You are on page 1of 19



The EFL Blogging School Project, Edition II was successfully implemented by American
Councils Moldova and funded by the US Embassy to Moldova, aimed to engage 25 EFL teachers
from the regions of Moldova, who has limited or no access to professional opportunities in the
area of integrating technologies in their classrooms. This way, these 25 EFL teachers were
selected and trained on how to create and run a classroom or school blog in English.
The project started on September 1, 2015 and ended on March 1, 2016. During this
period, each participant acquired digital skills in: (1) using online tools as blogs to enhance their
English teaching experience; (2) engaging students in online projects and raise up their interest in
studying English using online tools; and (3) maintaining a class/school blog, inviting members,
posting/editing entries and commenting on the others’ blogs.
The selection proceeded on a competitive basis – each candidate sent his/her resume and
a motivational letter explaining how their students, school and community would benefit from
the project. We received 36 applications from which we selected 25 participants from 18 regions
of Moldova, namely Anenii Noi, Stefan Voda, Cantemir, Soroca, Donduseni, Causeni, Orhei,
Criuleni, Floresti, Straseni, , Edinet , Falesti, Telenesti, Riiscani, Nisporeni, Calarasi,
Basarabeasca, and Taraclia ( see Picture 1).

Picture 1. Geographical extension of the “EFL Blogging School” project

All participants went through a three stage instructional process: face-to-face trainings,
online mentoring (each participant worked independently online with the trainers and 10 native
speaker mentors), and independent practice (the participants conducted their own trainings to
share from their own experience). For ensure the quality of online instruction and collaboration,
the EFL Blogging School Facebook page and a new project blog were created, linked to the first
“EFL Blogging School” project blog.
The trainers were selected based on their previous experience in online teaching and
successful performance as e-trainers in the first “EFL Blogging School” project. Each trainer
completed 12 academic hours of teacher training instruction, aimed to introduce them into:
 the project structure and timeline, project syllabus and curriculum components,
collaboration tools, such as project blog, Google Hangouts on Air

( ) , and
tips for developing and assessing online assignments, online class management and
motivation ( )

The project launched with the official Opening Ceremony on October 10, 2015, which
initiated 25 beneficiaries in: the successful highlights of the first edition of “EFL Blogging
School” project; the second project structure and timeline; the course requirement; the project
syllabus; the project curriculum component; and online platforms developing students’ reading
and speaking skills (see Picture 2).

Picture 2. EFL Blogging School participants at the Opening Ceremony

The whole instructive process for 25 EFL educators included 5 online modules of 96
academic hours per total.
The first module of the course, entitled "Introduction into EFL Blogging Basics", aimed
to guide participants to:
 exchange introductions and become familiar with the group environments;
 try tools for synchronous communication to be used during the project;
 answer a survey to determine their previous experience with blogging;
 add themselves to the group map;
 visit the group blog;
 discuss the concept of a blog (and distinguish it from "website" and "wiki"; and
 analyze various EFL blogs and the ways these are used to enhance EFL teaching and

The second module of the course, entitled "Video production for EFL Blogging and
Approaches in Involving Students Online” guided participants along:
 Video Production Tools, such as Movie Maker, Voicethread, Voki;
 Writing Production Tools, such as Dvolver, Tagxedo, Fodey;
 Graphic Production, such as Glogster, Pininterest;
 Easy solutions for busy teachers: ReadWriteThink; and
 Approaches to involve students online.
The third module of the course, entitled "Involving Students in the EFL Class/School Blog",
aimed to guide participants to apply in teaching:
 Dictionaries: MWvisual, thefreedictionary, visuwords;
 Polls: Monkey Survey, Google Polls;
 Video Teaching Tools: UTube, Teacher Tube, Jenny ESL;
 Speaking Production Tools: Prezi, Slideshare-audio.
The fourth module of the course, entitled "Creating an EFL Class/School Blog and Involving
Student", aimed to teach participants to integrate into teaching: projects, E-Portfolio, on-line
tools in lesson plans, and blogs as assessing tools (rubrics). This way, this module was dedicated
 turning the blog into a teaching tool,
 enhancing the blog with tools for EFL teaching and learning,
 integrating the blog into daily teaching practice,
 adjusting the blog to school curricula,
 combining classroom teaching with online teaching, and
 actively involving students in posting on the blog (complete tasks, post comments, submit
homework etc.)
The fifth module of the course, entitled "Presenting Your Blog and Sharing Your
Experience", aimed to instruct participants on how:

to establish and maintain an online partnership with the online mentor,
present his/her blog during the project closing event in Chisinau,
be in charge of organizing a 25-45 min workshop to share from his / her experience on
the project,
organize a training for 10-15 teachers and educators in his/her home region.

To strengthen the knowledge the project participants acquired during 5 online instructive
module, there were organized 19 Google Handouts on Air sessions with the trainers to offer
more details and answers to the participants’ questions regarding the studied content.
By the end of the project, all 25 participants created 25 following school or classroom blogs
in English, which served as teaching tool in teaching English almost 600 students of all ages.
Their blogs represent online portfolios to include students’ sample work, lesson plans, teaching
advice, and bibliography for students:

, , ,, , , , , ,,, , , , , , , , , , , , , .

In collaboration with 10 native speaker mentors, currently Peace Corps Volunteers and
Fulbright Scholars in Moldova, the project participants improved their blogs and integrated them
into their English Language daily teaching. In addition to this, each teacher involved his/her
mentor in successfully completing 5 collaborative online assignments through Skype or Google
Hangouts sessions, delivered for their students (see Picture 4, 5, and 6).

Picture 4. Mattew Salerno, Fulbright Scholar, sharing US cultural topics with a group of
students from Salcuta, Causeni

Picture 5. Christiana Holsapple, Fulbright scholar, sharing facts about US food with a group of
students from Bascalia, Basarabeasca

Picture 6. Lisa Gill, Peace Corps Volunteer, chatting with a group of students from Edinet
during their English class
(see the video: )

The experience the teachers got during this 6-month project was disseminated through local
and regional trainings, aimed to introduce almost 500 educators from 18 regions into the mastery
of integrating blogs and online tools in the teaching process (see Picture 7, 8, 9).

Picture 7. Luminita Tiuliulc delivering her regional training for 48 educators from Edinet

Picture 8. Stela Tagadiuc presenting her local training for 25 educators in “Constantin Stere”
Lyceum from Soroca

Picture 9. Eugenia Man delivering her regional training for 27 educators from Criuleni

The topics of the local/regional trainings were the following:
 Implementing Informational Technologies, such as Blogs, in the EFL TeachingInstructive Process;
 Project Implementation and How to Create Online Surveys and Questionnaires;
 Blogging- an Alternative Approach to Teaching/Learning a Foreign Language;

Blogging- a Modern Approach in EFL Lesson;
Modern Teaching-Instructive- Evaluation Tools;
Using Educational Technologies in Teaching English;
Technology in the English Classroom: Interactive Instruction through the Use of
Blogs as Online Tools for EFL Assessment;
Integrating Blogs into EFL Educational Process;
Using Blogs as Tools to Develop Students’ English Language Competences;
Teaching English Language through Online Tools and Blogs;
Education Improvement through Blogging;
Developing EFL Students’ Multiple Intelligences through Blogs;
Create Your First Teaching Blog;
The 21st Century Teacher: Online Mentorship;
Web 2.0 Tools to Use in Education;
Curriculum and Creativity through Online Resources (the blog) for EFL Lessons;
Project Work and Blog as a Platform;
Web 2.0 tools to Experiment with Words, Images and Links/Online Survey and
Almost Infinite ELT Ideas: E-learning; Blogging as an Interactive Teaching
Approach, or Integrating Web 2.0 Tools in EFL Teaching;
E-portfolio as a Tool of Teacher and Student’s Assessment;
Using Blogs and Other Online Tools in Teaching English; and
Blog- as an Online Tool for EFL Assessment: Home-task Assignment and Practice.

The “EFL Blogging School” project culminated with the ‘EFL Blogging School” Final
Conference held in “B.P. Hasdeu” Public Library and American Councils Moldova office,
Chisinau on February 27, 2016. The event gathered 150 EFL school and university educators,
mentors, trainers, project participants and their students, willing to find out ways to integrate
online tolls in the teaching process (see Diagram 1).


100 EFL




Diagram 1. Statistics on EFL Blogging School Conference attendees

The conference was opened by American Councils Moldova and US Embassy to
Moldova representatives (see Picture 10).

Picture 10. Kate Bartlette, Assistant Public Affairs Officer, US Embassy to Moldova
welcoming the conference participants

The project trainers highlighted the key points of the online modules, thus offering useful
hints on: (1) how to improve school curricular with blogging related activities; (2) how to deal
with large multilevel classes through blogs; and (3) how to maintain an EFL blog alive (see
Picture 11 and 12).

Picture 11. EFL Blogging School Conference Agenda of the Plenary Panel

Picture 12. Victoria Mascaliuc, EFL Blogging School project, Edition I Alumna,
presenting “EFL Blogging School Project- an Opportunity for New Beginnings” session

In the second part of the event, the project participants were in charge of organizing a
30-minute workshop to share their experience on the project to the English teaching educational
community. This way, the EFL educators learnt interesting facts about efficient ways to: ensure
the collaborative projects through blogs; integrate blogs in the extracurricular activities;
empower students’ motivation and multiple intelligences through online tools; enhance formative
assessment through digital technology, etc (see Picture 13, 14, 15 and 16).

Picture 13. EFL Blogging School Agenda of the Parallel Workshop Panel

Picture 14. Mariana Ursu, project participant, delivering “Ensuring Collaborative
Projects through Blogs” workshop

Picture 15. Eudochia Jalba, project participant, presenting “Practice and Home-tasks
through Online Tools” workshop

Picture 16. EFL Blogging School, Edition II Alumni handling their graduation
The quality of the final event was evaluated through the EFL Blogging School
Conference Feedback form which highlighted the fact that the whole event provided a very
relevant and useful content for EFL teaching, and offered an excellent forum for the exchange
with other educators; thus building a network for a future collaboration among the conference
participants (see Diagram 2).


Very good

with the

Forum for the
Relevance of
exchange with
the conference



Very good

Quality of the
for & during
presentations online after the
the event




Diagram 2. Results of the “EFL Blogging School” Final Conference Feedback
After completing the project, the participants and trainers expressed their impressions
through the following quotes:

“This project gave me a great opportunity to evaluate myself, to
improve my teaching abilities and to develop self-confidence to
my students. It was a difficult period in my activity and a
productive one as well. I have learnt how to use online resources
easy, for free and how to relate them to each group particularity. I
am extremely thankful for being part of this team. Thanks to
Blogging School my lessons are much more creative, interactive
and diverse. I am a good example for my colleagues, the most
creative teacher for my students, and of course just a brave for
myself (because I have finished it successfully). Thanks to my
mentor Christiana, my students' motivation has raised
enormously. She was like a Duracell battery for them. Now, they
call me and speak to me in English, ask about her only in English
and are very eager to see her again. As I said during the Final
Conference- Blogging for me is like a "lady purse". It needs little
space, it contains all the necessary things I need , and thanks to it
I look fashionable and stylish. For those who will read this
message and will think about getting involve in this or not- just do
it, you will not regret about anything.”
Aliona Zlatov, Lyceum „M. Tarlev”, Bascalia, Basarabeasca ,
project participant

“My dear Blogging Family!
This is exactly how I feel about everything that happened to me
during these 5 months. The experience I got, the people I met,
the things I learnt - make a whole universe for me as an EFL
teacher. As I mentioned in my presentation earlier, teachers
leave legacies of relationships and those are priceless. I want to
say a HUGE THANKS to all our trainers!
Speaking about the contribution Blogging school brought into
my life - it's obvious! Can you imagine - my students keep
asking me about the next round of assignments and
they MEAN it!
A special THANKS to my mentor, Mrs. Lisa Gill, who was
really supportive and motivating! Final Conference was a
REAL success and I am proud that I was a part of this
extraordinary event!"
Luminta Tiuliuliuc, "Mihai Eminescu” Lyceum, Edinet,
project participant

"The EFL Blogging School Project" meant a great improvement for me.
As a project participant, my interest was continuously piqued through
various new teaching technologies.
Sometimes I felt like a student who has weekly homework, but it was
done with pleasure. My students felt the same pleasure by taking part in
different interesting activities and they liked to have information in
electronic format. They like to work, to assimilate new knowledge and
using new informational technologies.
Also I would like to add the fact that we can collaborate with other
EFL Blogging School Project participants and exchange teaching
ideas. Now I am proud to have my own professional e-Portfolio, where
I keep my teaching materials.
I am very thankful to the EFL Blogging School Project team. THANK
Angela Gabureac, ”Budesti” Lyceum,
project participant

"I still can't believe it's over. I feel such a pity deep in my
I don't know why, but I still keep planning my end-of-the-day time to
make room for accomplishing assignments:)). It was such a huge
experience for me unlike those ones we are supposed to gain during our
regular courses aimed to "enhance" our professional qualification.
I indeed learnt so many new things which I am going to really USE in
my teaching practice and which, I Am SURE, will increase my students‘
interest in studying English.
Thank you for all your efforts. Thank you for being patient with us,
and thank you for this amazing world you let us discover and become a
part of.
I will definitely keep asking all trainers for advice and, know for sure,
will receive it in its best form accompanied by some even more useful
I am grateful a lot and looking forward to something new!”
Maria Terzi, “Olimpii Panov” Gymnasium, Taraclia,
project participant

"I am very glad that I had the possibility to participate in this
very interesting, knowledgeable and useful project. It gave me a lot of
opportunities and formed many skills, first of all digital, writing,
speaking, etc.
This project developed me like a teacher for the 21st century. My
students are very proud of me. My colleagues were very surprised to
see so many tools that can be used at our lessons. They couldn't
understand how I could learn and use so many tools during this
My students told me: "Mrs. Mary you are a very cool teacher. We are
the only one school that can complete the tasks online." Some students
told me that blogs can be very useful tools for their future business.
But, the most important thing in this project is that it made me sure in
my capacity to motivate students in learning English. I have already
observed some results and I am glad for them.
Also, through this project I could find new friends (my colleagues from
other regions of Moldova).”
Maria Ionesi, "Gaudeamus" Lyceum, Donduseni,
project participant

"What could have been better than a tight collaboration and
learning new things every and single day for a pretty long period
of time.
How many new emotions and knowledge had arrived into our
souls and minds! How many new ideas we created in our Teachers'
everlasting flow of creativity and spirit.
All these on-line instruments and tools, knowledge and modern
methods and approaches made everybody closer to the other
colleague, made us much more open and discovered unusual
possibilities for collaboration .
It taught us many techniques and teaching instruments that we can
implement together with our traditional approach. But at the same
time, we realized how diverse our work can be!
Teaching--is a noble profession indeed. And thank to American
Councils for International Education in Moldova, US Embassy
and all the Organizers of this wonderful course, all those who
made it possible and advance our possibilities and skills, we grew
And what is more important, is that such fruitful communication
and work made more teachers collaborate and share and formed a
fantastic community of peace and perfection, spreading the
atmosphere of harmony and desire to make this teaching world a
better place.”
Emma Matreniuc, Access Program, Edinet, project trainer

The project results were disseminated through media sources, such as: news
portal, American Councils Moldova web page and newsletter, EFL Blogging School Project,
Edition II blog, EFL Blogging School Edition I Alumni network, “EFL Blogging School for
Moldovan Teachers” Project Facebook Page, Ministry of Education network, Access Moldova
Community, Moldovan English Teachers’ network,,,, and TeleRadio Moldova ( see Picture 17).

Picture 17. TeleRadio Modlova broadcasting the EFL Blogging School Conference (minute
Project Partners:

This project was funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The
opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily
reflect those of the United States Department of State.