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ELLLO Teacher Podcast

Listen to the creator of elllo, Todd Beuckens, discuss things happening in education and hear interviews with movers and shakers in the field.

Episode #1 - Introduction to the Podcast

Welcome to the first episide of the new ELLLO Teacher Podcast, hosted by Todd Beuckens, the creator of ELLLO. In the first episode, Todd talks about how this podcast is for teachers and what they can expect on the show.


Hello and welcome to ELLLO Teacher, a podcast featuring teachers, educators, and content creators from around the world. I'm your host, Todd Beuckens and the creator of the English Listing Lesson Library Online. The aim of this podcast is to showcase trends in the teaching profession, show tips and tricks to enhance learning in pedagogy, and basically just make teaching a lot more fun. So with no further ado, let's get started. Thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoy the show. Hi, everybody. Welcome to the first episode of ELLLO Teacher. I'm really excited get this going. It's kind of odd because I have been doing ELLLO now for almost 20 years. So I think it's been 18 years total. So I've been doing audio way before there was even a podcast, and I haven't really embraced the podcast medium and there's a couple reasons why.

The main reason is just because ELLLO is so time consuming that I never really had time to do a podcast. I started a few podcasts in the past, but they never really took off. I just kind of got too busy. At that time, they just seemed like a time kill every week, just the production process and getting them ready and finding guests and the like. But because of the pandemic and everybody using Zoom, now it's very easy to get guests to talk with you online. Also, submitting a podcast and managing a podcast is just a lot easier than it has been in the past. So I've decided to dust off the microphone and give this another shot, see if we can do it again. The aim of this podcast is really just to talk about things that I'm interested in, in education, and also to showcase a lot of the amazing educators and teachers around the world that are making just fantastic products.

There's a lot of people out there doing a lot of really good work and it goes unnoticed, which is really sad. So we hope to showcase these people and kind of share their talents and their skills, and also the products that they make and how teachers and students can benefit from them. But this podcast is not only going to be about tech stuff. I also want it to be about just teaching in general, things that people are doing inside their classroom. So trends in education, and it could be anything from techniques that teachers use to maximize learning, how they structure their lessons, how they organize their lessons, things that they find their students like to do, don't like to do.

Also, things like, for example, we might talk about trends in education or conflicting ideas in education, and kind of look at them from both sides. So for example, some of the topics that I have coming up, one of them is going to be ESL Elitist versus ESL Populist. This is something that I'm very passionate about, basically, and I think we have some conflicting ideas. The ESL elitist is somebody who's kind of like a gatekeeper and they have standards, and they kind of propel students to a higher level and we have prestige and status, and things like that. Whereas an ESL populist would be somebody who really is more about trajectory and education for everybody. You're not really worried about grading people or giving assessments or labeling them a certain type based on their performance. Both of those are really valid arguments or valid sides and actually education needs both. So those are the types of issues I would like to discuss.

Also, on this podcast, we hope to have content creators and developers come in and showcase their products. In the first episode, we're going to talk with Jose Domingo Cruz. He's going to talk about his book, Teaching with Zoom in Advanced Learners Guide. Then, in further episodes, we're going to talk about, for example, his website GoldFish365, and also a podcast that he runs. So that's like an example of the type of people that we will have on the show. Now, sometimes there'll also be monologues, well, I'll just talk about things that I'm interested in teaching and education. It could be, for example, a software that I'm using that I really find useful, or something I'm doing in my classroom that I really like, or maybe something I learned from another teacher at a conference, or a book that I read that I thought was really interesting that kind of helps teaching, or really focuses on what we're doing and is in addition to the profession.

Now, I don't know about you. I love teaching. I've been teaching now for 25 years, and every day I wake up and I am so excited to go to the class classroom. I really love teaching. It is a true joy, even though I do develop some online digital products. I actually am an old school teacher. I like using the whiteboard. I like using notebooks. I love for the students to take notes. I actually assign a notebook to my students. So I really like all types of pedagogy. I have a master's degree in Learning Design and Technology from San Diego State. So I'm very passionate about instructional design and how to create things and how to optimize learning. Actually, in the future, one of the topics that I would like to talk about that I'm very passionate about is thorough versus optimal. I think that's another conflicting thing that we have in education.

We have kind of an emphasis on being thorough, but we don't have an emphasis on being optimal. These two concepts kind of contradict each other or even conflict with each other. So how things like that can affect education and maybe why teachers might want to look at it another way. Another issue I have coming up that I want to talk about is the difference between extensive listening and extensive reading. Now, as you all know, if you know me from ELLLO, I am very passionate about extensive listening. ELLLO was actually designed to be an extensive listening site, and I think there's a lot of room for debate between what is more optimal, listening or reading when it comes to language acquisition. Again, when we look at these issues that we have conflicting ideas, I don't think that we need to choose one side over the other.

I think that what we need is balance, as they say in Star Wars, we need balance in the forest, right? So we want to look at both sides and see maybe are we doing one thing a little bit too much and not enough of another. Maybe we overemphasize certain things and we've kind of thrown the baby out with the bath water, so to speak. We've kind of forgotten to do some of the old stuff that we did years ago that was really beneficial in education. So those are also some topics I would like to look into. Of course, I'm going to want to talk about software. So I am a total geek when it comes to using different learning tools, I have a list called A to Z of Free. So that refers to one software for every letter of the alphabet that's free that teachers can use.

I've created a couple online courses that teachers can use and they can learn for free how to use these software tools. I really like to look at how we can use software differently than originally planned. I'll give you two examples. I'm really passionate of late about using both Excel and PowerPoint as a replacement for textbooks. So as it turns out, Excel is just the wonder tool. It is so amazing what you can do with Excel, and so I do a lot with Excel. I would like to talk about things like that, how we can do things differently. Think people like Martha Stewart or the TV show MacGyver, and they would always use other things in novel ways that was very useful. So that's how I like to look at software. There's a lot of software out there that people have on their computer or have access to, and they don't realize how they can use it in very unique ways to really enhance their lessons. So on the show, we'll also talk a little bit about that.

I also hope to have a Q&A session where maybe listeners can give questions and we can answer them online. Also, I would like to open up the podcast to people that I don't know if they would like to talk about something, be on the show as a guest, maybe even promote something like a book or something that they're doing. I'm all for that if it's done in the right way. So basically that's it, that's the podcast. Also, these podcasts, I want to keep them kind of short. So I think the optimal length is going to be between 10 minutes and 15 minutes. We don't want to go too long. I think these days, a lot of times people, they don't have time to listen to an hour long podcast. So I'm going to kind of do a little short segment. ELLLO, most of our listings are about three minutes. So I would like to make it a little bit longer than that.

So we have people on, have them discuss what they're doing and see if we can kind of wrap it up in about 10 to 15 minutes. So we don't go on too long. Also, I like to have people come on multiple times, not just one time, right? You come on, you do one hour show and then that's it. Maybe people could come on multiple times again and again and again, if have something new that they would like to talk about. That's it, that's the podcast. That's the plan. I hope you like what we are planning to do or what I am planning to do. Thanks for tuning in. I look forward to creating the podcast and thanks so much for taking the time to listen. I really hope you like what I come up with.

Hey, everyone, thanks for listening. If you would like to see the transcripts of this episode and links to the content discussed, please go to elllo.org/teacher where you can find more episodes of ELLLO Teacher as well as lots of free downloadable materials for ESL professionals. Plus we have free tutorials on how to create digital content and teach online. Thanks for listening, and please stay tuned for more episodes of ELLLO Teacher.

Free Courses from ELLLO

About the Teacher

Todd Beuckens is an ESL teacher with over 25 years of classroom experience. He has an M.A. in Learning, Design and Technology from San Diego State University. He is currently based in Japan and is the creator of the following sites.

P.U.S.H. Your Lessons

Teachers can learn to produce, use, share and host digital and print lessons online using a variety of free tools. MEELS offers free training for teachers via five email courses, one starting each month.


Create engaging lesson materials using a variety of free tools, both online and as a downloaded software.


Use your content with your students. Notice what works and what needs improvement, and then make necessary improvements on the fly.


Share your lessons with your students, and other teachers and students around the world using a variety of free distribution platforms such as cloud hosting and social media.


Host your lessons and retain ownership of what you create by creating your own library or lesson portal online using free file hosting services and social media platforms.