Hi! This is me:

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Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina
I'm a teacher of English perpetually experimenting...

domingo, 26 de septiembre de 2010

Project Based Learning

Having completed all the WELL course modules, I can say I truly believe Project Based Learning (PBL) is a highly suitable approach for technology integration in the language classroom.

All throughout these 5 months, we have achieved almost every little task through some kind of project. We started doing some simple and advanced web searches, we learned about social book-marking, blogs and wikis and how to use different multimedia tools but most importantly, we did everything with some type of project in mind and I think that is what made even the tiniest task seem more interesting and challenging. When you learn how to use a tool and actually use it yourself to create something new, you can really feel you have accomplished your goal and it feels fantastic.

As I was exploring all these new tools and spaces as homework for the course, I couldn’t avoid fantasising about integrating these new technologies into my classrooms in the same meaningful and motivating ways. As a first step, I have decided to start a Wiki as a place where my students will be able to publish their projects this year, some of which will be developed in the classrooms with their teachers and some of which will be introduced and conducted directly online. I’m guessing everything will depend on the students’ level of English, age and motivation but we will try to encourage them all to participate in some way, the final aim being to help them realise the importance of using the language they have learnt to create something and to communicate with each other; thus showing themselves and the world what they can do after “x” years of hard work and study.

I know we will very probably additionally need to help them make their way in this new technological world but I believe that’s great. I see this just as part of the process of helping them to become the multiliterate people this modern world requires them to be, for them to be successful in anything they want to achieve.

Let’s wait till the end of the year and hope for the best!

domingo, 25 de julio de 2010

miércoles, 23 de junio de 2010

5 reasons why EFL BLOGGING is a good idea

1) BLOGGING promotes the development of higher order thinking skills since in order to establish a conversation, to encourage people to comment on a certain topic, and to construct knowledge collectively, students and teachers will have to go beyond superficialities, posting entries that increase reflection, analysis, discussion, and synthesis. Students should be writing from their hearts about topis that engage them in the act of writing.

2) When BLOGGING, students create meanings that make sense to them because they are constructing them, not having pieces delivered to them that they just repeat. BLOGGING helps students perceive the importance of learning a language as a communication tool and promotes the authenticity every language educator seeks. In order to engage in conversations through blogs, students will have to reflect on the quality of their writing and the language being used, be more attentive to their audience, and more selective of their sources.

3) BLOGGING gives the teachers the possibility to establish a different kind of rapport with and among their students, allowing the chance to give a voice to each one of the learners. Thus talents are discovered and personal vignettes are revealed in ways that wouldn't  be possible in a three-hour weekly encounter.

4) BLOGGING gives a sense of belonging to writers and readers. They become part of a community who engage in meaningful conversations in which what each one says matters. Everyone's voice echoes in distant parts of the globe and is heard by others and, as a consequence, they can learn about different cultures, develop a more comprehensive understanding of cultural differences, and internalize the idea of the benefits of diversity.

5) When BLOGGING, students create meanings that make sense to them, students create meanings that make sense to them because they are constructing them, not having pieces delivered to them that they just repeat.

Incorporating blogs in teaching routines requires an educational paradigm shift in which educators need to relinquish control and authority in order to favor a collective construction of knowledge. Many teachers still don't feel prepared to take the plunge but it's a totally enriching, engaging process that is worth experiencing even if it seems a bit chaotic given lack of control by the teacher over what is being produce.

Carla Arena, Blogging in the Language Classroom: It Doesn't "Simply Happen" - TESL - EJ 11.4 - March 2008

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