I tried an experiment in my class on Monday, and I am a bit at a loss as to what to do with it.
You see, my students need to write better in English to progress through their levels. They are not allowed to progress on only one aspect. They must show/make progress in the four skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking). Generally, I feel confident that my students do make progress—except when I don’t feel that way and feelings of inadequacy and job disillusionment take over, or when students don’t make progress based on their own laziness.
Nevertheless, the one skill that seems to get the least attention is writing. It could be because teachers don’t like to assign writing because it become homework for the teacher as well as the student, or because students grumble and complain or refuse/forget to do it. I need them to do it, and I need them to do it quicker. I also need them to take it seriously. They also seem to love the digital world and crave the approval of others.
So, my novel idea was to set up a blog. That way, they could use the computer (replicating their test experience) and also up the stakes a little by making it public. I considered that they might like it more because of the use of technology. Sometimes, they criticize me for not being so technically “with it”. Sometimes, I am not living in the 21st Century. Additionally, this method makes it easy for them to submit it to me without giving them my email address. My only problem is how to highlight their errors, and exploit the learning potential.
I have edited two of them, (purposefully not catching all their mistakes/perceived mistakes/ perceived errors in creativity). Basically, I have given them a road map they can follow to fix their blogs.
I am not sure this is the best way to help them. Perhaps, I should do what I have done, but in the classroom (traditionally what I would do). Then, I could have them correct and edit their blogs again. I just don’t know if this makes it serious enough for them.
Here is the address: https://anthonysclass.home.blog/
If you prefer hyperlinks, Please check it out here.
I invite you to read them and give me your thoughts on how best to help them. If you want to encourage them, they would like your positive comments. No need to correct their English as that is what I am getting paid to do.
I will continue to be the administrator of the blog and might get other classes involved in it. I am not sure.