8 Great ELT Blogs Plus The Stars On My Blog Roll

Once you've been blogging for a bit... sorry this month is all a bit techie, isn't it, promise will be back to my usual EFL/ESL tips later this week, it's all 'cause of the carnival, see, the one with the advice for newbies - to be published next week...

Anyhoo, you really get a whole bunch of requests to be put up on the blog roll (the list of links on the left side of the screen, further down) so I've decided to establish a policy regarding this.

My blog roll is about my own Personal Learning Network: fellow bloggers who like sharing conversations with me, communicating with me here and over on their own blogs - we talk about different ideas and teaching approaches, discuss opinions, pass on worksheets or tips to one another, that sort of thing. Kinda like a virtual staffroom.

They are a crucial part of my professional development so me listing them isn't just about reciprocal linking but is actually a reflection of the respect I have for them, is a public appreciation of our relationship and it's also saying to you go see the work they do too.

First of all, I'd like to let you into just one small slice of what I get in the mail:

This would be a NO. No, I will not visit.

In extremely poor taste, his blog will never appear on my blog roll and no I will not publish his comments although I definitely will snap a picture of it and show it to you.

This is also a NO. He's got good manners so I actually read the email and just after posting this up will send him the link to this posting.

It's a no because actually the blog has nothing to do with teaching English, ELT issues, edtech issues - why would he want to be on my blog roll?

Oh, it's not at all about my posts, he hasn't actually read any of them... it's simply a nicely written form letter... ho hummm, trash....

This is YES.

Not only has Andy participated in the discussion going on the page (in fact he's disagreeing with me) but when leaving us behind with his own URL, he left it because it has relevance to the conversation and is an invitation for me/us to continue on the conversation.

As a result I am not only looking forward to reading his response but expect that I'll enjoy being a part of his professional community.

He made it to my blog roll despite only having written 2 postings so far!

Now drum roll....

My Absolute Faves

1. Alex Case of TEFLtastic
Alex taught me how to blog. What can I say, it was the first blog I ever read.

It is still the only EFL blog I read every week, often twice a week. This is second only to Seth Godin, who is my hero and whose blog I read daily. More sneezing about Seth later this week, from an ESP:Marketing perspective, of course.

Anyway, Alex doesn't know it but I studied his blog for months before attempting to launch my own.

Witty, very knowledgeable about methodology and the best books to read, he dishes out worksheets like they're candy and there's rarely blowing trumpets of hot air over on his site.

I like his 15 ways to do everything.

2. Larry Ferlazzo
He's the King of Resources. Anything you need when you're planning a lesson, just head on over to his site, look for the search bar and type it in. I guarantee you will find what you want or I'll eat my hat.

I don't have a hat, perhaps I'll eat my sunglasses.

3. Gavin Dudeney on ThatS'Life
He's evil. His satire is often misunderstood. My sarcastic retorts further distort and no one knows which way is up.

I really don't know what he eats for breakfast nor how he takes his coffee (er, he's on twitter) but I do know that absolutely no one else in TEFL has me in stitches as often as he does.

Except for Ken Wilson who doesn't have a blog... yet!

4. Lindsay Clandfield on Six Things
Lindsay knows a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff. He posts nice short structured posts which are imaginative, interesting and one of his special angles is on interviewing the various methodology authors in our field.

Always fascinating.

5. Neal on Neal
So Chambers decided he needed to have another web location to go get tough, let off the steam, off the grid.

But I found him off in the middle of Japan, and oops happen to I love this blog even more than the other (he writes English Spark too, for your students). I might end up volunteering to do one or two of my random rants on his site as a guest writer but he doesn't know I'm thinking about doing this.

The theme of this one is mainly on social media type issues plus general thoughts he's having about Japan or teacher training development etc, do pop on over - in this particular posting he's talking about the importance of the tiny profile picture.

6. Shelley Terrell of Teacher Reboot Camp
Decidely ed-tech. Although Shelly is a relative newcomer to the blogosphere, she has taken a fresh approach to blogging about teaching with technology which I really like.

She also has a really warm way of pulling you into her posts while she talks about tools, how to use them plus sets up regular professional development tasks.

7. Anne Hodgson on the Island Weekly
Anne is very imaginative. She writes on various themes - ranging from using songs in the classroom to discussing reflective learning strategies. Her blog is mainly aimed at language learners but I tend to go over there quite a bit and enjoy her posts.

8. Janet Abruzzo
She always finds fantastic videos, experiments with all kinds of new tools and tricks - I'll never keep up!

Her writing's crisp, clear and very authentic.

For more really great EFL'rs, sneak a peak to the left side of the screen - all top notch stuff!


p.s. What do you think about blog rolls in general, are you glad to have a list of other good sites to look at or aren't you bothered much?

And if you happen to be a blogger, do you agree with my policy? Do you also enjoy the blogs I've chosen? Have any questions?

8 Responses to “8 Great ELT Blogs Plus The Stars On My Blog Roll”

  • Larry Ferlazzo says:
    July 27, 2009

    Thanks for including me!

    And I hope you don't have to eat your hat or sunglasses!


  • Alex Case says:
    July 27, 2009

    Doesn't matter how much flattery I get, I still can't send you chocolate! It seems to disappear in my flat somehow, mosquitos must me eating it...

    I get an even stranger one, which is people who have never done TEFL (usually people working for study abroad sites) volunteering guest pieces on TEFL topics. Noticed that someone had published one by someone I had simply ignored and not emailed back. Looks like they just Google a relevant topic and write each entry up with descriptions from the site, but still seems like a lot of work to get a link from a blog on a totally different topic

    I hope you're not thinking of stretching the deadline for the blog carnival just for yourself! Because if it's being stretched for anyone it should be for yet another unfinished blog post that I've been working on on and off (mainly off)

  • Shelly Terrell says:
    July 27, 2009

    I think you give very great advice on manners to follow when leaving a url. Moreover, you give good commenting advice and manners in general. I have had a few businesses contact me and all but one were associated with English learning. Therefore, I was not too bothered. However, I did have one gentlemen who actually contacted me again saying you haven't responded to my last efforts. He was advertising a polling service. I still don't know what kind of response he expected so I will continue to just ignore it!

  • MissShonah says:
    July 27, 2009

    Hi Karenne,

    Your post and list are fantastic. As I was reading down the list - as the drums were rolling - I was enthusiastically nodding my head!
    Daily I learn from these bloggers (and you) and am so grateful that "out there" in the blogosphere there are "you guys" who are not only technophiles and/ or skilled educators, but also so willing to share information.
    Thank you :-)

  • Sue says:
    July 27, 2009

    Hi Karenne,

    An interesting post, and I agree pretty much with what you are saying here.

    I don't have a teaching blog as yet(although it is down on a very long 'to do' list!) but when I do get around to it, I expect I'll be using pretty similar criteria.

    The sites I've added to the blogroll for our lessons blog are all sites that I visit on a fairly regular basis. I'm more of a lurker than a poster; (due to pressure of time!)however, they are sites that I genuinely enjoy reading and have useful and interesting things to say on topics that are relevant to my personal and professional development.

    I do tend to checkout other people's blogrolls from time to time & so I think they can be a useful feature.

    best wishes,


  • admin says:
    July 27, 2009

    Another great post from you!
    I agree with your list though there are one or two new ones to me. These are all the people I and everyone else should follow and read!
    You should have added your blog to your own list, you are also a favourite =)


    Ozge Karaoglu

  • Janet Bianchini says:
    July 27, 2009

    Hi Karenne

    Thank you so much for including me in your posting. I love your blog and it is always full of excellent information and tips.

    I find that blog rolls are a great way to learn more about other bloggers in the blogosphere and I'll be looking through your sidebar with great interest.

    Keep up the fantastic work you are doing!


  • Anne Hodgson says:
    July 29, 2009

    Dear Karenne,

    You have been so incredibly sweet to draw me into your great whirlygig world of lively online discourse. You're a natural networker if ever there was one!
    Thank you so much for this. I must apologize for my blog veering off subject from time to time. These networks are so rewarding and enormous focus. So thanks for staying on my case.
    have a sunny day!



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