Twitter has been one of the most useful and transformative tools for my teaching. I have read more ideas, reflections, and thoughtful analyses than I would have had I simply browsed the Web or relied on peer-reviewed journal articles. The Twitter PLN (personal learning network) I have formed has given me new ideas for teaching, new resources for students, new concepts to read about, and most importantly, a safe space for sharing and reading reflections on teaching. Most of the people who form my PLN are not armchair theorists, professors of education, or quantitative researchers; they are entrenched language teachers who share the same problems we all have and who ask the same questions we all ask – namely, “how can I be a more effective teacher?”
Needless to say, Twitter has been an amazing tool. However, to use it can be daunting at first. In the beginning it seems like a steady stream of disconnected conversations and wild acronyms and abbreviations. While it’s not as organized as a book, website, or blog, it more than makes up for this in quantity and quality of content, as well as the spirit of interaction and sharing that social media necessitates.
Twitter is immensely useful and only takes a short amount of time to get used to. So, where do you begin? First you need to find people to follow. Retweet and comment on what’s they are tweeting. Follow who they are following. Then start tweeting your own content (ideas, links, reflections, or even start a blog) and get people to follow you, thus enhancing the positive effects of a Twitter PLN.
With millions of Twitter users, who should you follow?
General Teaching Resources
These Twitter feeds could be great for finding general teaching ideas, lesson plans, and resources.
- ETProfessional – a good source of practical advice and lots of resources
- Oxford ELT – Oxford’s Twitter account is filled with resources, videos, and lots of ideas
- Macmillan ELT – another great resources for practical ideas
- Larry Ferlazzo – LOTS of useful links and resources
Personal Twitter Feeds
Besides finding useful resources on these feeds, you’ll also find interesting, thought-provoking, and even radical discussions on every possible subject of ELT. This is where the magic happens.
- Anthony Teacher – devilishly handsome, super smart
- Mike Griffin - frequent blogger, tweeter, and idearer
- The Secret DOS – shaking the very foundations of ELT
- Russ Mayne – important discussions on evidenced-based EFL
- Sandy Millin – practical resources and interesting discussions
- Rose Bard – useful resources and reflections
- Nathan G Hall – a very reflective ELT blogger
- David Harbinson – blogger, sharer of great ideas/discussions
- Lexical Leo – ideas and resources from a lexical perspective
- Scott Thornbury – ELT rockstar, lots of great ideas
There are tons more, but this should be a good start. If you want even more ideas, you can check my post about my favorite blogs, or Nathan Hall’s reflective post with lots of suggestions of cool people you should follow, or some more people suggested by Mike Griffin here and here.
English Language Resources
Here, you can find some general resources on grammar, vocabulary, and anything else related to speaking or studying English!
- Real Life English – Tweeting real-life English: phrasal verbs, idioms, slang, etc.
- English Club – Lots of great resources for studying English
- Grammarly - Interesting tweets about grammar and vocabulary
(If I didn’t add you to the list, sorry! I couldn’t add everyone, nor could I write a catchy short description either. If you want to be added or know someone who should be added, just let me know in the comments.)
@cioccas recommends also using hashtags to find pertinent content. These include #ELTchat as well as regional hastags like #KELTchat (for Korea) or #AUSelt (Australia) Here are some useful hashtag related resources: