Joey Poulshock (Dr. Shock)

Welcome to, the blog of  Joey Poulshock (aka Dr. Shock), professor, author, photographer, singer-songwriter, and Editor of

With over 20 years experience in language education, Joey is a Professor (of English Linguistics) in the School of International Communication, Department of Intercultural Communication at Senshu University. He also has taught linguistics and language teaching methods in the Teacher Education Program Meiji Gakuin University. Continue reading

Language Teaching with Story-Logic

When educators fail to infuse teaching and learning with the logic of story, they deprive themselves and their students of the most powerful form of communication and teaching available to the human mind — for the promotion of all learning. For example, when Brown et al. (2014) wrote their renowned book about the science of successful learning, they hired a storyteller as their third author. Though the effectiveness of story-logic connects to all forms of learning, this paper focuses specifically on language education. It provides a succinct definition of the magnetic elements of story and a clear theory for story-logical language education. It also sets out a simple framework, Nation’s four-strands (Nation, 2007), which language teachers can use as a guide to add story-logic in every aspect of language teaching. And it summarizes an experiment where participants liked the characters more, enjoyed the text more, and recalled and comprehended information better when it was embedded in and infused with story-logic.

This is an abstract for a paper that will be published by Senshu University Institute for the Humanities. The attached PDF is the questionnaire used for the experiment in the study.

Here is a PDF of the article Language Teaching with Story-Logic.

Story-Centric Language Teaching — Focus on Form

A talk for The Japanese Association for Studies in English Communication (JASEC), The Twenty-ninth Annual Convention (online Zoom convention), October 17, 2020.

In this talk, I claim that humans are naturally wired for story. We find story more comprehensible, memorable, and compelling than non-story. And though story may be the language teacher’s oldest tool, we can clarify and simplify how we define story. And with the clear and simple sense of story, we can work to weave it more deeply into every strand of language education — making all our language teaching — more story-centric.

Language teachers may easily weave story into input, output, and fluency activities, but grammar and form-focused activities present a more difficult challenge because we usually teach grammar simply by focusing on the nuts and bolts of language. Thus, in this talk I introduce a few ways that we can infuse story into the teaching of linguistics forms.

Click here for a PDF of the talk.

The Bigger Benefits of Big Reading

Mortimer J. Adler said, “Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.” Many English learners work the hard way doing test prep. But their hard study doesn’t always make their lives better. It may even make them suffer. But there is a better way. They can still study for English exams. But they can also balance their lives as they improve their English by reading big. And they can enjoy the many benefits of big reading for the good life. (1) They can enjoy more play and pleasure by reading big; (2) they can get more intelligence and smarts by reading big; (3) and they can grow more happiness and satisfaction — by reading big!

A virtual talk given at the 14th edition of vERtual TALK (October 3, 2020) in association with the Chapter of UIN Raden Intan Lampung, and in collaboration with the Indonesian Extensive Reading Association (IERA) and Extensive Reading Foundation (ERF). Click on the image to download a PDF of the talk.

Extensive Reading — The Clearest Explainer

We can find many explanations of extensive reading online. Some are good; some are long; some are hard; and some are wrong. Because there are so many explanations of extensive reading, at ReadOasis we wanted to publish one in English that stands out as unique.

We wrote the clearest, simplest, and easiest explanation of extensive reading in the world.

We compared our “explainer” with 10 of the top online articles that explain extensive reading. We used 6 tests to compare our explainer with others.

  • Flesch Reading Ease
  • Flesch-Kincaid Grade
  • Gunning Fog index
  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)
  • The Writer’s Diet Test
  • British National Corpus Vocabulary Levels

You can see the data comparison below. It shows that our story scored easier, simpler, and clearer on all 6 tests. In fact, the scores were not even close! Our story scores much easier and clearer than all the others. Yay clarity!

At the same time, we provide a simple and substantial answer to the question: What is extensive reading?

Click for data comparison.