Does my head look big in this?

As anyone who knows me will testify, I’ve long been very ambivalent about blogs and blogging. In an otherwise fairly awful movie I watched out of boredom on a plane last year, Contagion, there was one great line: Blogging? It’s just graffiti with punctuation. And let’s face it, the punctuation is only if you’re lucky!

Blogging has long struck me as being a kind of vanity publishing, and has led – at least in my line of work – not to a democratization of thought and opinion, but rather to a kind of tyranny of the loudest and most prolific. I’ve worried about what kind of lives people who blog regularly have – or are running from; I’ve worried about what kind of life I might end up with if I ever allowed myself to get talked into setting one up; I’ve worried about the fact that the last time I did actually try to do a blog I had no real ideas about what function it was to serve other than as a kind of store cupboard for talks I’d given at conferences; I worried too about the fact that hardly anyone seemed to read it!

As if that wasn’t enough, I worry too about the fact I seldom seem to have time or energy to bother reading many of the blogs of the people out there in the ELT community that I know or have met in various contexts. Finally, I fear that this may all make me ill-suited to setting up and running another of these ego-propagating, time-consuming monsters.

And yet here I am, on a school night, writing this to an imagined audience, daring to dream there might be people out there who give a toss about my thoughts and opinions. What gives, I hear you ask?

Well, if I’m honest, there’s partly a touch of ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’. There’s the ever-present frustration with the medium of facebook, where I help to run a fairly busy little page which works well within its own limited parameters, but which doesn’t really allow much room to spread out and talk at any great length, and which is geared towards fast turnover of posts and constant status updates. Then there’s the fact that I have been asked – repeatedly – if I have a blog by teachers that I’ve been lucky enough to meet or work with over the years. And finally, there’s something Jimmie Hill said to me many moons ago, and which has stayed with and almost haunted me down the years: every generation of language teachers has a responsibility to write down what it is they do, what they believe in and how they work.

What I hope – and aim – to do here is to post a lengthy post at best weekly, or else simply when the mood and inspiration strike, exploring things that have been on my mind, considering talks or books I’ve encountered – or given. There may occasionally be guest posts, I may sometimes go off on a lengthy rant and I may also sometimes heap praise where I feel that it’s due.

Looking forward to interacting with whoever may be out that curious to see where all this will lead. And if and when my head does look big in this, I’m trusting you all to tell me.


7 responses

  1. i am so happy i got another chance to have an access to your ideas and advice concerning teaching of English foreign language πŸ™‚
    The moment i attended your workshop at British Council in Lebanon, i became interested in following your page on facebook and now your blog. Thank you for your devotion and care πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Soha. Glad you managed to find me here and hope you’ll find plenty here to stimulate you and to feed into your own classroom practice.

  2. Hi Hugh
    I am glad you’ve finally decided to enter the ELT blogosphere – welcome and you’re right about Facebook being only as good as it gets. Believe it or not, there are many of those who give a toss about your thoughts and opinions and I guess I am one of them.
    Looking forward to your posts, especially lengthy rants πŸ™‚
    Keep it up!
    P.S. Guest blog posts on each others’ blogs some time this year perhaps?

    1. Thanks for the warm welcome Leo. Have to say, three weeks in and I’m still really sure it’s all worth it, but I’ll stick with it for now. I guess you have to persevere until you hit some kind of critical mass. Isn’t that the theory? It has felt very much like I’ve been blogging to myself on occassion, as suspected! Ho hum. Anyway, I’ll try a mixture of old conference talks, responses to things in the TEFL world, classroom practice posts and rants – and see where that gets me.

  3. Deal!

    Welcome and looking forward to reading your posts, Hugh.


  4. Not big at all! Looking forward to reading more of your reflections.

  5. […] the 1st of April 2012 – almost exactly a year ago – I published my first modest blog post on this […]

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