Apologies that I’ve had to delete the tinyurl references to the guest blogs themselves. For some reason, they linked to my dashboard page, where visitors could – theoretically – edit the entries. I’m sure no one would have taken the opportunity to do that, but I can’t take the risk. I don’t have libel insurance!
I’m coming to the end of my first complete calendar year as a blogger and I’m rather pleased that my idle musings here have been spiced up fairly frequently by some really entertaining and informative guest blogs.
I posted the first one – Agata Zgarda’s story about hosting a Polish dinner party in Brazil – exactly one year ago today, 11th December 2009. I’ve recently posted Guest Blog number 25, by Ania Musielak, about using drama techniques to teach English to Polish soldiers.
It’s a complete chance that my first and most recent guest bloggers are both Polish, but not really a surprise that they aren’t native speakers of English (although they are GANESTs – the acronym I coined myself – work it out).
There have also been posts by another two Polish teachers, two Romanians, two Brazilians, a Turk, two Hungarians, a Slovakian, an Argentinian and a Sri Lankan. The native speaker GBs are an American in Paris, a Mexican-American in Germany, a Greek-Canadian in Switzerland, a South African in Korea and six Brits, including an Englishman in Romania, an English woman in Japan (both from Yorkshire, I’ve just realised) and a Welsh woman in Vietnam. There was even a UK-based primary school teacher who wanted to remain anonymous. A pretty broad church, IMHO.
My slight concern is that only three of the twenty-five GBs are men (so enormous thanks to Andy, Carlos and Tamás for your contributions). I have a GBP on the back burner from Simon Greenall to start the new year with, but other male contributions are thin – in fact invisible – on the ground.
I’ve asked lots of men to contribute, and they’ve all said “Yes! Yes! Love to!” and then disappeared off the radar. I won’t embarrass them by naming them, except to say that I would still love to get the pieces you (pl) promised.
So boys, if you can find time between drinking (a) pints of Guinness (b) glasses of pálinka and/or (c) whatever it is you drink down there in Kent, I’m still open for business in 2011.
And – in case the boys are now too embarrassed to put pen to paper for fear of being exposed as Guinness/pálinka drinkers, or having to admit they live in Kent, can I also say that I’m always on the look-out for interesting stories from around the world about how people deal with their lives and work. From women AND men.
However, I’m not interested in anything that smacks of advertising, even if it’s a website which is free to users, so apologies to the people I’ve already turned down for that reason.
So with a big DA-DAAAAA fanfare, here’s a roll call of my 25 marvellous guests and a reminder of the things they wrote about.
1 Agata Zgarda on giving a Polish dinner party in Brazil
2 Vicky Loras on growing up in Canada
3 Cristiana Crivatz with an atmospheric story from Romania
4 Carlos Gontow, with a sketch from Brazil
5 Özge Karaoğlu’s amazing animations
6 Arjana Blazic on teaching, travelling and exchanges
7 Tamás Lőrincz on Iraqi Kurdistan
8 Anita Kwiatkowska on Teacher Burnout
9 Melania Paduraru on Romanians speaking English, and other political matters
10 Orsi Nagy from Hungary on downloadable vocabulary stuff for kids
11 Andy Hockley’s inspiring tale about a former colleague
12 Laura Ponting’s Vietnam adventure
13 Bethany Cagnol on teaching English in France
14 Shelly Terrell on children of immigrants
15 Sheetal Makhan on living and working in Korea
16 Emma Herrod on attending first conferences
17 Joanne Sato on falling in love in (and with) Japan
19 Sue Lyon-Jones on teaching the unteachable
20 Mihirini de Zoysa on the I Can project in Sri Lanka
21 Beccy on teaching ‘difficult’ primary school pupils
22 Ania Kozicka on serious drama with young learners
23 Vladimira Michalkova on getting students to write diaries
24 Cecilia Coelho on giving meaningful feedback
25 Ania Musielak on using drama games with soldiers
Despite the terrible political and economic conditions just about everywhere in the world, it’s hard not to wish everyone a successful 2011. Remember there’s safety in numbers – if you can’t meet like-minded people, try to keep in touch in cyberspace.