Random ideas for ELT people, plus guest blogs & travel notes


I’m not blogging as much as I would like to at the moment, but thankfully lots of other people are. Today I present for your edification six bloggers that I think deserve a wider audience. They are all ELT professionals, a Russian, an American, a Brazilian, a Francophone Canadian, a Greek and a token Brit. They all live in different countries and only two of them currently live in their native country, so a nice eclectic mix. 

Some of them are already making waves in the world of ELT, so you may already know their names. But I think you will find out something new, even about the ones you know.

By the way, I asked them to write three sentences:

(1) to say who they are

(2) to say why they blog

(3) to recommend one other blog that they like.

Note I said THREE sentences. Some teachers never listen to instructions. I haven’t edited down the ones who didn’t or couldn’t follow the rules. Despite or possibly because of the verbosity of some of them, they are all fresh and interesting reads.

Anna Loseva (Анна Лосева)  http://annloseva.posterous.com/ 

I teach English to the students of Physics at Moscow State University, give in-company classes of Business English, help design materials for our English course at the department and dream about making a difference in my profession, some day.

The three reasons for my blogging are: I like challenge (which blogging currently is for me), I want to contribute what I can to the ELT community online, and finally, I need a place to share my thoughts/ideas/reflections/fears and be supported and/or criticised in order to develop.

There are lots of blogs that I unsystematically read, but the one I pick to share with you is 4C in ELT by Tyson Seburn – it’s fresh, professional, honest and unconventional. http://fourc.ca/

Brad Patterson  www.edulang.com/blog/

I’m a language-learning addict and passionate English teacher now living in France and working with an English language publisher called Edulang.  

I help with their social media so I blog about ELT, in addition to my fascinations with language, etymology and of course the great materials that my team and I have written.  

I love Phil Wade’s blog(s) and am blown away by the frequency with which he posts, just as I am by the uncanny creativity with which he explores the world of ELT. http://eflthoughtsandreflections.wordpress.com/

James Taylor   http://www.theteacherjames.blogspot.com/

I’m a freelance teacher of English to adults, teaching mainly business English in a very tech-friendly unplugged kind of way (no, that’s not a contradiction!), currently based in Brussels, Belgium.

I started blogging because I felt that there were things that I needed to get off my chest, whether anyone read it or not (luckily they did!) and I continue to blog because I think it’s my responsibility as a teacher to share my ideas, experiences and opinions with others in my profession, and a blog is the perfect place to do that.

There are so many wonderful blogs out there (including this one!), it’s hard to choose, but I’m going to go back to the source and say Jason Renshaw’s English Raven blog as it’s the first ELT blog I started to read regularly and his ideas had a great influence on my teaching at a time when I really needed guidance. He doesn’t write so much about ELT anymore (ELT’s loss is VCAL’s gain), but it’s well worth perusing his archive for some of the most inspiring and practical articles on ELT I’ve had the pleasure to read.

Willie Cardoso  http://authenticteaching.wordpress.com

Apart from being an iconoclast (in a positive sense, right, Ken?), I’m a strong supporter of self-directed teacher development and of less conventional attitudes toward language learning and teaching, e.g. complexity theory, social semiotics, and philosophy of education.

I blog in order to open dialogues about taken-for-granted teaching stuff (e.g. beliefs, techniques, qualifications); and to reflect on my practice in general.  

I absolutely love the classroom materials that Cristina Milos and her young learners generate; the topics they examine and their output seem to me as truly educational experiences. http://ateacherswonderings.posterous.com/

Josette LeBlanc Throwing Back Tokens http://tokenteach.wordpress.com/

As a teacher trainer in the in-service training program at Keimyung University in Daegu, South Korea, I have two main roles: I teach writing skills and I also help teachers see teaching and learning through a new lens. It can be a challenging balance at times, but the end reward is worth it. When I get feedback from teachers telling me that I helped them be a little bolder when they got back to their teaching contexts, I realize once again that I’m in the right place.

I started blogging because I wanted a space where I could reflect about my teaching in a way that was less isolating than writing in a journal. I liked the idea of the teaching community a blog might connect me to, and I haven’t been disappointed in that aspiration. By sharing my experiences in a blog I’m able to discuss and explore ideas that would remain lonely in my notebook. I’m so excited about blogging that I presented about it last year at the KOTESOL National Conference: http://tokenteach.wordpress.com/presentations/blogging-creative-interaction/ 

My blogging community is so dear to me. It’s hard to choose just one blog to share. I’ll share this one because I think this blogger has grown so much over the last year: Observing the Class by John Pfordresher. John is an enthusiastic, creative teacher who isn’t afraid to push his boundaries. I highly recommend reading his About page to find out what innovative work he’s up to in his teaching communities. http://observingtheclass.wordpress.com/about/

Christina Martidou  http://christinamartidou.edublogs.org/

I have been working as an English teacher for the past eleven years. I currently work freelance as a private tutor and part-time for the British Council in Thessaloniki, Greece. My students vary from young learners to teenagers. I mainly prepare learners for the Cambridge ESOL exams, develop my own technology-based materials and love writing on my new blog. My motto as an educator is ‘Teach for the future’.

I decided to become a blogger because I want to share my knowledge and experiences with other EFL teachers, extend my PLN as well as show how teachers can enrich lessons with the embracement of technology to make teaching and learning relevant to their students’ out-of-school reality.

Connecting and learning from other colleagues on the blogosphere is really valuable for me! Two blogs I follow systematically are Özge Karaoğlu’s and Edmund Dudley’s. Özge’s blog is interesting, regularly updated and provides great resources for edtech lovers! Edmund Dudley’s blog is straightforward, enjoyable to read with some cool teaching ideas for English language teachers.




Comments on: "Heads up – six bloggers you should be reading…" (15)

  1. Ken, many thanks for featuring me on this list, especially in such wonderful company. What an honour!

  2. I absolutely can’t follow instructions. Didn’t see the request for 3 sentences until now. 😛 I guess teachers always need to be reminded of basic practices.

    Following James, thank you very much for putting me next to such an amazing group of teachers/bloggers. Humbled.

    *end verbosity. 😉

    • I’m a little worried now that I didn’t give you the same instructions as the others, Josette. Apologies for the implied criticism if I didn’t! 😛

      • No criticism at all. Just fun. 🙂 And my apologies for instigating worry. I really didn’t follow your suggestion! I read the email again yesterday and it clearly said 3 sentences. 😛 Thanks again for the chance and also the laughs!

  3. I wouldn’t follow the instructions for just anybody, but for Monsieur Ken, I toe the line. 😉

    Thanks for the kind share, Ken and love reading all of the other folks mentioned.

    Wish u were in Paris with us this weekend.


    • There just aren’t enough weeks in the year, Brad. I’ve only been home one weekend since the end of September, and I was ill then! I’m sure you will all have a great, great time, and best wishes to everyone I know.

  4. A couple of new ones for me to check out. Thanks, Ken.

    • You’re welcome, Adam. And don’t worry about the Wired In conference – no one’s going to come to my anti-tech presentation. Actually, it isn’t actually ant-tech at all, just glorifying the occasional power of pen and paper. 🙂

  5. Ken, I’m honoured to see myself on the pages of your blog:) thank you very much for featuring me, it feels truly special. And what a fantastic company! I’ve also discovered a couple of interesting blogs new for me.
    Special thanks for writing my name in Russian, it was a surprise!)

    By the way, you can expect at least one person at your anti-tech-pro-pen&paper talk for sure.

  6. Aisha Ertugrul said:

    I am impressed and will have a look. Thank you.

    Once you say, ” you will be featured on my blog,” a burst of nervous excitement probably erases any recall of minor details as, “write three sentences.” (three sentences wouldn’t have made me curiously motivated to peel myself away and read the blogs; too much would have knocked me off the page too soon; so, it is perfect the way you edited it.)

  7. Thanks, Ken!
    It’s good to be among such great people!

    I think I followed the rules even though I don’t remember reading any. Luckily, you’re not like an association’s committee that has to reject a proposal because the presenter had gone one word over the limit in their abstract 😉


  8. James, you do me too much honour! Finding this link here, however, made me wonder whether (a) I am in fact all that far away from ELT with my blog nowadays, and (b) I might end up back there in ELT one day, with a very fresh mindset…

    In any case, I love James’ blog, as well as many of the others featured in this post, so thanks for the reminder to come and check them out again!


    Mr. Raven

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