Dorothy E. Zemach taught ESL for over 18 years, in Asia, Africa, and the US. She holds an MA in TESL from the School for International Training in Vermont, USA. Now she concentrates on writing, editing, and publishing ELT materials and textbooks and conducting teacher training workshops. Her areas of specialty and interest are teaching writing, teaching reading, business English, academic English, testing, and humor. She is a frequent plenary speaker at international conferences, and a regular blogger for Teacher Talk at www.azargrammar.com.
What inspired and continues to inspire you to work in ELT?
I work as a teacher trainer now, generally in areas of the world where teachers don't have so many chances to travel to conferences and engage in professional development. I'm inspired by the idea that every teacher I can help, in turn helps hundreds of students.
What question are you asked most often by teachers and how do you respond?
"How can I increase student motivation?" Students feel motivated when they understand the value of what they're learning, and when they feel successful. Sometimes teachers see those things, but students don't; so it helps to make your lesson goals transparent, and to help students to recognize their own successes and progress.
Tell us about your most recent projects with Macmillan.
I'm the series consultant for Skillful, Macmillan's five-level dual skills course (reading/writing, and listening/speaking). I love that series because the topics and texts are so varied and interesting; I also think it teaches a wide variety of study skills very well. I recently finished working on the second edition of Open Mind, a four-skills coursebook with an innovative and highly practical "life skills" strand that helps students connect the classroom to different areas of their lives.
My top teaching tip:
Help students learn to manage their digital lives i.e., turn off the Internet while writing/typing, use applications that block social media while researching online, etc.