Flipping the script: the defence

In my latest post, I came up with nine reasons why you shouldn’t follow my blog. In this post, I’d like to reverse the situation; in order to improve my reputation, I’d like to find something positive (in blue) in each of the nine defamatory statements (in red).

law-1063249_960_720.jpg#1 I’m a non-native speaker of English writing a blog in English. So if you are a strict grammarian, don’t bother to come here. You are about to witness a lot of language inconsistencies, weird collocations, incorrectly used punctuation, wrong word order, you name it. 

FTS> However, the fact that I write a blog in a foreign language may well be inspiring for all those non-native speakers who think of starting a blog themselves but haven’t had the courage yet precisely due to the concerns I imply in #1. After all, you don’t need to reach a native-like proficiency to get your message across. And although you may never be able to write in flawless English, you’ll be able to improve many aspects of your performance. Isn’t it worth it?

#2 Also, I’m not an excessively thorough writer. In other words, I don’t really sleep on my posts before I share them; I write a post, hit the publish button and then I let it live its own life. Just like that.

FTS > Some say I’m a prolific blogger. I think it’s because I share ideas quite fearlessly. One of the reasons I’m not afraid is because I don’t take blogging too seriously. Also, I write a lot because I’m confident as a teacher. In fact, for me, blogging is just a means to an end; it’s a way of becoming a better teacher. But most importantly, I write without fear because I trust my readers. I know they will ask for clarification if needed and although they may occasionally challenge my views, they will never judge my writing. 

#3 I’m a teacher of English as a foreign language so if you are not a teacher (or if you have nothing to do with education), find a different place where you can procrastinate. This is a site for ELT nerds (if you don’t know what ELT stands for, you are in the wrong place. I said it!)

FTS > Still, there may be quite a few people out there who have nothing to do with teaching yet they can find something they can relate to. I write about a variety of topics so hopefully, some of them will be interesting to outsiders as well. 

#4 If you are a student of mine, stay away from this blog too because, dear student, I sometimes talk about you. I try to be nice but still, you may see things from a different perspective (for example, I may be convinced that an activity worked well while you may think it was crap). I don’t want you to think I’m a liar making things up.

FTS > This is clearly an overstatement. However, I once experienced a situation when a couple of students misunderstood something I had said here on my blog. So, to be completely honest, although I wouldn’t mind my students reading this blog, I find the possibility a bit threatening. The things I write are only one side of the coin after all. Unless *they* join in the conversation…

#5 If you happen to be a close friend of mine, don’t you dare to visit this blog either. You’ll think this can’t be me writing this. You’re right – I am (I feel to be) a different person when I write in a foreign language.

FTS > Another exaggeration. I know some friends and colleagues occasionally visit this blog and although they have congratulated me on the fact that I am able to share useful teaching ideas through blogging, I believe it must be kind of amusing for them to see me openly talk about my little successes and failures. It’s simply not part of the Czech nature to open up our hearts publicly. However, as I write in a foreign language, it is somehow easier for me. 

#6 Sometimes you’ll have to read between the lines to realize that something is an overstatement. I don’t mean no harm but combined with the fact that I’m an NNEST (who can easily misuse a word or a phrase), this can be too much for you to handle, dear reader.

FTS > Like I said, I have experienced a couple of misunderstandings here on my blog (even with some prominent ELT people). Some happened due to my sloppiness a minor language deficit on my part while others, I believe, happened due to the lack of understanding on the reader’s part. I’d like to stress that I never mean to offend anybody – these things simply happen in any kind of online communication. One of the solutions is to think carefully about the words you choose as a blogger but also, and this applies to the reader, to try to see the writer’s perspective. 

#7 If you are an academic, read academic journals, not my blog. I’m just a teacher and I mainly describe classroom practices. I rarely share research findings or stuff like that here so my posts may appear superficial to someone with an insatiable thirst for scientific evidence.

FTS > On the other hand, there are a couple of academics (one of them is very famous in the blogosphere) who have visited this blog to challenge this ‘superficiality’. They asked tricky questions, suggested alternatives and offered a different perspective. They simply made me think. This can only benefit the quality of the blog. So, please, do stop by, dear academics. 

#8 From a practical point of view, I rarely tag my posts or create separate pages so it’s not easy to navigate through my blog.

FTS > However, you can easily use the search button and I believe that overall, the layout of the blog is nice and neat. 🙂 

#9 There are times when I post too often (my son calls it ‘spamming’). So if you hate spam, don’t follow this blog. You might get nightmares.

FTS > On the other hand, my posts are not lengthy or too difficult to understand because I’m no Woolf. So one post a day will certainly do you no harm. 🙂

Thanks for bearing with me!


About Hana Tichá

I'm an EFL teacher based in the Czech Republic. I've been teaching English to learners of all ages for almost 25 years and I still love my job. You can find out more about my passion here on my blog.
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5 Responses to Flipping the script: the defence

  1. Sandy Millin says:

    Please keep spamming! Happy New Year Hana 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Diarmuid says:

    Without wishing to activate the NNS V BANANA debate – the other thing about being a NNST is that who better knows what it’s like to learn English as a foreign language?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ven_vve says:

    I’ve often thought how one of the reasons I love your blog is #1 (the blue part, obviously). Possibly because of #5, there aren’t too many popular NNEST ELT bloggers from Eastern/Central Europe, but you represent the vast majority of English teachers in this geographical area, I think – in that you teach in a regular state school, are a NNEST, didn’t enter the profession via the CELTA route – and it’s good for other teachers of a similar background to see that blogging is something very enjoyable and useful _they_ can do for CPD. And that they can become part of an extremely supportive international community (for the most part), should this be something they are interested in.
    Anyway. I really enjoyed these two posts – you made me smile. Thanks for the blog and all the best in 2018!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hana Tichá says:

      Thank you, Vedrana. This is one of the most complimentary comments I’ve ever received and I’m inclined to include it in my bio. 🙂 Reading your comment, I realize that at first sight, I may indeed look like a rare ‘breed’ of English teacher here in the blogosphere and yes, this is probably one of the crucial factors why many people choose to read this blog. The truth is though that I’ve never felt different, which is probably because my readers have never made me feel that way.
      But …. while in the off-line world I only know and work with the same type of teacher (NNST, state school, MA degree, etc…), here in the blogosphere, the variety is much greater. If you consider the teachers we both know one by one, you’ll see that each one of them is a unique combination of factors. It’s no longer just the CELTA-qualified-native-speaker-based-in-an-exotic-country pattern. This is wonderful and I believe it makes things more and more interesting for each of us.

      Liked by 2 people

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