10 ELT bloggers who turned me on to blogging

I'm a wee bit late... (I will be saying that a lot in the next few weeks)

There's this really fun blog-meme going 'round the 'sphere at the moment called Vale a pena ficar de olho nesse blog (it's worth keeping an eye on this blog) and I've been very nicely mentioned/included by:
Thank you very much for your luv!
    Now, it's my turn to do this spreading of the goodwill and pointing out great blogs to put in your reader but thing is, we're not supposed to mention blogs which have been mentioned by other people and all the goodies have been listed and listed and relisted.   

    Darren on Lives of Teachers made a very valid call out to shake things up a bit so I tossed around doing a post entitled the 10 Blogs About Blogs which Taught Me How to Blog... 

    Jason, don't you dare gazump me... got-it?  

    then decided, nah, that'd be way better saved for the promised series of guest-posts I'll be doing on other people's blogs about becoming a blogger- more on that series to start soon, however no dates, so that I won't have to write even more sorry I'm lates :-)  

    Did I mention my computer crashed - did I? did I? 
    Just as I was supposed to be relaxing after a lot of 
    stressful months... :-( 

    So... instead I thought I'd tell you all about the ELT blogs I was reading and learning from back in 2007 and 2008 before I tried dipping toes in myself.

    So the He who Probably Doesn't Remember being one of my biggest influences - the one who got me off my butt & filling blank blog pages (as like everyone else I'd started a blog and then didn't know what to do with it for ages...)

    was none other than the Dude from That'SLife:  

    Gavin Dudeney

    Yup, Gavin - it's your fault. 

    See, prior to his NetVantage workshop at ELTAF where Gavin was holding a talk in Frankfurt about the various web2.0 tools implementable by companies for marketing one's business, I'd mostly been rather an awestruck reader and very occasional blogger on my own website.   

    A reader of non educational blogs, yet not really sure how to blog, like most good people spent a good time trawling through the 'net trying to find others doing it well in our field  to learn from, Gavin made it seem so easy in our discussion over a cafeteria lunch so I looked around and found some good sites: to be honest it simply blew me away, the thought that there were actually teachers out there who wrote about whatever they wanted to (and not always politely and sometimes completely crazily and sometimes they made me laugh and sometimes they made me angry and sometimes they motivated me... and I was so intrigued by the way it looked like they were actually having conversations with their readers)...

    Sometimes what they wrote about had absolutely absolutely ZILCH to do with teaching and sometimes they were  oh-so-very-full of how amazingly wonderful they were as human beings but sometimes there were gems:  filled with extraordinary teaching tips and ideas for using technology in the classroom and I wanted in... 

    Boy, I wanted in...

    Here's a list of the nine other bloggers who influenced me to join in on the ELT Blogosphere

    When I first found his site (actually pre-Dude) I was terribly confused - I mean why did his most recent articles appear at the top instead of like a book, in order, right? I had to read a lot about blogging and a lot of blogs before I realized that's the way they're supposed to go.   

    He often took the piss out of methodology, still does, and he made funky lists of things teachers should do  to be more effective and surely that wasn't allowed? I mean TEFL is serious teaching.  To be frank, no matter how modest he is, you are not an ELT blogger until you have studied this blog.   The man is a genius, dive through his archives: go, learn.  

    I used to simply stare at Nik's blogs and wonder how and why anyone in the whole world would write that much and be that dedicated to doing something for education just for the sake of it.  He was enormous influence and I caught the bug from him.

    Ditto.  But to be honest, he still does this to me - when working with my students reading blogs and looking at our reader I see up-close just how often he posts and how varied and far-reaching his work is.   Sometimes I suspect he does all of this in one giant batch - it's mind-blowing.

    Ditto.  He posts every single day and many, many times and he knows absolutely everything about anything related to EFL and current themes and events and teaching tips and technology advice and whenever you find yourself in a bind and you don't know what to teach tomorrow : visit his blog, you will walk away with many, many ideas.  

    This was the first serious-about-teaching, ELT blog which I found and although The ELT Notebook is no longer updated, there is an enormous wealth of posts there ranging from how to teach different skills, working in one-2-one scenarios, teacher development and loads of lesson ideas.

    She didn't manage to turn me on to Second Life but like Sue, she did turn me on to the idea of talking about lessons and sharing one's own professional development via a blog.

    In the beginning, I tried to maintain two blogs - one for teachers and one for my students.  In the end I couldn't manage both and gave up How to learn English.  However, Clare's blog was an inspiration for how to write in short bursts providing readable and easily digestible text for language learners.

    I will always, always be fond of Sandy:  he put the edge on edublogging.  He deals with real issues in his own particular way, on his own terms - sometimes I might raise an eyebrow at the way he writes or the words he uses but he tackles what is not tackled openly elsewhere and has thus, earned my absolute respect.

    And last but not least...

    10. David Deubel
    Well, by the time I got serious about my blogging and started really delving into the theories of the blogosphere, the concepts behind communicating in this fashion, the sheer immediacy of it all, the greatest lesson I carried away from brilliant writers like Darren Rowse, Liz Strauss and Chris Brogan was that who you share your 'sphere with is of incredible importance - you need to reach out to them and you need to work with them.  

    The blogosphere is not about single people writing articles, it's about a community conversing.  

    So I started looking for people who understood this.  And it goes without saying that Mr EFLClassroom2.0 is all about the love of sharing and the gift of community. :-) Thanks, David.

    Best, Karenne

    If you're an edublogger too - who was it that convinced you to start a blog, who influenced your style and approach, taught you the ropes?

    p.s. Sorry, was limited to only ten blogs but if there were more allowed here are 10 more (!) who've been in my reader since the 'early' days :   SethRonaldo, Jamie, Mike, DaveESL, Graham, Pete, David V, Troy, and Aniya

    p.p.s. As often occurs, Alex and I have similar ideas at more or less the same time - read his history of ELT blogging here.

    12 Responses to “10 ELT bloggers who turned me on to blogging”

    • Gavin Dudeney says:
      May 06, 2010


      Sorry.... I do remember, of course, the conference and having lunch and chatting. What I didn't realise is that my charming rambling actually had had some effect on someone for once in my life!

      Anyway, you see, your blogging is good and always interesting and different and stimulating, so if I DID have a hand in your starting, then I'm very happy about that...

      Keep on keeping on, and remember - the dude abides...


    • Jason Renshaw says:
      May 06, 2010

      Got it!


    • ddeubel says:
      May 06, 2010


      Making your list made me Listz! (okay, a little known detail about me is that I suffer mildly from Forster's syndrome ).

      I really am honored to just have the chance to teach, inspire and learn from others. Online, is just another branch that reaches skyward. I really appreciate that you recognize how great teaching is great sharing - that's all it is.

      But also deep thanks for a few more blogs I'll be checking on - the learning, the journey never stops! This is the best way to step - along with the humming of others.


      May 06, 2010

      @Gavin - yup, like I said it's all your fault that I have sores on my b.. from sitting so long in front of the computer.


      @Jason - ta :-)

      @David - nope, didn't know about the Forsters, are you an Aussie like Jason? Must admit, wondered whether I shouldn't do a list instead of the 10 newest blogs on the block that are worth following - because there really are some crackers out there - but in the end, thought 10 would never cover it!


    • Nergiz Kern says:
      May 06, 2010

      Thanks for the mentions, Karenne!

      I could have sworn you had started blogging before me. Well, you have definitely blogged more profusely :-)

      I'm so looking forward to the summer when I hope to be able to devote time to blogging again.


    • Clare says:
      May 06, 2010

      Hi Karenne

      Thank you so much for your kind words!

      You're generous enough to acknowledge inspiration from others, and just for the record, I'm constantly inspired by you, too. (No elegant way to say this without sounding a bit sucky!)

      Reading ELT blogs is my favourite way to continue my learning as a teacher. They challenge my thinking, stimulate my creativity, and inspire me to teach better..

      Ending on a group hug theme,


    • Nik Peachey says:
      May 07, 2010

      Hi Karenne,

      Thanks you so much for including me here. I've been tagged and mentioned by a few people in the meme thing and I feel really guilty that I haven't really responded or done my own post. It would be just so difficult to limit this to 10 or even 20 bloggers. I'm also not a great fan of these Meme type things and always feel a bit manipulated. I hope though that I do try to give credit where I can.

      Anyway, thanks again Kareene. You are an inspiration to us all too, and not just in your blogging.



      May 07, 2010

      @Nergiz - well technically, I started in July 2007 BUT WROTE A BUNCH OF CRAP that I deleted when I moved over to my website in May 2008 but then that was a bunch of crap and moved back here in September 2008.

      You definitely helped me change from bunch of crap, to oh-let-me-write-about-lessons-and-what-I-do-with-technology-in-my-classroom!


      May 07, 2010

      Dunna-worry-on-the-will-I-sound-sucky... I face that all the time especially because of some of what Nik says above :-) thank you, I really appreciate the group hug!

      May 07, 2010

      You're very welcome, Sir!

      Don't feel guilty - I think the trick is, if you don't mind me saying because I sort of understand what you mean and why you're saying it but I think the trick is to remember that mostly, most of the time, the people who participate in blog-memes like this one are doing it for the pure fun of it.

      Yes, it is possible that the Vale de Penar.. started out as a link campaign but I reckon by the time it hit the ELT blogosphere, it mostly became just a way to sincerely recommend blogs that people like to other bloggeres and get a little blog-luv back - I dunno, I can think of it jadily or I can go, ah-heck, remember what it was like starting out and wondering how to get backlinks and noticed?


      Na ja, thank you so much for your lovely words at the end there, makes me go golly-gosh, if I inspire you back, well golly-gosh-goo.

      Right, I better get on with putting another post up!


    • Alex Case says:
      May 08, 2010

      No one who knows me would say I'm modest, let alone the other nice things you keep saying about me! If I really can come over that way online, that's the miracle of technology. Wonder if I can pass as a 19 year old topless model too...

      Thanks as ever for the encouragement, might well make me write some content of mine own soon after all the quotes and guest pieces.

    • Stephan Hughes says:
      May 12, 2010

      To be honest, I would consider a kind of self-made person in that I just poke around until I get things right. I have never really gotten round to exchaning ideas with more bloggers and I guess that's why my blog is struggling. Will have to start following some of the steps recommended here.
      Thanks so much all!


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