Neil Whitfield’s English and ESL site

“A great resource for all students and teachers…” — Frances M., English Teachers Association Bulletin Board, Mar 25, 2005. (NOTE: corrected link, but if you go there you will find the site referred to by its pre-retirement name and on its old address! The particular page that so impressed Frances M is now here.)

This site has PAGES like any web site and POSTS like a blog.

More quick PAGE navigation

Classified LinksStudent Help GuideBetter English and ESL GuideWriting WorkshopsMulticultural ResourcesLiteracyGLBT Resources

How to use the pages

See the side bar. There you can see all the PAGES listed. Pages are more like free standing web pages rather than daily “diary” posts. Use the pages guide on the right to reach all these FREE STANDING PAGES. These PAGES do not count as POSTS, the things you see when you enter the blog through the front door. It is, I hope, clear enough what the pages are about from the hierarchical arrangement on the right.

Exploring blog posts

You will also find the most recent five posts listed at the top of the side bar, and the current ten most visited posts listed in order of popularity towards the bottom of the bar. Or you can use drop down menus in the side bar to explore posts by month, or by category tag, or you can use the category cloud. Choosing a month or a category displays summaries of a number of posts. At the foot of the display there should be a navigation tab to move on to the next set in that month or category, if there are more…

Now WordPress has added tags which go on individual posts and supplement categories. I have added tags to past posts. That will give you another good way to find what you need.

Where have the links gone?

Classified Links used to be in the side bars, but it became too long. Now they are now on a separate page. Go to the page side bar or the tabs above and click on Links. You will find some excellent blogs by educators and students, and other groups where you may find the site you need. All those links are carefully chosen. They are current as at 18 September 2007.

Please let me know if you find dead links, or have other links to suggest.


Comments are welcome. On any new pages and all posts from now on comment will remain open. In the past I closed posts when they were spammed, or after a few weeks. I have reopened some of the pages where comment had closed, and a few of the posts. The guest book on the left is an alternative if you encounter a closed post or page. It is also a good place to make generic comments about the blog, or to ask questions. Or you may email me from the CONTACT TAB.

Comments here are moderated and spams or irrelevant or offensive comments will be deleted, and all comments may be edited though that will usually be to fix typos and other errors.

Background to this site

For some years now I had an extensive English and ESL site on Tripod, beginning as a class site in 2001, becoming an unofficial school ESL site in 2002. Some material which couldn’t migrate from Tripod to WordPress is now on Geocities, linked from here.

About me

I taught English and History at a number of schools from 1966, including high schools at Cronulla, Dapto, Wollongong, and Fort Street, Sydney Boys and Sydney Girls High Schools.

I also taught at private schools: Illawarra Grammar, Masada, and six months assisting with ESL at SCECGS Redlands. I have been an ELICOS teacher (Wessex College of English 1990) and was ESL teacher at Sydney Boys High from 1997 to 2005. I was a seconded lecturer in Education at the University of Sydney in 1977-78.

Publications and Research

From 1981 to 1985 I edited the little magazine Neos: Young Writers in Sydney. In 1994-1995 Longmans published my anthology of Australian and Chinese writing From Yellow Earth to Eucalypt.

In 1993 I conducted a research project on the teaching of reading in the Botany area of Sydney on behalf of the Disadvantaged Schools Project. From 2001 to 2003 I participated in a UTS/Department of Education research project on scaffolding. I contributed to publications of the NSW English Teachers Association and other groups during the 1970s and early 1980s, during some of which time I was on the ETA State Council. My 1982 article on postmodernism and related matters, “Construction and Misconstruction” in The Teaching of English, was one of the first on the topic in an Australian English teaching journal.

My association with Sydney Boys High goes back fifty years to 1955 when I arrived as a pupil, Ken Andrews having just started his term as Principal. Then in 1985 I began teaching English there on a casual basis, after a year spent working at Harkers Bookshop in Glebe: I’ll never forget the Class of 1986! (Or the Class of 2000 if it comes to that!) For the next 20 years much (but not all) of my work was at SBHS. You can find a sample here.

I continue to tutor and teach casually, though I am officially retired as of 2006. This tuition supplements, but does not encroach on, what the student does in school. It enables the student to do tasks better, but does not take away the student’s responsibility. Interests include reading, theatre, music, good wine and food now and again, even Cricket. Oh, and of course literature, linguistics, religion (lately I have found a home in a remarkably inclusive local Uniting Church) and multicultural and diversity issues. And blogging…

— Neil Whitfield BA (Hons) Dip Ed (Syd) Grad Cert TESOL (UTS).

See also My personal site.

UPDATE January 2008


16 responses to “About

  1. lallison

    November 14, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Here’s a link to a good ESL site to visit for anyone interested in what international school teachers are doing to develop ESL curriculum and international school ESL programs.

  2. Leslie Roll

    May 24, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Hi Neil,
    G’day if you are the real Neil Whitfield, and G’day if you are not.
    I have lost touch with quite a few of my old classmates, and only see a few from time to time. Most recently, I attended the Funeral of Graham Taylor, who passed away after a long battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Eddie Messiter was there, David Anderson, and many others from the old Sutherland Woronora RLFC.
    I had lunch with Peter Meadows about 18 months ago just a couple of km from where we live. That is, we now live in Qld., moving here in 1980 after a couple of breakdowns.
    Our kids did well; twin boys, one Physiotherapist, the other Civil Engineer. the youngest, a girl is an IT Graduate and a stay-at-home Mum.
    If you are the REAL Neil Whitfield, who always beat me for 1st in the class, flick me an email. If not, however don’t bother…………….Cheers……………..Les

  3. Neil

    May 25, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Good Heavens! Yes, he was a classmate.

  4. Neil

    May 27, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Les, I have saved your latest comment elsewhere as I’m not sure you’d want the world to read it. Will be emailing you from my main mailer. BTW that Wu Ninglun thing is just Neil Whitfield in Mandarin.

  5. Leslie Roll

    May 28, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    What the american hell does the acronym ‘BTW’ mean?……………………………Les

  6. Neil

    May 29, 2010 at 8:11 am

    By the way…


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: