19 Feb 2014, 2:43pm


Good news and bad news

good news

Well, the good news is that I have control of this website back after the technical problems that took it down last week.

The bad news is that I am going on a trip next week and will be off-line for a couple of weeks.

Coverage will resume in mid-March. Hope to see you then 🙂

Update Frequency Poll Results

poll results

A big thank you to everyone who participated in the update frequency poll this week. The results were fairly conclusive:

Every day 0 0%
Five times a week 0 0%
Three times a week 2 17%
Twice a week 4 33%
Once a week 2 17%
Other 4 33%

The ‘other’ responses were basically ‘whenever you like’, ‘weekly or fortnightly’, and ‘when you have something to say’ 🙂

I am going to move to a twice a week schedule with the blog, attempting to write something meaningful on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Wish me luck!

ER@TU website

TU logo

The ER@TU (Extensive Reading at Tohoku University) Project now has a website!

Features of possible interest to teachers include the Guide to ER (bilingual page aimed at students explaining extensive reading and this particular program) and the Word Counts page, which lists graded reader titles and word counts only (aimed at teachers and students).

The website has both PC and mobile versions, and is not quite finished yet (to put it mildly!).

The site is a WordPress installation on Bluehost, as explained very thoroughly by Michael Hyatt in this excellent blog post. I paid for three years in advance, bringing the monthly cost to around 400 yen. This works very well, as my contract is also up in three years time, so hopefully this will give me some leverage with the university 😉

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions about the site.

ETJ Expos 2012

I’m very happy to announce I will be presenting at four of the ETJ Expos this year:

  • Tokyo (Sunday, Nov 4)
  • Nagoya (Sunday, Nov 25)
  • Sendai (Sunday, Dec 2)
  • Fukuoka (Sunday, Dec 9)

My presentation is sponsored by Oxford University Press, and I’ll be talking about free online resources to help students study independently.


SRS, RSS, LMS: online tools to boost language learner efficiency

The internet has already revolutionized language learning, giving learners access to resources that would have been inconceivable even five years ago. In this presentation Ben Shearon will introduce free online resources with the potential to transform English language learners’ self-study. Suitable for all levels and ages.


Other than the presentation, I’ll be catching as many presentations as possible and hope to meet and talk to a lot of people. Hope to see you there!

10 Jun 2012, 3:10pm

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JALT Pan-SIG Conference 2012: Hiroshima University June 16th and 17th


I’ll be attending and presenting at the JALT Pan-SIG Conference both days next weekend:


Please come and say hi.

I’ll be presenting in Japanese on ‘how to start up an extensive reading program’ in room K104 on Saturday afternoon (14:10-14:40).

I’ll try to post a video of the talk after the event.

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