Blogs can provide teachers and learners with a tool that is very easy to set up and that provides a space where they can interact and practise language use. Considering blogs in education generally, Will Richardson points out that blogging means linking to content, analyzing and synthesizing that content, and writing for real readers, with audience response in mind. Blogging can therefore be seen as a highly reflective form of writing, which is, at the same time, a form of conversation with readers who respond through comments.
In their articles, Ducate and Lomicka (2005) make some suggestions for language learning activities that involve blog reading and blog writing. As they say: “Two obvious opportunities for students in the language classroom would be to participate in the blogging community as readers and writers.”
They suggest that learners who read blogs in the target language can engage in a range of activities: writing weekly summaries of the blog, using either the target language or the native language; recording new vocabulary learned in the blog; exploring the hyperlinks referenced in the blog; documenting cultural information learned in the blog (p. 413).
Once they are familiar with blogs from their own reading, learners can become bloggers themselves. The following kinds of activities are suggested: keeping a journal with an option for commentary by other learners; exchanging blog addresses with another language class and reading one another’s posts; maintaining a travel journal while abroad (especially on a study tour to the target language area); writing posts on cultural topics (p. 414).
What do you think of these suggested uses of blogging? Do you have any other suggestions about how blogging can be used in language education?
Let me know your thoughts by responding in the comments below – don’t forget to read and respond to your classmates’ comments as well!
Image credit: CC BY Andrew