JALT2013 Plenary Speaker article: A voyage of discovery

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Penny Ur, Cambridge University Press



Learning is indeed a lifelong voyage: a voyage of discovery. As teachers, we learn as we travel on; and the main goal is not to reach a destination, but rather the experience of the voyage itself and the knowledge, insights and skills that we acquire on the way. This plenary talk provides an opportunity for me to share with the audience my own voyage of discovery as a teacher and teacher educator: some of the key events in my professional life and their learning outcomes. These events are things like turning-points in my own early teaching career, encounters with memorable personalities, exposure to key books and articles. The learning outcomes are sometimes theoretical–principles that have informed my teaching ever since–and sometimes practical: techniques and procedures that work. I hope these will resonate with the audience and perhaps trigger further discussion and personal learning.