What a weird year!

This blog is a product of this year’s events. At the beginning of 2020, I moved to a new city with a list of beautiful places in Santander that I wanted to visit. The idea of having my own website hadn’t even crossed my mind before mid-March. When our in-class courses got suspended and various measures were imposed in Colombia, I suddenly found myself with a lot of free time. Since I don’t like being idle, I decided to start writing down my thoughts about my experience with teaching English in Colombia. There is quite a lot of information about this subject, but it is fragmented across many websites, so I made the decision to set up a blog to publish all my posts in one place.

Festival de Luces, Villa de Leyva

I now receive visitors from search engines and not only from my social media connections, so let me quickly introduce this blog. Since launching TEFL in Colombia in September, I have been publishing a new article every Sunday at 10am (Bogotá time zone). I try to write about various topics related to teaching English in Colombia as a foreigner, and that’s why there are a few different post categories. I have published the following articles so far:

Teaching and CPD
The importance of teaching qualifications
The curious case of native speakerism in Colombia
ELT Concourse is a priceless resource
Tips for getting a CELTA Pass A
Six ELT blogs worth following
Applying for a teaching job in Colombia (post-pandemic)

Life in Colombia
Everybody wants to live in Medellín
My experience with learning Spanish
Valle de la Samaria: Colombia’s hidden gem
Cañón del Combeima provides a good reason to visit Ibagué

Jennifer Soto: We need to adapt to this new reality
Ndana Chibanda: ELT in Colombia is a mix of fun and hard work

Important documents
● How to obtain your work visa, partner visa and cédula de extranjería

If you enjoy this type of content, consider following the TEFL in Colombia Facebok page, where I post links to all articles. WordPress users may follow this blog through the Reader. There is also an option to subscribe for old-school e-mail notifications, which doesn’t seem to be very popular. Whatever way you access this website, I appreciate the fact that you feel this blog is worth visiting. I am always happy to see my readers’ reactions on social media, and it motivates me to keep writing.

I know that posting a new article every week may not be sustainable in the long term. In fact, I am going to take a short break from blogging and try to enjoy this vacation period. I plan to be back with new content in the middle of January.

The good news is that I have plenty of ideas for posts. I managed to read some interesting books in preparation for my Delta Module Two course (which was cancelled), so I would like to write about ELT literature that I have found useful for my teaching practice. I definitely wish to continue conducting interviews because I enjoy talking to other ELT professionals about their work.

I am also open to publishing guest posts. If you are interested in contributing to this blog with your own article, feel free to get in touch.

Let’s hope 2021 will be a little more cheerful!

Six ELT blogs worth following

Being a teacher in the 21st century is great, isn’t it? We have access to a plethora resources, so it’s quite easy to learn something new from the comfort of our home. I love reading blogs because it’s a great way of finding out what other ELT professionals think and do. I am always happy to see a new post notification, so I thought it would be a good idea to recommend my favourite bloggers.

I follow quite a lot of blogs through WordPress Reader, so having to choose just a few was rather tricky. I decided to select only those that have been running for at least a year and whose latest post was published within the last two months. There are some excellent dormant blogs with very useful content that I may write about in the future, but now I am going to focus only on the active ones. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Six ELT blogs worth following

Adaptive Learning in ELT
This brilliant blog, which has been running for 7 years, always makes me think. Philip Kerr is very diligent in dealing with various ELT-related topics in his essays. Fake news and critical thinking in ELT is a great example of the type of posts you can read on the blog.

The author is sceptical of anything that isn’t supported by evidence, and I appreciate the fact that he doesn’t hold back his opinions. He seems to have a great sense of humour as well. This post on instructional grammar videos is full of hilarious comments and it really cheered me up during quarantine.

ELT Planning
Pete is an experienced teacher and a prolific blogger. There always seem to be new posts on his website! You can find tons of lesson ideas, posts on CPD, reviews and much more on the blog.

In addition, Pete is involved in materials writing, and his blog provides valuable insight into the world of coursebooks and the process of their production. He summarises his views on that in The benefits of using an ELT coursebook. Pete’s posts are really witty and he doesn’t take himself too seriously, which is always nice to see.

Evidence Informed ELT
As the blog’s name implies, it’s time for another dose of scepticism. Russ Mayne is more than happy to question what many believe to be true. I recommend that you read Woo Watch: The rise of Neuro to get an idea of what the blog is about.

I really like the way Russ tackles controversial issues. In fact, I discovered his blog when he decided to collect and publish anonymous opinions on ELT that might be considered unpopular: Taboo ELT and Taboo 2.

Sam Shepherd
This blog’s author teaches English in the UK, so it’s really interesting to read about his work in that teaching context. Sam Shepherd is another blogger who doesn’t mince his words, and that leads to thought-provoking posts. Moving on up? deals with career progression and makes for a very interesting read.

Sam also makes some great points in his post A bunch of lies that focuses on online personas. He says that blogs are a tool of self-promotion and you can never be sure if what you read on them is true. Well, I have no idea what Sam is like in real life, but I certainly enjoy his posts.

Sandy Millin
I assume most of my readers have already come across this blog because there is so much amazing content on it. Sandy Millin has been regularly updating her website for 10 years, which is just incredible. There is a lot of useful Delta-related information, including conversations with those who have obtained the diploma.

It’s amazing to read some of Sandy’s older posts and see what she has achieved throughout the years. I find her articles on CELTA tutoring and being a Director of Studies particularly insightful. It’s such an inspirational blog!

The TEFL Zone
If you are looking for new ideas for your teaching practice, I recommend that you follow The TEFL Zone. Rachel Tsateri shares lessons plans and downloadable worksheets that you can use in your own classes.

The Delta section of Rachel’s blog is a treasure trove for those interested in obtaining the diploma because it contains examples of successful assignments. There are also posts like Improving the quality of my teacher talk, which are very useful for developing teachers.