Blogs to teach languages?

Have a look at some popular blogs out there on the net.

You can start here

As you can see, there are blogs about any topic you can imagine: cinema, football, knitting, losing wait, pet food, journalism, economics, music, chess, and many, many more…

Before continuing reading, can you think of how blogs might be used by (language) teachers? Think about it… any ideas?

  1. Think of the levels you teach; the aims of your courses; the type of student you teach; the content and the skills you want your students to develop…
  2. Make a comment with any suggestions regarding how you could use blogs to support your lessons.

7 responses to “Blogs to teach languages?

  1. Svava & Anne-Sophie

    Good for maximizing students’ use of the language outside the classroom

    The teacher can supervise the quality of the language in the comments made by students

    Students can communicate with each other and share information

    Good for sharing resources (videos, pictures, online dictionaries, language websites)

  2. Could be used for:
    Interact with outside comments, perhaps posted by native speakers
    Students exchanging ideas or clarifying doubts
    Keep students updated on the program
    Creating different types of reading and listening activities
    Create links to other useful websites
    Informing absent students
    Encouraging monolingual classes to use the target language

  3. very useful for advanced classes,particularly for audio/visual material. The material can be made available beforehand as homework. We wonder if it could be a useful tool for lower level.

  4. 1. If students have to give their names together with their comments they might not be very frank, but if the comments are anonymous they might be inclined to be more open.
    2. Giving links would be useful and tie in with lessons, e.g. a YouTube interview which all students should watch.
    3. Copyright issues might be a problem. How can we find out about these?
    4. A more student-centred solution could be for students, rather than the teacher, to monitor new content.

  5. Sandy, Helen and Jackie

    We thought we could use it for pre-lecture reading i.e. texts for background reading or activities. We are worried about how we could monitor if all students are accessing the blog and doing the task set. Would the feedback take up more time? Is it an advantage over doing feedback in the classroom? We think encouraging students to discuss online is a great idea but it could be used to criticise university/teaching practices.

    Could also be used for book club discussions.

  6. Karine, Tony and M. Teresa

    Very useful tool mainly student centred. Teacher might set it up by way of example. Could be used as a support not only between teacher and student but specially between the students. Can be used for a wide range of activities and at any level . Could help with students’ informal written register.

  7. Ben, Andy, Will, Nigel, Carl

    Could be good for “interactivity” or possibly inspiring ss’ self expression. Also, for opinions, discussions, different points of view, it’s a good source for reading texts.

    But – difficult to use native-speaker texts for lower level groups (some bitter personal experience here), also ss don’t often do something they don’t have to do. Unless it’s mandated hw, students probably won’t contribute comments or blog posts.

    Also, if EAP courses are trying to steer ss away from the Internet, this could send out mixed signals.

    How do blogs relate to forums/discussion boards or Moodle?

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