ESL, EFL & ESOL Blogging

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A few years ago, many ESL bloggers were claiming that blogging was going to change the face of ESL on the web. I always thought that these claims were excessive; many bloggers were coming into IT without many technical skills and were evangelical about what they could do without understanding the ideas behind Web 2.0 or what was happening on the web already.

Blogging has now been around sufficiently long to judge whether those claims were true or not; it is no longer a matter of making claims about the future. The earliest blogs were running in the 1990s, but it wasn't until the start of the next decade that they really hit a mass audience, but that is quite long enough to assess the impact.

There are areas, especially news and politics, where they have had a big impact, but in areas like ESL they have done little, and I am aware that I am writing this in a blog. I rarely see blog entries in any searches I do, which suggests that they have done little to challenge the established order of webpages. One area where they have been successful is in blacklisting or criticising schools and institutions, where the anonymity is ideal. But in teaching, I see little impact at all. Most, like this one, are read by few and are not even legends in their own lunchtime, locked into their own little blogosphere worlds and unaware of how little impact they have.

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