A blog as a Tool for Reflection for English Language Learners
Keywords: blog, language, reflection, learner autonomy
Jo Mynard has taught English in Spain, Ireland, England, the United Arab Emirates and Japan where she has lived since April 2005. She has an Ed.D. in TEFL from the University of Exeter (UK) and an M.Phil in Applied Linguistics from Trinity College Dublin. She is an Associate Professor of English language at Koryo International College in Aichi, Japan.
Educators have reported a number of benefits for language learners keeping blogs; however, none of the available research focuses on the potential for a blog to be a medium for reflecting on learning. This paper draws on preliminary data collected from female Japanese college students. Twenty-two students kept voluntary blogs in their free time throughout a semester they spent studying English in the UK. The students usually wrote about everyday activities, but they also used their blogs to write their reflections about their language learning. In particular, the students discussed feelings about their exam results, occasions when they were disappointed in their spoken English, goals that they set for themselves and ways in which their classroom learning helped them in everyday situations. The findings suggest that blogs could be one tool for educators to use in order to encourage students to reflect on their learning.