Celebrating language blogs

It’s been a rather self-referential month in the “teaching English as a foreign language” blogosphere. I’m extremely honored to be listed by Babla and Lexiofiles among the top 100 language blogs. They put in an enormous and much appreciated amount of work. Frankly, being in that list comes as a huge surprise, considering the players involved and the quality of writing going on at this Bring Your Own Blog Party. The list is impressive. I mean, it includes Word Routes by the luminary Ben Zimmer, executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus, “On Language” columnist for the New York Times Magazine, former editor for American dictionaries at Oxford University Press, consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary, and blogger at Language Log. Now, that’s a language blog.

Markus, Karenne, Barbara and Shelly did really well, which is splendid, and a huge number of bloggers in Karenne’s BELTfree are in that list, teacher colleagues who have become friends even if we’ve never met… which once again proves the power of social networking.

“Language blogs” are clearly a Good Thing. But what are they, and what are they for? It’s all a bit of an experiment. The kind person who nominated this blog wrote that this was a blog by a teacher who has some good grammar tips. That made me grin. As far as I’m concerned, we’re simply carrying on a conversation here, and that attracts people with similar interests.

Blogging is like hanging out at the bar, or at your local market. A blogger follows her natural inclinations. I happen to like my students, and Germans, so I write that grammar guru bit and pick up on what’s going on in the world mainly for them.

My thoughts migrate towards the everyday grammar issues I stumble across in the course of my work, and how to deal with them so my students will get it. But as I ramble on, I find more teachers and fellow ramblers and bloggers leaving comments. This guides the direction I’m heading. When connected teachers start doing show and tell about their work, I join in.

I’m a method blogger, I depart from the script. That does make it difficult to say where we’re going.

Thank you for walking with me.

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Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

3 thoughts on “Celebrating language blogs”

  1. Yup! We (BELTfree) really rocked the house in that competition – but then it’s hardly surprising is it, when you think about it: we are all English Language Bloggers!

    So yes, in part it’s due to the power of social-networking, mainly that we keep each other on track, motivated and writing and perhaps some of us would have whittled away and got bored if we didn’t have our peers watching us and our progress :-)

    Also, I think Twitter does play a role, how connected we have all become through our PLNs and meeting each other – one thing that struck me as completely mad: Shelly, Marisa, Ozge and I all stayed together in Harrogate.

    Energy is a mad contagious thing!

    p.s Massive, massive congratulations if I didn’t already say them!

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