Browsing Archives of Author »Neal Zupancic«

Do I Really Have To Plan My Lessons?

July 30, 2012


I know from experience that it’s very tempting to let lesson planning fall by the wayside – it’s time-consuming, sometimes we don’t have the materials in advance of the lesson, and it involves lots of communication and face time with your coteachers, which can sometimes be hard to come by. Worst of all, there are […]

Lesson Planning 101

July 27, 2012


There’s no universally agreed-on structure for a lesson plan (or for a lesson, for that matter) but this post will list the bare bones of what you’ll need to put on paper to make a decent lesson plan. Subsequent posts will explore how to make this decent lesson plan into a great lesson plan – […]

The Importance of Lesson Planning

July 26, 2012


With two years of EFL teaching, and a TEFL certificate, under my belt, I feel like I am finally moving from “amateur” to “novice” in my ranking as a teacher. One of the things about developing new skills is that you will occasionally have huge insights that put a whole bunch of different experiences and […]

Thanks Fine

July 23, 2012


When TLG brought us to Georgia, they gave us a week of language instruction in Georgian so that we could survive and get around and meet people. It was very basic things, like greetings, numbers, etc. In that week, one of the first things we learned was the phrase “How are you?” and several possible […]

CNN: Hydroelectric Power in Georgia

July 3, 2012


CNN did another special feature on Georgia (they seem to do one every year…) and I am embarrassed to say that I only got 7 out of 10 of their quiz questions right this time around. Here’s the promo: This time the series comes with a bunch of really interesting videos, all on YouTube, as […]


June 26, 2012


Due to popular demand, TLG organized a second excursion to Kazbegi National Park. The park is huge, of course – far too big to see all of it in one day. However, the tour we took was enough to show me that, someday when I have the time, I’d love to spend a couple of […]

Fresh Apricot Wedding Cake

June 21, 2012


I think I picked the perfect time to get married. When my wife and I arrived at the home of my brand new extended family – a two-story house in Upper Vake with an expansive garden and orchard – one of the first things I noticed were the apricots falling off the apricot tree. They […]


June 18, 2012


I’m starting to get used to goodbyes. As a TLG volunteer just rounding out my second year, this is now old hat. The friends I’ve made over the past months will go their separate ways – some back home, some to other countries, some to their summer assignments in Georgia. Most, I will never see […]


June 1, 2012


Sixteen years ago – in May, 1996 – two of my friends and I got ticket vouchers for the advance screening of a movie called Independence Day. This was before the marketing for the movie got underway so none of us really knew what to expect, but we dutifully arrived at the theatre several hours […]

Moving Forward with Information Technology

May 25, 2012


I just read a press release about the new integrated English and computer skills exam. This is the second year the exam has been given, and apparently both the number of people who attempted the exam and the percentage who passed increased. As we’ve mentioned before, teachers who pass this exam get a salary bump, […]


May 14, 2012


It’s mid-May, and the end of the school year is a month away. Volunteers who are leaving Georgia – for vacation or forever – already have their flight itineraries. Now commences the countdown. 30 days until I probably never see this friend again. 33 days for this other friend. Some people are eager to go […]

No Touching

May 8, 2012


I know I risk sounding like the Professor Snape of TLG with all these posts about how kids in Georgia need a little discipline in their diets, but it’s taken me a while to put my finger on exactly how deep the cultural differences go between American education and Georgian education. As I’ve said before, […]

Davit Gareji

May 6, 2012


Sunday was the TLG excursion to Ninotsminda and Davit Gareji. I’ve wanted to hit up Davit Gareji for like a year, mostly because I like archaeology and anthropology and think caves are wicked cool. For me, this trip was the last in the Cave City Trifecta: Vardzia, Uplistsikhe, and now Davit Gareji. Davit Gareji is […]

No Running In The Halls

April 25, 2012


I generally don’t complain about kids running in the halls, because I get no sympathy. I think most TLGVs agree that running in the halls is, in the grand scheme of things, the least of our worries. I think most Georgians have no idea that an alternative exists, and regard my complaining about kids running […]

A New Round of Excursions!

April 23, 2012


Volunteers, check your emails! TLG just announced the next round of the famous TLG Excursions! Based on my experiences last year, I can say with confidence that when TLG puts together a field trip, they do it right. I’ve been to Vardzia, Gori and Uplistsikhe, Kachreti, and Batumi with TLG (one of the benefits of […]