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Jason West
Works at Languages Out There Ltd
Attended Swansea University
Lives in 105a Euston Street, London, United Kingdom
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Jason West

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I've been looking into 'learned helplessness' a little recently #esl
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Jason West's profile photoMatt Bury's profile photo
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Self-directed learning has been around in various forms for at least as long as historical records have existed. As you've alluded to in your comment, there are plenty of examples from kindergarten upwards of successful learner-centred oriented programmes and organisations. However, these exist in small pockets and on the margins. I think the questions we should be asking focus on why this is.
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Jason West

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They all agree! But they won't change. #ESL
Jason R Levine asked 34 ELT experts the big question and they virtually all agreed. The problem was that what they agreed didn't fit with how the global ELT industry teaches English.
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Jason West

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Matt Bury's profile photoJason West's profile photo
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Good post +Matt Bury​ (how are you?). I think psychologists probably like to 'become' neuroscientists the way English teachers like to become ELT authors. Scans are being used as 'irrefutable' evidence somewhat prematurely, as this good article explains http://www.creativitypost.com/science/controversial_science_of_brain_imaging8

You know me. I think second language acquisition is less of a mysterious teacher lead quasi-osmotic process than most English teachers. What that article explains is close to how I perceive second language acquisition to occur. What I think we are seeing in terms of the use of neuroscientific explanations is the combination of new tools and techniques being used to support hypotheses that are logical based upon other data/research. It's important to be straight about this stuff but it is also important to expose the folklore of ELT. 
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Jason West

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Englishoutthere.com is down, sorry, not sure why but someone is on it :-(
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Back up, woo-hoo! Well done +Paddy Thorne 
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Jason West

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Can you see a theme running through this useful #English learning advice? #ESL #EFL
What does it take to become fluent in English? 34 renowned English learning specialists share their #1 tips for achieving English fluency.
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Jason West

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An article in The Observer today brought me to this. Unfortunately the research hasn't been published yet (this coming Thursday I think) but it should be worth reading. It is completely understandable that there should be concern because these are powerful tools. But some of the responsibility for unfettered use and misuse must rest with parents and, in some cases, schools that ban them and don't use them appropriately and responsibly. They won't be going away any time soon and used judiciously can be very empowering and educational. Like teenage pregnancy, diet, exercise etc., lack of attention and education is proven to encourage undesirable outcomes. It's an educational problem (parents and schools) not just a teenage behavioral problem or a way to simply blame the technology creators. The question we need to ask ourselves is what can we do to properly prepare our children for this world? #socialmedia #technology #education
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Jason West

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That said, I just discovered Google+! 
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Jason West

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In #education there are too many people clinging on to the past and afraid of change.
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Jason West

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I agree with the main thrust of this interesting article, that our our society is obsessed with only seeing value in large numbers ("never mind the quality, feel the width"). I've played with social media marketing our content marketing and it feels a bit hollow of you are not sharing genuinely from personal interest or experience. But it concludes in a slightly simplistic "we are all sheep" way by quoting McLuhan and damming us all as hopeless addicts in solely unhealthy thrall to the tools. The tools can help us do some really useful things. Stuff we couldn't do before with the same speed, reach or impact. The previous article I posted should be read in combination with this one, it provides a useful balance. Tool development has gripped us and our materialistic world since the first tool was invented. But the ability to connect, share, discuss and learn from each other is amplified by these tools when used judiciously. 
Social media’s struggles sum up a modern malaise: the inability to recognise value beyond market-driven metrics
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Jason West

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If you are learning to #speakEnglish or #teachEnglish I think this is quite important. Your thoughts will be appreciated.
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Jason West

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Complete fucking ignorance about English language teaching and its epic costly failure to do what it claims to do...help people to learn to #speakEnglish. All #ESL does is make money by crafting a perpetual learning (or rather non-learning) community. When will anyone in any position of authority ever realise?
To build one nation, the Government must do more to encourage the speaking of one language
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Maybe not the US, but here there has been integration. And speaking the same language helps. But in the past people learnt to speak English mostly through immersion. Now it is easier not to have to speak English because of the size of established immigrant communities and the blindly over optimistic belief that #ESOL (a form of conventional classroom based #ESL) will help learners to speak. It doesn't and is largely a complete waste of time and money on that front. 
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Jason West

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Hi Patricia, thanks for commenting and sharing your experience here. Yes, whilst running my first English school in London's Soho I slowly began to raise that what we were doing (and we were British Council accredited) wasn't actually helping learners to improve their speaking. Sadly, not a lot has changed and the world of ESL/EFL/TEFL/TESOL/ESOL...call out what you like...is, in my opinion, a bit of a racket and most of the perpetrators (naturally) can't comprehend it :-) Well done for figuring out your own path! Tell me about your successes?
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Company director
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  • Languages Out There Ltd
    Founder, 2001 - present
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105a Euston Street, London, United Kingdom
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EnglishOutThere
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"Can we do it differently?"
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Just remember, wherever you go, there you are! Buckaroo Banzai
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Only person (probably) to have started a trade union in a camping holiday company.
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  • Swansea University
    History, 1984 - 1987
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