Like anyone in this field, I am often harbouring daydreams of projects I would do if I weren’t involved so much in English language teaching. They include television show writer, novelist (who doesn’t secretly dream of writing a novel?) and more “alternative” ELT ideas that for one reason or another are difficult/impossible to do. I figure that if I don’t get this off my chest in a self-indulgent post on my blog then these daydreams will not see the light of day, ever. So, here are six really good ideas I’ve had that will, alas, probably never happen.
1. TV idea 1. The School Door Mums – A soap opera that revolves around the lives of several mothers and is filmed primarily at the doors of the school where they drop their children off. Like a grungier, less glamorous Desperate Housewives.
2. TV idea 2. “English Academy” A reality show in which several B-list celebrities are challenged to learn English in a period of six months. Each episode is filmed in the classroom, as they experience all sorts of different methods. The show culminates with them going to a very small town in the UK or the US to interact with the locals and are evaluated on how they did. Obviously this would only broadcast to non-English speaking countries, although I would license the rights for a “Spanish Academy” for Britain and the US.
3. Novel idea. I’ve often thought of writing a novel in which the main character moves into a horrible old apartment and finds a little switch behind a bookshelf. The switch doesn’t seem to turn anything on or off but soon our hero realises that it freezes time for everyone except him when flipped. The catch is, time is only frozen for 20 minutes. Not really enough time to rob a bank or anything like that. Our hero happens to be a writer of grammar exercises (surprise surprise) and starts using the switch to meet deadlines and get work done. Until a mysterious woman walks through the door one day… Yep, sounds a bit dire. That’s as far as I got.
4. Video game idea. Class Simulator. Around five years ago I was working full time on Certificate courses, observing new teachers make their first faltering steps into the classroom. That’s when I first got this idea. This was in the day before Second Life and all, but I still think a Virtual Class Simulator would be a great video game. You could programme the level of the students, their ages, how well or badly they behave etc etc. Just like a Flight Simulator or a Driving Simulator. You would ask the trainee teacher to log a certain amount of hours doing a virtual class before letting them into the real one.
5. EFL idea. The Beatles #1 Syllabus project. A colleague of mine once suggested that you could probably teach a whole course only using the songs from the Beatles number 1 album (this album). I really liked this idea and thought it could make a great book idea (or at least an article). That is, until I found out how guarded anything to do with the Beatles is. God, if Apple iTunes can’t get them then I doubt I could.
6. My BIG get-rich scheme. To invent and patent a technological invention that teachers would really find useful. I have already blogged about that here, and am still waiting for a rich patron to come along and sponsor one of these.
There you have it. I have logged this blog entry, date and all. Should any of these inventions appear elsewhere after publication of this blog (especially the TV ideas) then hopefully I can still get rich quick by suing the production company that makes them, claiming they were my idea first! Maybe I won’t need to… after all these are six ideas I’m prepared to abandon. I have plenty others up my sleeve I’m not ready just yet to divulge.