Becoming a (More) Reflective Teacher with John F. Fanselow

Reflective teachers already know there can be tremendous benefit from having another pair of eyes in their classroom, just as there can be from observing other teachers’ classes. What if those extra eyes are your own?

The key to becoming a more reflective teacher is learning how to observe what you do in the classroom, accurately and without judgment. John F. Fanselow has long been an advocate of teachers using transcription and recordings to see their teaching and students with new eyes. Start the new year by working closely with John and other teachers from around the world in learning how to reflect on your own classes in ways that will transform your teaching, regardless of your level of experience as a reflective teacher.

Live sessions (registered participants only)

  • January 6th – course participants only (60 minutes)
  • January 13th – course participants only (60 minutes)
  • January 20th – course participants only (60 minutes)
  • January 27th – course participants only (60 minutes)
Time: 12:00 – 13:00 GMT – Check your local time here: CONVERT TIME

Due to the hands-on nature of this course, we will only offer two levels of certification.

Certificate of Distinction

US $169 – Course, Recordings, Handouts, Private Community, Instructor Evaluation, and private consultation with John F. Fanselow (Maximum 5 people).

Certificate of Accomplishment

US $99 – Course, Recordings, Handouts, Private Community, Instructor Evaluation.


As always, iTDi believes that all teachers deserve the same opportunity to improve themselves. Therefore, a limited number of scholarships will be available for this course. Please apply through our scholarship application.

With John you will:

  • Learn how to record and transcribe your classes efficiently and effectively.
  • Learn how to analyze what is happening in classes without judgment.
  • Work with a partner and analyze what is happening in each other’s classes, gaining the benefit of another pair of non-judgmental eyes.
  • Learn how to make small changes in your teaching, based on what you observe, and continue the reflective cycle.

This course is about YOU. More than any other iTDi Faculty, John works with what teachers bring with them to his courses. The direction of the live sessions and discussion will be based on the interests teachers bring with them, and the needs that appear upon reflection.

To become reflective teachers we need to first understand what we’re actually doing in our classrooms. This course is dedicated to that understanding.


  • All participants will be expected to transcribe a portion of their classes based on an audio or video recording they have made. If teachers are currently not teaching, transcriptions will be provided. However, the greatest benefit will be in learning how to transcribe and analyze your own lessons.
  • All participants will be expected to meet with another participant to help each other with transcribing and analyzing before the live sessions.
  • In order to support participants’ efforts, John will have regular office hours during the week where he will be available on Skype.

During the four weeks, you will discover alternative ways to teach things that you already teach. We will explore the “rules” you currently follow – the day-to-day activities you use to teach – and then we will turn those activities upside-down and inside-out in order to find alternative ways of teaching that will result in a deeper understanding of your teaching practice.


This 4-week online iTDi Advanced Skills course will bring up to 100 teachers together in our user-friendly iTDi online classroom every Sunday, and then continue throughout the week, sharing, discussing and reflecting in a private but vibrant online community.

As a registered participant, don’t worry if you ever have to miss a class. You’ll receive weekly recordings of each class, full transcripts of the text chat during class, assigned readings and a PDF of the PowerPoint slides. Furthermore, the online community will certainly become a wealth of ideas and information, and it will remain private and online for your use anytime in the future.

Becoming a More Reflective Teacher with John F. Fanselow

Get your professional development certified with iTDi

Due to the hands-on nature of this course, we will only offer two levels of certification.

Participants working toward a Certificate of Accomplishment will be expected to spend about 35 hours on class work. This includes attending all four live sessions (live or through recordings), participating in class forum discussions and completing assigned tasks. Participants will be expected to submit a class transcription and a reflection on that transcription as a final project.

Certificate of Accomplishment $99

In addition to the requirements for the Certificate of Accomplishment, participants working toward a Certificate of Distinction will have access to two personal coaching sessions with John, after the course has completed. The first will focus on identifying changes to be implemented based on a reflective analysis of the participant’s transcribed class. The second will reflect on the effect those changes made in teaching and learning.

Certificate of Distinction $169


Questions about the course?

About John:

John F. Fanselow became involved in ESOL by becoming a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa in the first group to go to Nigeria in 1961 where he taught at a teacher training college. Upon completion of his Ph.D. at Columbia University, Teachers College, he was invited to join the faculty.

At Teachers College, his main interest was observation and analysis of interactions, both inside and outside of classrooms. “Beyond Rashomon” and “Let’s see,” two of his seminal articles in the TESOL Quarterly, have been reprinted in many anthologies.“Beyond Rashomon” was the basis of Breaking Rules (Longman, 1987) and “Let’s See “was the basis of Contrasting Conversations (Longman,1992, reprinted 2010).

With colleagues at Teachers College and Tatsuya Komatsu from SIMUL, he started an off-campus M.A. Program in Tokyo for Columbia University, Teachers College in 1987. Try the Opposite (Tokyo: SIMUL Press, 1992, 2011) grew out of his work with teachers in Japan.

His latest book, Small Changes in teaching, Big Results in learning—videos, activities and essays to stimulate fresh thinking about language learning was published by iTDi in 2017, on the 30th anniversary of Breaking Rules.

When he became Professor Emeritus in 1996, his students established the John F. Fanselow Scholarship fund to encourage “Fanslovian” ideas and practices among MA students in TESOL at Teachers College in New York and in the off-campus program he established in Tokyo. When he stopped teaching in TC in Tokyo, be was invited to be the president of International Pacific College (Now International Pacific University)in NZ. During his 8 years there, he introduced recording and analyzing classroom interaction that has not likely been done in a systematic way in any other tertiary institution in the world.

He has been active professionally, serving as president of TESOL International and president of New York TESOL. When he completed his work in NZ was a visiting professor at The New School in New York and at Akita International University and Kanda University of International Studies in Japan. In 2005, he was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award from Columbia University, Teachers College. Each year, Teachers College presents 3 to 5 Distinguished Alumni Awards who are selected from the more than 80,000 alumni of the institution.

  • International Teacher Development Institute
© International Teacher Development Institute, 2021