zhuangzi

About this blog

I started this blog in January 2015 out of the need to put in writing some of the considerations, ideas and doubts I get when reflecting on my own teaching, on observing other teachers at work, and especially on considering the students, their needs and their reactions to my teaching.

I would like to take a moment to explain the title: 逍遙遊 Wandering in Absolute Freedom, also translated as Enjoyment in Untroubled Ease, Wandering Beyond or Carefree Wandering (find out more on the translation here), is the title of the first chapter of the Zhuangzi. This is a pivotal book in ancient Chinese philosophy attributed to the famous 4th Century BC Chinese philosopher of the Butterfly Dream. I chose this title not only for the deep respect and love that I have for this book and its author, but also because I believe Master Zhuang’s thought-provoking and relativistic ideas can well reflect what I hold as the key concepts that inform my everyday teaching practice: question what you say/do and act according to nature (i.e. adapt your teaching to the students you have in your classroom).

This is necessarily a simplistic view of both Zhuangzi and ELT, but bear with me as the space and time I have available here to explain this concept are finite. I hope my posts will speak for themselves and clarify this concept more clearly.

Anyway, this blog is part of my self-development as a teacher. I started it because I was self-employed, so the opportunities to meet face-to-face with colleagues and to discuss issues related to teaching were very rare. Now I teach in a bigger institution and I meet my colleagues every day, but I still gain a lot from reading, commenting and discussing online with more experienced colleagues, teachers and teacher trainers. The blog has become more of a personal journal of experiences, ideas and comments stemming from my daily classroom experience, so you’ll have to excuse me if not all the content will sound relevant (or interesting) to you.

With time, it has also become a sort of online journal, where I share thoughts and ideas about different things, not always ELT-related — I have a separate category for my non-ELT posts.

Please feel free to add any comments, suggestions or your personal point of view in the comments sections of each post.