Shaping an agenda through experience(s)

William P Grabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


After finishing a B.A. degree in History and Political Sciences from Valparaiso University, I began my post-undergraduate life going into the U. S. Peace Corps and spending three years as an English as a foreign language (EFL) teacher in lycees in Morocco. After all, in 1973, agreeing to a free summer vacation in Morocco for Peace Corps training, if nothing else, seemed like a good deal. Little did I know that an EFL/ESL (English as a second language)/applied linguistics life would begin at that point. I did learn that I liked teaching (which surprised me a bit) and the opportunities for creativity it provided (even if teaching with 'Martin and Jillian' (Broughton 1968) and First things first (Alexander 1972) (for those who remember). As a young teacher, I vividly remember, as a break from the routine, teaching my senior students the lyrics to 'All Along the Watchtower,' first the Bob Dylan version, then the Jimi Hendricks version. Sometimes we just have to take some chances. Morocco was also a great place to be in the middle of multilingualism in action: Moroccan Arabic, Berber, Modern Standard Arabic, French, Spanish, and English. For many of my students, English was their fifth language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-134
Number of pages15
JournalLanguage Teaching
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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