One more week of the course is over...
It was a very productive week with lots of tasks and at the same time with lots of new ideas.
But first of all it started from a nice surprise - one more person joined our company and we heartly welcomed Andrea Banicki!
This week's topic was focused on how to use technology to enhance reading, writing, and vocabulary skills.
I have read the proposed three articles on enhancing reading and writing with the help of technology in the classroom with great interest. Using computer and internet is similar to that of educating in completely new and fascinating ways.
The article Using the Internet in ESL Writing Instruction by Jarek Krajka gave me lots of ideas about using the listed resources in the classroom.
The writing instructions enriched with the Internet component will provide students with choice, variety, authenticity, and give them a real purpose for writing, allow them to experience the authentic written interaction with other people, give them the feeling of self-confidence when seeing their works published on the class website.
The author underlined three elements of on-line lessons, which are used while teaching most of the writing: 1) web pages are the endless source of varied materials both for the teacher and students; 2) the key pal connection can be used for every writing genre, giving students a real purpose for writing and teaching them written interaction while communicating in writing with their peers of similar age and interests; 3) the class website as a publishing medium for students' pieces gives the chance to reward students, to make them read others' pieces attentively, and is an interesting and cheap way to promote students' writing.
I also liked the scheme proposed by the author about two periods to teaching one genre. The first class, entirely off-line, would be focused on analysing model pieces, work on structures and vocabulary based on a specialised writing skills book This could save on-line time necessary for browsing, reading and digesting information from the Web, and also while browsing the Internet sites, students would already have the knowledge of the formal requirements of the genre, and could see how these work in practice. The on-line lesson should be followed by another off-line or on-line lesson, done after students wrote their pieces, the teacher corrected them and they were put on the class website, in order to discuss students' performance, to let them experience one another's writing, and to develop listening and speaking skills on the basis of the information gained during the on-line class.
The article Three Extensive Reading Activities for ESL/EFL Students Using E-books
by Mei-Ya Liang describes how to interpret, appreciate, and respond to the texts, all of which lead students to read more and study more outside of the classroom. Online resources enable ESL/EFL learners to get access to authentic materials and communicate online. With appropriate guidance, students will increase not only extensive reading, writing and thinking skills, but also their confidence in and motivation for reading L2 texts.
I also liked the resources proposed by Larry J. Mikulecky and am going to use them in the classroom.
We were proposed to read about technology enhanced lesson plans from "Tips and Advice from your Webskills Team: How to Write a Technology Enhanced Lesson Plan" and look at a sample or two from the Baltimore County Public Schools Office of Instructional Technology.
I have done a technology enhanced lesson plan and have learned quite a lot. Here is the link:
We had to think about the class and students that we described in Week 2 and write about an issue(s) or problems this class is experiencing. This should be issue or problem that technology might help with. It was really interesting to compare the problems in class and to find the solutions together.