Wednesday, September 22, 2004

ESL Blogging, Take 2
Right, enough of this personal life stuff; let's get back to my job!

This semester, as I may have mentioned, I've moved up another level in the ELC and am teaching Level 3. I'm beginning to think that the real dividing line is between Levels 2 and 3. My new students are awesome. Not perfect by any means, because then I wouldn't have a job, but they seem to have so much more to say! They're at that stage where vocabulary and grammar are finally catching up with all the thoughts they actually have in their brains, and they can actually really begin to use English to express themselves meaningfully.

Hence, I believe, their seemingly much more enthusiastic reaction to the blogging experiment. Here's this semester's class blog list. Read and comment as you wish, if anyone is out there. Really, I have been quite pleased with what they've posted so far, and we're only a week into the project. Several of them had really given some serious thought to what they wanted to write about.

The main difference in the blogging project this semester is that I gave them a little more guidance in what I wanted them to write about. Or rather, apparent guidance. Really, I just said they had to write about their lives in the US. In reality, this does not restrict what they write about at all. However, the first chapter of their annoying NorthStar textbook was nicely about newspaper reporting ethics, which I turned into a unit on writing, reporting, and reporting on one's own life, with one's own perspective. Then I had them look at some blogs online and think about how they might talk about their experiences in the US in a way that would be interesting and educational to others.

Since our current unit is about reasons people immigrate and personal reactions to living in a new country, I think I can keep the subject alive in their minds for long enough for them to get into a good blogging groove. As I said, it's only the first week, so I'm sure I'll be revisiting this issue again during the semester.

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