Using blogs for language teaching

Using blogs in teaching, especially language teaching, has already become reality. There are teachers out there that use blogs  with their classes in various ways: For instance, for publishing texts and comments about a book they read together in class, collaborating with other groups such as university students or even classsrooms all over the world. The medium ‘blog’ differs greatly from writing with pen & paper. Once the learners are familiar with using blogs and the different features there are (writing, images, videos, settings of privacy and so on) , it offers loads of opportunities to express their opinions on any given subject. Given that, there sure are a lot of students that usually are not that fond of writing at all, although they are motivated to write on blogs. Furthermore, the fact that other people can access your writings and even comment on them makes the whole process of communication way more interactive and also more meaningful for learners. Their writings do not just end up at the teacher’s desk but real people interact with it. Moreover, students get to learn a lot about digital media. Using the internet and the opportunities it offers is a competence that is crucial in today’s society.

On the other hand, there are also some minor difficulties about teaching with blogs or at least some aspects that one should keep in mind: A first aspect that teachers need to consider is the issue of private data in the web. It is the teacher’s responsibility to make clear to the students what it means to publish information, pictures and videos on the web and which consequences this might have. Moreover, I think that students should always get to choose whether they want to write something for the class only or publish it to the whole internet community. Another argument would be that there is always the possiblity of losing a lot of time due to technical problems of any kind. Therefore, a teacher should be prepared for any occuring problems (have a backup plan for example) and should really know to cope with the blog platform in general.

To conclude, using blogs in the EFL classroom is able to enhance a wide variety of different competences and provides at the same time an authentic, meaningful and thus motivating basis to work with the foreign language. In order to avoid any upcoming problems and issues, teachers should prepare themselves well to use the full potential of blogs.

 

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Well thought out response! I agree with the pros and cons you listed in regards to teaching using blogs. Do you think blogs can be used in all grades in school, or did you have a particular age range in mind?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I’d suggest to not use them in the first two years of school but rather from 3rd grade on.

      Like

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