For example, learners may research adult education resources in their community and create a handbook to share with other language learners in their program, or they might interview local employers and then create a bar graph mapping the employers, responses to questions about qualities they look for in employees.
One of the advantages of the Internet is that it provides new possibilities for assisting teachers to successfully meet this challenge. If the teacher does not clearly set the goals and strategies of the activities, students may lose interest, learn little, or both.
Four Basic Functions Grey has identified four ways in which the Internet can function as an educational tool in schools. In these activities students search for and retrieve information from this library. This publishing is done on web pages, which are the basic places where information is stored on the Internet.
Strictly speaking, this category could also include Internet phone conversations. The fourth way of using the Internet usually involves one or more of the other three ways. Collaboration between classrooms almost always involves the use of email.
Also, it may include the joint publication of web pages or joint search activities. For example, see Nagel and Liao This is because even though such conversations may take place across thousands of miles, and between people who have never met except on the Internet, they are social activities, and social activities tend to engage students' interests.
According to Garner and GillinghamInternet conversations can be intensely social activities.
This will sometimes be the case, for example, if an email correspondence evolves so that the people writing to each other become close friends.
Probably most email conversations, however, are casual. This makes the act of communicating in English not just a theoretical problem, but a practical one. The requirement to solve that practical problem can be a strong motivator for students to try hard to construct clear, grammatical messages that communicate their thoughts.
However, even though Internet conversations have the potential to capture the interest of students, there are factors that can block this potential. Even if most students in a class can correspond at some level in English, there may be one or more who are lagging behind and who would not benefit from trying to use email.
The teacher must be sensitive to those students who may not yet be ready for email. Such students may need special preparation or may need to be furnished with alternative exercises. Requiring them to do what they are not ready to do will lead them to have little interest in the activity.
Another factor that can lessen the energizing and pedagogical value of Internet conversations is student anxiety about making errors. Some students may be capable of conversing in English via email but may also be afraid of making mistakes that others will see.
Such fear can reduce the student's enthusiasm for the activity and in fact may lead him or her to attempt to avoid doing it.
Care must be taken to try to reduce student anxiety about making mistakes. One way to do this is to offer to look over and correct the student's email messages before they are sent.
In fact, going over a student's message with him or her can be an excellent learning opportunity for the student. A third factor that can decrease student interest in Internet conversations is erratic replies.
Sending email may be easy for the student, but to find a correspondent who will reply consistently may be hard. The teacher should assist students to find dependable, interested email partners. For K classes, http: However, if the activities are well planned, they can generate enthusiasm among students and provide excellent learning opportunities.
Many other activities also involve searching for information on the Internet.
This might be a place, person, animal, event, hobby, sport, or movie - whatever subject the student finds appealing. Then the student searches the Internet for three web sites that are related to that interest. The student then makes two short reports, either written or made orally to the class.
The first report is an evaluation of the web sites, telling which were the most useful. The second is a summary of the main information that was found. The activity can be done in small groups of two or three if the members of the group are interested in the same subject.
This is an activity that requires the student to practice several skills, including English reading comprehension, comparing information, and summarizing and reporting in English. It is also an activity that is designed to naturally engage the student's interest.
It does this because the student's Internet search is directed toward a topic that the student is already interested in. It is possible, however, for students to get frustrated and lose interest in the activity if they have to spend too much time searching for web sites.
Searching also decreases the time available for the linguistic tasks.Collaborative Writing Activity: Writing an Article 28 November Writing B2, C1, collaborative tool, collaborative writing, onlinetools, students, writing Cristina Cabal Do we really dedicate enough time to writing activities?
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Dear Colleague: With my pioneer research in the past 50 years, we learned a lot about acquiring languages by observing infants. For example, infants do not start life speaking their native language.
I was lucky to have had great creative writing teachers when I was in high school. They were very passionate about literature, and because of them I continued to pursue creative writing. Those teachers also impacted me because of the great creative writing activities they used to allow the.
As ESL teachers, we’ve all had those students who do great on their grammar exams, speak up confidently in class, and are always first to raise their hands for activities - and yet, when it comes time for a writing assignment, they can barely squeeze out a few short sentences.
This can be frustrating for the student and teacher alike - but it’s the symptom of a problem that’s well-known.