CT: Thanks for joining us, Jordan. Could you tell us about what inspired this new movement in ESL criticism?
JG: Of course! I was on the way to Greggs to buy some vegan sausage rolls for my dog, thinking as I walked about Jim Shriveller and Adrian Overdale. As usual I was ranting to myself how they’d managed to get a whole conversation going and create a cash cow for themselves with nothing but a few unanswered questions and vague suggestions. On the way to Greggs I had stopped to get some money from the ATM and I discovered that my bank account was empty, mostly because I had spent so much on my ticket for that damned IATEFL conference where everyone’s an idiot. As I stared at the digital readout on the screen I suddenly started thinking, “Could I be doing… more with my criticism of EFL methods?”
CT: Could you be a bit more specific?
Jordan pauses and gazes around the pub for a moment.
JG: I mean, have I become ritualistic in the way I pillory my peers? Is there any way I can stop “covering material” and focus on the potential for deeper, more vindictive knife-twisting?
CT: And what did you conclude?
JG: Look, first of all, this isn’t a methodology. I’m not telling ESL professionals they should make wholesale changes to what they do. Rather, I would phrase it as a series of questions. Where is the bollocks in ELT? How can I raise criticism of the bollocks? And, if I do, will my dog get his vegan sausage rolls?
CT: Right. Can you give any practical examples?
Jordan’s lip quivers as he wipes a bead of sweat from his brow.
JG: Practical examples? Ok, here’s one for you. The other day I tweeted at Cambridge English using the phrase, “hypocritical, cloying, contrived clap-trap.” Now, we know they can read that string and feel demeaned by it but then I asked myself, how can I do more? So, I phoned up Cambridge English and chanted the phrase several times to the girl who answered the phone, getting her to hum the melody and clap the rhythm before repeating it back to me.
CT: And did it produce the result you wanted?
JG: Absolutely. She was most embarrassed. By the way, I hope you haven’t flown all the way to The U.K. just to interview me, because if you have-
CT: Jordan Geoffrey, thank you.
JG: Your blog’s shit.