Adam Simpson is the one to blame for this post. He started a twitter challenge: Ten People I Follow on Twitter and Why. People who follow me on twitter (@cecilialcoelho)/ regularly read my blog know I have very little willpower when it comes to declining challenges ( if you’re interested on previous challenges you can read The Day Nothing Became Everything - my guest post on Ceri Jones’ blog – or What Comes Out of Unsuspecting Students + Wandrous Board Challenge not to mention all my responses to Karenne Sylvester’s Dogme Blog Challenge). And as Adam says in his own post, the intention here is to promote a bit of ELT appreciation.
I follow so many fantastic people that choosing only ten people was really hard. But Adam said ten was the number – and I abide by the rules. Each of the people I listed has a special reason for being in it, and I hope I am able to clearly express that on the justification. Some people here are recurrent from both Adam’s list and Dave Dodgson’s (another tweep who’s taken up the challenge), so bear with me :-) I guess this means they’re just so great they’re on many people’s top 10. So, with no further ado, here are my ten people (and why I follow them) in alphabetical order:
- Ceri Jones (@cerirhiannon) : Ceri is a teacher in Cádiz, Spain. She is very committed to teaching and shares a lot of the great things she does in her classes on her blog Close Up (lots of ideas there!). She’s also the one who gave me the final push to start my own blog after opening her own blog for a guest post so that I could tell the result of my taking up my first challenge . Add to that a person who I greatly identify with, who teaches me Welsh (ddiolch ‘ch cariad!), who I have wonderful fun (and serious) conversations with, who tweets during conferences she attends so we can follow from a distance and is always so supportive… One of my very favorite people twitter has brought into my life and who I’ll (hopefully) meet face to face at IATEFL next year, in Brighton.
- David Dodgson (@DaveDodgson): No, this is not payback (because you added me to your list Dave). Dave is the most recent tweep in the list. He’s an Englishman in Ankara, Turkey, teaching English to 4th graders. But after a few twitter conversations and comments on each other’s and other people’s blogs we discovered we had a lot in common – as far as values, practices and beliefs related to teaching and life. We did a joint response to a Dogme Blog Challenge, where we shared our voices - literally . This joint venture (where he taught me a new tool) not only turned out great but more importantly was great fun to do. He’s such a committed teacher he did research about Recife – where I live – prior to our conversation, so he could mention pubs we have here. Dave has great insights and ideas, is very participative in both the twitterverse and the blogosphere. And he has promised to come with his family to Brazil and share a Devassa (great beer) with Rick and I. Just for the record… I’ll take a blond one ;-)
- Henrick Oprea (@hoprea): Only after joining Twitter and following Rick (after being introduced to his fantastic blog Doing Some Thinking) I discovered we had recently been in the same ELT Conference last July in São Paulo (Braz-Tesol National Conference). On the cover of Braz-Tesol’s Newsletter’s last issue there’s a big photo taken on the final plenary – and we’re both there! How crazy is that? We live in the same country, are members of the same organization (Braz-Tesol), spent 4 days in the same school and only met each other through Twitter. Rick is an EFL teacher in Brasília, capital of Brazil. He has a lot of knowledge on ELT, its theories, practices… I’ve learned a lot by discussing teaching with Rick, participating in #ELTChats where he also took part, and sometimes just lurking on his discussions with other tweeps. He’s also fun, eager to share and a great guy all around. And we’ll get together some time to show Dave Dodgson around Brazil ;-)
- Jason Renshaw (@englishraven): Jason is a must follow to anyone involved in ELT who likes to reflect upon his/her own practices. Jason lives in Geelong, Australia and mostly teaches online, but has recently gone back to the classroom. He has the most fantastic, thought-provoking blog : English Raven, read by everyone on twitter (one of the first I ever felt comfortable with commenting on). He is sharp and absolutely open and honest. He’s always proposing challenges for us teachers, challenges that he not only creates but also takes up and sets the example. He’s extremely creative and is always questioning his own practices. He’s also one of the most efficient bloggers I know (a talent I greatly envy), devoted father to 2 beautiful kids. His tweets are great, and he was the biggest support for me to increase my participation on twitter, making me feel and see I had something to contribute with. And he (along with Ceri) motivated and pushed me to start blogging. His posts and challenges have made me reflect upon my teaching a lot, experiment with new things and develop.
- Jeremy Harmer (@harmerj): I believe anybody who’s in ELT has come across Jeremy – be it by reading one of his books or by attending one of his fabulous workshops or talks. I had the pleasure of meeting Jeremy in this year’s Braz-Tesol Conference in São Paulo – the same I didn’t meet Rick at. And I discovered he’s not only a great ELT trainer, author and presenter. He’s a great person too, and a music lover. He was the one who “took my hand” and showed me the power of Twitter for teacher’s professional development, he told me what a PLN is and told me who to start following. So deep down, Jeremy is the one to blame for my being here :-) His tweets during the many conferences he attends are great, as well as his blog – which was recently home to one of the most interesting discussions about dogme, with over 200 comments.
- Lindsay Clandfield (@lclandfield): Lindsay has one of the most interesting, fun and insightful blogs I subscribe to: Six Things. I have recently discovered (through his latest post) that it was a project and that he’ll soon stop posting in it, but considering that I’m new at the blogosphere I reckon there are still plenty of great posts in it I haven’t read yet. I think it will be a big loss to the blogosphere, but he has his reasons for ending the project. He is an ELT teacher and author (recently won the ESU Awards for his “Global” ). With his tweets I have learned, found great resources or just had a good laugh. :-)
- Luke Meddings (@LukeMeddings): Luke co-authored Teaching Unplugged (with Scott Thornbury – @thornburyscott), the first book to discuss Dogme and has recently started a new blog: The Unplugged Index. It’s already in my blog roll :-) Luke is active on twitter, always sharing good resources and he’s also really participative in the Dogme discussions. Moreover, Luke is a really cool guy, accessible, a great guy to add to anyone’s PLN. And a insomniac like me ;-)
- Sean Banville (@SeanBanville): Sean has some of the most fantastic sites for ELT professionals: www.breakingnewsenglish.com , www.newsenglishlessons.com, www.esldiscussions.com, www.eslholidaylessons.com, www.famouspeoplelessons.com and www.listenaminute.com. He is tireless and creates all these lessons and activities that anyone can use. I don’t know how he can do everything he does (and teach!!!!), but I’m sure glad he does :-) And on top of all of this, he’s a great guy.
- Shelly Terrell (@ShellTerrell): Shelly has got to be the most passionate, committed teacher I’ve ever come across. She tweets the best sources, tools, articles… She created “The 30 Goals Challenge” , works at Parentella, TheConsultantsE and has an inspiring blog: Teacher Reboot Camp. She’s also a moderator at #edchat and #eltchat, always willing to help, retweet, support any teacher or cause she can, and always involved in initiatives to improve education in the world. On a personal note, she a real sweetheart and has the cutest dog ever (Rosco)! I was lucky to Skype with Shelly for an #ELTChat podcast and it just proved to me that live (as live as we can get since she lives in Germany and I in Brazil) she’s just the same sunny person she is on twitter. A must follow for educators in general.
- Sue Lyon-Jones (@esolcourses): Sue is multitasking as well. She lives and teaches in the UK. She also has a website filled with activities for teachers to use in their classes and a great blog: The PLN Staff Lounge (her latest post where she responded to Dogme Blog Challenges 1, 3, 4 & 5 at once is wonderful, I recommend it!). She’s always sharing great resources, tools and anything she finds worthy. I always enjoy her participation in the #ELTChat, and have learned a lot from her as well. And we’ve had some great convos over twitter as well. And she had the scariest, coolest twitter avatar during Halloween ;-)
What about you? Feel like taking up Adam’s challenge? I’d love to discover more incredible people to follow!
Here are some other posts from people who joined the (impossible) challenge of picking 10 people from an amazing PLN:
• Dave Dodgson’s Ten People I Follow and Why
• Mike Harrison’s Ten Twitterers to Tweet