How my students once surprised me…

        Since I started my own ELT blog last year, a tremendous lot of inspiring heartbreaking ideas came to my teaching practice and most of them changed my own teaching style, and I’m really grateful to those who accidentally did it with me. Talking about the ideas, one of them was to create a group blog where students could  share their thoughts with each other, leave comments, complete written assignments and share funny pics and memes. I wanted to make this rule obligatory for every group I was teaching and I almost succeeded. In fact, all my groups DO have their group blogs, but tastes differ: some of the students are not at all interested in social networks (in this case, a group blog IS considered as a social network), and they are not at all excited about sharing anything or leaving comments. I would say, with some of the groups the group blogs work well, the students are quite active there and they are inspired to share and to collaborate using it. With some not, but it’s not a problem, we’re trying to find different options to make the process more engaging for everybody.

      But seems I was not too confident in my students (and it’s one of my weaknesses, really). When I started teaching Elementary group back in December 2015, I created a group blog in (Russian network) and introduced it to my students, they were extremely engaged, because all of them seem to be active PC users. I was surprised last week when they told they had created private community in the net consisting only of members of the group, where they (!) shared photos of the whiteboard and documents, along with tables and schemes, pictures and vocabulary and functional language lists. Truth be told, I was pleasantly shocked. The group works and lives its own life. The students are sharing music, they are chatting there and discussing stuff, which is an incredibly useful action for Elementaries. Of course, I asked a permission to join and now I see how they perform. I’m trying to be an observer, because I’m quite active as a teacher in our ‘official’ group and now I let them do what they want. I hope my participation will never confuse them and never make them less confident.

Do you have group blogs with your students? If yes, could you share, how successful they are? What do you share? What do they share? Or probably it is a completely different format? I would love to see your comments.

Thanks for reading!

Enjoy spring!


A year of ELT blogging, a year of hopes…

A close friend of mine who is now becoming a very successful IT specialist, always says:

When applying for a job and preparing your CV next time, include ONLY skills and experience you really enjoy doing. In this case you’re definitely about to appreciate your future job…

It’s arguable, but, in fact, I take the point. And my today’s post is in no way connected with CVs or applying for a new job, but it is about experience and skills I’ve obtained to date. It is reflecting on my lessons and my teaching practice in general. So the next time I talk about my job and things that I love about it most (a common question I always ask during the first interview with my potential students), I’ll no doubt include blogging experience and share all the pleasant points I’ve encountered so far.

Yesterday I got the announcement about the first anniversary of my ELT blog Enséñame. If I were a hand-made seller, I would probably organize my first give-away and rush into giving presents to my followers. I wish I could… I wish I could hug everybody who I happen to know thanks to my blogging experience. I wish I could at least send a postcard to those who supported me and posted comments on my blog-posts with appealing ideas.

This year has been the best year of my teaching practice: a tremendous lot of engaging ideas, a lot of new ELT-world people, who contributed to my professional growth, a lot of grateful students whose results are inspiring me and giving food for thought.

Thank you everybody!

And .. thanks for stopping by.

Kisses and hugs 😉


Top 25 favorite ELT blogs


Hello everyone!

A nice morning, isnt´t it? I hope you’re having a productive working week. As promised, here is a list of 25 ELT blogs, which some of you mentioned in comments to my “A Plea for Help”. I was touched by your attitude to my request and by your comments as well. It really helped me to structure a wonderful presentation and present your ideas like something very important in terms of professional development. So, here comes:

  1. Rose Bard
  2. Mike Griffin
  3. Anna Loseva
  4. Hana Tichá
  6. Kevin Stein
  7. Sandy Millin
  8. Joanna Malefaki
  9. Fab English Ideas
  10. Anthony Ash
  11. Film-English
  12. Scholarly Kitchen
  13. Tyson Seburn
  14. Nathan Hall
  15. Hugh Dellar
  16. Scott Thornbury
  17. Marisa Constantinides
  18. Sue Waters
  19. Sylvia Guinan
  20. Zhenya Polosatova
  21. Olya Sergeeva
  22. Rachael Roberts
  23. Svetlana Kandibovich
  24. Vedrana Vojković
  25. Tekhnologic

While posting this list I found those who I’m not following right now, but I’d love to. Thanks a lot again!

Have a wonderful working week!

Photo credit:

A “thank you” post and a “to do” list

Hi everyone!

Today is Monday (thanks, Cap) and this means the new working week has just started. This also means that my business trip is over and now I’m sitting at my desk in the office, having only several minutes to create this blog-post. It’s not easy to write after 3 amazing days of networking and socializing with teachers from my company; after being introduced with new extremely interesting ideas to do in the classroom; not easy because my thoughts are still somewhere and there’s nothing I can do. I just need some time to get them collected and expressed.

But today I would like to thank teachers around the world who helped me with my survey (A plea for help). It was amazing to get so many responses and comments and to be sure everyone is ready to share something useful. Thank you Joanna, Marc, Sandy, Rachel, Vedrana, Rose, Olya, Anya and others. Your blogging experience has helped a lot with presenting the idea of blogging as one of the ways of teachers’ development.

These days I’m short of time because of workload, but there’s something I want to do this week.

  1. To collect ”your favourite blogs” and create a separate blog-post.
  2. To post “Blog Challenge Part 2” (see part 1 here).
  3. Carry on sharing my ideas and things that worked because this is the essence of my blogging experience.

I remember my favourite quotation of charming Audrey Hepburn.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping others, the other for helping yourself.

I’d add: you also have your blog.

Thanks for reading!


“Blog Challenge”, or how I dropped upon my friend. Part 1


One of my friends used to say that people all over the world get necessary information from the common information field; and if there’s something you need rather quickly, you’ll get it from this field. For example, you’re dreaming about traveling to Egypt, and your child is switching the channels on TV when you´re finally running across a TV show about the pyramids…

information field

Yesterday I was not dreaming about traveling somewhere, because I was too busy with my presentation about blogging, so even walking home I was thinking about it. But I ran across my friend from the university. Felix. A rare name for a Russian guy. We haven´t met since we graduated from the university in 2006, so we had a looooot of things to talk about yesterday. He was not busy, me neither, so we sat in the café and chatted for an hour.


Thank you, Felix, I should say. You can´t even imagine what you´ve done to me. Firstly, it was an unexpected ‘encuentro’ after a long period of silence. And… secondly, Felix was so interested in what I did in my life that he was bombarding me with questions and I hardly could be successful in answering all of them (because I had to leave very soon).

The thing is that these questions looked like the ones I was searching for to prepare my presentation. No, it’s not about why people blog or read blog-posts. Apart from that, I was looking for specific questions to ask at the teachers forum (about ELT), so I decided to look through ‘blog challenge’ questions asked and answered in one’s blog. The questions were diverse:

What did you teach last week?

Which areas of ELT are you interested in?

What are your favourite icebreakers?

What does “an ideal lesson” mean for you?

If your students were to label you with three adjectives, what would they be?

What was the most successful lesson you’ve had so far?

Of course, they are too specific. But I was looking for such specific and particular questions to ask the participants. And yesterday Felix was asking me questions which were a) specific and b) personal about my job. It was like an interview which I did perfectly. Personally, I was interested in answering the questions too. I believe, it was a good analysis of what I did, what I do and what I plan to do in future. So, here we go. Next time I’m going to post my answers to his questions.

Thanks for reading!

Have a nice working week!

A plea for help

Hi everyone!

It´s been a while since my last visit here, because after the vacation I was in vague feelings about how to stop being still at the seaside in my thoughts and start working. I hope I´ve returned. And I need your help.

In early October I´m going to participate in an internal event for English teachers in the company where I work. With our Curriculum Manager Olga Sergeeva we have discussed the possibility for me to present there and here we are: I am going to be presenting the topic which has become the most important for me over the last months. Blogging. I’ve been doing it since March ’15 and this is probably the most outstanding thing that has ever happened to me. With my teaching reflections being posted here I also have some responses from real teachers worldwide (e.g. ELT Flash Mob) who support me in my ideas and practical things.

I do believe, blogging considered as a process of self-development is very successful for most of the teachers I know. But it does not only deal with self-development, I believe. But what else? For finding answers to this question I need to analyze three specific things related to blogging. Here they are:

  1. Why do English teachers blog?
  2. Why do English teachers read ELT blogs?
  3. What ELT blog is your favourite one and why?

So, my plea for help goes to real English teachers, my followers or those who are interested in answering. If you leave a comment to my post with answers to these questions above, it would be just wonderful! Lots of thanks!!!
I hope they will be very helpful at the preparation stage and I’m sure I’ll gain new ideas and I’ll share them with you.

Thanks for reading!

Hope to hear from you!

Number one post after the vacation

I love holidays. And I love that exact feeling when I come back to work: I open the door of the office and see my students smiling and sending me their warmest wishes and congratulations regarding my arrival. They know I was missing them, and I know they were missing me and our classes. That’s true. Have you ever had such a feeling?

Today I had a first class after my vacation and it was with Upper-Intermediate students. There were two of them – just because some of students from their group are still on vacation. I hope we’ll soon have the whole group to practice English and to learn something new. These two guys told me it was difficult to start again… I usually ask students when I’m back from vacation: what did you do for improving your skills? They usually say: nothing. Today they told me they learnt some new words and phrasal verbs, they watched new films and read new books.

As for me, it was not difficult at all to come back, and yesterday at night, going to bed, I wanted the new day to come. What about my skills? Frankly, I had quite a few opportunities to have a look at my colleagues’ blog-posts, but I read three books – one by Jojo Moyes (‘Night Music’) and two more by Sophie Kinsella (‘Wedding Night’ and ‘Finding Audrey’) – it is a girlie side of my developing as a teacher (I just wanted to feel like I learn English myself – as a schoolgirl – to read books I like and to relax). Since the past 6 months these books have been the most memorable for me, though they can seem too easy and naive).

Today there’s nothing to blog about. But I was deadly missing my laptop keyboard and ‘Reader’ button in the left corner of the site. I wanna scream out: I’m back and I’m open to everything new.

Right now I’m preparing for the internal teachers’ forum at work, so I’m going to present some ideas and I’m very excited about that. It’s going to be in early October and I will definitely write about my experience in my blog.

Thanks for reading!

What motivates me in my job?



Having classes with my Upper-Intermediate students, I can be sure each lesson turns out to be thought-provoking and demanding. The same with topics. Our next unit is called ‘Motivation’ and it is strictly important for them. First of all, as you may know, I’m a Business English Teacher, so my students are highly interested in an appropriate English level because many things depend on their skills. Secondly, as they told me during our analysis stage, topic ‘Motivation’ is definitely necessary for them to talk about it during their annual Assessments. These Assessments are supposed to provide employees with the opportunity to get promoted, to increase their salary and to achieve their personal goals.

One of the assignments for this topis is to write an essay (or just an answer to the question) ‘What motivates me in my job?’. I decided to write an answer myself, but not as an example of how to do it. It is rather for me to have one more chance to reflect about my job and occupation and about things that make me happy.

So… What really motives me in my job?

I’m ready to answer honestly: an opportunity to communicate. I believe, it is more than that, it is my own happiness and joy to speak to people in Russian, in English, in Spanish, whatever. I’m so lucky, because I have lots of chances to communicate at work. I speak during our classes, I speak in the morning with a cup of tea in my hands, I speak during ‘funny lunches’ as we call them, because so many people get together in the working kitchen and we chat, tell anecdotes and funny stories. I’m a chatter-box, that’s true, but people around me are happy to talk to me, too, and that’s the point.

A foreign language teacher must strive for excellence, and that’s why self-development is a thing that is really wholesome. I believe, at work I have lots of possibilities to develop as a teacher, as a successful teacher whose students increase their level from year to year and they master their English skills. It definitely motivates me! Also I should say something about my blogging experience, it is absolutely awesome in terms of self-development and it is like you kill two birds with one stone. “I write my teaching reflections” means I develop as a teacher. Writing is my thing!

Colleagues also motivate me. I have got plenty of people surrounding me who are talented and gifted and who inspire me. Talking about my students, they are also my colleagues, and taking my teaching into consideration, they are people who bring me opportunities to develop as a teacher. My blog’s name is Enséñame, I have written about the reasons here, and the main idea of that post is to tell my followers and readers that I´m also a learner and a person who is somehow “greedy” in the framework of learning. Teaching is learning, an everlasting process for me, I´m happy to have realized that.

What have I forgotten?

Work-life balance. I’m a part-time teacher, although I find time to read professional literature at home in the evening when I’m alone and no one is watching me. When you have a family and children, a part of your thoughts are devoted to them, but another part is with your students. Several years ago it was difficult for me to balance work and private life, even though at that time there were no people who I had to take care of. Now with my 5-year-old son it is possible to spend half a day at work and another half with him, sometimes providing him with the opportunity to watch an English video on youtube or recite an English nursery rhyme together. I guess, I’ve found an ideal balance, and I’m happy with that.

Many things can motivate. I’m really happy to be here as an English teacher who has got a great amount of things that makes her happy.

Looking back, I should admit this post has turned out to be very sincere and openhearted. I invite my followers to share their thoughts about motivation at work. What motivates you? What makes you happy?

I’m really looking forward to hearing from you!

And… thanks for reading!

What I like and what I dislike



About two days ago I was reading a book for my son before going to bed. Very famous Russian ‘Denis’s stories’ by V. Dragunskiy. I absolutely adore this kind of stories for children, because they are full of emotions and there are so many good things to show to my son: how to behave oneself, how to be fair and honest, how to love people and respect their labor and work. This is very Sovietic book, but despite this fact it is very actual for nowadays.

Among many thought-provoking short stories are two ones with simple titles: ‘What I like’ and ‘What I don’t like’. They are definitely very sincere and touching from the point of view of a boy aged 6-7, who simply explains things or people which surround him and why he likes them or not.

My Intermediate students now are learning how to talk about work-life balance and their leisure time. As for the material in the textbook, it goes without saying that they are introduced with vocabulary about interests and hobbies, and verbs and collocations helping them to express their likes and dislikes. I wrote about likes and dislikes here, and personally I enjoy working with this vocabulary, and it was time to introduce this useful vocabulary to Intermediates to talk about their leisure time. Moreover, I decided to give them a written assignment for hometask. My post today is going to be an example of how to write about likes and dislikes, I’ll send them a link to my blog and after reading and analyzing they are going to write on their own. So…

Today I’m going to write about things that make me happy and things I’m not crazy about.

As you may know, I’m a very artistic person and I prefer doing unusual things. To begin with, I love trying new styles. Today I’m a sporty lady with white sketchers on my feet, tomorrow I’m a romantic woman in pink. Also I absolutely adore different accessories like bracelets, earrings, rings and necklaces. I sometimes order them from trade-masters from abroad, for example, from Israel or from India. These things are gorgeous and nice to use.

I love singing. I’ve been taking part in a choir since 2010. There are 8 ladies (4 of them are Annas :)) and we’ve participated in many concerts so far. I can’t say that our rehearsals are very frequent, but I simply can’t help admiring all the girls in the choir who always encourage me. We are happy to sing, we are united with one idea – to bring warmth and love to people’s hearts. We are winners of many festivals and song contests and for me it is not easy to say whether I like it or not. On the one hand, it is time-consuming and rather demanding thing, because we all have our children and families and can’t leave them for a long period of time, but on the other hand, is is very rewarding thing to participate and I love it very much.

I enjoy travelling. I should say I haven’t visited many foreign countries, but I’m fond of travelling, that’s true. My number one place is the Crimea. I’ve started going there since 2002 and now every year I try to find time for going there with my family. I’m pleased with the fact that my little son Yaroslav is also fond of travelling and he shares my interests. Among places in Russia, I prefer vising Saint Petersburg, this city is incredible. I would love to live there someday…

As for things that don’t make me happy… To begin with, I hate boring weekends. Of course, that depends on me whether to consider a weekend boring or not, but I hate just sitting at home when the sun is shining and the weather is fine for walking and for visiting some interesting places.

On the other hand, I hate this situation when I should create something for every weekend. Why not just relax and find something interesting in this meditating practice? Why run somewhere and spend time on things that don’t interest or bother me? Perhaps, it is just that I can’t relax and keep quite. That’s a thing I would like to change someday. I believe, it’s better to feel internal harmony even with such a dissonance in your soul J

As for my job, I sometimes can’t stand minutes when I’m empty and no idea springs in my mind, especially it relates to preparation for lessons. Just imagine a situation when I ‘m sitting at my desk at work, with a pen in a hand and a blank sheet of paper ready to be competed with some fine ideas… but nothing happens and I just sit and wait. It’s awful! But I try to change methods of doing this, and I’ve achieved some results here: I gave up waiting and started doing something very different. For instance, I call somebody or visit a social network page or talk to someone on the phone for a very short period of time, and the ideas visit me. Not that fast, I should admit, but they are ready to come when I’m relaxed and keep calm.

God Almighty! It turned out to be challenging to write about my likes and dislikes. But at least I tried to be in my students’ shoes when they are supposed to provide me with a well-done written assignment and I’m looking forward to reading them.

Thanks for stopping by!

Looking forward to hearing from you soon…

Scribbles… or a successful blog?

I remember myself in a rather early age and I always wanted to write. It was not important for me what to write and how, be it a poem or a story about relationship, I always wanted them to be puslished some day. And once I was invited to a local newspaper to write some articles as a part-time journalist. Or it is better to say a newsperson, for I do not want to offend journalists, because my literary trash could not be considered as something outstanding. To be honest, my articles were appraised by the chief editor as something obtaining a personal style of writing, but still they needed to be improved. How? Only by means of writing, exploring specific books, getting in touch with professional journalists, asking them for help. My writing practice almost came to naught when I gave a birth to my son. Writing became unimportant and really impossbile those days.

As for my blogging experience, I want to say I also have some, but in Russian. After my son was born, I was taking notes on about my not very intriguing life. I was writing posts about rare travels, about my very challenging marriage and about how it came to an end one day, about my son, about my charity activities with several guys from Moscow and about our ways of doing charity things with the old. So to tell the truth, I did not have anything attractive to share. A couple of friends were following my blog and that was really it. This March I have made an attempt to start my own blog on and I wanted to devote it to my teaching practice and some reflections. But as it turns out, it is more challenging than I have ever thought…

First of all, I shoud thank those who I had a chance to follow and my associate Olga who supported me in the idea of starting to write my reflections on teaching. I have so much to read and to comment in each blog I came across. Secondly, writing is still a dream for me, though it appears to be very challenging and demanding, and time-consuming as well, and I do not want to share ‘scribbles’ that are competely unwholesome. I do not expect people to comment my every post, and I am honest here, at least with myself. So I will start writing and reflecting on things that happen in my teaching practice. I really want to learn how to write (or to blog) and improve my vocabulary and writing skills.

Thanks for stopping by!