Walton Burns is a teacher and award-winning materials writer from Connecticut who began his career in 2001, teaching in the Peace Corps in the South Pacific. Since then, he has taught in Central Asia and in his native country. His students have been a diverse group, including Russian oil executives, Afghan high school students, and Chinese video game champions. As a writer, he has been on the author team of two textbooks and written lesson plans and activities for private language schools. He is currently chair of the Materials Writing Interest Section of the TESOL Association, the international association for English language professionals. For more information, including projects he has worked on, go to his blog at English Advantage and his portfolio site.
I truly believe that communication is the goal of language teaching. Grammar is a toolbox to help students express themselves, not rules that need to be memorized. Vocabulary is a palette for students to work with creatively, not a list of words to be memorized. That's not to say that drilling and grammar banging don't have their place, but I teach for those moments when a student spontaneously expresses him or herself using new language and doesn't even realize it because he or she is so caught up in the conversation.
English Language Arts, Creative Writing, Reading, Grammar, Vocabulary, Specialty, Social Studies - History, World Language, Arts & Music, Other (Music), Computer Science - Technology, EFL - ESL - ELD, ELA Test Prep, Other (Social Studies - History), Other (ELA), Life Skills, Religion, Critical Thinking, For All Subject Areas, Literature, Classroom Management, Study Skills, Library Skills, ESL / ELL / EFL, Writing, Reading Strategies, Writing-Essays, Holidays/Seasonal, Back to School, Thanksgiving, Christmas/ Chanukah/ Kwanzaa, Halloween, Winter, The New Year, Valentine's Day, Spring, For All Subjects, For Administrators, Close Reading