Most Popular Posts of 2016


Having spent the last five Christmasses in countries where December equals snow, I can’t quite believe it’s only two days til Christmas and there’s not a flake or a flurry in sight! Although I can be something of a workaholic I will be taking a few days off from the blog after my EFL Advent Calendar finishes on the 25th. In the meantime, though, I’ve been inspired by other people’s round-up posts. Here are my top ten most viewed posts in 2016!

1. Planning on a Daily Basis

Topping out the list of most popular posts was this one, where I discuss how I usually plan my lessons, and offer tips for new teachers on how to keep that pesky planning time down. This post then sparked ones by Sandy Millin, where she shares one of her own plans, Tekhnologic, who discusses how to use Microsoft Word for lesson planning (and shares some helpful shortcuts that I’ve bookmarked for my own future reference!) and Giulia, who shares her own reflections on lesson planning.

2. 5 Games for Advanced Students

In my first couple of years of teaching, I taught predominently higher-level classes. Here I share five of my favourite games to play with upper-intermediate or advanced students.

3. I don’t know: What if my students ask me a question and I don’t know the answer?

I have to admit that I’m really pleased this post is up there in the top three most popular posts – simply because this is a situation we all face as teachers! It also sparked some interesting discussion, both in the comments and on Facebook: the overall consensus was that honesty is the best policy.

4. 2 Ways to Make it a Game

In this post I share two pen and paper/whiteboard games that can be easily adapted to use with any topic/grammar point. Great for that one time that technology fails you!

5. Games for Beginner Students

Games seem to be a universally popular topic for teachers. Although most of us have a core repertoire of activities we often use, it’s good to add to it and change things around once in a while.

6. Teaching Teens 101

Ah, the dreaded teenagers. Love ’em or hate ’em, it’s useful to know how to teach them. Here I offer 10 tips for teachers.

7. Teaching Kids 101

My sister post to teaching teens, this time on working with our younger learners.

8. Teaching Beginners 101

When I first started teaching, I found beginner students among the hardest to teach. Now they’re one of my favourite levels to work with. If you’ve got a beginner class for the first time and are looking for some tips, start here.

9. 5 Ways to Improve Students’ Spelling

Last year I devoted a lot of time and effort to helping my young learner students improve their spelling. These were my favourite activities and techniques.

10. Everything But the Kitchen Sink

In ELT blogging, we spend a lot of time talking about teaching and specifically focusing on activities to use in class. We don’t spend much time talking about what often comes before you even get a class to teach – packing and starting a new job abroad. In this post I share my thoughts on what I’m glad went in my suitcase… and a few things I wish I’d left behind.

I’d like to thank everyone for their support, engagement, sharing and comments in 2016. It seems crazy to think that this blog has been read almost 13,000 times since I started it back in March!

In the meantime if there’s anything you’d like to read here in 2016, drop me a comment here!

I hope you all have a peaceful, happy Christmas, wherever you are, and I’ll be back writing again soon!

Elly x


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