BLOGGING in SUK4_S07

Frank Newman

Now that everyone has set up their blog and is merrily blogging along, I’d like to make a few comments about this part of the course. Most people have noticed that it was actually easier to set up a blog than they expected. They see blogging as a new way to take a more active approach to their studies. Why are we blogging?  To improve our writing skills. We get better at writing by writing more frequently about topics that we choose ourselves and care about. This encourages creativity, increases motivation and improves fluency.  To learn from each other. We can exchange ideas and comment on what others are doing, their learning strategies and approaches to similar problems we all face. We can get good ideas and tips about useful links, for example and get to know new sides of our classmates..  To increase our contact with English. We are more motivated to read and write in English. We just need to get into the habit of blogging regularly to get the most out of it. Because it counts a lot for our grade and it is all too obvious if we slack off, we are forced to keep up with it.  To show the teacher all we are doing to improve our English and that we can take the initiative to control our own learning to a great extent. Sometimes the effort we put into the process of learning says more than exam results.  To become familiar with some of the modern technologies that we will need to be good students and later on do our jobs and to appreciate the role of the internet in language learning and communication in general. To be successful bloggers, we need to:       Tips Use google docs or the uni server to store files that you can link to in your blog. Add pictures and color to make your blog more attractive. Use bloglines to keep up with the blogs you subscribe to and clip the best entries. Save a post as a draft and then work more on it later after a little thought before publishing.  Keep a notebook to jot down ideas about things you might blog about.     Blog regularly Develop our own personal style, our writing voice. Keep it fun, colorful and interesting so our readers come back for more. Explain things if more context is needed. Keep in touch with our readers. Develop an awareness of readership. Deal with our fears of “opening up”

 Write from experience.  Experiment! Don’t be afraid to stretch yourself and try out new things. You can always revise or even delete it later.  Tell stories that make a point.  Use humor. GUIDELINES  Write 2-3 solid entries per week.  Comment on all your classmates’ blogs at least twice during the semester. Also have a look at the blogs by students in the parallel classes.  Have fun and don’t write in a formal way, but do mind your English. Look things up if you have to!

SUGGESTED WRITING IDEAS
A.

LANGUAGE LEARNING
a. MY WEEK IN ENGLISH: Keep track for 3 weeks of all you do for your English. Set yourself a few concrete goals. Ask the teacher and others for help reaching them. Report on how successful you were. Prove to the work how pro-active you can be when you put your mind to it. 1. Online/offline 2. Listening/Speaking/Reading/Writing/Grammar/Vocab/Other b. BEST OF CYBEROPPS: AIM: to identify and share the best websites for improving our English language skills. We know our needs best and there is a wealth of links already collected at Cyberopps, including some “gems”. i. THINK: How do we recognize an excellent EFL website for learners like us? ii. TASK: Write a contribution for Best of Cyberopps 1. Find a site you really like and can recommend to other learners. 2. Write a short report saying why you recommend it and exactly how you suggest using this resource. 3. Email FN your contribution or upload it to google docs. FN will revise and post the best ones to his blog called “Best of Cyberopps” for everyone to read and use. c. CALL/ATALL: Using computers and other technologies to learn languages. TASK: Try out something new like podcasting or electronic flashcards and write a short report discussing the potential of this new technology and your experience with it. 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computerassisted_language_learning 2. http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/ATALL 3. Others???

B. MY FAVORITE LL BLOGS AIM: To keep a list of quality blogs of people around the world like you who are learning several languages and striving to become translators. TASK: Read a lot of blogs, and post at least 2 comments/week as you return to ones you like when they are updated. Find out how to manage your blogs and use the clippings

feature by using www.bloglines.com. You can make a second blog with clippings from all of your favourite postings from all the blogs you subscribe to! a. OTHER SUK4 STUDENTS i. Which blogs do you keep coming back to and why? b. OTHER LANGUAGE LEARNING (LL) /TRANSLATION BLOGS 1. http://www.omniglot.com/blog/ 2. http://www.nakedtranslations.com/ 3. Others???? C. EXPAT LIFE AIM: To make a BlogRoll of the Top 5 with “My favourite blogs/websites about expat life” TASK: Visit them regularly and write at least one entry about each of these blogs/websites! a. Blogs about Austria i. www.nerdseyeview.com ii. others?? b. Blogs about people who’ve moved to English-speaking countries (ESC) i. Your favourites?? c. Blogs about life in my second foreign language (FL2) i. Your favourites?? d. Websites aimed at expats: Check out the links at the SUKFOUR group! React to what you read. i. Your favourites?? D. CULTURE AIM: To develop a greater appreciation of the many facets of culture. TASK: Explore these sites and write about what you learn about culture! a. Peace Corps Lesson Plans : These people have a wealth of experience when it comes to cultural matters. Definitely have a look! i. http://peacecorp.gov/wws/educators/lessonplans/section.cfm?gid=3 b. Culture links at Cyberopps .: Many good links to explore and comment on! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cyberopps/links/CULTURE_001016563205/ c. Others??? E. CURRENT EVENTS AIM: to develop the habit of keeping up with the news in English, especially about Englishspeaking countries. TASK: Explore these resources and write a few entries! a. http://www.nytimes.com/learning/ b. http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/default.asp c. http://www.aldaily.com/ d. http://www.bbc.co.uk/home/d/ e. http://www.guardianabroad.co.uk/ f. http://www.austriantimes.at/ g. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cyberopps/links/READING_001015580007/NEWSPAPERS_001026298940/

REMEMBER, your blog is reflection of you and your attitude!