I’ve removed the post Teaching Lexically on display because it provoked a lot of anger on Twitter. I apologise to everybody who was offended and I’ll try to argue my case against “Teaching Lexically” more carefully in future.


10 thoughts on “Apology

  1. Thanks for this Geoff!

    It takes a big man (or woman) to step back and apologise – as Covey learned us…this is one of the biggest deposits we can make in the emotional bank accounts of others (when it is heartfelt and authentic). I hope Hugh recognises this…

    I’ve actually been meaning to comment on your posts for a while – just never found the time (until the recent backlash on some of your blog posts manifested themselves in the disgustingly unprofessional ‘fake FB profile’ and all the ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ by so-called ELT and IATEFL ‘stars’…who now seem, to me and many others, like little more than giants standing on the shoulders of intellectual dwarfs IMHO…sad really!

    I have enjoyed many of your posts – they make me thunk…and challenge many of the ideas I use and promote myself, as a trainer. You have helped me question my support of the Lexical Approach and Dogme – but not abandon them…rather look for more evidence that we can make them work. We need more rigorous critique of what we do in allthingsELT. However, and I think you may agree after seeing this apology, you have gone a wee bit too far in calling people out ‘in public’ on matters that are ‘very personal’ and so are close to ‘who-we-believe-we-are-as-people-and-professionals’. This is difficult for many of those that you have critiqued to handle – and I know that the academic world can be pretty ‘brutal’…but as others have noted many of us believe that ELT (and teaching in general) is both an ‘art’ and a ‘science’…and that we need to balance these in how we debate issues.

    Like me, there are many who find your ideas / logic both refreshing and stimulating. IMHO, you’ll find a wider audience for these thunks, if you tone down the ‘personal’ and focus on the ‘balance’.

    Maybe then, we can get ‘better’ or more transparent responses from those you wish to engage.

    What do you thunk, my man?


    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Anthony,

      Thanks very much for taking the time to make these comments. I try not to be personal, and 99% of the time I’m not. Tweets to the efect that I’m treating people like shit under my shoes and so on seem to me worse than anything I say, but there you go. I apologised and removed the post not because I realised on reflection that it was insulting, unfair, disrespectful, etc., but only because it clearly upset a few people a lot.

      I’ll continue to criticise those who talk baloney, and to express my view that there’s a lot wrong with the ELT industry. IMO, there’s too much complacency among ELTers in the social media, and too much of this “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”. In fact, it IS what I say that they find upsetting, and as long as I think it’s fair criticism of what they say publicly, I’ll continue to say it.

      I’ve never insulted anybody in this blog, but I’ve received a great many insults from people, and countless accusations of bullying, snobbery, trolling, character assassination, witch-hunts, etc., etc..

      Anyway, I hear you, as they say Anthony, and thanks again for your comments.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. In reply to comments on Twitter and some emails to me, I used the video Dellar put on Facebook to argue that Walkley and Dellar’s approach to ELT is mistaken. My argument in the post was that they put far too much emphasis on the explicit teaching of lexical chunks, with no principled criteria guiding the selection of those chunks. I used the video of Dellar’s first day class in the Boost English course as evidence for that argument.

    I didn’t insult Dellar, I didn’t show him a lack of respect, I didn’t suggest that he was “shit”.

    In brief, I haven’t heard any argument that persuades me that I was wrong to use the video, or that I shouldn’t have said what I did. I removed the post only because I was taken aback by the force of Matthew’s and others reaction to it, and because Matthew pleaded with me to take it down.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m surprised by the backlash, and would wholeheartedly support your decision to put the original post, and video, back up.

    However, I understand why you took it down.

    The response from a certain character has been, sad to say, less than exemplary and I hope such behaviour does not influence what you post in future. At least you, however harsh your criticisms, have not resorted to personal attacks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for this Robert; I appreciate it.

      I took down the post in a state of mild shock. Matthew Noble was obviously VERY upset, and from his previous tweets I’d got the impression that he was a progressive, reasonable colleague (which I’m sure he is), so I thought I should do what he asked.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fair enough, though I’m not convinced that SLA research findings should be shared with students, but not teachers.


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