Reflections on authenticity in teaching and learning


My name is Emma Lay and I am from Birmingham in the UK.

My Brummie accent is not as strong as my dad’s. I’ve been in ELT for 17 years.

I thought I was going to be an actress when I was younger. I have worked in UK and overseas schools and universities.

I was in Italy for 6 months; I can speak Italian. I was in Japan for 2 years; I cannot speak Japanese.

I’ve presented at conferences.

My handwriting still changes depending on my mood. I have an MA in Ancient Greek Civilisation.

I have only seen the acropolis in Athens through a car window. I did my DELTA in 2004.

I am a qualified CELTA trainer.

I’m not sure teacher ‘training’ is a nice term.

I have worked as coordinator and Director of Studies.

I forget to take the rubbish out almost every week.

I’m a big believer in critical and transformative pedagogy, and Dogme ELT.

My family think my ideas are too left-wing.

I love hearing people speaking different languages on the bus.

I had a letter from my history teacher telling me to always be myself.

I think the most important thing in teaching is keeping it real.


3 comments on “Me

  1. Anthony Gaughan

    Dear Emma,
    Thank you for subscribing to my blog – but sadly it has been mothballed and so there will be no new posts!

    But that’s OK, because I’ve moved everything over to my own domain and will be blogging on from there – I hope you don’t mind stopping by and subscribing there instead!

    Like the look of your work here too, and hope you get to India sometime soon.

    All the best,


  2. Anonymous

    Dear Emma,
    Actually, you are one of the best teacher in the UK, I am proud of myself that one day I was your student. Thanks for everything which you have done for me.

    • Emma Lay

      Hi there,

      Thank you for your comments, you come up as ‘anonymous’, can I ask who you are?! I always like to hear from previous students!

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