Another valuable part of my PLN - #ELTchat

It only seems like yesterday that I tweeted for the first time, not sure where it would take me. Twitter soon became the focal point of my online professional development activities with everything (connections to other teachers, new blogs to read, links to interesting and innovative sites, virtual conferences, etc) emanating from a central hub of tweets.

Just a few weeks ago, something caught my eye. A new weekly discussion focused on matters related to language teaching - #ELTchat. By chance, I found myself online for one of the first sessions on motivating students to use English outside the classroom. The experience was intense with tweets appearing fast and furious but I was also pleasantly surprised by the wealth of ideas I got from that session from participants across the globe, working in a variety of contexts. The mini discussions that I got involved in with different participants during the hour were really informative too. This all echoes something I have observed on my MA course – no matter what context we work in, or what specific field of ELT, or what part of the world, we all have ideas to share and things to learn from each other.

ELTchat logo courtesy of

I was back the next week for more as we discussed the role of critical thinking in the language classroom and for more after that with a discussion on coursebooks, which perhaps in part led to the recent flurry of posts on the subject! I soon added an #ELTchat column to Tweet Deck and found myself eagerly awaiting the next poll to vote on and podcast to download. The next week, one of my proposed questions provided the basis for discussion as we looked at the role of L1 in the classroom. Once more, the chat made me reconsider my stance on the subject as I took the ideas tweeting in from around the globe into account.

I was then delighted to be asked to contribute to the weekly podcast reviewing last week’s discussion on measuring oral improvement. That gave me a great chance to reflect deeper on the conversation and, although I was only speaking directly with Shelly Terrell, I felt like I was really connecting with my PLN.

So, if you haven’t done so already, join us every Wednesday at 3pm and 9pm London time for a valuable learning experience; go to to propose questions, review chats and get the latest information on polls and podcasts; add an #ELTchat search to whatever you use to view Twitter; and follow @ELTchat!
Hopefully, I’ll get some colleagues from my school to join us soon!