The blog is not dead nor is it as exciting and new as it once was. Ever since I chose my dissertation topic way back in 2010, I have been reading and following blogs written by sojourning English language teachers, mostly those in Japan and South Korea. I’ve been following a few dozen or more to start noticing some interesting patterns. Now I’d like to share this collection of blogs with you. Perhaps you will find your own.
I found it easy for me to categorize these active blogs written by sojourning ELTs into four categories.
The well-established blog
Many of these blogs are written by sojourning ELTs who have been teaching and writing for more than a few years. They have been persistent enough in their writing and promoting habits to build a following, and many of them have become famous among their respective overseas blogging community. The authors’ blogging identities may overshadow their teaching identities.
The current and relevant blog
Most of these blogs are written by and for sojourning ELTs frequently enough to keep audiences engaged at least once a month. They may not have the time or resources that the well-established bloggers have. Some of these blogs may have more readers then well-established blogs at times. More importantly, they may be more helpful to inform new and prospective sojourning ELTs about living and teaching abroad.
The other topics blog
Some of these blogs may be written about sojourning ELTs, but they prefer to write about their travels. Many of these blogs are about travel advice and/or travel experience. Some of them give ELT advice without going into detail about the blogger’s identity or personal experiences. If you are interested in learning about the cultural and professional learning of sojourning ELTs, you will not find it here. The only reason this category is included in the active blogs category is that some of them have written about ELT once in a while and/or they share the same community as the well-established blogs. Some of these blogs are also well-established but for a different audience.
The former sojourning ELT blog
These blogs are written by sojourning ELTs who have returned home and/or found another line of work. Their sojourning ELT experience is archived in the blog that now has a new purpose.
I am trying my best to keep track of these blogs. You may view them here. It is on a Google document, so I can easily edit and update this information.
If someone has not blogged for two months, I categorize their blog as inactive. For example, as of this writing in December 2015, there are a few blogs listed as inactive even though they were last published in October.
Some inactive blogs are still published but not frequent enough to be called active. This blog is a good example of that. I blogged frequently during the last half of this summer, but then I became inactive because I was focusing on my day job.
I didn’t break down inactive blogs into categories, however there are some that could overlap with the Other Topics Blogs in the active category because the bloggers now write about travel. However, most if not all of them do not blog regularly anymore.
I also made a Google document listing these here. As I just updated the document this week, I realize that this is probably the fastest changing document of the three. These bloggers don’t write often enough, but they haven’t stopped long enough to be categorized as abandoned.
These blogs have not been updated in a year or more. I like to consider my document list for this category as the sojourning ELT blog graveyard. Every so often a blogger will remove his or her blog from the Internet, but usually the writers just leave their writing online to age like a fine archive. A few of these blogs have been abandoned so the bloggers could start afresh on a new blog, usually on a new blogging platform. We cannot assume that the bloggers have stopped teaching English, returned to their home country, lost the will or ability to write, or something worse.
As of this writing, these documents that I am sharing only include blogs I have encountered from 2010 until last year. I have not actively searched for new sojourning ELT blogs since last winter, so I may adding to these lists within the next few weeks.
I also notice that YouTube is becoming a more popular social media hub for sojourning ELTs to share their cultural and professional learning experiences. I would like to share those YouTube channels in one of my next posts.
Lastly, if you notice that your blog or your colleagues’ blogs are not listed here, please let me know in the comments section or send me a tweet or email message.