My most visited blog posts

Today is the second anniversary of the TEFL in Colombia blog. I launched this website when I was stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic and quite a lot has happened since that day. If you are thinking of becoming a blogger, I recommend that you give it a go. Blogging pushes me to keep developing as a teacher and helps me to stay focused on my goal of having a long-term career in ELT. I know that Colombia isn’t the most popular location for that, but I’m doing all I can to make it work here.

My most visited blog posts

Anyway, I think this is a nice opportunity to take a look at my blog posts that have received the highest number of views so far:

1) Review: Learn English with Ricky Gervais
I think Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington’s English lesson is one of the most hilarious videos on YouTube, so I thought that analysing the ‘methods’ they used would be a good idea for a blog post. This is by far the most visited article on this website because Ricky Gervais liked it on Twitter and my blog suddenly received a couple of thousand visitors thanks to that. I wonder what his fans thought of my references to books written by Larsen-Freeman, Harmer, and others. Some readers even thought that it was meant to be a serious analysis, which made everything funnier. I think that humour has its place in ELT; in fact, I would love to watch a TV series based on locking Karl Pilkington and Scott Thornbury in a room and asking them to talk about teaching!

2) The Delta series (FAQ, M1, M2, M3, LSA)
This blog isn’t just about my experience in Colombia, but it also focuses on my professional development journey. I fell in love with teaching when I did my CELTA, and at that moment I knew that I’d try to get a Delta as well. These five articles get a lot of visitors through search engines, which shows that teachers try to do their research about the diploma. I’m always happy when I receive messages from Delta candidates telling me that they have found the posts useful; I just think that it’s important to explore other resources as well because there are more ways to approach the Delta and teachers may benefit from choosing one that is different from what I described in my posts.

3) The importance of going beyond CELTA
I believe that CELTA is the best choice for those who would like to get into TEFL. Taking this course (or CertTESOL) is a much better option than those generic online certificates that don’t include any observed teaching practice. That said, it has to be emphasised that CELTA is just a foundation-level qualification and teachers need to keep developing even after obtaining the certificate, so I decided to write a blog post on some of its shortcomings. I think it’s important to provide balanced views, so it was nice to see that this critical post is one of the most popular ones.

In addition, there are a few posts that may not have performed that well in terms of views, but I really like them for various reasons. You are also welcome to check out some of the older posts on the blog to see if you find something interesting.

No Spanish in the classroom?
Many teachers around the world are expected to use only English in the classroom. I understand why schools promote that idea, but there are actually some pretty good reasons for using the learners’ L1 in a principled way. The blog post received positive reactions, including a lovely message from Vivian Cook, whose article inspired me to write the text, which made me very happy because I really appreciate authors who challenge common practices in ELT. Sadly, Professor Cook passed away last year. His work was very thought-provoking; he argued against native speakerism in 1990s and came up with the concept of multi-competence, and I highly recommend reading his academic papers and books.

My four-year experience with Centro Colombo Americano
This is probably the most personal post on this blog, which provides a summary of my time as a teacher at a language institute in Colombia. It describes what I have gained from that experience and why I had to leave for the sake of my career in TEFL. Nine months after making the decision to become an independent contractor, I can safely say that I did the right thing. The combination of working for International House and developing my own private projects suits me perfectly. I haven’t had much time to update the blog due to my workload, but focusing on achieving my goals in this profession is my priority at the moment.

The best of LinkedIn
I have met a lot of amazing people thanks to social media. However, there is a certain group of people who enjoy sending other users bizarre private messages on LinkedIn. I accept connection requests virtually from anyone involved in education, so I receive a lot of spam or some strange requests from people who don’t even bother to read my profile. I think the best way of dealing with nonsense is to laugh at it, and I decided to publish some of those messages on my blog. There may even be a sequel if I manage to collect enough weird stuff for another post!

Back to work

I try to keep this blog regularly updated, but there was a good reason for the distinct lack of activity on this website in the past few weeks: I took a short break from TEFL. Right after my last lesson of the year in the first half of December, I travelled to Europe and spent an eventful month there. The most important part of the trip was seeing my family again after a very long time on another continent, and I hope I won’t need to wait so long for my next visit. In addition, it was nice to go to some amazing places in the Czech Republic and Spain.


I have to say that it’s important to unwind from time to time. It was very pleasant to get away from teaching English classes and my own professional development for a while, especially after the previous two crazy years. I didn’t have much time to follow what was happening in the ELT world, but that’s fine. The blog managed to survive without my intervention as well, and I’m very happy to see that there are readers accessing old posts through search engines. It also seems that spammers never go on holiday because I found some annoying messages that slipped through the WordPress filter.

Another reason for my radio silence was the fact that I spent three weeks trying to get my Colombian resident visa. Providing live updates related to the process would have been entertaining for the audience, but I didn’t want to harm my chances of obtaining the residency. To be honest, it was quite a stressful period with a few sleepless nights. Fortunately, I was granted the visa, so everything turned out to be fine. It was a big deal for me because I’m pretty sure that if my application had been rejected, I would be looking for work in another country right now.


Did I consider staying in Europe and not coming back? Not really. I’m happy to be in Colombia and still feel that I can achieve my career goals here. My residency gives me more flexibility in case of interesting offers from abroad, but for now I plan to focus on having a career in ELT here. In practical terms, it means putting my Delta to a good use, and that’s what I’m going to focus on this year.

Of course, COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere. I was supposed to attend an intensive training course for teachers right after returning to Colombia, but the sessions were postponed because of the virus, which threw a spanner into the works in terms of my work schedule. It’s far from ideal, but that’s something we have to live with now.

I finally taught my first post-holiday lesson yesterday, which made me feel great. It reminded me of my first few lessons on the CELTA course, when I quickly realised how much I love teaching English. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of talking to students because each of them brings their unique personality to the class. Having advanced qualifications and knowing how to use the latest technology can be very helpful, but the main principles of teaching aren’t that complicated: The students should have a good time in your lessons while learning English in a meaningful way. I can’t wait for the next class!