I’ll be in Australia very soon, so here’s the latest site news on the direction of Get Into English:
It’s about two years now since I had my lovely classroom and language studio in Prague, Czech Republic. Professionally speaking, I was happy with the set up. People in the city discovered the blog and some then contacted me for lessons.
I wrote articles inspired by what we were doing together in class, and sometimes I created worksheets for my clients to download here (as some were travelling across Europe on business, it was a plus for them to ‘check in’ on this blog for the latest on learning English).
It worked very well.
Even today I am one of the few English teachers based in the Czech Republic who have a site with regular articles in English on a wide variety of topics.
By the way, you can find an example of some of the worksheets I prepared for students here [phrasal verbs].
The original tagline of the site was ‘communicate with confidence.’ I wrote many articles on confidence and motivation, mindset, phrasal verbs, idioms, Cambridge exam tips, and even some on grammar.
Eventually readership grew from outside of Prague and the site became more general with each year.
However, last year I changed the tagline or overall site ‘big picture idea’ to ‘English For Australia.’ I’d decided to move to Australia and so it made sense to promote the blog as a place to help international students, immigrants, and those interested in travelling there.
Yet despite this, so far I haven’t written much connected to Australia, partly as I didn’t expect that the legal process to close my Czech company would take so long – about 12 months! I expected to be home much sooner!
In addition, although I’ve enjoyed studying languages during the time of the company closure, I’ve missed having my own language studio and clients, and using the blog as a part of what I offer to potential clients.
Maybe this is about to change!
What To Focus On..?
I’ve asked a few teachers and English students for their opinions on what articles they like to read online, and their comments have been very interesting.
There are in fact some fascinating questions that show blogging and teaching are not always simple:
- What do students say they want to do or read online?
- What do we teachers think they need?
- What do we bloggers want to do/write?
You could in fact have a situation where a student thinks they need more grammar, while I as a teacher believe they should focus more on collocations – but as a blogger I might write tips about how to improve their experience on LinkedIn (for example, here and here)!
So it’s important to find a good ‘learning match.’
As well, the blog as a medium of communication is not the same as it was back in the mid-late 2000s.
These days blogs are not that popular and some experts are proclaiming that ‘the blog is dead’. I think it’s partly true and I know that it’s important to create other digital content, especially videos. This is something I’ve wanted to add and I believe it’ll make the whole site more attractive.
What about you – what do you look for in a top English website?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment below on what you most look for in a blog that you’d like to read regularly.
‘English For Entrepreneurs’
Today I changed the tagline to ‘English For Entrepreneurs‘ and I like this idea more and more.
First up, I’d still like to include articles with an Australian focus. Some have said to me that I should keep the blog ‘general’, but I enjoy visiting other parts of the world from my laptop (one of my favourite websites is London Real), and I’d like to attract readers who are similar. So even if you’re in Osaka or Buenos Aires, maybe you’re curious about other cultures and languages. And of course, if you’re in Australia, then I’d like to write some helpful articles on the local culture or Aussie-specific vocabulary.
Secondly, and more importantly, ‘English For Entrepreneurs‘ combines the original idea of Get Into English – helping you communicate with confidence – with the direction I’d like to go in.
Yes, I’ll still write articles on vocabulary and grammar, but I’d like to talk about bigger ideas too.
The reason why I like the concept of reaching out to those who have an entrepreneurial spirit is that these kinds of learners love to discuss the big picture.
Most of the materials on learning English are very, very politically correct. I’ll write more on this later, but in short, English coursebooks are designed to follow the Progressive Movement’s political point of view, while also deleting content that might ‘offend’ people in other countries. This means that if you’re an adventurer, if you want to be an independent thinker, and you’re a believer in free speech, we can discuss all kinds of things that others are afraid to talk about!
An example of this is that I believe I was among the first teachers to present vocabulary to discuss gay and LGBTQI issues (eg here and here). I’d like to add racism and immigration, the future of work, religion, globalism, feminism, and other things to the list.
But please note that regardless of where you stand, everyone has a right to be heard and to express their ideas and opinions and I’d like this site to be a place for this. Of course I don’t want to see personal abuse like we see in American politics: it’s simply that I’d like you to back up your thoughts with reasoned, compelling arguments.
For example, if you’re against gay marriage (now called ‘equal marriage’), how come? What is your argument? Can you present a reasoned case..?
Two More Things..
‘English for Entrepreneurs’ means that I’d like to write articles connected with business. This includes common phrasal verbs, idioms, and language used in a business environment.
I studied business at university and writing on these topics also gives me reminders of things to pay attention to when I’m looking for work or potential clients.
As well, I would like to write English guides during the year. What I mean by this is that I take the time to create professional 10-20 page reports that readers might be interested to read. For example, ‘The English Fluency Guide: How To Be Fluent In English.’
At some point I’d like to prepare these professional guides and short e-books for sale either on this site or on Amazon.
In a way nothing changes. In another way, everything does.
This blog will continue to grow but I also believe it won’t find it’s core readership until I’m back in Australia. I’d definitely like to encourage you to take part, wherever you are, and please share any articles you like with your friends.
Thank you for reading this and also to those who have already written emails to me!
What kind of articles do you like to read? Please let me know in the comments below.