Category Archives: Tasks

Already blogging!!

Thank you for coming to my last Monday’s presentation on blogging. It was great to share with you my experience with blogs and discuss together whether it could be useful for us to use this application.

Thank you also to the tutors that came to the workshop on Friday and learnt how to start a blog for the first time. I hope you didn’t find it too scary or too complicated. We didn’t have too much time to see many of the possibilities that a blog offers, but I hope that you will discover them very soon (if you continue working with them in your lessons!!).

I will continue updating this blog with relevant information for any language teacher interested in blogging.

Well, thanks again and I hope you enjoyed the two sessions.

Here you can see some of the tutors that came to the workshop working hard at the computer.

Amigos para siempre

María Teresa blogging about Mallorca

Not really impressed

Very keen students

And, of course, here is the profedeucl, with a very professional look, at the computer, pretending he is working.

Any comments?

  1. Watch the following (short) video
  2. Decide an alternative title for the clip.
  3. Make a comment.

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.

My beautiful blog

Reflect a little bit about the different possible uses of a blog in teaching-learning languages, and how to use best this application to enhance our lessons.

Then…

  1. Visit the blog I did last year.
  2. Take your time and check out the kind of activities I prepared for and with my students.
  3. What type of blog do you think it is? A tutor blog, a class blog or a learner blog?
  4. Any ideas to improve it?

Some examples

Have you thought about how to use blogs to support your language lessons? Try this activity.

OK, when you run out of ideas, have a look at some of the blogs below. All of them are blogs about teaching and lerning languages.

Blogging English

http://bloggingenglish1.blogspot.com/

A class blog, developed by Sarah Guth at the University of Padua for advanced learners of English, with the aim of improving their language skills and information literacy skills through the use of blogs and other Web 2.0 tools. Activities are posted to the class blog, students complete their activities using a personal blog. Interestingly, the personal blog is graded on content and relevancy rather than linguistic accuracy, which encourages students to focus on process, reflection and vocabulary, rather than being inhibited by potentially inaccurate use of grammar.

CALL Lessons 2005-2007

http://call05-06.motime.com/

Award-winning tutor blog, developed by Teresa Almeida d’Eça, a teacher of English in Portugal. The blog, written in English with the odd Portuguese translation for difficult words or expressions, is a record of CALL lesson plans, activities and reports. As with the blog above, the striking thing is just how important regular teacher input is in the maintenance of a successful blog.

Rate My Mates

http://thegordonschools.typepad.co.uk/ratemymates/

Students of French and German post their own recordings and must make comments on the materials created by the rest of the class.

TGS MFL Resource and Homework

http://mfle.typepad.com/tgs2/

Teacher blog with activities for students of French and German.

My Languages

http://isabellejones.blogspot.com/

Blog run by Isabel Jones, teacher of French and German and Head of Moden Languages at The Radclyffe School, Oldham. It’s a blog about resources, research, news and views about language teaching in UK.

AulaELE Sociedad

http://aulaele-sociedad.blogspot.com/

This is a blog run by the University of Leon, Spain, and the College of the Holy Cross, USA, and it works as a space of work for students of Spanish as a Second Language. The aim of the blog is to practice reading and writing skills.

This site can be described as a “net of blogs”. Each blog is dedicated to a particular subject: culture, current affairs, cinema, literature, environment and Soeciety. In each blog the tutors propose tasks for the students to complete. Usually the tasks involve reading a text (newspapers articles, for example, or news; paragraphs from books; cine reviews; official documents, etc.) or watching a video; to this, the students must write their impressions and give their opinios. They are also encouraged to make comments on their peers’ pieces of work.

En mi bolsillo (in my pocket)

http://enmibolsillo.blogspot.com/

A class blog developed by a group of advanced Spanish students. They are encouraged to talk about everyday objects that have a special significance to them.

OK, what do you think? Is this what you expected from language teachers’ blogs?

Could you think of other possible uses?

 

Blogs and websites.

All blogs are websites.

However, blogs are a particular kind of website and our today´s task is to distinguish clearly between blogs an other types of sites available online.

Visit the following 2 sites and identify which one is a typical website and which one is a blog.


BBC Languages

Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the day

Can you explain the difference? Please, leave a comment with your answers.

What is a blog?

First things first: do you know what a blog is?

For those less familiar with blogs, today we are going to identify the main elements and structure of a blog, and, to do so, we´ll carry out the following tasks:

  1. Have a look at (at least) two of the blogs below (for example, one in English and one in your own mother tongue)
  2. Think which are their main elements and structure; what you think makes a blog what it is.
  3. Leave a comment with your answers.

Waiter rant

“A waiter that has been blogging his experiences with fussy customers and bad tippers since 2004…It’s representative of the so-called ‘job-blogs”

waiterrant.net

The Sartorialist

“Man wanders around Manhattan with a camera. Spots someone whose outfit he likes. Asks if he can take a picture. Goes home and posts it on his blog”

thesartorialist.blogspot.com

Gigazine

“The most popular blog in Japan”

gigazine.net

Petite Anglaise

Adventures of an English girl living and working in Paris

petiteanglaise.com

Crooks and liars

“a progressive/liberal-leaning political blog, with over 200m visitors to date”

Crooksandliars.com

Basic Thinking

A German chap blogging absolutely about anything; just keep in mind that “Recently rated the 18th most influential blog in the world”.

basicthinking. de

Xu Jinglei

Jinglei is a Chinese actress and film maker that runs the most visited blog in the world. “In it she reports on her day-to-day moods, reflections, travels, social life and cats”.

blog.sina.com.cn/xujinglei

Beppe Grillo

” A popular Italian comedian and political commentator, long persona non grata on state TV, who is infuriated daily – especially by corruption and financial scandal in his country.”

beppegrillo.it

Desde Cuba – Generación Y

Yoani Sánchez is a critical voice and a witness of the daily life in Cuba, from inside the island.

Desdecuba.com

Chocolate and Zucchini

One of the most popular cooking blogs, from a French young woman working in Paris and living in Montmartre.

chocolate&zucchini

Are you ready now to say what a blog is?

If these examples are not enough, check out any of the 50 best blogs in the world here.