Language Learning with Technology
2.4 Class blog Main goals Level Time Learning focus Preparation
Getting to know each other Pre-intermediate (B1) and above 20 minutes Responding in writing to what other learners have written This activity is to encourage learners to use a blog and write comments on other learners’ class-blog posts. Set up the class blog beforehand, and write an introductory post. The procedure below will explain how to set up a class blog (see Appendix B 2.4 for suggestions on blogging platforms).
Technical requirements A computer room, or class set of laptops/netbooks/tablets. Alternatively, the learners can join
the blog and write the comments for homework.
Procedure ı If the learners don’t already have a blog to use for class, ask them if they know what a blog is, and introduce them to the new class blog. 2 If using multiple computers, ask the learners to join the class blog and to write their first post, introducing themselves and saying three things they think most people in the class won’t know about them. 3 As the learners finish, ask them to get to know more about their classmates by reading what they have written, and also to write a few comments on some of the learner entries. To help them, write some of the following on the board, and ask the learners to add to these possible ways of starting to write a comment. This made me think about ... This makes me think of ...
This is important because ... I don’t understand …
4 Finish by setting another task for homework. Ask the learners to write a blog post on one of the following subjects: What I find easy/hard about learning English Where I am going on my next holiday
What I like doing in class My online life
5 Continue the momentum by writing comments and referring to them in the next class. Use the blog as a way of communicating with learners outside of normal class times. If you use a class blog, you may want to set homework, as a blog entry, for the learners there. Finally, encourage the learners to write, but not only because you set homework; they can write about anything else that interests them. Variation Giving each learner their own blog can be more motivating, as learners have a greater sense of ownership and can individualise the look and feel of the blog. However, individual learner blogs also mean more work for you, the teacher, especially if you monitor what each learner writes and add comments to their posts, which is recommended. A compromise would be to divide learners into groups and set up a blog for each group of learners. 32