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December 2020 - Year 22 - Issue 6

ISSN 1755-9715

Blogging to Enhance ESL Teaching/Learning

Dr. Rasha Osman Abdel Haliem is an English lecturer at the Higher Technological Institute, Egypt. She is a certified teacher from University of Oregon and Cambridge TESOL and avid researcher who presented in many national and international conferences. She is highly interested in teaching adults, using technology and assessment issues.  Email: rashaosman77777@gmail.com, rasha.abdelhaleem@hti.edu.eg

 

Abstract

Theories on using e-tools in teaching ESL argue that using blogs in the ESL classroom can engage and enhance students’ level. Research studies asserted that using blogs improve students’ literacy skills, writing skills and can augment students’ higher-order thinking skills (Selwyn 2017; Magana 2017). The researcher conducted a research that investigated the use of blogs in enhancing ESL teaching/ learning. Four teachers who were teaching General English in a technological institute in Egypt learned how to create and use blogs for educational purposes. They were interviewed and asked about their experience in using blogs in the classroom. After adding blogging to their ESL classroom these teachers completed a questionnaire in which they reported, summarized, and reflected on the use of blogs in an ESL classroom. 200 students were also invited to answer three questionnaires regarding the use of blogs in teaching/learning ESL. Two of these questionnaires were paper-based and one was online. The article shares the results of this qualitative research study. The teachers’ interview and questionnaire and the students’ questionnaires showed the positive effects of using blogs in enhancing the teaching and learning processes.

 

Introduction

The paper provides a review of the literature related to using blogs in teaching/learning ESL and shows how it was used in a higher technological institute in Egypt to enhance ESL teaching/learning. The results of this research are presented, and the data are discussed in the context of current practices in using blogs in teaching ESL in Egypt. The paper may serve as a guide for Arab teachers especially Egyptian teachers considering whether to implement blogs as an instructional tool in the ESL classroom.

 

Review of the literature of the benefits of using blogs in teaching ESL

Research has stressed the benefits of using blogs in teaching ESL. Blogs enhance students’ proficiency, writing skills, and boost their higher order thinking skills (Selwyn 2017; Magana 2017).  Blogging can play a role in enhancing the four language skills depending on the teachers’ design of the using them. A blog is a journal that presents one person’s account on a certain topic. It is a platform to express one’s ideas, impressions and feelings. It is usually updated and intended for readership (Merriam Webster Online Dictionary 2018). Armstrong and Retterer (2008), Bloch (2007), Noytim (2010), and Sun (2009) encourage the role of blogging in enhancing and developing students writing skills as they write, try to explain their ideas and they put the readers in mind. Grami (2012), Mcleod (2001), Mynard (2007), and Noytim (2010) also pointed to blogs as tools that boost students’ higher-order thinking skills as they reflect and try to persuade readers.

Using blogs can motivate students as internet is the basic tool students use on hourly basis. Using blogs extends the learning beyond the walls of the classroom. Blogs can play a definite role in enhancing students’ critical thinking skills as blogging helps students “reflect on their perceptions of the learning materials and on their own learning process” (Seitzinger, 2006, p. 6). Furthermore, Yih-Rueh (2006) denoted the positive effect of using blogs on both students and teachers and asserted that the use of blogs enhance teacher-students interaction, help students grasp the language better and help teachers re-teach difficult material.

As Bakar, Latif, and Ya’acob (2010) and Custin and Barkacs (2010) explain blogs are meaningful, authentic, and constructivist (Bakar, Latif and Ya’acob, 2012). Bakar, Latif, and Ya’acob (2010, p.12) claim that blogs help students “participate actively in their own learning, determine their learning goals, and share their knowledge in order to develop their own understanding of the target learning activities”. Lohnes (2006) and Sun (2012) enforce this view by emphasizing that blogs also enhance interaction, communication, and collaboration. Sun supports that blogs “provide a promising forum for active, interactive, and collaborative online communication” (Sun, 2012, p. 494). Blogs can be such a platform where students comment on each other work and ideas. To achieve this, teachers should encourage a minimal number of commentaries a student must write. Practice showed that two commentaries can make students feel that they are active members of the online community (Selwyn 2017; Magana 2017). Gedera (2011) suggested the idea of positive feedback concerning the tool as it lacks the intimidating effect of the red pen and enhances self-assessment and peer-feedback.  Self-assessment is practiced when students read their entries before they post them. It is also practiced when they reflect on how their entries developed through the course. Peer assessment is practiced when students read and comment on each other entries. 

Blogging enhances both writing and reading skills. Grami (2012) showed how blogging enhanced students writing skills and expressed students’ positive attitude on using the tool in teaching ESL writing. Students are interested in expressing their thoughts and in the idea of being published and this makes them write with the process and the product in mind. Smith (2009) wrote on the role of blogging in enhancing the reading skills and constructing the language.  When students read other students’ blogs the reading skills are practiced and when they write commentary they construct the language. Bakar, Latif, and Ya’acob (2010) argued that over ninety percent of the students who used blogging in the research they cited demonstrated its usefulness in teaching writing (as they write) and reading (as they read each other work).

In the present study both teachers and students expressed positive feedback concerning the use of blogs in teaching ESL. In interviews with teachers who used blogs, teachers expressed positive attitudes toward using blogs and indicated that the students gave positive comments and feedback on the tool and the way it helped them in the ESL course.  Also most students who were engaged in blogging stated that blogging made them like writing and feel it became an easier task than before as they use their phones, something handy rather a paper and a pen. Blogging made students understand that technology can help them improve in English and it is not only a tool for networking or playing games. Formal Statement of Research Question: The research project was primarily designed to answer the following research question: How does the addition of blogs to the ESL curriculum impact the teaching and learning processes. A further sub-question is what impact does the addition of blogs have on students of all levels of proficiency and will it improve students’ language skills.  

 

Methodology

This qualitative study investigated how blogs were used in the ESL classroom and how blogs can be used effectively to enhance ESL teaching/ learning. Four teachers, one male and three females, who were teaching General English in a technological institute in Egypt were trained by the researcher on how to create and use blogs for educational purposes. The researcher gave the four teachers three training sessions each lasted for two and a half hours on how to create blogs and showed different examples on how to use them. Two teachers (one male and one female) used class blogs and the two other female teachers asked students to create their own blogs.  The teachers were asked to report how blogs were being used, and were interviewed and asked about their experience in using blogs in the classroom. After the researcher interviewed the four teachers, they completed a questionnaire in which they reported, summarized, and reflected on the use of blogs in an ESL classroom. The interview questions and the questionnaire are added in the appendices. Students were also invited to answer three questionnaires regarding the use of blogs in teaching/learning ESL one at the beginning of the term, one at the middle of the semester and one at the end of the term. The teachers’ ages ranged from 28 to 48. 200 students took part in total from four classes and their ages ranged from 18 to 22.

      

Participant’s background and research process

Most Egyptian ESL teachers evade using blogs. They are either not trained on technology- as teachers are only trained on linguistics - or they are intimidated by technology. Even if they know about the tool, teachers do not want to overwhelm students with content and technology together. Besides, many Egyptian teachers are unsure of the effectiveness of blogs. Lack of computers and lack of access to computers with internet is also a challenge that hinders Egyptian teachers from doing blogging activities with students. Some Egyptian teachers believe that using e-tools in teaching ESL is time consuming and not that worthwhile. Fortunately, the Egyptian teachers who work in the Higher Technological Institute are dedicated and aim at improving the way they teach. Four dedicated teachers working in the Higher Technological Institute tried using blogs to engage students and help them improve.    

The four teachers who decided to try blogs in the ESL curriculum are my colleagues. They know that I tried e-tools before and found them really helpful in the teaching and learning processes. They wanted to learn something new, help their students and motivate them. They were afraid that they would not be able to successfully use technology. They also thought they may not be able to explain the way through the blogs or would not be able to explain how to create blogs. The four teachers were also anxious that some students would dislike integrating technology tools in the ESL curriculum. Still, these four teachers took the risk as they wanted to improve and help their students improve. 

The problem the teachers in the Higher Technological institute continuously face are the different levels of students, their large numbers, being not that good in technology, inadequacy of resources in the institute and some students having no computers or internet access. Another issue is that in some cases the interest of some students in technology is so great that their level surpasses the level of their teachers.  The students also explained that the worst problem they face is not having enough training on all language skills. Blogs whether class blogs or students’ blogs can play a role in helping students improve and enhance their language skills.

I introduced the teachers to the different types of blogs, namely teacher, learner and class blogs.  The teacher blog may be created for the learners to give daily practice to learners, promote exploration of online materials, encourage online verbal exchange through the “comment” buttons, or may be created for teachers’ reflection, or teachers’ training. The learner blog is constructed for a specific, usually temporary, purpose. It may be run by individual learners or by small groups of learners. Students’ reflective blog is a type of learner blog that shows a record of learning and may provide resources for other students. A reflective blog acts as a tool in which students reflect on what they learn and how they will use what they learn eventually. The class blog may be used for communication, as a free-form bulletin board, or as a discussion board. It can be used to facilitate project-based learning, and as a virtual space for international classroom exchanges. Class blogs can be thought of as an “online journal” that can be continuously updated.  Class blogs were used for giving links to resources, extra reading activities and as a forum for discussing topics. Two teachers created class blogs and two teachers asked students to create writing/reflective blogs.

The four participating teachers claimed that students need training on blogs whether class blogs or student blogs. They further argued that teachers should spend time at least one hour the first time on teaching students on reaching the class blog, or creating blogs (in the case of the two teachers who asked students to create their own blogs), finding their way around it, commenting on the blog, as well as expressing the teachers’ expectations. Time should be dedicated to answer students’ questions. The four teachers stated that the first time experience made them understand that they should be prepared for challenges and problems in order to be prepared to address them. The most important problem is the lack of computers in the technology class and the answer to this challenge is to ask students to bring their own devices that have data SIM. The second challenge is students having no idea of the content, criteria of writing and participation or organization of their blogs and the answer to this is presenting sample blogs, and giving students criteria for writing and participation to ensure the quality of the writing and consistent participation.  One teacher suggested connecting all students’ blogs to a class blog. Teachers also provided the idea of monitoring to ensure that students follow the criteria and participate promptly.

Regarding the students participants, their age ranges from 18-23. The number of the students in the English class varies from 60 to 90. The number of students in class 1 was 50, class 2 was 45, class 3 was 40, and class 4 was 55 making a total of 200 students participating in this study. Their proficiency in the language varies as they come from different educational backgrounds. Some have been learning in private schools where English is the first language. Others have been learning English for the last three years. A third group knows only the alphabet. Besides, students are interested in the subjects they learn more than English as English is a secondary subject in comparison to the subjects they major. Still, all students understand the importance of English in practical life. So, many of them attend, ask questions, and do the exercises the teachers give.

The four classes are English A, the first level in the English language courses in the Higher Technological institute which are named in equivalence to the English language alphabet. The class time for English A is three hours.  A break is given after each hour. There are no computers in the classroom and the computer laptops are used for teaching engineering subjects like Matlab and Oracle. Teachers sometimes, take their computers and sound amplifiers in order to introduce videos. Still, most of the time, things go disastrous. The course (New Interchange book) and the teaching method is designed to refresh the memory of those who are good at English and teach and help starters. It is general English for A2 to B1 students according to CEFR. The choice of general English is to prepare students for real life situations and the market. Still, the curriculum is elementary English and being a secondary subject, some students underestimate it and do not exert real effort to do the extra curriculum activities or the assignments the teachers give.

 

Discussion

Blogs are a great tool for enhancing the students’ skills and extending the learning behind the walls of the classroom. They can help students express themselves, and show how they can be more responsible for their own learning (learner centered) (Bloch 2007; Campbell 2000). Blogs can also help teachers in integrating technology into their teaching (Smith 2009; Sun 2009). The class blogs are platforms where teachers can put links to helpful resources, and where students can also put resources they feel are helpful in language acquisition and self-expression in English. Students’ blogs may facilitate self-expression and develop student responsibility for their own learning (Yih-Rueh 2006; Winer 2002).

 

Reasons for using blogs

 As denoted the research project was intended to comprehend how the addition of blogs to the ESL curriculum affects the teaching and learning processes, understand what impact does the addition of blogs have on students of all levels of proficiency and examine whether it will improve students’ language skills.

Blogs are easy to use e-tools. The students may experience a feeling of intimacy and freshness, learn about a platform that can help them in their education and life at large while they can be introduced to e-tools that can be used in education. The class blog can act like a platform for organizing work, putting extra activities; the personal blog can act as a forum to help the students make comments, synthesize, evaluate and create. Either class blogs or students’ blogs can address the learners needs, make up for their demands, help them create a forum, speak their language (the language of technology). Blogs can also help students improve their language and specifically the writing skills via uploading extra curriculum activities and asking students to upload English material they want to share, read, watch or comment on. Blogs are more professional than a Facebook group and will really help in enhancing students’ proficiency. They are a way of introducing them to web 2.0 platforms. They are platforms (especially the personal blog) that can help students use their higher order thinking skills and be responsible for own learning as they will add material equivalent to their needs and wants.

 

Results

The four teachers who participated in this research study clearly see blogs as tools to accomplish various instructional goals. They argued that the students’ skills were reinforced while blogs allowed for differentiation of instruction. Blogs encouraged cooperative team planning, helped foster learning focused conversations, and resulted in higher self-esteem for the student participants. The four teachers reported a desire to use blogs for many learning projects in their future teaching. Still, two stated that they have to plan far ahead. They explained that have formulated ideas for classroom blog use that will guide them in their future instructional planning. The four teachers  stated that they will send soft copies for material covered in class that serves as a record for all students and to help absent students catch up. Class Blogs will include extra resources, links to helpful sites.  Two teachers  also said that will try blogs in teaching writing.

The four teachers advise anyone to start in the first class giving ideas about blogs and to try to include the entire class, utilize the blogs for assignments while considering abilities and prior writing experience of students. The teachers also opine other teachers to use technology in their lessons only if they believe it will help enhance reaching learning objectives and not only for the idea of integrating technology in the ESL curriculum. 

The first time, the two teachers who created class blogs gave students the names and the links to class blogs, students who have internet in their mobiles tried to reach it to get idea about it and asked questions related to its usage.  Many students were happy about being introduced to something new though they feared using it. Some students expressed disappointment as they cannot use the blogs since they do not have computers.  The two teachers addressed this concern by reminding them about internet cafes and the computers in the institute library.

The two teachers who introduced students to constructing blogs also liked the experience. Students who have smart phones created their own blogs on the spot and taught other interested students how to create theirs. Student began writing, reflecting and sending links to helpful materials on their blogs. They sent the links to their new entries to the teachers’ e-mails and to their colleagues on the groups Facebook groups.  Students were active in the first seven weeks but they were not that active in the following seven weeks.

Students answered three questionnaires regarding the use of blogs in teaching/learning ESL one at the beginning of the term regarding the use of technology in teaching and learning, one during the mid of the term and one at the end of the term. The idea of giving students three questionnaire was to thoroughly understand the impact of using blogs as technology tools in enhancing the teaching and learning process. Two of these questionnaires were paper-based and one was online. The link to the survey which student took is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DCYWN95. Also a paper-based different version of the online questionnaire was created as to be used instead of the online questionnaire if many students did not take the online copy.

The four teachers who used blogs in the ESL curriculum considered blogs to be an effective instructional tool as it engaged students more. Teachers decided that they should spend more time familiarizing themselves with blogs, training themselves on using them, and thinking about students’ questions.  Using open-ended questions, participants were asked, based on the use of blogs experience as a teacher /or as a student, to give suggestions that might optimize the use of blogs as instructional tools in the teaching/learning. All four teachers and 60% of the students thought that the instructor should spend more time introducing blogs, explaining how they work and detailing the rules and expectations for how blogs will be used. Students who were asked to create their blogs asked to see model blogs. Teachers claimed that they had to dedicate time to monitor the use of blogs, monitor the continuity of the usage of blogs so that they would be used throughout the term.

 

Table 1: Participant Demographic and Blogs Type

Teachers Participation

4

Classes Involved

4

Teachers’ Gender

1 male and 3 Females

Number of Students Involved

200 hundred Students

Teachers’ Age

28-48

Students’ Age

18-23

Kinds of Blogs Used

Class Blog, Student Blog

 

Descriptive Charts for Data Collected via Teachers’ Questionnaire:

 

Descriptive Charts for Data Collected via Teachers' Questionnaire

Students’ Mid Term Questionnaire

Percentage 

No. of Students 

Statement

50 %

  100

  I did not understand the instructions on the blog use.  

% 30

 65

  I did not have enough access to internet.           

 80%

 160  

  Blogging activities improved my language skills.      

82% 

165 

Blogging activities improved my reading skills.      

65%

130

Blogging activities improved my writing skills. 

87 %

175

Blogging activities improved my vocabulary range and use.

93%

186

I like reading my classmates posts.

85%

170     

I like writing comments on my classmates’ posts.    

63.5%

127

I like reading comments on my classmates’ posts.     

94.5 %

189

I like my instructor writing feedback on my posts.

90%

180

I like reading my classmates’ comments on my posts.

84.5%

169

Blogging motivates me to read more on my own.

28.5%

57

Using blogs in language learning is not necessary.

 

Suggestions and recommendations

The participant teachers pointed out that they have to familiarize the students with blogs as a platform, teach them the features of the platform to make them feel empowered and secure rather than lost. Teachers suggested that they can notify the students who have laptops to bring their devices in class and use them just like their colleagues who had smart phones use their phones. As such, all students can try their hands on using blogs in class. Teachers also suggested giving students orientation lectures before the start of the term about the importance of the 21th century skills, integrating technology in education, and active learning. Teachers will also try to convince the institute administration to buy mini-laptops wholesale for students and add it up to the tuition fees to enhance their learning through the integration of technology in education. Participant students provided positive responses to the addition of blogs to the ESL curriculum.  

 

Conclusion

Based on the literature review and the results of this study, using blogs can enhance the teaching and learning process.  In this research study, participants expressed a very positive effect of using blogs as an instructional tool to enhance classroom learning. Students liked the use of blogs as technology can help them enhance their educational and professional opportunities.   The number of students who joined the class blogs and created their own blogs, shared the links of their blogs increased day after day. Students expressed their liking to the new teaching method and provided a lot of positive feedback on the three questionnaires created to collect their feedback on the new learning experience. Blogs helped teachers and students interact, gave students an open space to reflect and express their thoughts on whatever topics they like, extended the learning behind the walls of the classroom, introduced students to e-tools that can help them improve in English and thus enhanced the teaching and learning process.  Teachers however claimed that using blogs as a tool requires planning ahead, and knowing the tool well. Further research should be conducted in order to determine how blogs might be used in better ways in instruction, and how blogs can promote the four language skills.

 

References

Armstrong, K., and Retterer, O. (2008). Blogging as L2 Writing: A Case Study. AACE Journal, 16(3), 233-251.

Bloch, J. (2007). Abdullah’s Blogging: A Generation 1.5 Student Enters the Blogosphere. Language Learning and Technology, 11(2), 128-141.

Blood, Rebecca (2000). Weblogs: A History and Perspective. (www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html

“Blogs in Education” http://www.adultlearn.com/resources/articles/education-blogs/

Blogs in Education: The Use of Blogs in Education Link: http://thanhnguyen75.blogspot.com/2006/11/use-of-blogs-in-education_14.html

Barkacs, L., & Custin, R. (2010). Developing Sustainable Learning Communities through  Blogging. Journal of Instructional Pedagogies, 4-12.

Campbell, Aaron (2000). Weblogs for Use with ESL Classes. The Internet TSL Journal.

Capellini, Mary (2005). Balancing Reading and Language Learning. Stenhouse Publishers.

Dudeney, G and Hockly, Nicky (2007).   How to Teach English with Technology. Pearson Education Limited. 

Duffy, Peter and Bruns, Axel (2006). “The Use of Blogs, Wikis and RSS in Education: A Conversation of Possibilities”. In Proceedings Online Learning and Teaching Conference 2006, pages pp. 31-38, Brisbane. http://eprints.qut.edu.au

Gedera, D.S.P. (2011). Integration of Weblogs in Developing Language Skills of ESL learners. International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning, 7(2), 124-135.

Geisler, Diana (2008). Foundations of Oracy: A Professional Development Model. http://downtoearthmedia.org/literacy.html

Grami, G. M. (2012). Online Collaborative Writing for ESL Learners Using Blogs and Feedback Checklists. English Language Teaching, 5(10), 43-48.

“Half an Hour Blogs in Education” http://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2009/04/blogs-in-education.html

Lindsey, Delores (2007). Culturally Proficient Coaching. Corwin Press.

Lohnes, S. (2006). Using blogs in a College Classroom: What’s Authenticity Got to do with It?  Blogs for Learning, http://blogsforlearning.msu.edu/articles/

Magana, Sony (2017). “Transformational Technology Use.” In Disruptive Classroom Technologies: A Framework for Innovation in Education.  Corwin.

Marzano, Robert (2001). Classroom Instruction that Works. ASCD.

McLeod, S. (2001). The Pedagogy of Writing across the Curriculum. In G. Tate, A. Rupiper, &   K. Schick (Eds.). A Guide to Composition Pedagogies (149-164). New York: Oxford University Press.

Mynard, J. (2007). A Blog as a Tool for Reflection for English Language Learners. The Phillipine ESL Journal, 1(1), 77-90.

Noytim, U. (2010). Weblogs Enhancing ELF Students’ English Language Learning. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 1127-1132.

Seitzinger, J. (2006, July 31). Be constructive: Blogs, Podcasts, and Wikis as Constructivist Learning Tools. The eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions e-Magazine,  http://www.teachers.ash.org.au/jmresources/research.htm

Selwyn, Neil (2017). Education and Technology: Key Issues and Debates – Second Edition Bloomsbury Academic.

Smith, G. (2009). Voices from the field: Obtaining, Processing, and Constructing English: Blogging in the ESL Classroom. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 1, 75-80.

Sun, Y.C. (2009). Voice Blog: An Exploratory Study of Language Learning. Language Learning & Technology, 13(2), 88-103.

Sun, Y.C. (2012). Examining the Effectiveness of Extensive Speaking Practice via Voice Blogs in a Foreign Language Learning Context. CALICO, 29(3), 494-506.

“Using Blogs to Integrate Technology in the Classroom” Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of the Educational and Professional Publishing Group of The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2005. http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/educationupclose.phtml/47

 “Using Blogs and Wikis in Education” http://ar.scribd.com/doc/2451263/Using-wikis-and-blogs-in-education.

Yih-Rueh, J. (2006). Learning by Blogging: Warm-up and Review Lessons to Facilitate Knowledge Building in Classrooms. The JALT CALL Journal, 3(1), 13-24.

Winer, D. (2002). The History of Weblogs. (http://newhome.weblogs.com/historyOfWeblogs)

Williams, Jeremy B and Jacobs, Joanne. “Exploring Blogs as Learning Spaces in Higher Education.”  Australian Journal of Educational Technology. 2004, 20(2), 232-247.

 

Appendices

Appendix I: Teachers’ Interview Questions

Do you like the experience of adding blogs to the ESL classroom?

What would you change next time?

What are the positives and negatives of adding blogs to the ESL curriculum?

Was the adding of blogs time consuming?

Would you advice other teachers to use blogs? Why?

 

Appendix 2: Teachers’ Questionnaire:

Please answer these questions:

How much did you use blogs in the ESL classroom?

How likely are you going to use blogs in your next ESL classes?

Did you put the purpose and pedagogy in mind while teaching?

l=disagree totally   2= disagree 3=not strong opinion 4=agree 5= strongly agree

Attitudes to Adding Blogs to  the ESL syllabus

1

2

3

4

5

L

Did blogs help students learn more deeply.

 

 

 

 

 

2

Did students find blogs boring after exposure? 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Blogs empowered students to control their learning.

 

learning learnin learning.

 

 

 

 

 

4

I know that technology can help me to learn many new things.

 

 

 

 

 

5

Technology still intimidates and threatens me.

 

 

 

 

 

6

Are you more enamored with blogs as a tool   students learning?

?

 

ea'lS

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

Most students were able to access and lavage blogs as a tool.

 

 

 

 

 

8

Blogging as a tool align with the learning outcome.

 

 

 

 

 

9

Blogging helped enhance students’ language skills.

 

 

 

 

 

10

I would use blogs in my upcoming ESL classes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 3: Students’ Questionnaires

QUESTIONNAIRE : Using Blogs in the Classroom

   Course :                               Name :                                             Date :     

A. Technophobe or technogeek or somewhere in between?

How do you feel about technology? Answer this questionnaire:

 

 l=disagree totally   2= disagree  3=not strong opinion  4=agree 5=agree strongly

Attitudes to using technology in the ESL classroom

1

2

3

4

5

L

I enjoy using technology.

 

 

 

 

 

2

I avoid using technology when I can.

 

 

 

 

 

3

I think using technology in class takes up too much time.

 

 

 

 

 

4

I know that technology can help me to learn many new things.

 

 

 

 

 

5

Technology intimidates and threatens me.

 

 

 

 

 

6

Students should know how to use mobile phones in class.

 

 

 

 

 

7

I would be a better learner if I knew how to use technology properly.

 

 

 

 

 

8

I'm very confident when it comes to working with technology especially my mobile phone at home/at work/at university.

 

 

 

 

 

9

I want to learn more about using technology at home/university to enhance my educational and professional opportunities.

 

opportunities ooopportunities ppprofessional opportunities  oppo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

I believe that I can improve my language skills using the benefits of the Internet.

 

 

 

 

 

11

Using technology in learning languages is not necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

12

Technology breaks down too often to be of very much use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

B. Experience of using the Internet

7.1. I use the Internet

Regularly

 

Never

at College

at  home

at  work

 

 

 

7.2. I use the Internet in English for the following:

Regularly

Infrequently

Never

To communicate with people (e.g. e-mail)

To find information

To read the news

 

 

 

 

I use the Internet in English for the following:

Regularly

Infrequently

Never

To watch films

To prepare home assignments (e.g. projects, web quests etc)

To buy/sell products

To learn (e.g. online courses, using online dictionaries)

To have fun (e.g. playing computer games)

To download software

Anything else (please specify)

 

 

 

 

C. Keeping up with future trends

What do you know about future trends and tools in learning with technology? Which of these things would you like to incorporate into your studies?

Tool/trend

I know what this is

I’d like to explore this  more

e-learning

 

 

m-learning

 

 

Blogs

 

 

Source: G. Dudeney & Nicky Hockly. 2007.   How to Teach English with Technology. Pearson Education Limited.  Tasks A and Task C (partly adapted)

 

Mid Term Questionnaire

Age:

Gender:

Class:

l=disagree totally   2= disagree  3=not strong opinion  4=agree 5=agree strongly

 

Attitudes to using Blogs in the ESL classroom

1

2

3

4

5

l

I did not understand the instructions on the blog use.

 

 

 

 

 

2

 I did not have enough access to internet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

Blogging activities improved my language skills.

 

 

 

 

 

4

Blogging activities improved my reading skills.

 

 

 

 

 

5

Blogging activities improved my writing skills.

 

 

 

 

 

6

Blogging activities improved my vocabulary range and use.

 

 

 

 

 

7

I like blogging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

I like reading my classmates posts.

 

 

 

 

 

9

I like writing comments on my classmates’ posts.

 

 

 

 

 

10

I like reading comments on my classmates’ posts.

 

 

 

 

 

11

I like my instructor writing feedback on my posts.

 

 

 

 

 

12

I like reading my classmate comments on my posts.

 

 

 

 

 

13

Blogging motivates me to read more on my own.

 

 

 

 

 

14

Using Blogs in learning languages is not necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of Term Questionnaire:

If you did not take the online questionnaire please take this paper-based questionnaire:

 

Age:

Gender:

Class:

 

Please answer these two questions:

Did you like adding up the blogging activity to the English course? Why?

Will you continue blogging after the course ended? Why?

 

Online questionnaire Text (Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DCYWN9 ):

Use of Blogs in the ESL Class

  1. In a typical day, how likely are you to use blogs?
  • Extremely likely
  • Very likely
  • Moderately likely
  • Slightly likely
  • Not at all likely

 

  1. In a typical month, how likely are you to use e-resources to enhance your English?
  • Extremely likely
  • Very likely
  • Moderately likely
  • Slightly likely
  • Not at all likely

   3) Do you think blogs helped you improve or not?

  • Yes, they did
  • No, they did not
  • Somehow

 4(Which internet websites did you find most helpful during your self-study at home?

  • American English
  • UTube
  • RSA animate
  • Other (please specify)

5. Did your teacher help you find your way through the blog?

  • Yes
  • No
  • She/he was not that helpful.

6. What should be done the next course blogs are used?

  • More explanation on using blogs
  • More time on using blogs.
  • Not using blogs at all.
  • Creating class blogs and students’ blogs and coordinating them together.
  • Creating class blogs only or students’ blogs only.
  • Other (please specify)

 

Please check the Pilgrims courses at Pilgrims website.

  • Three Ideas For Making A Success of Online Teaching
    Christopher Walker, Poland

  • Humanising Distance Teaching and Teacher Training
    Marina Marinova, Germany

  • Blogging to Enhance ESL Teaching/Learning
    Rasha Osman Abdel Haliem Osman, Egypt