Archive for November 20, 2010

Persuasive Reasons for Kazakh Students to Start Blogging

The following comments are from Moodle in the Forum section where my PDP students, who are seasoned teachers, write about what they read in an article about blogging.  See what you think about these three reflections:

Student A – We know all about Internet, blogs, software programs and computers. But, how to use them in the lesson.

In my opinion, the blogs give us a chance to communicate between us and motivate us to write more. When we publish on a blog, students or teachers from other schools can respond by using the comment links. And by reading comments we can know our weaknesses and our progress. In addition, teachers can write some tasks on a blog and students may respond to them. Using blogs are very comfortable and available both for teachers or students

Student B – Well, look, I`ve read two articles on reflections in teaching. one is concerned with sharing opinion in free talks between teacher and students, the other is about teaching through blogging. one can`t deny the new until one tries himself. frankly, i`m not sure it`ll work with secondary school students and in language learning exactly. blogging will be nice for adults, researchers of the definite problem, to discuss the issue of research, share views and etc.

May be, i`m a “wet blanket”, but I do not take blogging serious

My Response to Student B

Why not blogging for students? It wouldn’t work for students who have a low level of English proficiency but for those who are preparing for IELTS or for TOEFL it is an informal way of venting, expressing themselves, of getting things out there for an audience and to find their voice. That is all needed when you are doing FORMAL academic writing to find your own voice and if you can’t do it in an informal setting such as blogging, then how can you go the next level up to academic writing if you don’t know who you are? If there is any kind of integrity to be found in academic writing it needs to be from a person who has a passion about what they think and write. Why go through the motions of writing a paper if you don’t involve yourself in the paper. Then it is just being mechanical and not caring what you write and not caring about what the audience is reading of your thoughts. WHAT A WASTE of time!!!

So, please consider carefully how blogging can be of great benefit. Did you really read the article on blogging? Were you really not convinced that it could benefit and augment learner autonomy?

Student C

I can say that I ABSOLUTELY like the idea of this article. It is important to teach our students to express their feelings, ideas and thoughts; also turn extrinsic motivations into intrinsic ones. I suppose that developing writing skills is the most difficult. But through improving them we can develop our speech as well. Making Blogs can give more opportunities to express own ideas and give comments and get to know others’ thoughts. During writing a student think about finding synonyms, paraphrasing and correcting spelling mistakes. It is great to increase knowledge in the English language. In Blogging a teacher can realize different forms of learning: individual, pair, or group work. It just requires having computers and access to Internet. This article describes students’ work on making blogs step by step (there are 8 steps). Blogging also makes students work individually.

We CAN and MUST use it because of its fruitful results.

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