Are you an online English teacher looking for lesson plans or for ways to stay connected with developments in ESL?
Even if you can’t attend conferences, read all the books or watch every single professional development webinar, a great way to stay in touch with the profession from home is to read ESL bloggers.
In this post, you’ll discover 11 of the best ESL bloggers on the web. Ready? Let’s get into it.
If you want to become a qualified online language teacher and earn a living from home, I recommend checking out CeOLT (Certificate of Online Language Teaching).
11 Best ESL Bloggers
So, in no particular order, below you’ll find the 11 best ESL bloggers. And there’s something for everyone, no matter how long you’ve been teaching.
Some of these bloggers create and share lesson plans. Others share their experiences and reflections from the classroom. Some focus on a particular aspect of English language teaching, such as business English or pronunciation.
So here they are, in no particular order.
1. EFL Creative Ideas
Silvina Mascitti is an English language teacher from Argentina who is now based in Spain.
She got into materials creation during the Covid-19 pandemic when she started teaching online and struggled to find suitable materials for students who had differing needs and interests.
So she decided to start creating her own. Silvina took a course on materials development and started her own blog, EFL Creative Ideas, to share her lesson plans and materials.
On the site you’ll find lessons on topics as diverse as “pilates”, “innovation” and “burnout”.
Each lesson plan gives details of the level it's suitable for and includes worksheets and links to external resources like YouTube videos. You’ll also find a detailed teacher’s notes document.
2. ELT Experiences
ELT Experiences is a teaching blog by Martin Sketchley, a British teacher of English as a foreign language who lives and works in the UK. Martin also teaches English online, mostly on Preply.
His blog has been a featured blog of the month on the British Council’s website in the past.
You’ll find articles about online teaching, teaching tips, the CELTA course plus book reviews and interviews.
In many posts, you’ll also find Martin’s YouTube videos as he has a thriving YouTube channel with over 13,000 subscribers where he covers similar topics.
With 17 years of experience in teaching ESL, Martin has lots of insights to share that are useful for new and seasoned teachers alike.
3. Scott Thornbury
Scott Thornbury is a big name in the world of English language teaching, so you may have already come across his blog, An A-Z of ELT.
Scott is known for popularizing the Dogme approach to teaching, driven by conversation, not materials, which focuses more on the learner.
That blog is no longer updated but it’s still an incredibly useful resource that was turned into a book for teachers of the same name.
The blog, like the book, is a dictionary of terms and concepts in English language teaching such as “dictation”, “input” and “first lessons” to name just a few. You’ll find Scott’s comments and reflections on each one, based on his many years of teaching and teacher training.
His most recent blogging project, entitled, The De-Fossilization Diaries, is about his attempts to improve his Spanish after living in Spain for many years and not making progress.
You can also find links to academic articles he has published on his main website.
4. TEFL In Colombia
TEFL in Colombia is a recent blog by Martin Hajek who started writing in 2020 to share his experiences of teaching there.
Martin is originally from the Czech Republic and in addition to teaching, he also offers services for developing teachers such as teaching feedback and career advice.
Some of his most popular posts include a series on the DELTA, using Spanish in the classroom and a review of learning English with Ricky Gervais.
If you’re interested in developing your teaching career, and if you’d like to work in Colombia, then this is the ideal blog for you.
5. An ELT Notebook
An ELT Notebook is a blog by Sue Swift all about EFL methodology.
It’s not clear when the blog was last updated but you’ll find articles on a diverse range of topics such as exam preparation, dealing with difficult situations, teaching skills and lesson planning.
You can easily navigate the blog using the “labels” section on the right hand side.
A particularly useful section of the blog, especially for new teachers, is about teaching structures and functions. Sue goes through some tricky structures such as “get”, “will”, “there is/there are” and question forms in English.
If you’ve ever wondered why it’s acceptable to use “there’s” with a plural noun, despite what we teach our students, check out this post.
6. English With A Twist
English With A Twist is a popular business English blog created by business English coach and trainer, Shanthi Cumarswarmy Streat.
Shanthi worked in finance for twenty years before re-training as an English teacher in 2010.
Shanthi’s blog focuses on helping business professionals become more confident communicators in international work situations, by improving their communication skills.
While the blog is intended for students rather than learners, it’s a well-known one among teachers too.
In fact, Shanthi’s advice on communicating clearly in international settings will be helpful for you if you’re new to teaching and are learning how to interact with students.
7. Sandy Millin
Sandy Millin is a seasoned ELT professional, freelance consultant and member of IATEFL (the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language).
She has been blogging since 2010 so you’ll find tons of reading material in her archive.
You’ll find posts on her website about teacher training qualifications such as CELTA and DELTA as well as on mental health and probably any other ESL topic you care to think of.
The archives are organized by date rather than topic apart from the “links posts”, so it might be a little tricky to navigate the site. But you can also read the posts in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent one.
8. Lesson Stream Blog
LessonStream is the project of Jamie Keddie, a teacher trainer and storyteller who lives in Barcelona.
The LessonStream story starts way back in 2006 when Jamie got interested in the possibilities the “new” website YouTube offered for English teaching.
In 2007 he created a lesson plan website based on videos called TEFLclips which eventually morphed into LessonStream. These days LessonStream is a membership for teachers who want to use story in their lessons.
On the blog you’ll find Jamie’s reflections through a storytelling lens on different English language teaching topics such as “inspirational” materials, grammar, the Dalai Lama and the Royal Family!
TEFLTastic is a blog by Alex Case that has been going for many years and is still updated to this day with lots of lesson plans for teachers.
The site celebrated its 15th birthday at the end of 2022 and the stats are pretty impressive.
You can search for materials from A-Z in the menu or by sub-topic such as academic English, exams, English for Japanese learners or landscape gardeners. You’ll find something for everyone!
If you enjoy the free materials on the site, you may also want to pick up one of Alex’s books on topics such as IELTS Writing, presentation skills or telephoning in English.
10. Adrian Underhill
Adrian Underhill’s pronunciation blog is dedicated to, you guessed it, teaching pronunciation.
Adrian is an ELT consultant and teacher trainer and is the author of the book “Sound Foundations: Learning and Teaching Pronunciation”.
The blog is a place to find out about any upcoming teacher training events Adrian has planned, whether online or in person.
You’ll also discover his approach to pronunciation teaching, which is all about treating it as a muscular activity, not a cognitive one.
If you’re looking for ways to bring more pronunciation teaching into your lessons, then you’ll find everything you need on this blog.
11. Cristina Cabal
Cristina Cabal is both a teacher and teacher trainer based in Spain who shares her favourite activities using and not using technology.
She’s also a six-time winner of the prestigious British Council Teaching English blog award.
In the menu bar, you can navigate directly to posts on lesson plans, listening, vocabulary, quizzes, teaching with songs and more.
In her more recent posts, she shares how she’s been using new tech tools such as ChatGPT in her work.
Best ESL Bloggers
So there you have it – the 11 best ESL bloggers.
Check out these ESL bloggers the next time you need a lesson plan, want some tips on how to teach a particular aspect of English or just want to read reflections on English language teaching from interesting people.
Maybe you’ll be inspired by one of these blogs and will start using blogging as a way to share your experiences as a teacher, or even as a way to work with your students.
Either way, I hope you’ve enjoyed discovering these ESL bloggers. Have fun reading these blogs!