October 10th, 2005
The ability to read and process information is an absolute necessity far beyond the borders of a classroom. In almost every career path, one must be able to communicate clearly and competently interpret incoming information – and some situations they may also mean the difference between life and death. However, building literary skills requires not only compliance and persistence on the student side, but teachers as well. The following blogs open up teachers and parents from different backgrounds and philosophies to new perspectives, ideas, and observations on how to educate the populace and promote one of the most fundamental of life skills. Please use them as a starting point, too, as there are far more incredible resources out there to explore that did not make this list.
1. About.com: English as a Second Language : Kenneth Beare leads About.com’s portal to teaching and learning ESL, filling his blog with valuable tips and tricks for beginners and veterans alike.
2. Larry Ferlazzo’s Website of the Day : Every day, Larry Ferlazzo blogs websites of particular interest to the ESL, ELL, and EFL communities, making it an excellent and indispensible resource.
3. The English Blog : Jeffrey Hill maintains a frequently-updated web presence targeted to those currently teaching or learning English. His diverse content covers a wide range of styles, issues, and lessons.
4. Ted Landphair’s America : Teachers with classes full of students hoping to learn or practice their English in the United States would do well to browse this historical resource that comes accompanied by some excellent – often obscure – vocabulary words. There are many potential lessons to be found here!
5. AzarGrammar.com’s Teacher Talk Blog : This painstakingly detailed blog may target ESL, EFL, and ELL teachers, but even those with classes full of native speakers can still find some amazing pointers here as well.
6. ESL Lesson Plan : Morf Morford provides the ESL industry with an exceedingly valuable and comprehensive resource chock full of lesson plans, budgeting advice, and other fantastic suggestions to give students the best education possible.
7. Becoming a Better EFL Teacher : A blog dedicated to English as a foreign language speaking to students and instructors alike, Becoming a Better EFL Teacher provides some amazing resources, lessons, and advice.
8. Burcu Akyol’s Blog : Experienced EFL educator Burcu Akyol shares her observations and advice on the subject in addition to an incredibly diverse selection of multimedia resources.
9. ESL Teaching Resources : Anyone who teaches English to non-native speakers – no matter the context – ought to bookmark the ESL Teaching Resources blog for a thorough peek into pretty much everything about that career path.
10. EFL Teaching Recipes : Even those who teach English to native speakers may find the various lessons and snippets of advice offered through this blog of interest as well.
11. PainInTheEnglish.com : This very delightful blog explores “the gray areas of the English language,” shedding light on the subjective, perpetually changing nature of human speech.
12. Separated by a Common Language : Even within English itself, numerous regional and national differences crop up along the way. M. Lynne Murphy’s highly respected and celebrated blog showcases all the quirks that separate the language as it is spoken and written in England and America.
13. Grammar Girl : Mignon Fogarty’s extremely popular blog and podcast at Quick and Dirty Tips answers extremely common grammar questions as well as those pertaining to some of the more esoteric corners of the language.
14. Evolving English II : Another fantastic English grammar blog, this time diving into the ways the language has changed in structure and vocabulary throughout the centuries.
15. Language Log : Teachers and students alike who harbor a love of grammar, the history of communication, phonetics, and other related topics simply must read over (and bookmark!) Language Log.
16. The Grammarphobia Blog : Both the blog and the surrounding website make for an excellent reference for teachers and students alike who find themselves baffled by some of the oddities in the English language.
17. English Grammar Blog : Through its blog and website alike, English Grammar Revolution provides a fun, accessible, and highly informative reference for teachers, students, and writers.
18. Mighty Red Pen : One saucy and seasoned professional writer and editor discusses finite details of the English language that many individuals may overlook.
19. Mrs. Write Right, Word Therapist : Writer and editor Julia Temlyn weighs in on some insightful, intelligent, and engaging grammar and style rules using clear language and warm accessibility.
20. The Punctuator! : With punctuation being one of the most confounding elements of any language for anyone, it pays to understand all the whats, whys, and hows behind the marks.
Education and Educators
21. Literacy is Priceless : Bon Education founder Anna Batchelder blends together her love of technology and teaching literacy to offer teachers an excellent, comprehensive resource on promoting reading and writing.
22. huffenglish.com : Another blog on the intersection between technology and education, focusing its energy and resources on issues regarding how they apply to teaching English.
23. An individual’s concepts : It may not update often, but An individual’s concepts provides some awesomely academic insights on grammar, semantics, and everything in between.
24. literacies café : This blog plays host to the former literacies journal, continuing its promotion of adult literacy in Canada and the world as a whole.
25. AlphaPlus Blog : The AlphaPlus Centre serves as an excellent resource for anyone involved in educating adults about literacy using the latest technological innovations.
26. Adult Education Matters : Teachers who have devoted their time to educating adults in literacy and other absolutely necessary life skills can very much appreciate the news, views, issues, and opinions that shape their industry.
27. qualities-communities-literacies : This painstakingly thorough literacy blog covers more than just how integral the ability to read, write, and communicate is in everyday life, including the sociological factors that lead many to shun the idea of education altogether.
28. Free Technology for Teachers : Although Free Technology for Teachers targets educators in most subjects, there is enough here to engage and interest those emphasizing literacy to warrant visits.
29. English Updates : Raymond Stopper covers an impressively broad selection of issues of teaching English and literacy from kindergarten through high school.
30. Monrovia Literacy Services : Even those who do not directly benefit from Monrovia Public Library’s many services can still learn something from their frequent postings on the state of literacy in California and America.
31. literacyspace: literacy & library cightings : Because libraries offer their surrounding communities so much when it comes to education in literacy and beyond, English teachers should pay close attention to how the relevant research and trends relate to their industry.
32. Bill Boyd – The Literacy Advisor : Educator and literacy advocate Bill Boyd blogs extensively on a number of subjects suitable for teachers and students alike.
33. DLC Adult Literacy Community : In spite of being based in North Carolina, the research, lessons, and other information regarding empowering adults to embrace literacy reverberates worldwide.
34. The Literacy Tribune : A newsletter, blog, and network targeting adults hoping to sharpen their literacy skills, The Literacy Tribune also helps educators figure out the techniques that do and do not work for mature students.
35. Open Wide, Look Inside : Several different education professionals weigh in on how teachers can find creative ways to incorporate literacy and literature in the classroom – beyond English class!
36. The Stenhouse Blog : Stenhouse Publishers works in tandem with teachers to find the best strategies and resources that help nurture a love for reading and literacy in students.
Literary Criticism and Reading Promotion
37. The Elegant Variation : The Elegant Variation exists as one of the top literary criticism blogs on the web, helping visitors learn how to hone and apply their reading and comprehension skills.
38. International Reading Association : Literacy professionals in libraries, schools, and other career paths pool their knowledge and resources to promote the value of reading all over the world.
39. The Valve : Readers eager for intellectual stimulation and painstakingly detailed literary critique with a hint of cheek need to add The Valve to their regular blog rotation.
40. A Year of Reading : Two seasoned veteran teachers – each with over 20 years of experience under their belts – blog about their thoughts regarding the children’s and young adult books they encounter along the way.
41. Critical Mass : Explore what the Board of Directors at the National Book Critics Circle has to say about the current state of literary criticism and promotion in America.
42. Flashlight Worthy : Flashlight Worthy, though not structured like a traditional blog, fills a definite niche in the online literature community. Any parents, teachers, students, or bibliophiles looking for reads that fit their needs and wants can easily immerse themselves amongst the listings containing hundreds of specialized recommendations.
43. National Center for Family Literacy : Literacy can only receive so much promotion in the schools and libraries. Families must also band together to extol the necessity of reading in the home as well.
44. I.N.K – Interesting Nonfiction for Kids : Teachers and parents alike hoping to expose children to solid works of nonfiction alongside their fiction intake will certainly embrace the I.N.K. blog’s intelligent reviews and discussions.
45. The Cybils : Every year, The Cybils go out to reward the best bloggers focusing on children’s and young adult literature. The in-between periods involve interviews, discussions, news, and views on the subject in order to promote reading amongst the younger demographics.
46. Blog of a Bookslut : Bookslut has rightfully garnered a considerable amount of praise for its thoughtful content regarding literary criticism and its surrounding community.
47. Conversational Reading : Get inspired to read the diverse selections featured at Conversational Reading and share findings with other individuals and groups. Openly discussing fiction and nonfiction alike makes for an excellent means of applying literacy skills.
48. The Book : Put those literary criticism skills to the test by going toe-to-toe with the writers and editors of The New Republic.
49. The Believer : Though a general media blog and magazine, the literary discussions at The Believer challenges and stimulates readers with some great commentary, interesting figures, and excellent readers.
50. The Book Bench : Indulge in The New Yorker’s highly literate look at the world of reading and writing and the ways in which it shapes society for better or for worse.
With these blogs (and many of the others out there not listed as well!), teachers, parents, and students dedicated to acquiring the reading, writing, and communication skills necessary to succeed in almost any industry have access to resources and concepts to help guide them on their journeys. Use them to nurture competence and clarity in literacy both externally and internally, as even those with advanced abilities still need to learn a little something from time to time.
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