Hi Everyone! And welcome to my first attempt at blogging!
For my first blog, I will be exploring (and learning along the way!) some ways that blogging can be beneficial in the classroom.
Being new to the graduate program as well as just starting to learn about education and the standards that are set in place can be very intimidating. The bar is set very high, but for good reasoning. We as teachers want to help our students to the very best of our abilities to learn as much as possible. Blogging, in various situations, can help us to achieve the high expectations that are in place for us as teachers as well as helping students stay connected to their own learning.
Based on the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)NY standards, there are five common areas that ESOL students should be able to fulfill. Two of these standards that I have noticed to be highly receptible to blogging are as follows:
1) English for information and Understanding
This key requirement that ESOL students have to reach states that "Students learning English as a second language will use English to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information for content area and personal use."
One way that students can meet this standard could actually be blogging!
According to the article Blogging in Language Learning one beneficial use of using blogging to fulfill this requirement could be facilitating class discussions. Almost everyone uses technology to communicate with friends, so why not use it for a classroom! With an interactive blog, students can practice their English, chat with their friends, and learn more about how to state their opinions. It will help their reading and writing skills and it won't feel as much like homework as usual! It will benefit them without even really understanding that they are learning! This also ties into the second standard which speaks to students using their English skills for enjoyment. Two for one!
2) Language for Social Interaction
Although this fifth goal is very tied into the rest of the goals, I think it speaks highly on the pragmatic level. Students from other countries may have tendencies to take over a conversation or even remain quiet, or some might just not know what to say in a conversation without coming off the wrong way. Facilitating blogs gives everyone a chance to state their opinions and write them out. Everyone has an equal opportunity to share their thoughts and then be able to share them online with everyone else. In the article Seven Reasons Teachers Should Blog it states that "Blogging can give you valuable feedback. As you gain feedback from your readership, you gain a sense of peer review, sometimes challenging and refuting your ideas" The same goes with students, especially international ones. It gives students a way to empower their thoughts and especially find an identity while studying here.
I hope you guys enjoyed my first blog, look out for a second one coming out!