Welcome to the John F. Fanselow site.

Please join John in exploring and discovering the world of language teaching. You will find blog posts with comments, forum discussions and links to John’s work.

John has long been an advocate of careful self-observation, noticing small details, experimenting with original and varied procedures, factoring in the affective features of learning – and above all with challenging our routines, habits and preconceptions.


John F Fanselow’s journey began as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria in 1961 at a teacher training college. John has worn many hats during his long career but his main interest remains challenging teachers to think about what happens in their own classrooms.

John’s seminal articles Beyond Rashomon and Let’s See have been reprinted in many anthologies, and formed the basis of his groundbreaking books Breaking Rules and Contrasting Conversations.

His latest book, SMALL CHANGES in teaching BIG RESULTS in Learning was published by iTDi  in 2017, on the 30th anniversary of his book Breaking Rules —called a groundbreaking book in Jeremy Harmer’s comprehensive ESOL methods book.


My quest to understand learning and teaching

This is an introduction to the chapter I wrote for Developing Expertise Through Experience, edited by Alan Maley. The book is available as a free download. You can also listen to me discuss this as part of a Panel Discussion by the Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (SPELT).

ALAN MALEY’s latest book

Maley Print Chapter (1)Fellow explorers.  Alan Maley, the most creative voice in our field for decades, edited a book published by the British Council titled Developing expertise through experience in 2019. I think it is a must read! Full disclosure—I wrote one of the 20 chapters. Alan asked 20 people from all over the world, most non-native …


We invite you to comment on John’s posts. You can also engage with John in discussions regarding putting into practice the ideas in his latest book, Small Changes in Teaching Big Results in Learning, by visiting the iTDi Forums.

Please send a message if you have any comments or requests regarding the site.