Posted on February 19, 2019 | By Jenni Fogg
14th Mar 2019
One of the best things about English Language Teaching is the sense of community. It’s not just limited to real-life events and socialising either, there are plenty of places online to find people who are going through the same TEFL trials and tribulations as you. And in many cases, you may find yourself turning to online friends over local pals when you really need advice.
This blog is part of a series looking at amazing TEFL blogs out there from a whole host of industry experts. From grammar tips and pronunciation techniques to people’s own experiences and teaching journeys, we say: bookmark them and love them. Happy reading!
Sandy has worked around the world as a teacher, teacher trainer, writer and manager. Her blog covers a huge number of areas in the EFL world. It’s been said that people use her blog as an alternative to Google on ELT-related topics! She summarises TEFL conferences, discusses CPD ideas which you can introduce into your own school and writes about her own language learning.
Our blog highlight: How To Learn a Language – here Sandy lists her tried and tested techniques for her own language learning. Brilliant for you if you’re teaching in a new country and want to pick up the language, but equally useful advice for your learners and their self-study too.
Hana has lots of experience as an EFL teacher to learners of all ages. She currently teaches learners aged 11 to 19 in the Czech Republic, so her content might be particularly useful if you’re working with teenagers. She writes a lot about her personal experiences, both in the classroom and in the wider EFL community. She includes some classroom activities that she’s tried (our favourite is The One Who – a materials-light writing task that helps build a positive class dynamic and confidence for you and your students) as well as her own professional development, such as speaking at conferences for the first time and how she felt about it.
Our blog highlight: The Best Game Ever! (How to increase student talking time) – A speaking game aiming to increase student talking time, used with teenagers, called The Best Game Ever! What’s not to love?
#3 Alex Case: tefltastic.wordpress.com
Alex is a self-proclaimed TEFL-lifer, whose blog has undoubtedly saved many a last-minute lesson with its printable materials and easy to adapt activities. Teaching materials always come with clear instructions and many are available to download as a pdf. There’s a wide variety of games and activities covering loads of grammar points, perfect for most levels. The blog also features tons of articles on skills, classroom management and cultural differences. Break up the lesson planning with Alex’s TEFL humour section – we liked the teachers’ survival kit, featuring paperclips ‘to stop bits of paper from getting mixed up, to stick into your thigh to stop yourself falling asleep during class’. Snort.
Our blog highlight: More Realistic Lesson Aims – Realistic aims of Alex’s lessons include ‘dodging any questions which I can’t answer’ and ‘not yawning’.
Pete shares ideas and plans aimed at newer teachers – although they’re surely appreciated by everyone. There’s a whole range of things from How to get a Pass A at CELTA to pronunciation to using technology to help you write your own teaching materials. We particularly like his book reviews!
Our blog highlight: 16 Ways to Improve Your Whiteboard Work – We think this should be stuck on the wall of every teachers’ room. Warning: It will revolutionise the way you organise your board and may make you totally obsessed with colour-coding. Check out #eltwhiteboard on Twitter for lots of great examples.
Claire started teaching in 2017, following her CELTA. She’s just started a job teaching in Warsaw. Her blog is a week-by-week update of her experiences living and working in a new country. Follow her on her journey, as she gets to know her students and finds new haunts around Warsaw to unwind at the weekend. Browse her older posts for travel posts in China and Taiwan.
Our blog highlight: Teaching in Warsaw – Claire’s first experiences teaching in Warsaw shows the highs and lows of a move abroad. There are fun and games with tiny nursery-aged children and then the exhaustion of teaching all week when what you really want is a Netflix marathon.
We hope you go ahead and search through these blogs – there’s no harm in contacting people to tell them you like what you read too! And maybe you’ll want to take the jump and start your own blog in the future. And if you’ve got your own TEFL blogger recommendations for us, get in touch!