Thursday, December 3, 2009

euphoric desperation

I have felt a certain excitement recently that I also felt when I attended the KOTESOL 2009 conference in October of this year. Both feelings have been a result of a sense of inclusion or introduction to a community. I decided in April, when I started my masters in TESOL/TEFL from the University of Birmingham, that I was going to make ELT my focus, my life's direction. I decided to pursue my professional development. Wouldn't David Nunan be so proud. Anyway I had been studying for about six months, and feeling the isolation of distance learning, when I attended KOTESOL 2009 conference. It was an awesome experience. My first conference of any kind. I got really excited about extensive reading, and social networking. Then I had to get back to reality, working and studying and daddying, which left little time to get on the net and explore some of the people I saw at the conference. However, recently I finished this module's paper, the semester is winding down at the university where I work, and I have a little more free time. So I started looking around again online, looking at blogs and searching for English learning sites for my new Ning site for my students. Luckily I already knew of Karenne has been a sheperd of sorts into the blogging, linkedin, and other tech goodies for teachers. She posted an entry recently about other blogs that she would recommend. I added all those to my Google reader, and something happened. I don't know how to explain it, but it is if I have opened a door to another world. So many resources, so many people, so many ideas. It is amazing. How did I not know about these sites for the last five years?! Why did I not join Twitter earlier and start getting in touch with these innovators?! I guess the important part is that I have made the contacts and I am learning but it is a little overwhelming. This recent foray has inspired me to become a more active blogger, thus this post. I have no grand ambitions that I will compare with Shelly Terrell or David Ddeubel (two outstanding resources by the way) but I will just plug along, share my activities, and experiences and see what comes of it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Blog Idea

I feel now that the blog assignment did not succeed in the way that I had hoped. None of my students regularly posted, although a few did post sometimes. Also none of my students commented on each others' blogs, other than just greeting. I was hoping that there would be some developed conversations. I am wondering (and admittedly my expectations are low) that some of them might continue posting in English on their blogs. My wife suggested that I should have used Naver, a Korean site, instead of google for the students to create their blogs, then maybe they would have a greater chance to get people outside of the class to give them feedback and responses to what they posted. I will ask my students to give me some ideas why this activity didn't work, if I should continue it in the future, and if so how I can improve it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Blogging Assignment

I have asked my classes in the past to go out, meet and interview foreigners. However, I decided to change this, and now I have asked my students to try to blog in English. I am a little concerned that they don't think it is worth their time, but I am hoping that as they start to comment and respond to each others' thoughts and opinions they will become more involved and appreciate the assignment.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Link Responses

Students! This is where you should talk about what you tried from the links section. What did you do? What did you learn? Was it easy or difficult? Will you try it again? Do you have any advice for other students about that link? Try another one and respond again! You have to use English to improve your English!