Beginning with our Special Feature focusing on the life-transforming issue of retirement,consider the following:
There is a whole new kind of life ahead, full of experiences just waiting to happen. Some call it ‘retirement’. I call it bliss.– Betty Sullivan
Others will keep working because the ‘gold’in our so-called ‘golden years’doesn’t have to come from watching sunsets.– Arianna Huffington
Life is not measured by the number in your bank account, but the memories you create. Therefore, focus on how your finances can maximize your life, not the other way around.–Cooper Mitchell
Providing the thematic focus for this Special Feature is Briony Beaven’s deeply thought-provoking article, “A Lifetime in English Teaching”, an immensely insightful essay drawn from the author’s own personal life, combined with empirical evidence gathered from various sources. For Beaven, retirement, regardless of how one might view it, is a multidimensional time of life that goes beyond looking forward to having more time to oneself. Stressing thevery important psychological component to retirement that is often overlooked, Beaven suggests the cultivation of a certain kind of mindset – one which considers what being retired really means, including understanding not just the financial, but the psychological and emotional aspects of this life-changing event.
For this Special Feature, our editors, Caroline Grünig and Elsbeth Mader, asked a number of retired ELT colleagues about this transition in their lives in response to Briony Beaven’s article. Here they share their own stories about transforming the new landscape into a familiar territory, coping with a myriad of changes that accompany their retirement,and enjoying this phase of their lives with a new sense of purpose.My profound gratitude and appreciation to Briony Beaven, Alison Taylor-Baillie, Heather Murray, JoAnn Salvisberg, and Susan Manton for lighting the way for those of us who will be heading in this direction, sooner or later, with their valuable insights.
Caroline and Elsbeth have always been extraordinarily generous with their support of intiatives I take on behalf of ETAS Journal. For their hardwork in assembling this Special Feature, I owe them an enormous debt of gratitude. Judith Mader inspired the idea behind this Special Feature. For many long and deeply intellectual email exchanges, personally uplifting conversations, and for sharing Briony’s IATEFL talk, sincerest thanks and appreciation to Judith.
Also in this issue, we continue the tradition of offering writings that provide insights into some of the current issues in English language teaching and learning, this time with a Special Supplement on Business English – A Teacher’s Guide to Excelling in Teaching Business English. Markus Jürgen Dietz, David, Kaufher, and Emilia Siravo highlight the urgency of adapting to the changing needs of learners in an ever-evolving business context: accelerating developments in communications and technology that have rendered the world much smaller, altering forever the way business is conducted not just on a global scale, but more quickly and easily.
As a result, the internationalisation of business has wrought significant changes not just in business practice but also to the teaching and learning of Business English,what we teach, and how we teach it, including a number of shifts: from teaching language structures to integrating interpersonal and soft skills into the BE syllabus; from focusing on accents to developing fluency and listening skills with increased intelligibility as an objective; and from traditional classroom contexts to the use of new models for delivering classes afforded by an ever-evolving technology.
The authors in this Supplement introduce approaches that trigger fresh ideas about innovative Business English pedagogy, new insights into key issues that are emerging and are of contemporary interest, and new ways of conceiving and engaging the field of Business English language teaching. Drawing on their respective experiences, they share practices and experiments, including new methods, techniques, and materials they have tried and found effective in their classrooms. We are enormously grateful to them for sharing their fine work with our readers. Markus, David, and Emilia deserve so much gratitude for making this collection a fitting offering to all our readers, especially those teaching Business English.