Continuing the Student blogs series I am starting a series of posts with some activities that a teacher can set students. These are different from my last post (on types of blogging tasks for English as Foreign language students) in that these include procedures and can be used out of the box on pretty much any student. [Where as the types of posts looks at the ideas and methodology behind them.]
These aren’t finished, aren’t perfect but hopefully (with your help) we can build up a great collection. Please feel free to add suggestions and improvement as well as offer a guest post with an activity.
A very simple task for students to do and an interesting way for students to learn more about each other.
Length of time:
Varries- outside of the class time and changes due to what form they choose to complete the task.
Access to a computer or mobile device (smartphone or tablet), optional additions of pictures, microphones etc.
Narrative tenses, discourse markers for time events, adjectives to describe locations, people, emotions.
- Set the task for students. This can be done in class or online (say via email, Facebook group update or even on the blog itself) this should include how to submit the homework as well. Choose a time period (perhaps their weekend, a holiday, etc) then encourage students to describe what they did during that time. This can be a writing task or a speaking task (via a voice recording site like vocaroo.com or using their webcams to record a video and upload it onto YouTube.) In addition, people can add pictures or videos to share as well.
- Students write or record a their text and submit the text. It is best to submit as a draft first where the teacher can see it. This can be done via emailing the teacher first, writing a draft post on the blog, which isn’t published, so the teacher can view it there or using a shared notebook on a program like google drive where both teacher and student can edit it. (This is very important for students with low confidence to show that their publicly/or only classly displayed work will be corrected.)
- The teacher feedbacks to the student on their work. This can be via reformulation approaches (offering alternative options in the text), highlighting mistakes, using a marking code for grammar, spelling mistakes etc.
- The student re-writes/re-speaks their text and then submits to the blog for other students to see.
- Other students ask questions or leave general comments to the writer.
- Instead of being a one of task you could encourage students to keep a regular journal over the course of the term/year. (This would be best for very motivated learners and could have high drop out rates)
- Instead of setting this as an individual task, you could get students to collaborate especially for a shared experiences. This could be a one off event such as a field trip or more mundane, such as a review of a place in town.