Tongue' (X-certificate), and ‘100 Ways of Doing Nothing in Class', His next book, ‘Unlocking Self-abuse through NLP - Integrated under-the-desk activities for intermediate and advanced students', will be released as soon as it passes the Board of Censors.

Mario Rinvolucrative was once a Hindu hamster kept by Sanjay Gandhi, but after an unfortunate accident involving some curry sauce and fried banana skins, he returned to Earth as a psycho-specialist in EFL. He will be available for book signings and mutual exchanging of socks in the post-conference booze-up at The Rising Sun. Mario cooks and gardens with more joy than skill - just like he teaches.

First Published: Tuesday, 12 December 2006


Septimus Harding said...

Sandy, how DARE you lampoon some of TEFL's greatest and goodest! It's blasphemy! What have YOU ever done for your trade, you pathetic little villain?!

nicky said...

where do i sign up?

Anonymous said...

Degeneracy masquerading as lampoonery, VILEST haughtiness in the spoonerisms YOU pluck from the semiliterate SINGLE CELLED VERBIAGE carolled at the knee of your LOP-eared mother. You DARE to mock the great SPARK himself NO YOU DO NOT because you are cowering under your stone, oh single-celled hydra headed HALF LIFE. Well Well wot ave we ear!! WE ave got a TEFLER on de RUN. SEE YOU NEXT WEEK YOU demented half wit I SHALL BE laughing in your pasty face, rolling with SPARK_LIKE GLEE when my PLACE on the evolutionary scale of magnificence is finally ZOOM ZOOM RECOGNISED. HEAR THAT NOISE? It is a hubristic machine passing OVERHEAD. Deaf non-spark.

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Great stuff, Paul - keep it up till next week, won't you! The magistrate, erm .. judge, will really love you!

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Ah, Nicky - if you're that keen on giving a presentation or running a workshop, just e-mail me and I'll provide the address of a convenient intermediary in Windsor, a man of great scruples who can be relied on to trouser your application fee and overcharge your for your breakfast. Need I mention his name?

The TEFL Tradesman said...

aActually, this might not be the work of Paul Lowe at all, as the ISP reveals: 62.255.240.# (Reading Borough Council (Library Project))

So, is it Ashley, up to his tricks - or some other barking mad WIndsor TEFL employee that PL once shafted?

Come on - out with it! Who the feck are ya?!

nicky said...

Whoever this guy is, i bet he gives a wicked powerpoint presentation!

Anonymous said...

TODAY I cut the brain from a dog and threw it OUT OF THE WINDOW. Chewed its ears and SPAT THEM OUT. SCREAMING AT THE STRATO CUMULUS.
You think you are INSANE. I AM a 1000 times more INSANE THAN YOU. THAT IS MY FORTITUDE
By the way, my appelation, moniker, rank and serial number is

Bumclamp O'Really said...

Oooh, I love a man for breakfast!!

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Nice to make your acquaintance, Bumclamp. Fried or poached?


Meanie (re above) but highly creative!

Good lord, who's the freak? I think I saw him posting on AC's blog a while back too - same tpye of nutjob ramblings in caps.

Why'd you publish it?

The TEFL Tradesman said...

Kali, we embrace all versions of humankind here, as we are too lazy and stupid to discriminate. And when are you gonna get your tits out for the lads, by the way?

Anonymous said...

Be even better if she can fire ping-pong balls out of her shaven minky at the same time.As the local 'ladies of the night' do in

william Frederickson