Posted in Thoughts about TEFL Teaching

Talkin’ Bout a Revolution – Part 1 of 3

My next 3 posts are part of a set. Read individually, this one and the next may appear unrelated to TEFL teaching. The final post should make things clearer.

Let’s start with a quote:

Words mean more than what is set out on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.

Maya Angelou.

June 11 1988

The concert to celebrate the 70th birthday of imprisoned South African Nelson Mandela was in full swing. 70,ooo people were inside Wembley Stadium in North London and hundreds of millions were watching on TVs all over the world.

The next act to go on stage was Stevie Wonder, the legend of American soul music. The crowd were expectant; Stevie had started his career around the same time as The Beatles and was one of the most enduring stars of the rock era. His music had changed in the 80s though – and not for the better many would say –  too synthesised, too much technology.

Minutes before he was due to go on stage, Stevie realised that the hard disc containing all the pre-recorded music for his set was missing. Bursting into tears, he told the organisers that he couldn’t play.

An up-and-coming singer songwriter was pushed on stage before she had time to refuse. It must have seemed as if half the world was watching her, one lone black woman with a guitar. She strummed her first chord and started to sing……

Tracey Chapman became a huge star in that very moment. her debut album sold 10 million copies worldwide and it is said that her performance inspired the whole “unplugged” movement.

What does all this have to do with TEFL? Read the next blog to find out.


I'm a teacher trainer doing lots of different things in Granada, Spain and back in the UK. I've been a Course Director on Trinity TESOL programmes, worked as an EAP tutor at universities in the UK, spent a couple of years as a DoS at a wonderful school in London, and have also dabbled in online teaching, course creation, blogging and materials development.

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