Archive for November, 2010

Billboards of Traditional Kazakhs and Christmas Trees

Today’s blog will feature some photos I’ve taken in the last month.  I don’t seem to get my camera in my purse when the HUGE tree outside of our campus is all lit up.  Sunday when I was there at work, it wasn’t all BLUE with white decorations shining brightly, last night it was all lit up.  Of course, I didn’t have my camera then. (sigh)  It took the workers about a week to put the finishing touches of bows, balls and lights up on this 45-50 foot tree while using three cherry pickers.  I just wish I had the photo showing the blue lights.  Well, the other three photos are billboards in my neighborhood that I’ve been meaning to take for some time.  One is a Kazakh dancer, another a dombra player and the third is a man who trains birds to hunt small game. All very Kazakh.  Next time I’ll show the beautifully lit Christmas tree at our university which is referred to by the locals as a “New Years” tree. Of course, they don’t celebrate Christmas here in this Muslim land.

You have to know, the Astana city streets are all “dressed to the nines,” as they say.  Lights everywhere, decorated trees everywhere, especially in the new part of the city where we live.  This area of strange architectural wonders is now known as the RED ZONE, but I call it the colorful zone! Yes we have some very important heads of state representing 55 countries who are here in Astana for a two day summit conference.  The likes of Hillary, Sarkozy, Merkel and many others will no doubt see the tree in front of our university along with all the other lights and buildings.  Astana is spectacular yet what was blowing from the west was a very cold wind chill.  I almost felt sorry for the police who are standing along all the routes about 100 feet apart making sure that nothing happens that would diminish the glory of Astana’s preparation for the summit.  All of us residents will be glad when everything is back to “normal” as we know it.

Please note my little Christmas tree that Ken and I set up a week or so ago.  I love this little tree made in Poland but with Chinese twinkling lights and ornaments added with each passing year. 

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Two Anecdotes for Thought about Education

The following are things I’m learning about a country, Uzbekistan, I will probably never see.  I have American friends who used to live in Tashkent and other Americans who have visited to Bukhara and Sumarkand, but me…not to be.  Recently I came across some interesting names so I need to educate myself about who Amir Temur and Babur were.  What do the Kazakh people know about these characters?  I wonder, because we as Americans know nothing about these Central Asian warriors and leaders.

First, who is Amir Temur?  Doing a Wikipedia search (not to be confused with wikileaks) I came across this info:

Timur (from the Perso-Arabic form تیمور Tīmūr, ultimately from Chagatai (Middle TurkicTemüriron“; 8 April 1336 – 18 February 1405), normally known as Tamerlane (from Tīmūr-e Lang) in English, was a fourteenth-century conqueror of WesternSouth and Central Asia, founder of the Timurid Empire and Timurid dynasty (1370–1405) in Central Asia, and great great grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived until 1857 as the Mughal Empire in India.

Born into the Turco-Mongol[6][7]Barlas tribe who ruled in Central Asia,[8][9] Timur was in his lifetime a controversial figure, and remains so today. He sought to restore the Mongol Empire,[10][11] yet his heaviest blow was against the Islamized Tatar Golden Horde. He was more at home in an urban environment than on the steppe. He styled himself a ghazi yet some Muslim states, e.g. the Ottoman Empire, were severely affected by his wars. A great patron of the arts, his campaigns also caused vast destruction. Timur told the qadis of Aleppo, during the sack of that newly conquered city, “I am not a man of blood; and God is my witness that in all my wars I have never been the aggressor, and that my enemies have always been the authors of their own calamity.”

Next, here’s more from Wikipedia about the character Babur, not a very nice person in my estimation, supposedly he was a poet but I think a bloodthirsty one:

Babur was born on February 23 [O.S. February 14] 1483[12] in the town of Andijan, in the Fergana Valley which is in modern Uzbekistan. He was the eldest son of ʿOmar Sheykh Mirzā,[13] ruler of the Fergana Valley, and his wife Qutluq Negār Khānum, daughter of Yonus Khān, the ruler ofMoghulistan.

Although Babur hailed from the Barlas tribe which was of Mongol origin, his tribe had embraced Turkic[14] and Persian culture,[2][15][16]converted to Islam and resided in Turkestan and Khorasan. His mother tongue was the Chaghatai language (known to Babur as Turkī, “Turkic”) and he was equally at home in Persian, the lingua franca of the Timurid elite.[17]

Hence Babur, though nominally a Mongol (or Moghul in Persian), drew much of his support from the Turkic and Iranian peoples of Central Asia, and his army was diverse in its ethnic makeup, including Persians (Tajiks or Sarts, as they were called by Babur),[10]Pashtuns, and Arabs as well as Barlas and Chaghatayid Turco-Mongols from Central Asia.[18] Babur’s army also included Qizilbāsh fighters, a militant religious order ofShi’aSufis from Safavid Persia who later became one of the most influential groups in the Mughal court.

Babur is said to have been extremely strong and physically fit. He could allegedly carry two men, one on each of his shoulders, and then climb slopes on the run, just for exercise. Legend holds that Babur swam across every major river he encountered, including twice across theGanges River in North India.[19]

His passions could be equally strong. In his first marriage he was “bashful” towards ʿĀʾisha Ṣultān Begum, later losing his affection for her.[20]

He also had a great passion to kill people, cut heads of people and create pillars out of cut head. He claimed to have created several such pillars in his autobiography.[21]

Finally, there is Ulugbek, but that’s enough of looking into Uzbekistan’s history through the eyes of Wikipedia.  There has to be something that upholds virtue and other character traits that can help benefit children in schools that are building up a civil society.  Food for thought, these two anecdotes about Central Asian leaders from the distant past…

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“Laughed” and Left Levity; Spider and Cider Drinks

Last night was particularly fun with 11 people squeezed into our flat for a lot of levity and food and fun!  The right combination of people made it a success. When entering our flat, the aroma of the apple cider on the stove that I had brewed three hours before, greeted everyone. At American Corner we showed “Sleepless in Seattle” though I would have preferred showing “While you were sleeping” since it has more of a Christmas theme to it.  We may show it later in December at American Corner.

For almost ten years, I have played this one Christmas game with my students and even with expats and with my family back home in Minnesota.  Thanks to my friend Jeannie in Ukraine who introduced it to me, it is easily found on the Internet.  The poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas…” which is indelibly set in all American children’s minds for some reason. Americans may not memorize many poems but this one  is a keeper.  Maybe the meter is just right, the two Americans (myself included) knew at least the start of it, our British guests shook their head. They didn’t know “T’was the Night Before Christmas…” What is added for this gift exchange game is the directions of Right or Left in order to pass gifts around a circle.  I warned my group last night to not be fooled when hearing the word “laughed” to think it is “LEFT.”  It still caught a few.

What’s interesting is that when I ask people ahead of time to bring a “gag” gift or something like a “white elephant” gift they haven’t a clue what I mean. But the one other American DID know and she brought a laughing glass.  If you turn on the battery on the bottom of the glass, it has a very contagious laugh.  We laughed and laughed right along with the glass.  One of the Kazakh girls got it when she opened up her gift when the game was finished.  I had wrapped about six extra presents ahead of time that could be used in this “Twas the Night before Christmas” game because I knew my guests would not get it.  Unfortunately, I had “girl” things to give like samples of Lancome cosmetics and lotions.  One of the British guys got one of those gifts but since he had indicated a STRONG interest in the other girl’s gag gift, they swapped presents and all went home happy.

Earlier we had all met at American Corner at the national library to watch the movie and then to discuss it afterwards. We talked about signs and I told my little group that I believed in signs because I gave them an example of what had happened to me on Dec. 30, 1990 in Minneapolis.  But I’ll have to save that story for another time to tell.

Today I showed the last movie of our movie series to about 25 students at our university “You’ve Got Mail.” That was another one that brought laughs at the right places.  Meg Ryan is the same actress in both movies, she does a superb job in “Sleepless in Seattle” as she does in “You’ve Got Mail.”  How do they memorize all those lines for their part and get into character?  That’s why they are paid millions of dollars and known all over the world for the talent they have, to make people laugh.

All good things must come to an end.  One of my guests last night had to leave early from our party and she said she really liked the spider drink I had brewed.  I had corrected her earlier but her mistake persisted. I told her again that what she had been drinking was hot cider (mixture of apple juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg and other ingredients).  She laughed along with us when I corrected her that she can drink spiders all she wants but what I served up was apple CIDER!

Before my party ended, I had all 10 guests sign our guestbook and only then I sent them on their merry way.  The one Brit said he would use his laughing glass on the bus going home to see what other passengers and bus driver would think.  I wonder if he tried that. We all need a little levity now and then, especially with the colder temps setting in and the days being shorter and the night darkness longer.  But the lights decked out all over the city of Astana are beautiful, enchanting really.

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“Dead Poet’s Society” and “Everything is in our Hands”

The other day I had my teachers watch the Robin Williams movie “Dead Poet’s Society.” In many ways it is similar to “Emperor’s Club” but in other ways it takes a decided turn by the end of the movie.  DPS is a melancholy movie but it always creates GREAT discussion afterwards. I like to use Moodle as a place for my teachers to discuss amongst themselves what their thoughts are on different topics. I’m giving you a peak into what  two said to each other in reflecting on the plot and what it means to them in present day life in Astana, Kazakhstan.

I told my students after the movie was over and we were exploring different topics it brought up that this was based on a true story.  Well, apparently I was wrong! The only part I had right was the character Robin Williams played, in real life he was Sam Pickering, Jr.  I googled and found the plot is based not on real life events but instead on fiction, yet google seems too silent.  I know that Sam Pickering really exists, he has many books he has written and if you look in Wikipedia, you will see for yourself.  But what happens in the movie and what actually happened in Pickering’s real life, we may never know.  The following is what I found out and it provided a way to give proper attribution to the website where I found “Is DPS Based on a True Story?”

According to the Alumni Department of Montgomery Bell Academy:

“The movie “Dead Poets Society” was written by Thomas Schulman, a 1968
 graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy. The teacher portrayed by Robin
 Williams in the movie was based on one of Mr. Schulman’s teachers while he
 was at MBA, Mr. Sam Pickering. The events in the movie, however, are purely
 fictional.”

John Keating. Dead Poets Society: The Death of a Romantic. Retrieved November 27, 2010, from AntiRomantic.com.
< http://www.antiromantic.com/john-keating >

The following discussion shows what two of my students wrote in reflecting on this movie.  I LOVE the expression “Everything is in our Hands.” We don’t have anything quite like it in English but it must be a direct translation from Russian to mean “It is our responsibility.”

Teacher A: Mr Keating is a real teacher who should teach at school. He gives true opportinities for students to discover themselves and understand who they are. Such teachers are endangered or only a few. Old teachers do not do good for their students and do not let do it “real” teachers. I believe that teachers must be good examples for others and must do their best.

I was so sad when a boy died. Everybody blamed Mr Keating for his death. He just taught that a person should “seize the day” and try to realize one’s own dreams. I hate this situation. Mr Keating wanted to help but other teachers did not love him because he was “strange” while students really loved him. Mr Keating had extraordinary teaching methods which were not the same with the headmaster or other teachers.

Sometimes administration is afraid of genius teachers and tries to get rid of them. But this leads to breakup and braking of educational system.

I hope that something or somebody will survive us and change the system. Because a lot of lives and our future depend on the system of education.

Teacher B: I think those, who are jealous of others are ignorant people(It sounds rude). They are ignorant not because they don’t know what other person knows, but they are ignorant that they do not try to be like this man.

We will survive we will make the changes and add additions for the future of our republic!

Teacher A: Let’s do all our best  Everything is in our hands!

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More Education Quotes (Part II)

What’s there to learn and know about a neighboring country to Kazakhstan?  In Uzbekistan the majority of the population is in the 30 years old and under category at 64%. While the people who are 55 years and older are only 11% and the middle of this sandwich is 25% of the 30-55 year olds.  Uzbekistan is a young society so education would naturally be important to everyone.

An Uzbek proverb could work against an EFL teacher’s desire to successfully teach listening classes : “It is better to see once than hear 1,000 times.” When I googled this, it came up as only “100 times” and it was also considered a Korean saying. Okay, whatever.

Can’t get away from the mighty professor John Dewey when writing about education.  Dewey was prolific and when you write a lot, you are bound to have some good, pithy sayings that are quotable.  Kind of like a photographer becomes known as very good simply because he or she just takes many, many photos.  Here’s what Dewey had written: “Education is a social process. Education is growth. Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself.”

That is similar to Dr. John G. Hibben’s who wrote in his 1911 book “A Defense of Prejudice” the following quote: “Education is the ability to meet life’s situations.” Did Hibbens and Dewey know each other?  More education quotes from other sources later.  Food for thought.

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Happy Thanksgiving and Education Quotes

I only made it to one of the three places I was invited to tonight for a Thanksgiving meal.  The first place was problematic enough to find in the dark, the second was a dinner scheduled much later and I’d never been to it before, making it even more difficult to find. So I opted to stay put and play fun games with about 12 other people. The third place we go to often, I just found out from the host they had 41 people packed into their spacious flat so they did NOT need even more Americans.  I’m thankful for friends here in Astana, Kazakhstan.

I need to share what I learned in class from my students today.  There is a Kazakh saying but I think it applies to ALL of Asia about child rearing.  Children from ages 0-7 are spoiled and can get away with anything they want, but from 7-14 they are treated like a slave, from 14 to adulthood they are treated with respect as if an adult.  So that may explain some of the behavior of teachers towards their young charges in school settings.

I haven’t checked out by googling the following quotes like I usually do, I’m tired and ready to go to bed. There’s work to be done tomorrow. I’ll have more education quotes to share. I thought these were interesting.

“If you want to achieve something with all your heart, the whole universe will help you to accomplish it.”  “The Alchemist” Paulo Coelho

K. Stanislavskiy “Theatre begins from the cloak room.” I’d like to say that democracy begins from education.

“Education is a companion which no future can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate it and no nepotism can enslave.”

Thomas Carlyle “Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness.”

Walt Disney “If you have a dream, you can do it.”

“We must not believe the many, who say that only free people ought to be educated, but we should rather believe the philosopher who says that only the educated are free.” Epictetus

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Blog Tired and Wish Bone Tired

Were you surprised by the link at the end of yesterday’s blog? I think I have created a monster with asking my students to write blogs, that means I, as their diligent teacher, must read what they write.  They only have to read mine but I WANT to read their 10, each day. That is, if they write that often, most do not.  I’m not tired of blogs….ooooohhhh nnoooooo!  When I stop writing every day, then you will know I’m fed up with keeping this daily diary online for others to read.  Today was about as action packed as yesterday, I’m bone tired.

I went to hear a speaker at the international women’s club, she is connected to the United Nations and has special projects throughout the country of Kazakhstan.  It was helpful to hear all the programs that are meant to help the Kazakhs.  Then I got more books for the upcoming book fair and got a ride back to campus with a woman from Georgia. (the country and not the state). Then, I showed her around after she helped me to bring books to store in my office.

On the ride out to campus she told me an amazing thing. Her husband’s grandmother had been at ALZHIR for 8 years.  She was arrested in Georgia and brought up to Kazakhstan to work in this concentration camp that is about 10 miles away from Astana.  What is incredible is that she was in the middle of teaching her class when they came in to arrest her in front of her students and all.  She had four children and the youngest baby died in her absence.  Tamara’s husband was the youngest of the four then and they were brought up by relatives.  Ironic that they have a posting here in Kazakhstan where his grandmother had broken health and yet she did survive and was rehabilitated.  She had come from a wealthy family and her husband had been beaten and murdered for being a so-called “Enemy of the People.”  This was back in 1937 when purges were routine and Stalin seemed to pick on his own country of Georgia a little more rigorously.

Then I taught a one hour lesson to the employees and we talked about different professions. After that I was ready to do “battle” with the security guards anticipating a hold up with my six students from the outside and our guests from the U.S. embassy.  That went without a hitch and my students enjoyed finding out more about the different exchange programs and other English programs throughout Kazakhstan.  Great opportunities.

Finally, someone called about bringing more books to me for the charity bazaar sale.  I’m sure I’ll be getting more but today was the deadline because next week will begin the lock down of transportation of the big summit meeting where Kazakhstan will be hosting 55 different countries.  Oh, what will we do?

I’m hearing different stories that in order to cover for the Dec. 1 and 2 summit meeting when things will be closed down, we will get the days off.  However, I’m told also that we have to make it up this Sat. and Sun.  That means we would not have American corner movie because the Sat. would be a Wed. and I wouldn’t show the last movie on campus on Sunday because that would be the Thursday.

I don’t think it will happen that way because I’m also told that “the show must go on…” that we will be the only university functioning.  The rest of the universities throughout the city of Astana will close and students will go home for a week.  Okay, which is it?  In any case, I need a rest from this very busy but productive semester.  I’m bone tired but looking forward to tomorrow when we will celebrate Thanksgiving day at two different places for me.  I should enjoy turkey at both places but right now I’m wish-bone tired.

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Blog Tired and Dog Tired

Today was an eventful day for my students and for me. Earlier I had listened to an American teacher talk to the whole student body about ethics. Very good examples and food for thought.  A kind of challenge to think about what the Kazakh students are learning now, impacts what kind of engineer or doctor they will be in the future.  If they cheat on tests now, what will they be like once they are “professionals?”  Reminded me of the movie we watched several weeks ago “Emperor’s Club.”

I got my adult learning students started on Web Survey Master which has a LOT of GREAT features. Namely that you can ask your respondents more than 10 questions and then when you gather and analyze your data, you can have the choices of pie charts, column or bar graphs or doughnuts.  The best is that all this data can automatically go into a powerpoint. However, you have to manually extract the comments from each question but still, that is quite amazing. Of course this is all on a 30 day trial period.

When I was prepping my 10 students yesterday for our 2 1/2 hours in the computer lab today, poor things, these overworked and underpaid teachers were getting hungry. All this talk of doughnuts, bars and pie (Botakoz reminded me that she likes pumpkin pie) and column charts. Yes, these desperate teachers (not “desperate housewives”) had heard enough talk about food.  So, fortunately I had some extra pumpkin cookies that I had intended to give them once they settled down to writing out their questions for this new survey.  Who says bribes don’t happen from teacher to students?  Works for me.

Were my 10 students ever squirrelly yesterday, I couldn’t shut them up.  But today was the direct opposite, they had work to do and they knew it. But entering the university, they had trouble getting past security because I hadn’t done the proper paperwork.  How could I? The guards needed their names in Russian and I only know their names but NOT in Cyrillic. Today, the students had many assignments waiting for them on Moodle and once past security, they got down to business with creating a second survey.  One was on love, another music, but most stayed with their same research topic.  Some impressed me with embedding YouTube clips or photo images into their questionnaire.  What they won’t experiment with, it is really humbling.  I should be as adventurous as they are.  I guess I am staying one blog step ahead of them, one day at a time.

So, I almost didn’t write this blog tonight because I am sooooo dog tired.  But then I had to write what a commenter mentioned to me about where a lot of blog traffic is here in Kazakhstan.  Check out Your Vision in Kazakhstan. Which reminds me, I sent a survey to my expat friends in Almaty and Astana to find out their impressions about Kazakhstan.  I’ll share that info with you maybe tomorrow when I have more energy.

Tomorrow we will enjoy hearing from a guest lecturer representing the U.S. embassy. I certainly hope the guards let him in along with my six teachers. Never a dull moment with moodles, monkeys and a dog video (check this out, again hat tip to Botakoz). My students make me smile.

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Persuasive Reasons for Kazakhs to Blog (Part III)

I have more that I would like to share about blogging and encouraging my Kazakh students to do the same as me, blog, blog, blog.  But you will see below why it might be a problem for some to get started. One student on her own blog said that it was fear, check out Wizard of KZ to see what she wrote several weeks ago.  Also it can be discouraging if there is not someone who knows, right beside the newbie blogger. It can be down right self-defeating.  However,  just today I had some of my seasoned Kazakh teachers tell me that their older students took no time at all to figure things out.  The teachers were admitting that they were actually learning from their own students.  I say that all the time as a student-centered teacher, but you have to know this is a big step for very teacher -centered teachers to even verbalize the fact that they are learning from their students. I see more cross over in methodologies coming soon from some of these teachers.  How refreshing!

Student G – “After reading the article I had a scary and exciting thought what if we implied blogging in the lesson there might happen an interesting and amazing way of self-learning, thus developing students autonomy!!! I like the article very much. the experiment they made is very similar to our PDP program. We also learn to blog and share information with each other. Mostly we work individually and with the help of our teacher.

It is very difficult to be objective to this article. If there was a chance to read it earlier I wouldn’t believe in results! I also wouldn’t believe that blogging can improve and develop cognitive skills, motivation (intrinsic or extrinsic), interaction and so on. and now, I am familiar with all of it. and the results are really amazing!!!!  I do like blogging as a tool of self-education and self-assurance.”

Both Student G and H are newly minted teachers from the Pedagogical University but still they are both teachers at heart.

Student H – “The interrelation between blogging and writing skills, between blogging and autonomy is surprising. Blogging is a very effective way of improving one’s communication through writing skills. A lot of writing promotes learner autonomy, makes the way of expressing your ideas, thoughts and feelings easy. Student autonomy is a combination of such activities as colloboration, negotiation, interaction, interrelation and self-development.

On my part, creating my own blog encouraged me to feel the whole responsibility of mine as a writer. “People write not because they want to say something, but they have something to say”. That is the main reason that leads every writer to keep on putting his ideas from heart onto the page. That is why whatever you write you should do it with responsibility. You should be aware that your writing will meet a public audience. And the wide audience is the motive that will keep you on the right path.

The article “Augmenting Learner Autonomy through Blogging” shows the investigation – blogging vs. its effect and proves its invaluable impact on the language and cognitive skill development, independent decision making  and self-improvement process.

Actually, when I was creating my blog I faced some difficulties with blog options. I even failed to make my memorable entry perfect. Because of the lack of blog strategy I published one image several times. As a matter of fact, I was wondering where my picture was, while it had been publishing on my blog again and again. But now I know you shoud wait a bit before having your post published.

Blogging is great, once acquianted with it, it is useful to make friends forever.”

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Persuasive Reasons for Kazakhs to Blog (Part II)

Here is a continuation from yesterday’s blog about blogging.  My PDP students had read several articles on reflection and one on blogging.  I am taking their comments from the forum section of Moodle so you can see their thoughts on this topic of blogging.  Helpful to see the different Kazakh perspectives.

Student D – Having read the article offered by our teacher “Augmenting Learner Autonomy through Blogging” and basing on my own experience I can make the following conclusion:

First, blogging is really very educational. When you know that not only your teacher will read what you have written but also your friends and even total strangers, you understand how important and responsible your work is. you choose the theme carefully, check your spelling, vocabulary and grammar lest be ashamed of the mistakes you have made. In this way you improve your language.

Second, blogging develop your cognitive skills (i.e. purpose setting and generating ideas). Once you created a blog, you are to set your purpose: “What are you going to write about?”. Then you must think about your ideas and not spread about all the ideas that come to your mind.

Third, you improve your writing skills as you write for the whole world to see. As a result, you learn how to write a good article and use an appropriate style and appropriate words.

The fourth and one of the most important benefits is increase of motivation. When a student write and know that some people are going to read it and sonebody will approve of his/her ideas and he really wants to share his ideas he becomes motivated and involved. Especially when some of the readers leave a comment and you get feedback you really enjoy doing it.

But there are some (as we see from the article) problems that student have to face when creating and using blogs. First is lack of computers and not everybody has one at home. Second is limited access to internet. I myself face this problem because Ihave no computer at home and at school I have much work to do except blogging. But I hope that by and by the problems will be overcome and everything is going to be excellent.

To sum up what I have written I can say that even though we lack computers and not always have access to internet, all the same we should use the opportunities that blogging can offer us.

Student E – I really liked this article as it describes the major reasons of using the blogs. Blogging is getting more and more important in our modern world. And I am glad that I also have started blogging and can express my ideas and thoughts through it and of course as it was mentioned in the article I will be able to improve my writing skills. It is also interesting for me that in the article it was written that blogs were used as someone’s personal diary online and then it became as one of the meaning of writing. Nowadays blogging is of the most important part of autonomy learning. Talking about autonomy learning, it is assumed as a centre stage of language learning in recent times. It also helps learners to become more independent by making decisions, critical reflection and independent actions, and I totally agree with as now I decide myself what to write in there about. And of course I know that blogging is a big challenge for some reasons especially in the beginning when you are not confident enough of what to write about and how to write. Students in fact are learning to work on their own and some of them are sharing with their experiences, as some students don’t really have computer proficiency and they fail to work on their own, while other have some experience in working with computers, then they can help their peers to get along. As for me I also was a little nervous when I opened my blog and the teacher said “now, you can write” and it was a shock for me as I asked her what I should write about…

Some of our students as I noticed felt confident enough as they started writing so good as it seemed for me that they have been blogging for ages. I know that it always takes time to develop yourself in whatever you start learning. That is why I hope that every time I write in my blog i wil get better.

Student F – Having read this article I had a brilliant idea, why not augment my students autonomy through blogging. If our students create their own blogs in order to discuss or share some actual problems and news, it will enhance the student’s reading and writing skills faster than we do now, of course, if we follow the structure figured out in this article.

There are a lot of people who are autonomy learners, for example, Nazarbayev Intellectual School students augment their learning via reflections on learning English or whatever subject they learn. It seems the same we do through bloggings.

From my point of view, it will help the teachers to make their lessons easier and more interesting through bloggings. On the other hand, students will be encouraged to read and write more. And the blogs created by them own will give them autonomy. So, feeling this autonomy, making one step ahead the students will be close to the teachers. The students will be aware to read more, consequently developing their writing skills. Today, especially when the students are keen on lot of computer games, which can be useful and usefulness. So, why not attract their attention on reading through bloggings, whatever the teachers write or their thoughts on anything.

Today it was a great day to experiment this idea with my different aged students and I analysed that teenage students were more interested than 10-12 year old students. It is clear that teenagers have a lot of themes to discuss with me, relating to the subject, life or family. We teachers do not know what is happening inside of our students family, especially their living conditions. On the contrary, the same questions touch our students too. And when I showed them my own blog they had a big desire to read whatever I wrote. Why not? First they had a time to read it was about our discussion on Human trafficking. They read it, then asked questions on the topic seen on the blog. It was really interesting, they said they would keep reading it at home. When I asked them if they have had an internet access at home, I was glad because everyone had it.

Secondly, today our teachers have big problems on concluding their lessons There are some questions should be asked in order to solve this problem:

– How to conclude the lesson? or Are there any ways to conclude it?

I think lack of time causes such problems. And why not use bloggings for reflections at the end of the lesson, without spending time for that.

Further, the teachers should follow this new technique and it is time to refresh the teaching methods. Moreover, after such bloggings among the teachers and students, the teachers will know what part of the lesson was interesting or vice versa. Or what should we work on to make our lessons interesting and cognitive.

 

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