Great blogs and websites

January 2015: As well as scribbling about my own experiences in this blog, I have been trying to learn from other people’s in advance of starting my course. Therefore, I plan to expand this page with a selection of the blogs and websites I have found useful, in the hope that they might help other concerned and terrified newbie trainee teachers – or, indeed, more experienced teachers looking for new inspiration.

You can also see which blogs I’m following in the shiny new widget I managed to add to my site in the bottom right-hand corner, below the Twitter box >
Almost all of them are ELT-based, with a few exceptions about academic publishing and fitness!

‘Teach them English’ blog

I’ve included Adam Simpson’s excellent blog on my CELTA page, because I first came across it when Googling the CELTA. But aside from his excellent posts specific to the course, he has also written a whole host of excellent blog posts and teaching ideas which I found incredibly insightful. There’s definitely a reason he receives so many awards for his posts!

Jo Gakonga’s blog

I first found Jo Gakonga’s fantastic ELT resources on her YouTube channel (see again my CELTA-specific page) but she also has this website, which hosts a great grammar refresher course for teachers and lots more besides!

Marisa Constantinides’ ELT blog 

I first came across the incredibly knowledgeable Marisa as part of my first ever #ELTchat (read more about that in my post here from February) and I ended up linking to her blog, which is a treasure trove of great ELT information. She is an experienced teacher and trainer, so her website is a fantastic mix of resources for students and teachers, like me. She’s also fantastically communicative as part of the ELT community on Twitter, which I am learning more and more about, so she’s definitely worth following.

Anthony Gaughan’s blog, ‘Teacher Training Unplugged’ 

As I write this in February 2015, I am aware that Anthony could well end up being one of my CELTA tutors as he is the Head of CELTA Teacher Training at the Hamburg School of English, which is the partner school of the Berlin School of English where I’m booked in for my CELTA. I found his blog a few weeks ago, and have been watching some of the excellent videos he hosts there, which discuss four grammatical areas he considers to be often misunderstood in the ELT world: tense, aspect, mood and voice. The first one introduces grammar and contained this wonderful gem quite early on in the video:

‘Grammar, then could be described as a process. We grammar in the same way that a tree apples, or the world peoples.’

Definitely worth watching for a great new perspective to learning how to teach grammar.

ELTnet blog by Anthony Ash 

This is an excellent (and very sleek!) blog, incorporating some ideas for activities, information on English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and Academic Purposes (EAP) as well as some really insightful general ELT posts, such as this one about using mobile phones in ELT, which is the first post that linked me out to Anthony’s blog from Twitter. I also recommend his ‘Development‘ section, in which I learnt a lot about how hierarchies work in language schools, and how I can continue along this fun journey of professional development 🙂

Additional thanks to Anthony for being the first ever person to comment on my blog – he kindly highlighted that I had missed off his blog from this list, so I have corrected my mistake 🙂

ELT geek blog

This is Olya Sergeeva’s blog, focusing primarily on ELT methodology and language acquisition. I have been interested in the latter since working intensely on a textbook about it when I was an Editorial Assistant at Routledge, and it was a post about language acquisition, and her tweeting, which drew me to Olya’s great blog.

Cambridge Conversations 

I came across Cambridge University Press’ blog about ELT as I was trying to access the Cambridge English Teacher resources (more on those on my CELTA page). The first post that struck me was this one on ‘sandwiching‘ – and not just because I was hungry at the time! They frequently invite high-profile ELT authors and scholars to blog for them, and there are some really useful pieces on there.

Angelos Bollas’ blog 

Angelos is one of the more active members of the #ELTchat community, and has always been very kind to engage me in the conversation, even as a relative newbie. I was first drawn to his blog when he wrote this excellent summary for the ELTchat on Wednesday 25th February, about how trainee teachers can make the most out of their personal development early on in their career. He is also the funder and creator of a new project called Give it a Voice, which he explains as follows:

Give It A Voice is a wiki project, which aims to assist English language teachers with the creation of original audio material. One uploads their scripts and others provide an audio version of it. Why don’t you give it a try?

I’m certainly hoping to give this a try, perhaps as part of one of my CELTA submissions – if you’re interested as well, the link is here.

Cristina Cabal’s ELT blog 

I stumbled upon Cristina’s blog via her excellent lesson plan on speed dating and I love the fact that she’s a Spaniard teaching English – any excuse to be exposed to un poco de español 🙂

Laura’s blog ‘Grown up English’ 

I stumbled upon Laura’s blog whilst following an #ELTchinwag on the 23rd February. The topic was ‘assessing progress’ and, as a materials designer and teacher of German adults, Laura was adding some really interesting insight into the mix. Her blog contains some fantastic posts, the most useful of which I found to be this one about Bundlr when I first scanned her feed. I think my experimentations with this excellent tool may well require a whole other blog post… Laura is  @EdLaur on Twitter to follow her for more useful insights.

Joanna’s blog ‘ELT Rambles’ 

The minute I saw the title of Joanna’s blog, I knew I was going to enjoy it because I too have quite the penchant for verbosity and rambling 🙂 But hers is quite far from being a collection of long and badly structured posts, as the word ‘ramble’ could infer, and is a really great collection of posts about her extensive experience teaching English (18 years!) I particularly like this post on Business English and the fact that Joanna has a whole tab for ‘the girlie side of ELT.’

TEFLtastic blog 

This is a brilliant blog, if only for the fantastically droll, British humour of its author, Alex Case. I don’t know how I hadn’t discovered it until now, as it’s been going since 2007, but it’s most certainly gone on my blogroll to follow. In addition to lots of TEFL views and reviews, there are apparently over 1000 worksheets and 500 articles via the drop-down menus under the photo.

7 Responses to Great blogs and websites

  1. olyasergeeva says:

    Hi Rachel, thanks a lot for collecting links to lots of interesting blogs and for linking to mine. And also for the link to the book on child language acquisition – going to check it out as soon as I get the chance! This topic is absolutely fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

    • BerLingo says:

      Thanks for your comment, Olya 🙂 I really enjoyed skipping around your blog so of course I added it to my list! That textbook I mention is aimed at undergraduates, but from all the bits I read in working on the book with Dr Rowland, it’s very accessible indeed. There’s also this companion website you may find useful for resources for you or your students:
      Thanks for stopping by!


  2. joannamalefaki says:

    Hey Rachel,
    Thanks for including me in your ‘Great blogs’ list!! Your blog is great as well. I really enjoy reading your posts. You go girl 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • BerLingo says:

      Thanks Joanna, that’s so sweet! I need to finish the many draft posts I have saved actually! Trying to finish my job and prepare for a trip to Malaysia before moving to Berlin is proving a bit much at the moment!


  3. Jo Gakonga says:

    Hi Rachel
    Just found your blog and this list – I feel very honoured to be in at number two (thank you!) but unfortunately, the link is broken… 😦
    All the best, Jo Gakonga


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