Well, I can hardly believe it has only been six months that I have been blogging here. Since we are coming up to summer, and I am going to take a break from Six Things for a couple of months, I thought I would finish this first “season” off with a special post. Additionally, it just so happens that this is list number 66 which makes it apt for reflection. Finally, Karenne Sylvester of Kalinago English issued a call for bloggers to post their reflections for “newbies” (newcomers) to the world of ELT blogging.
So, here are six things about Six Things.
1 Your favourite lists.
I have a feature on my blog which tells me the top posts (the ones that receive the most visits). I’m not exactly sure how it works, but it’s there. Here are the top six posts of Six Things according to the statistics
- Six computer games to use in the language classroom
- Six highly provocative quotes in ELT
- Jamie Keddie’s Six Favourite Youtube videos
- Scott Thornbury’s Six Great Films about Teaching
- Six Technological Inventions Teachers Really Want to See
- Six Tired Examples for Teaching Grammar
2 My favourite lists.
Of course, I love all the lists I put on this blog. But I do have my own favourites too. Apart from the most popular ones above, here are six other “gems” in my humble opinion that are worth taking a look at if you are a newcomer to the site or rereading if you are a regular visitor.
- Six rumours and conspiracy theories in ELT
- Philip Kerr’s Six Inspirations to Become a Teacher
- Six overexposed celebrities in ESL/EFL coursebooks
- Six ways the American Military has taught languages
- Six Famous Writers who used to be English Teachers
- Six Weird and Wonderful Emails to Onestopenglish
I’d also like to thank profusely all the other authors and teachers who have agreed to do lists for me (e.g. Mario Rinvolucri, Duncan Foord, Carol Read, Onestopenglish…)
3 Guest appearances on other sites
Since starting this whole blogging thing, Six Things has made a few guest appearances. I wrote a piece called Six Things to do as soon as you finish your CELTA on Alex Case’s blog. The infamous TEFL Tradesman, Sandy McManus, convinced me to do an interview which resulted in Six Awkward Questions the TEFL Tradesman asked me. I droned on so much that Sandy kind of nodded off, and he had to publish that interview in two parts. Finally, the Macmillan Dictionary people asked me to do a review of their online dictionary site. I was in a bit of a rush, so I gave them 6 minutes of my time. You can see the resulting review Six Things in Six Minutes on their site.
4 Six Things on video
Determined to milk the list thing for all it’s got, I did a presentation on lists for IATEFL this year. You can see the highlights of that here. A better version of this talk for the internet emerged when I did it for the Macmillan Webinars. You can see that talk here.
5 The infamous poll
I noticed a few months into blogging that I could put on my blog, at no extra cost, a poll thing. How cool is that? After some thought I decided to do a poll of influential people in ELT in order to make a new list. I felt that I would be joining the ranks of all those great internet polls (World’s Sexiest Woman, Worst Pizza Place in America etc). I proudly announced my poll on Twitter and all hell broke loose. First came the indignation of people who were left out (I had disgracefully ignored the technology people, I had missed out hundreds of names from critical pedagogy, my shortlist was very Anglocentric, very white, very male or just plain “odd”). Then people pointed out that it lacked context, that you can’t just vote for ONE person and… oh I could go on and on about that fateful morning. I felt like ripping the whole thing down. But I decided not to be cowed by the roar in the Twittersphere. I will keep gathering results with my crude and vulgar little poll and intend on publishing the list in September (after suiting up with protective clothing). You can see and participate in the poll here.
6 The future of six things
So, after six months of blogging what is in store for Six Things? First of all, I’ll be taking a break for the summer. Six Things will resume in September. I hope to continue to bring you interesting and thought-provoking lists that you have come to expect here. I also hope to continue with the practical lists for monthly activities and topical issues, what I call my “open source” or “freeware” materials writing. Finally, I already have some impressive guests lined up (including a Jeremy Harmer Six and a Ben Goldstein Six). My goal is now to keep going until I have 100 lists on the site (making it 600 things). After that maybe I’ll stop and move onto something else. Or I’ll keep going. Maybe I should do another poll to see…
To finish off, I decided to do a wordle of my site. Interesting results, and isn’t it pretty?