Saturday, September 10, 2011

Three ways to use blog in ESL classroom

Technology is changing people's way of life and education is not an exception. The younger generation is under a different experience of receiving information from their teachers, which makes this time a big challenging for educators. In order to narrow the big gap with students, teachers need to consider using technologies in their teaching so as to make the education adaptable and beneficial to their students in this age. To be an ESL teacher, we also need to think about using website tools in our language teaching. I personally view that the new technology will activate students passion and motivation for language learning and providing a innovative way of learning English to language learners. However, language educator needs to think about the details of using technology in classroom, like: Would this new way of learning beneficial?
How can L2 teachers use blog in their teaching?Would this new way of teaching appropriate? Here are my suggestions of three ways to use blog in ESL classroom.

No. 1-- By using blogs teachers can create an online learning community for student.
Actually this new cyberspace provide teachers a chance to create a new language learning opportunities to language learners outside classrooms. The traditional way of teaching make the communication outside classroom impossible for learners and teachers. However, blog provides a new platform for them to communicate opinion, discuss questions and share their learning experience. This is a good for way language learners to learn another language. 

This would support the Standard 1.1 of national standard for foreign language education.Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions. 

No.2-- Teachers can put authentic language articles on their blog communities for students to read.
It will be a good way for teachers provide good articles on their blogs. Students might be more interested in reading materials and articles in this way than in reading articles in the traditional ways, with which students are more familiar and comfortable with. In addition, other forms of materials can be posted in the blog, which can enhance students understanding in language from other perspectives. Another strong point is that students can discuss and share their understanding of the readings on their blogs not only with their peers but also teachers too. 

This would support the standard 3: English for critical analysis and evaluation develops students' abilities to read, write, listen and speak in English to analyze and evaluate complex texts and issues.

No.3--Constantly blog writing can enhance students' writing ability in language.
Teachers can assign students a daily writing practice of keeping blogs. In this way, on one hand this can help students form a habit of writing and on the other hand with this writing habit, students can benefit a lot from it concerning their writing ability in their L2. The most important thing is that student might not view this task tedious and boring, for the viewing of their blogs from outside like their classmate, their friends, family members and even strangers other than only their teacher will motivate and encourage students in writing. 

This would support the standard 3: English for critical analysis and evaluation develops students' abilities to read, write, listen and speak in English to analyze and evaluate complex texts and issues.


Sra. Zepper said...

I agree that blogs provide innumerable opportunities in terms of potential content.
I like your suggestion about assigning blog writing as a method of enhancing writing practice. One of my concerns about this type of assignment is maintaining interest. In my experience, it’s not enough to simply work with technology, the teacher also needs to provide interesting prompts for the blog work and keep the workload reasonable.

Maryanne said...

All of these are good suggestions for using blogs. It is also important for the teacher to decide beforehand whether the student blog posts are going to be evaluated or not. If posts are evaluated, many teachers feel that comprehensibility is more important than accuracy, but that is a decision each teacher must make.

Elaine Ying Yue said...

Yes, I agree with you that the evaluation is important to secure the quality using blog in L2 classroom.