Despite being the go-to resource for the majority of new teachers, the Internet can be a minefield of ill advice, or at best just plain overwhelming. In this article, we recommend some of the more reputable TEFL blogs for new teachers.
An A-Z of ELT (https://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/)
Scott Thornbury’s Blog is a must for all EFL teachers. Thorbury is perhaps the best known name in EFL literature and he has written some of the key entry-level texts in a range of areas, along with books suited to more experienced teachers. As such, he is an authority on all things TEFL. His A-Z of ELT blog, based on the book of the same title, is an ongoing discussion on pretty much all the key issues and terminology in EFL, regularly revised and updated in relation to readers’ questions. This is a must-follow for new teachers, and a great reference for those with more experience.
Teaching English (https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/)
The British Council’s Teaching English website is an excellent go-to for any EFL related query. It has ready-to-use lesson plans and resources, and regular blog posts from a wide range of contributors. The ‘magazine’ section is a regularly updated blog comprised of concisely written posts, organised into categories such as ‘classroom management’, ‘testing and assessment’ and ‘teaching grammar and vocabulary’, each offering thinking points and practical teaching suggestions. The main page of the website also has links to its young learner sister-sites (Learn English Kids https://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/?_ga=2.241477890.1066554476.1571053953-1342839758.1571053953 and Learn English Teens https://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/?_ga=2.241477890.1066554476.1571053953-1342839758.1571053953), which provide age-appropriate materials in the form of videos, readings and games.
The Language Gym (https://gianfrancoconti.com/)
Gianfranco Conti’s Language Gym offers in-depth posts that tread the fine line between academic research and practical classroom ideas. The beauty of this blog is that, being research-based, you know that the activities suggested will be of use to your learners. Conti deals with complex, academic issues in a way that is both accessible and interesting, resulting in posts that are incredibly satisfying to read. Many of the activities suggested within a post are variations on a theme, therefore providing a useful bank of activities that you can pull out of the hat when needed.
An ELT Notebook (http://eltnotebook.blogspot.com/)
This blog by Sue Swift (and occasional guest writers) is a great resource for EFL teachers. There are lots of useful articles helpfully categorised into different areas of language teaching and learning. Many of the posts offer an overview of a specific teaching and learning area followed by some practical teaching suggestions that can be applied to numerous task types. An example is ‘Making the Most of Your Coursebook’, which offers a variety of simple activities that could be used as a starter, a homework task, or even to introduce a new language point.
Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day (http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/)
Larry Ferlazzo’s website is a fantastic way to find out about new websites and resources. He constantly scours the Internet for the most useful websites and resources for teachers, meaning that you don’t have to! You can follow for updates or visit his section of ‘best of the week’ lists in a variety of areas to peruse at your leisure. His regular posts on technology in the classroom are particularly helpful, so you can keep up-top-date with advances in education and show your students a thing or two!
ELT Planning (www.eltplanning.com)
ELT Planning is a relatively new blog by Peter Pun, a great teacher and quick punster. He has a variety of excellent lesson plans if you want to try some out-of-the-box ideas that will be sure to get your students engaged. Some examples include plans based on the Great British Bake-off and using Kahoot! to practise word stress. Peter is also very dedicated to teacher development - both his own and others’ - and there is a ‘CELTA Tips’ section for those of you just starting out, along with a ‘DipTESOL Tips’ section for anyone considering some further qualifications.
ELT Research Bites (www.eltresearchbites.com)
Slightly more on the academic side, ELT Research Bites has a wealth of interesting and well-written articles organised by topic. As the title suggests, this blog is reserved for research-based articles, and is of particular relevance to anyone interested in developing their subject knowledge after initial teacher training. For those of you interested in this more academic style, they also have a section on free and Open Access journals related to ELT, education and linguistics.
EFL Magazine (www.eflmagazine.com)
EFL Magazine is exactly what you would expect from, well, an EFL magazine. They have lots of well-written and professionally presented articles. Although perhaps better suited to browsing than looking for something in particular, they do have posts on everything from teaching phrasal verbs to evacuating your classroom in the case of a fire. They also have a jobs section and a section with links to some useful-looking ebooks, some of which are free! The site also offers resources, but you will need to sign up to access them.