My name is Phil Longwell. I live in the United Kingdom. I am also known online as ‘Teacher Phili’, which was a nickname that some children in a Tanzanian orphanage called me and it stuck. I have been an English language teacher since 2006 and an EAP (pre-sessional) tutor since 2013. I am currently an Academic Study Skills Tutor with the Centre for Collaborative Learning at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Preston.
This WordPress site is my space to write about my experiences in English Language Teaching, conferences, webinars, ELTchat summaries, reflections and a place to showcase some of the short films that I have created (2006-21).
I am a freelance English language tutor offering my services online only. I teach using Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams. I specialise in IELTS preparation, but also general English. If you have come here looking for private English tuition then please contact me via First Tutors.
I have a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) from NILE (2009) and an MA (distinction) in English Language Teaching from the University of Warwick (2012) with a specialism in ICT and Mulitmedia. I started teaching by volunteering in Tanzania. I have subsequently worked in South Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and the UK. I have worked in Cambridge for Bell Educational Trust on 3 young learner residential courses. I worked as an EAP pre-sessional teacher at De Montfort University, Leicester (2013) and taught at INTO UEA, Norwich on two successive pre-sessional courses (2017, 2018). In addition, I was an IELTS invigilator there until it ended in March 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020 and 2021, I worked for the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC), University of Sheffield, on a 10-week summer pre-sessional, with all the teaching conducted online.
From December 2017 – August 2021, I worked for Adult Learning (Norfolk County Council), initially as an ESOL and Functional Skills tutor. From May 2020, I was a non-accredited tutor, training colleagues and new learners to use learning technologies. For 18 months prior to this, I was a volunteer teaching assistant with two ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes in Norwich – one of which was for Mind, the mental health charity. In addition, I have taught refugees and asylum seekers at New Routes integration, a Norwich based charity, as well as working with the People from Abroad team, teaching (mostly Syrian). Between 2017 and 2020, I was the sole tutor on three English for Driving Theory courses, which attracted a lot of interest from other providers in the UK and still does.
I have specific interests in the areas of educational technology, learner autonomy, ICT, ESOL, EAP, teaching refugees and filmmaking. I am particularly keen on making tutorials (screencasts) to train teachers or learners, giving digital feedback on written tasks. I have been employed to do promotional work for the Teacher Training Videos website and have been employed as its communications manager in the past. This website saw particular growth in 2020 and was part of this response to the shift to solely online delivery of courses. In addition, I am interested in teacher development, attending conferences, webinars and delivering blended learning. I used to regularly take part in the Twitter forum #ELTchat (2011-2019) for which I have written sixteen summaries, making me a ‘Gold Medal’ writer and these can all be found in a separate page via the link above. I still use Twitter but more occasionally now than before.
I was a member of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) from 2012 to 2021. In addition, from December 2017 – December 2020, I was the newsletter editor, then webmaster of the Learning Technologies Special Interest Group (LTSIG). I first attended the annual IATEFL conference in Glasgow 2012 and presented at it for the first time in Brighton 2018, on the topic of mental health. I ran a workshop in Liverpool 2019 – a recording of which is on this blog – and ran workshops in between those two conferences. I have also presented at the 8th Image Conference when it was held in Brussels, 2019. I have undertaken mental health training with Norwich Mind, the UK mental health charity. I was also an advocate for the now retired ‘Time To Change’ campaign in the UK. From April 2021, I joined a Professional Learning Communities initiative called Globe from TransformELT as its Mental Health in ELT mentor using a Moodle platform or incubator.
This WordPress blog began in January 2014, when I switched from using Blogger. I kept a blog about my travels from 2006-2013 (‘Phil’s Adventures‘, later ‘TP TEFL Travels‘). and kept a separate blog of my ICT in ELT module (2012) whilst a student at Warwick.
14 things about me:
As I started this blog in 2014, I will share 14 further, slightly random but true things about me:
1. I was born on Decimal Day and as a child had a post office savings account with ‘Decimus’ as a middle name. I mentioned this in a recent storytelling event.
2. I grew up in the East End of London. Our back garden overlooked the derelict docklands on the Isle of Dogs, pre-dating the Canary Wharf complex that was built in the 1980s.
3. The first 7″ single I ever bought was ‘Summer Nights’ from the Soundtrack to the film, Grease. This was closely followed by Rat Trap by The Boomtown Rats, which actually took over from ‘Summer Nights’ at the number one spot in the UK. They famously made reference to this in their Top of the Pops performance in 1978.
4. The first home computer I owned and used to program was a Sinclair ZX81. I later owned and made games for my Commodore 64 console.
5. My favourite sport as secondary school was cross-country running as it was the only sport I was ever any good at. I am, otherwise, the proud owner of ‘two left feet’.
6. My favourite film of all time is One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), followed by Monty Python’s Life Of Brian (1979), The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Groundhog Day (1993).
7. I used to play piano and sing in an amateur traditional jazz band. We released one CD entitled ‘First Time On Grass’, in 1993.
8. My first degree was in Sociology. I studied at Anglia Ruskin University (formerly a polytechnic) in Cambridge, 1998-2001.
9. I worked behind a bar for two years in my hometown of Wells-next-the-Sea, 2005-7.
10. I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2007, the highest free standing mountain in the world. I produced an hour long film about the climb entitled, ‘Phili Does Kili’.
11. I don’t like Cricket. I love it.
12. My favourite TV series ever is/was HBO’s Six Feet Under, followed by The Sopranos, Dexter and Game of Thrones. There seems to be a lot of death in those choices, though.
13. For 4 years I volunteered at Jimmy’s, a homeless night shelter.
14. I cook a mean moussaka and kimchi jjigae.