Aimed at providing non-native English speakers with the skills needed to study overseas at an English-speaking University, this practical handbook prepares students to live abroad, understand university culture, and to improve their English. It is built around activities that give hands-on practice to make overseas university study a success.
The author is in love! ... Crazy in love with languages, learning and teaching. By making his hobby his work, he is leading an easy life. So easy that his mother doesn't quite understand what he does for a living (for a peek: www.innovationinteaching.org).
Hayo developed a love for languages at an early age. At four his favourite TV show was the German version of Sesame Street and at age 7 he began to speak backwards, to the exasperation of his parents. At 11, he got himself removed from a restaurant in Holland for correcting the French spelling mistakes on the menu (with a permanent marker pen).
Formal studies in applied linguistics were unable to dampen his enthusiasm for the subject and did not dissuade him from wasting three years, in the prime of his life, on a PhD topic so obscure that even his supervisor had to read the glossary to understand it.
Over the years he has taken on a cornucopia of jobs and projects - anything with a promise of something new to learn (or a bit of cash). Volunteer tutor to refugees, teaching-assistant, research assistant, language counsellor, company director, TOEFL test researcher, manager, materials developer, drummer-for-hire (in times of need), educational designer, supervisor, language tester, professor, researcher, teacher educator, and consultant.
Hayo regularly roams the world to work on projects in the areas of learner autonomy, self-access, and technology. He designed several online learning environments for language learning, which are currently supporting thousands of students in their language studies. The cherries on the cake are the invited and plenary speeches at conferences where he loves the interaction with participants from around the world.
In his spare time (ha!) he looks after his goats in New Zealand, his health in Bali, and his wife in London (not necessarily in that order), and writes books for learners, teachers, teacher educators and academics. The latter cost so much time and pay so little that he has to maintain a vegetable garden and small orchard to grow his own food. He does research on anything that moves and will sign a consent form. In particular, he feels strongly about the old hegemony of the traditional (language) classroom, stuck in a time long since gone. Instead, he is excited about the potential of out-of-class learning and sees the main role of the teacher as preparing learners and supporting them in their own learning. The learner as the starting point, with classrooms, tandem learning, self-access centres, other learners, corpora, support staff, and online language materials available on-demand as situated and dynamic affordances. Learning, in other words, as an integral part of life. Relevant, engaging, now.
Now if only he could get his mother to understand what he does for a living. Sigh...
For the more serious among you:
Dr. Hayo Reinders (www.innovationinteaching.org) is Head of Language and Learning Support at Middlesex University in London and Adjunct Professor at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He is also Editor of Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, and Convenor of the AILA Research Network for CALL and the Learner. Hayo's interests are in CALL, autonomy, and out-of-class learning. He is a speaker for the Royal Society of New Zealand. His most recent books are on teacher autonomy, teaching methodologies, and second language acquisition and he edits a book series on 'New Language Learning and Teaching Environments' for Palgrave Macmillan